Paul Birch Profile Picture

PAUL BIRCH - WRITER

trained in theatre at Bretton Hall and has a Masters degree in Writing and Performance from York University. His work as a writer includes Filled with Phantoms (Cheltenham Everyman & Sixth Sense Theatre Company), Signs And Blunders, Losing It and The Fun of the Fair (Riding Lights Theatre Company), Cell 7 and Out of the Box (Reflex Theatre Company), End of My World: Remixed (Crux Theatre Company). His short play Museum Peace was one of the winners of the BBC’s Northern Exposure’s New Play festival Summer Shorts and performed at the Theatre in The Mill and produced by the West Yorkshire Playhouse in 2004. He was again one of the winners the following year with the black comedy Messages for which he was also awarded a play-writing residency.

He has also written much educational work for, and with, young people. This includes, The Rainbow Promise (BBC Schools Radio) Handel’s Time Machine, The Quest, Tales from the Arabian Nights, The Box of Delights, Irregulars, Clockwork and Renaissance (all for The National Centre For Early Music), Telling Tales (The Three Choirs Festival), and a Passion Play for primary schools King of The Hill for the Breakout Trust. The Times Educational Supplement declared his play Counterpoint as “A cut above the rest”. He is currently working on The Deviser’s Cookbook a resource for drama practitioners.

Paul Burbridge Profile Picture

PAUL BURBRIDGE - DIRECTOR

Artistic Director of Riding Lights Theatre Company, Paul has been a major influence behind the Company’s reputation for pioneering new work, for comedy and for powerful ensemble productions of classics and devised plays. He has been involved as actor, director or writer in all the Company’s major productions, from award-winning revues at the Edinburgh Festival to the recent world premiere of the hilarious comic masterpiece Augustus Carp Esq., and highly successful national tours of Dario Fo’s Mistero Buffo, The Winter’s Tale and the recent co-production with York Theatre Royal of African Snow, marking the 200th anniversary of the Abolition of the Slave Trade. Other notable productions for Riding Lights include his own adaptation of Three Men in a Boat (The Northcott Theatre and Theatr Clywd and revived at York Theatre Royal in 2008) and The Fire Raisers (The Northcott Theatre and The Bridewell, where it was Time Out’s Critics’ Choice). In 2001, a new award-winning musical Dick Turpin was one of a string of highly original ensemble productions for Riding Lights created with writer Bridget Foreman and designer Sean Cavanagh. Other recent shows, addressing issues such as international debt relief, terrorism, science and faith, social responsibility and safe water provision, have included A Different Drum, Balancing Act, Love Fifteen, Wrestling with Angels, Science Friction, Saving Grace, Hope Opera, Remember Remember, Pipe Dreams and Salaam Bethlehem. The most recent touring production from Riding Lights, Origins & Lemons, brought Nigel Forde and Paul Burbridge together again as co-writers of a revue-style show.

Sean Cavanagh Profile Picture

SEAN CAVANAGH - DESIGNER

has worked for many theatres throughout the UK and abroad. He is a long standing Associate Director of Riding Lights and has designed much of the company’s work over the past years, including Paul Burbridge’s adaptation of the classic Three Men in a Boat, the 2007 tour of Salaam Bethlehem and the national tour of African Snow. Current UK and international tours include Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, The Opera Show and Rat Pack - live from Las Vegas. His many West End credits include the current production of Dreamboats and Petticoats.

Anna Morris Profile Picture

ANNA MORRIS - DESIGNER

trained in Theatre Design at Nottingham Trent University. Most recently she has designed Nearly the Goat for Riding Lights, Cider With Rosie for West Meon Theatre, Five Star Werewolf for York Theatre Royal and Rupert Brooke for Useful Donkey Theatre Company. For Riding Lights she has designed Origins & Lemons, On Christmas Night, Redemption Song, a series of short films: Kicking Off, and the award-winning Riding Lights /Bible Society short film, Unscripted. With Sean Cavanagh she has worked on Three Men in a Boat (York Theatre Royal), Happy Jack (Theatre Royal Windsor) and The Opera Show and Crazy for You (Kilworth House Theatre).

Emma Leaman-Brown Profile Picture

EMMA LEAMAN-BROWN - MUSICAL DIRECTOR

studied composition under Jonathan Harvey at Sussex University then continued her interest in Baroque music as a post-graduate student at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. She has worked as a professional session musician and contributed to a number of film, television and theatre projects as well as performing in many concerts. Now working as a ’cellist and recorder player, she also teaches both instruments in and around York, specialising in directing ensembles and chamber groups. This is her fifth Riding Lights production, after Signs and Blunders (2005), Goose Chase (2006 & 2007), On Christmas Night (2008) and Nearly the Goat (2009).

Original Music for The Narrow Road by Emma Leaman-Brown (‘cello & recorders)
Charles Hanley (violin)
Alice Leaman-Brown (harp)

Music also includes the following from Sprinting Gazelle - Palestinian Songs from the Motherland and the Diaspora
by Reem Kelani, a Palestinian singer and musician working in the UK. The recording is used with kind permission. www.reemkelani.com

As Nazarene Women Crossed the Meadow
Traditional Palestinian; arranged by Reem Kelani (PRS for Music)

Sprinting Gazelle
Traditional Palestinian; arranged by Reem Kelani (PRS for Music)

Qasidah of Return
Poetry: Salma Khadra Jayyusi. Music: Reem Kelani (PRS for Music)
String arrangements: Dirk Campbell

A Baker’s Dozen
Traditional Palestinian. Lyrics: Rasheed Zaid Kelani. Arranged by Reem Kelani (PRS for Music)

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