Synopsis

Show
Great Gran's Great Games
Dates
31st October - 3rd March
Runtime
55 minutes approx
Writer
Mike Kenny
Director
Tina Williams
Suitable for ages 6+
Great Gran's Great Games

Frankly, Ollie can’t see the point of his Great Gran; and now it’s even worse. She fell and hurt her hip and had to come to stay. Ollie has had to give up his room. And what can she do? She can’t run, jump, skate, anything. She can hardly stand. However she can do something he can’t. She can swim. In fact, she can do it rather well. There was a time she did it at the Olympic Games in London. No! Not those Olympic Games. The other ones in 1948.... When the athletes had to bring their own towels! 

Jules Craig
Jules Craig
Great Gran

Jules Craig trained an actor at Rose Bruford College and has toured extensively with various theatre company’s including Arc Ensemble, Theatre Adad, Spiral from the Nuffield, ESC (T.I.E), the Queens Theatre, Hornchurch (T.I.E) and M6. Other work includes Rosa in Berlinernacht (Devised for Brighton Ballrooms), Felicity in Genetics for Blondes (Devised for Soho Theatre, and Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh), Caliban in ‘The Tempest’ (Hush Hush Ensemble), Mother in ‘Boy’, (The Wolsey), and various improvised /devised shows with Make Believe Arts and Clio’s Company. She is a reader/writer for ‘White Rabbit’s’ ‘Are You Sitting Comfortably’ at the Basement in Brighton, and, with an MA in Voice Studies from Central, is currently Head of Voice at the Academy of Creative Training.

Dudley Rees
Dudley Rees
Ollie

Dudley trained at Queen Margaret's in Edinburgh. Roles since graduation have included Plop, in The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark (Pied Piper Theatre), Arlecchino, in The Venetian Twins (Bolton Octagon) and Henry Pratt, in Second from Last in the Sack Race (Esk Valley Theatre). Dudley is a regular improvisation performer with Secret Cinema where he's acted in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Blade Runner, The Red Shoes as well as performing at the Cannes International Film Festival.

Katie Stokes
Katie Stokes
Michelle Dubois / Musician

Since her early years Katie has always been a keen musician and singer. Starting with the violin at the age of six, she then went on to learn the piano, clarinet, saxophone and even the bassoon for a short while! In 2008 she graduated from Rose Bruford College with a degree in Actor Musicianship, and in the past few years has performed in a number of productions, from Romeo and Juliet to Sweeney Todd, Sleeping Beauty to The Eva Cassidy Story. She also played Clare in Dubplate Drama (Ch4). Katie is thrilled to be joining The Pied Piper Theatre Company and can't wait to get this show on the road!

Mike Kenny
Writer

Mike was the only writer for children included on the Independent on Sunday's list of top ten living UK playwrights. His adaptation of The Railway Children won an Olivier Award and was performed in Waterloo Station. Recent work includes Stig of the Dump and Red Riding Hood, Jack and Visiting Grandad. Summer 2012 sees his new version of The York Mysteries.

Tina Williams
Tina Williams
Director

Tina Williams is the Artistic Director of Pied Piper Theatre Company, which she set up in 1984 having trained as both an actor and a teacher. Tina has written, adapted, directed and produced over twenty five plays for the company including a large scale national tour of Anne Fine's "The Book of the Banshee", a community tour of "A Little Princess" involving eight actors and eight young people and her recent new plays "The Big ENORMOUS Present" and "Robin's Winter Adventure".

In 1994 Tina set up the Education Department at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre Guildford, which ran until 2008. As well as directing several co-productions with the Yvonne Arnaud she wrote and directed ‘Flash! Bang! Rabbit! for the youth theatre as a creative and cultural exchange with the Sherman Theatre in Cardiff.

Tina has been engaged as Artistic Director for several co-productions throughout the UK and internationally in Singapore. She also directed several seasons at The Fortune Theatre in London’s West End. She is currently writing two new plays for age four upwards.

Jane Linz Roberts
Designer

Jane enjoys designing a wide range of theatre and film. She has worked for companies throughout the UK and spent several years based in Wales as the Resident Designer at the Sherman Theatre.

She is an experienced interpreter of theatre for young people having designed many plays for leading companies in the field of young people’s theatre including the Unicorn Theatre, Theatre Centre, Nottingham Playhouse and the National Theatre.

Other recent work for adult audiences has included My Family and Other Animals for York Theatre Royal and Soul Exchange for the National Theatre of Wales.

Jane has designed a number of films and drama documentaries including Deep Water, and September which received the Bafta for Best Short Film in 2009.

Brendan Murray
Brendan Murray
Dramaturge

Originally from Manchester, Brendan trained as an actor and worked for ten years in schools, fringe, Rep and commercial theatre.  From 1982 to 1985 he was Head of Theatre-in-Education at the Belgrade Theatre, Coventry and later writer-in-residence at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield.  Since 1990 he’s divided his time between writing, directing and teaching - principally at Drama Studio London. In 2002/3 he was the Visiting Gulbenkian Fellow in the Department of Palliative Care at King’s College Hospital and, from 2003 to 2008, Artistic Director of Oxfordshire Theatre Company. His plays are regularly produced throughout the UK and abroad and have won both Brian Way and Writers’ Guild of Great Britain Awards. Like the good northerner he is, he lives in Brighton. For more details visit www.brendanmurray.co.uk

Carole Carpenter
Carole Carpenter
Music

Carole's collaborations with theatre companies as a composer / musical director have included Grimms and A Christmas Carol for Horla (Trafalgar Studios and New Wimbledon Studio), The Gingerbread Man (Tricolore Theatre Company, UK and Italian tour), The Lighthouse Keeper’s Lunch (FalconGrange Productions) and Measure for Measure (Barefaced Theatre).  She also collaborates on film soundtracks, recent projects having included multi-award winning short The Furred Man, shown on Channel 4.

As a violinist and pianist Carole regularly plays with professional ensembles, recent shows having included The Boyfriend (Her Majesty’s Theatre),  A Man of No Importance (Arts Theatre, Leicester Square), Spring Awakening (Bull Theatre, Barnet) and The Wiz (Palace Theatre, Southend).  Carole also plays with up-and-coming acoustic rock band Cellarscape.

As an actor/musician, Carole's credits have included touring her one woman Jane Austen show The History of England (produced by the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford), and playing Mum / Violinist in last year’s Pied Piper tour Laura's Star.  She is delighted to be continuing her association with Pied Piper as composer / musical director.

Angela Gasparetto
Angela Gasparetto
Movement Director

Originally from Nova Scotia, Canada, Angela is a movement director, director, performer and teacher. Recent projects include Sizwe Banzi is Dead at the Young Vic & UK Tour (as movement director) and Life on Wheels with circus company Bella Kinetica (as director). Other movement direction credits include: Love is Easy (music video; McFly); A Midsummer Night's Dream(Custom/Practice); The Kitchen (Fourth Monkey); Faith, Hope & Charity (Southwark Playhouse); Emma Thompson Presents: Fair Trade(Shatterbox). For Pied Piper Theatre Company: Great Gran's Great Games and My Big Little Sister. Angela is Course Director of Fourth Monkey's Two Year Rep Actor Training Programme.

Lawrence Evans
Lawrence Evans
Movement Director

Lawrence works as a director, movement director and actor. Nominated for an Olivier Award for his work with Tony Harrison at the National Theatre he has worked with the poet on all his site-specific theatre pieces. He received a Best Actor Award from the Liverpool Echo and Daily Post Northwest Arts Awards and his work as an actor includes many of the regional Repertory Theatres throughout the UK as well as the National Theatre, NT studio, Cheek by Jowl, the Young Vic and Northern Broadsides. Directing work includes Associate Director at Theatre Centre 2001/2, A Midsummer Night’s Dream with the Irish Chamber Orchestra & Storytellers Theatre Co., The Soldier’s Tale with the internationally renowned violinist, Anthony Marwood and the Orchestra of the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, and The Big Enormous Present for Pied Piper. Other directing work; Polka Theatre, Oxfordshire Touring Theatre Company, London Bubble, the CDS New York Agents showcase, and several fringe companies. As a Movement Director his work includes the National Theatre, NT Studio, Northern Broadsides, Hampstead Theatre, Tamasha Theatre Co., and Bristol Old Vic and his co-written play Lives Worth Living is published by Heinemann Educational.

The Argus Reviews Great Gran's Great Games!

There’s supposed to be a rapport between the very young and the very old but when Ollie’s great-grandmother, Olive, comes to stay with his family to recover from a fall, there’s little indication of any family love.

How the pair overcome their initial hostility and connect with each other was the theme of this charming play from the Pied Piper Theatre Company.

It’s aimed at children but there’s a deeper element to the piece that raises it above run-of-the-mill. There are interesting parallels between the two. Ollie’s feeling distraught because he has moved house and hasn’t made friends at his new school. His great-grandmother is feeling equally distraught at her helplessness and her ever-advancing years. Gradually, they see each other’s point of view, a process helped greatly by Olive revealing her hidden sporting talent.

It sounds like it could be mawkish but Mike Kenny’s script lay off the saccharine and director Tina Williams kept things chugging along briskly. There were some inspirational uses of props, including an office chair, and we also got to learn the importance of singing God Save The Queen while underwater.

Jules Craig brought a touch of wry humour to Olive, while reminding us of the pains of growing old. Dudley Rees, with the task of impersonating a small boy, hit the right mix of obstinacy, curiosity and peevishness.

Pied Piper took some important themes and delivered an entertaining and delightful drama. The young audience on Sunday was delighted but there was plenty for parents to think about too.

- By Maxwell Cooter.

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