Miriam Margoyles (Performer) was born in Oxford in 1941, educated at the Oxford High School and won an Exhibition to read English Literature at Newnham College, Cambridge, where she acted with the Marlowe Society and was a guest in the Footlights Revue of 1962—before women were allowed to join the Society. She has achieved success on both sides of the Atlantic. Winner of the BAFTA Best Supporting Actress Award in 1993 for The Age of Innocence, she also received Best Supporting Actress at the 1989 LA Critics Circle Awards for her role in Little Dorrit and a Sony Radio Award for Best Actress on Radio in 1993. Her first professional work was for the BBC Drama Repertory Company, and her voice work has continued to form an important part of her career. She is considered the most famous female voice in England and her audio book recordings have been bestsellers and award-winners on both sides of the Atlantic. She is particularly proud of The Queen and I, in which she played every member of the Royal Family, and the E.F. Benson series of Mapp & Lucia. She has voiced many animation films and was Fly in Babe, the Matchmaker in Mulan, and voiced Happy Feet and Flushed Away.
Some of her most memorable film credits in over forty films include: Yentl, Little Shop of Horrors, I Love You to Death, Cold Comfort Farm, Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet (with Leonardo DiCaprio), End of Days (with Arnold Schwarzenegger), Sunshine, Magnolia, Ladies in Lavender, The Life and Death of Peter Sellers, Professor Pomona Sprout in the Harry Potter films. She will soon be seen again with Barbra Streisand in The Guilt Trip, and The Wedding Video (with Dame Harriet Walter).
Ms. Margolyes’ stage career includes such credits as: the Los Angeles production of Romeo and Juliet, She Stoops to Conquer and Orpheus Descending (all for Sir Peter Hall), The Killing of Sister George, The Threepenny Opera (Tony Richardson), Yenta the Matchmaker in Fiddler on the Roof, The Vagina Monologues, and her own award-winning, one-woman show, Dickens’ Women. She created Madame Morrible in Wicked in London and was then invited to reprise the role on Broadway. Last year she played Nell in Endgame, the Duchess in Me and My Girl, and Grace in A Day in the Death of Joe Egg.
Notable television credits include: Freud, The Life and Loves of a She-Devil, Blackadder I, II and III, Girls of Slender Means, Oliver Twist, The History Man, Vanity Fair and Supply and Demand. She has worked with Ken Dodd, Ted Ray, Frankie Howard, French & Saunders and Stanley Baxter. Comedy has always been an important part of her repertoire. She played Frannie in the CBS sitcom Frannie’s Turn, and starred in the Miss Marple episode, Murder at the Vicarage. Recently she has appeared in Doc Martin and Merlin. In 2011 she created the role of Aunt Prudence in the new Australian drama series The Mysteries of Phryne Fisher. She has played Queen Victoria twice and toured America in the footsteps of Charles Dickens in a memorable television documentary, Dickens in America. She is sought after as a somewhat outspoken guest on all the television talk shows, from Johnny Carson and Jay Leno in the US to Andrew Denton in Australia and Graham Norton in the UK. To celebrate Charles Dickens’ bicentenary, Ms. Margolyes is reprising her one woman Olivier-nominated show Dickens’ Women for a year-long world tour, which includes performances in Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Canada and the US.
In 2002 Miriam Margolyes was awarded the OBE for her services to Drama in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List.
Robert Deason (Pianist) returns to Chicago Shakespeare Theater, where he appeared in Murder for Two. Other credits include: Call My Name (Smithsonian Folk Arts Festival); Route 66,
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Paramount Theatre); Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Jesus Christ Superstar and Willard Hewitt in Footloose (Theatre at the Center). Mr. Deason is currently working on his first musical, set to open in Atlanta next summer.
Sonia Fraser (Director & Co-Writer) trained
as an actress at the Bristol Old
Vic Theatre School. As an actress she worked with several major theater companies, including two years with the Royal Shakespeare Company. It was when she was a member of
the BBC Radio Drama Company that she first met Miriam Margolyes. Her career as a director began when she ran a studio theater that was mostly concerned with new writing. She has continued an
interest in new writing. She has
been awarded three Fringe Firsts at the Edinburgh Festival and was given the Green Room Award in Sydney for the
production of Gertrude Stein and a Companion. Recently she
directed Frozen by Bryony Lavery at the Riverside Studios London. She is currently working on Aditi Capel’s play Love Person, which is a multi-media piece for deaf and hearing audiences. Ms. Fraser teaches and directs at the Bristol Old
Vic Theatre School and Drama Studio London.
Michael Haslam (Original Music and Arrangements) studied at Oxford Uni-versity and Guildhall, where he was Professor of ensemble singing. Recent work in the West End includes musical supervision at the Donmar Warehouse on Good and asso-ciate musical director on Intothe Woods. Other work in-cludes Habeas Corpus, also forthe Donmar, Dickens’ Women, The Sneeze, Mr and Mrs Nobody, The Sloane Rangers’ Revue, Show Boat, A Little NightMusic, New Edna—the Specta-cle and Maria Friedman’s one-woman show By Extra SpecialArrangement. He also conducted the orchestra on Ms. Friedman’s solo album and accom-panied her in her New York debut at the Carlyle. Previously for the National Theatre, he has been musical director for Honk! The Ugly Duckling and 2002’s Play Without Words, honored with Olivier Awards, as well as The Wind in the Willows, Les Parents Terribles and The Children’s Hour. He also conducted Sunday in the Park with George, Sweeney Todd and The ResistibleRise of Arturo Ui. He served as musical director for: Honk! (Stephen Joseph Theatre Scar-borough); Gypsy (EverymanTheatre, Cheltenham); Privateson Parade (Birmingham Rep); Dames at Sea (Oldham Co-losseum); Jekyll (Churchill, Bromley); and Lock Up Your Daughters (Chichester). He has performed and accompanied many recitals from the classical repertoire in London and Europe, giving the first performance of the Philip Marshall piano concerto in Lincoln Minster. He is a founder-member of Commedia, a flute, cello and piano trio, which won the Park Lane Group Young Musicians award. For three years he played for Piano Circus, with whom he made five CDs, and recorded Stravinsky’s Les Noces with Vladimir Ashkenazy. Other projects include: composing and performing the signature music for Radio 4’s productions of Murder on the Orient Express and Sad Cypress; composing incidental music forThe Governor’s Consort; and appearing as accompanist for Words in Music. He was the musical director for a private entertainment for HM Queen Elizabeth II in St James’ Palaceto celebrate the 50th anniversary of her coronation.
Richard Jordan Productions LTD (Lead Producer) Since 1998 Richard Jordan Productions Ltd has presented over 170 productions in 17 countries, including 45 world premieres and 38European, Australian or US premieres of works by both established and new writers. Based in London and led by award-winning British producer Richard Jordan, the company enjoys associations with many of the world’s leading theaters and producing organizations. In 2000 Mr. Jordan was the first recipient of the TIF/Society of London Theatre Producers Award and has been listed for six years in the UK’s The Stage Newspaper’s Top 100 British Theatre Professionals. In 2008 Mr. Jordan was nominated for the Theatrical Managers Association/Stage Award for Achievement in UK Regional Theatre. Mr. Jordan was a finalist in 2009 for the British Council’s first-ever Young Creative Performing Arts Entrepreneur Award. In 2010, in recognition of his work in the UK and international theater industries, he was chosen for lifetime inclusion in A & C Black’s annual publication Who’s Who. He enjoys a close association with Chicago Shakespeare Theater, with whom he has co-produced A History of Every-thing, Itsoseng, en route, Funk it Up About Nothin’—which also toured to Australia and London—and most recently Othello: The Remix, which premiered as part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympics Globe to Globe season and has subsequently toured to Germany and the UK. In 2013 they will co-produce together the world premiere of the new play Cadre with the Market Theatre of Johannesberg, and Roadkill. His other New York and North American productions and co-productions include: A Behanding in Spokane, Basic Training, MacHomer: The Simpsons Do Macbeth, an oak tree, Once and for All We’re Gonna Tell You Who We Are So Shut Up and Listen, Stefan Golasweski Speaks about a Girl He Once Loved, Die Roten Punkte—Robot/Lion tour; Victor Spinetti: A Very Private Diary, Hamlet (solo), Internal, Goodness, East 10th Street, Nine Parts of Desire, Impressionism, Shylock, In the Continuum and Rum and Vodka. US Awards for his postproductions include: John Gassner Award for Best New American Play, US Black Alliance, Helen Hayes, Obie and Tony Award nominations, Broadway.com, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards. Most recently in the UK Mr. Jordan’s co-production of Road-kill was the recipient of the2012 Laurence Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre.
Andres McKinnon (Producer for Australia and New Zealand Tour) Since 1986 An-drew McKinnon has produced and presented the best in national and international fine entertainment throughout Australia, New Zealand and North America. Highlights have included tours by Marcel Marceau, the Abbey Theatre from Dublin, a fully imported American production of the Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess , the Afro-Cuban All Stars, Scotland the Brave, David Helfgott—in both concert and solo recital, and Shakespeare’s Villains per-formed by Steven Berkoff. Other presentations include Bea Arthur and Oscar-nominee Susannah York in one-woman shows; the Australian première of Carmen Jones; the smash-hit season of Zarzuela! at the Sydney Opera House; a concert presentation of Cole Porter’s Kiss Me, Kate, with Yvonne Kenny and Thomas Allen, as well as a concert presentation of Porgy and Bess with the first primarily Australian cast, which remains the only occasion that an Aboriginal soprano has appeared in a principal role in a mainstream opera at the Sydney Opera House. Andrew McKinnon has toured many of the world’s greatest opera stars, including Victoriade los Angeles, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Teresa Berganza, Nicolai Gedda, Luigi Alva, Sir Thomas Allen, Wilhelmenia Fernandez, Inessa Galante, David Hobson, Teddy Tahu Rhodes, Yvonne Kenny and Joan Car-den. Theatrical highlights have included Neil Armfield’s production of The Judas Kiss by David Hare, which marked the Queensland premiere of Sydney’s acclaimed Company B Belvoir. Andrew McKinnon was invited to produce and present a concert tribute to the Fourteenth Dalai Lama at the Sydney Opera House, which was blessed and attended by His Holiness. This concert, under the direction of Michael Askill, featured violinist Richard Tognetti and a special commission from choreographer Meryln Tankard. Presentations of other leading Australian artists have included performances by the Queensland Ballet, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and other state orchestras, Judi Connelli, Caroline O’Connor, Simon Tedeschi, James Morrison, Slava Grigoryan, Jane Rutter, Peter Cousens, Max Gillies, Billie Brown, Alexander Gavrylyuk, Todd McKenney, Sean O’Boyle and Emma Matthews. In 2012Andrew McKinnon presented the first Australian tour of classical guitar sensation Milos Karadaglic, an Australian and New Zealand tour of the Venna Boys Choir, and a national tour of David Helfgott.
PLEASANCE (Associate Producer)opened as part of the 1985 Festival Fringe with two theaters facing on to a deserted courtyard-come-car-park at an unfashionable eastern end of Edinburgh’s old town. Twenty-five seasons later the Pleasance has become one of the biggest and most highly respected venues at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, with an international profile and a net-work of alumni that reads like a Who’s Who of contemporary comedy, drama and entertainment. With Dickens’ Women the Pleasance continues its long association with producer Richard Jordan on a variety of award-winning UK and inter-national productions
Explore Dickens’ Women