Creative Team

Noel Gay - composer

Noel Gay was born Reginald Armitage in Yorkshire, England. He was educated at the local Grammar School before obtaining a scholarship at the age of 15 to attend the Royal College of Music in London. Under the pen name Noel Gay, young Reginald from Wakefield took the West End of London and the radio waves by storm. His music dominated the London stage and the hit parade for the next 25 years. He is believed to be the only composer apart from Andrew Lloyd Webber to have four hit shows running in the West End simultaneously, however, Noel Gay also had two films showing in cinemas at the same time. He wrote the music for 26 London shows, 28 feature films and another 45 songs, one of which, Tondeleyo was the first ever to be synchronised in a British talking picture, White Cargo, in 1932.

He wrote for the biggest stars of the day: Jack Hulbert, Cicely Courtneidge, Arthur Askey, The Crazy Gang, Evelyn Laye, Gracie Fields, Flanagan and Allen, Billy Cotton, Hutch, Jack Hylton, Ambrose and George Formby and many others. His biggest success, however, was Me and My Girl which opened at The Victoria Palace Theatre in London in 1937 starring the music hall legend ‘Nipper’ Lupino Lane. It included The Lambeth Walk and ran for five years despite being bombed out of two theatres. It was seen three times by King George VI and its tunes went around the world.

Reginald wrote many songs that become standards: Run Rabbit Run, Only a Glass Of Champagne, Let The People Sing, Hey Little Hen, There’s Something About a Soldier, Leaning on a Lamppost, You’ve Done Something to My Heart, The Sun Has Got Its Hat On and of course The Lambeth Walk.

Noel Gay’s songs continue to be sung and heard today from the Bassett vitamin adverts to the 2010 film The Kings Speech. Though not everybody may know his name, everybody knows his tunes.

Abi Grant - Book

Abi Grant is a comedy writer who was born in West London and over the years has written for everyone from Griff Rhys Jones and Mel Smith to Rory Bremner and John Cleese, and contributed to dozens of shows from Spitting Image to Have I Got News for You, and still writes for several well known TV comedians. Along the way she’s picked up BAFTA nomination for her work in children’s TV (she lost to Bill Oddie) and spent seven years writing and reviewing for The Daily Telegraph as one of their house reds. Her first book Words Can Describe (Picador) was a Sunday Times bestseller and has been optioned by the BBC and her first novel Men and Stones is due for release in early 2013.  She really couldn’t be happier to see Radio Times back on the stage where it belongs. Who’s Been Polishing the Sun, indeed?

Alex Armitage - Book Revisions

Alex Armitage is the nom de plume of the agent and producer Alex Armitage. He is Chief Executive of The Noel Gay Organisation, has four children, two ex-wives (both of whom seem to quite like him) and lives in Hertfordshire with two Australians, two dogs, six cats, an owl and two wallabies. He works in Denmark Street with Jane, David, Lou, Catriona, Kas Charlie, Rosie, Marketa, Susie, Sophieclaire, Nick and sometimes George.

His grandfather was Noel Gay, who wrote music, his father was Richard who was also an agent and producer. His writing is joined up and he enjoys colouring in the enclosed spaces on letters. He tweets.

Caroline Leslie - Director

Caroline Leslie is a freelance theatre director. She trained at Bristol University, the Central School of Speech and Drama and The King’s Head Theatre. She also spent a bursary year at Salisbury Playhouse as Resident Associate Director.

Most recently Caroline directed Thoroughly Modern Millie, Radio Times, The Watermill Theatre, Newbury; Festen for LAMDA, Pleasance Theatre; Design for Living, Salisbury Playhouse.

Other work includes: Daisy Pulls it Off, The Watermill Theatre, Newbury; Hello Again, Cardiff; Cinderella, Salisbury Playhouse; Merrily We Roll Along, The Company in Manchester; Don Juan Comes Back From the War, The Drill Hall; Magical Tales From Hans, Creation Theatre, Oxford; The 39 Steps, Korea; The Herbal Bed, Salisbury Playhouse; Hay Fever, Kindertransport, The Crucible, Stars in the Morning Sky, After Mrs Rochester, RWCMD, Cardiff; Lonestar Mark 3, Salisbury Playhouse; My Fair Lady, Storm on the Lawn, Theatre Royal Bath; Top Girls, Birmingham; Master Harold, Boys and Going to the Chapel, Salisbury Playhouse.

Caroline assisted Katie Mitchell on Pains of Youth and Beauty and the Beast and was staff director on Or You Could Kiss Me (all at the National Theatre). She also directed the recast of The 39 Steps at the Criterion Theatre, West End in 2007.

Paul Herbert - Musical Arranger & MD

Paul has worked extensively in the UK as a Musical Director, Composer, Arranger, Singing Teacher and Vocal Coach and is the Associate Musical Director for Perfect Pitch.

As a composer, Paul has written the music for several musicals including Ripper, Charing Cross Theatre, London; The Perfect Wife Roadshow, UK tour and developed with Perfect Pitch; Cinderella, Aladdin, Salisbury Playhouse; Health & Stacey and Hot Pursuit, Edinburgh Festival, performed by comedy duo Plested & Brown; Lovepik, (a short film directed by Charles Harris). Paul recently composed the incidental score for Noel Coward’s Design for Living, Salisbury Playhouse 2012.

He has provided the orchestrations for a number of musicals including Radio Times, Daisy Pulls it Off, actor/musician productions, The Watermill Theatre; Through the Looking Glass (by Piers Chater Robinson); Jet Set Go (by Pippa Cleary and Jake Brunger, orchestrations published by Josef Weinbergers) and Through the Door (by Laurence Mark Wythe and Judy Freed)

As musical director his credits include: Daisy Pulls It Off, The Watermill Theatre, Newbury; The Last Five Years, Theatre Severn, Shrewsbury; A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Dubai/Bahrain & UK Tour; Legends, Icons and Idols, Orchard Theatre; Songs for a New World, Edinburgh; Radio Times, Watermill, Newbury; Jack and the Beanstalk, Watford Palace Theatre; No Sleep For The Haunted, The Lowry.

Paul was the MD and orchestrator for The Great British Musical - a fundraisingconcert in aid of Perfect Pitch which took place at the Criterion Theatre, hosted byStephen Fry and featuring an 11 piece band and a number of West End stars includingAlfie Boe.

Also for Perfect Pitch, Paul has been responsible for numerous readings and workshops including Super Alice Smith, Sex and the Village, A Penguin’s Tale, Girlfriends, Back to Reality, and Through the Door for which he also orchestrated and musically directed the gala concert performance at Trafalgar Studios 1 in 2009. He was also musical supervisor and arranger for the Perfect Pitch Songbook published in 2010.

Paul was Head of Music at Bird College for five years and during that time was musical director for several shows including; Beguiled Again, Children of Eden, Copacabana, Bat Boy, Matchgirls, Godspell, My Favourite Year, A New Brain, Company, Into the Woods, Anything Goes, Closer Than Ever and Sweet Charity.

Paul is also a very experienced singing teacher and vocal coach, having trained in the Estill Method with Paul Farrington, Gillyanne Kayes and Maureen Scott.

Tom Rogers - Designer

Previous productions for The Watermill Theatre include Radio Times, Thoroughly Modern Millie.

Forthcoming productions include: The Spire, Salisbury Playhouse; Llwyth, Taiwan; Powder Her Face, Opera Company of Philadelphia.

Other theatre credits include Racing Demon, Sheffield Crucible; The Spire, Epsom Downs, The Game of Love and Chance, Salisbury Playhouse; The Misanthrope, Bristol Old Vic; Hens, Sky Arts/Riverside Studios; Llwyth, Sherman Cymru Tour; Twelfth Night, Cambridge Arts; The Merry Wives of Windsor, Curtains, Tipping the Velvet, City of Angels, The Winter’s Tale, The Real Inspector Hound, Black Comedy, Certain Young Men, Tale Of Two Cities, Guildhall; Laughing Gas, Theatre Royal Plymouth Tour; Letters Of War, NYT; The Man Who, Orange Tree; Death And The Maiden, New Wolsey; The Chimes, Southwark Playhouse.

Tom’s opera and dance credits include Carmen for Castleton Festival, USA and Teatro Petruzelli, Bari, Italy; The Secret Marriage, Cinderella, Scottish Opera; La Fille du Regiment, Opera Holland Park; The Merry Wives of Windsor, Albert Herring, La Finta Semplice, Guildhall; Eugene Onegin, British Youth Opera; Flight, Royal Scottish Academy of Music & Drama; The Magic Flute, The Broomstick, Wigmore Hall; Alfonso und Estrella, Bloomsbury Theatre; Les Amoureux, Company Chordelia.

Alistair David - Choreographer

Previous productions for The Watermill include Radio Times, Thoroughly Modern Millie.

Other theatre credits include My Fair Lady, Sheffield Crucible; The Golden Age Of Broadway with Bryn Terfel, Southbank Centre;  Posh, West End; Nicked, High Tide Festival;  Bells Are Ringing, Union Theatre for which Alistair won the 2011 ‘Best Choreographer’ Off West End Award; Once Upon A Time In Wigan, Paines Plough & Hull Truck; The Way Of The World, Sheffield Crucible; A Bowl Of Cherries, Charing Cross Theatre; Fascinating Aida, Theatre Royal Haymarket; My Dad’s A Birdman, Sheffield Crucible; Sleeping Beauty, Sheffield Lyceum; Cinderella, Oxford Playhouse; Aladdin, Theatre Royal Bath; Sleeping Beauty, Theatre Royal Bath and Sheffield Lyceum; Snow White, Theatre Royal Hull and Orchard Theatre Dartford; Little Women, Workshop; A Chorus Line, West Side Story, Seven Brides For Seven Brothers, Bodywork Company, Cambridge; Bat Boy, Footloose, Romeo & Juliet: The Rock Opera, Anything Goes, Arts Educational School.

Television credits include: The Late List, Princess Productions for Channel Four; Big Time Rush Week, Nickelodeon; My Super Sweet 16, Bustamove Eps 1-5 & 10, MTV 1; The Laureus World Sports Awards, MTV.

Philip Gladwell - Lighting Designer

Previously for The Watermill Theatre Thoroughly Modern Millie, Radio Times, Relatively Speaking, Daisy Pulls it Off, Blithe Spirit, Black Comedy and Dreams from a Summerhouse

Theatre credits include Love The Sinner, National Theatre; Miss Julie, Schaubuehne - Berlin; Two Gentlemen of Verona, The Duchess of Malfi, Northampton; Further than the Furthest Thing Winner of Best Design CATS, Dundee; Twist of Gold, The Snow Queen, Polka; For Once, Small Hours, Hampstead Studio; Park Avenue Cat, West End; Five Guys Named Moe, Underbelly/Theatre Royal Stratford East; Terminus Winner of a Scotsman’sFringe First Award, Abbey Theatre, Dublin/Australia/Young Vic; Mogadishu, Punk Rock, also Lyric Hammersmith and national tour; Aladdin, Lyric; You Can’t Take It With You, Nineteen Eighty-Four, Macbeth, Manchester Royal Exchange; My Romantic History, Bush/Sheffield/fringe 1st Edinburgh; The Fahrenheit Twins, Told by an Idiot; Origins, Pentabus; Gypsy, Leicester Curve; Once on This Island, Birmingham Rep/Nottingham Playhouse/Hackney Empire; I Ought to be in Pictures, Library Manchester; Harvest, UK tour; Amazonia, Ghosts, The Member of the Wedding, Festa!, Young Vic; Oxford Street, Kebab, Royal Court; Testing the Echo, Out of Joint; Design For Living, Low Pay? Don’t Pay!, Drowning On Dry Land, Salisbury Playhouse; The Boy Who Fell into a Book, Dandy in the Underworld, Shradda, Overspill, HOTBOI, Tape, Soho; Melody, In the Bag, Traverse; Mother Courage and Her Children, Nottingham Playhouse/UK tour; Inheritance & The Bodies, Live Theatre; Bread and Butter, Tricycle.

Opera and Ballet includes: Rigoletto and La Wally, Opera Holland Park; After Dido, ENO / Young Vic; Cosi Fan Tutte, WNO; Awakening & Another America: Fire, Sadler’s Wells; Il trittico, Opera Zuid; Falstaff, Grange Park Opera; Canterville Ghost, Peacock; Cavalleria, Rusticana and Pagliacci, Haddo House Opera; the concert performances of Stravinsky’s Violin Concerto, George Benjamin’s Dance Figures, Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra and Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex, Royal Festival Hall.

Clem Rawling MAC Sound - Sound Designer

Clement was born in Liverpool and after five years as Chief Technician at Liverpool Playhouse formed MAC Sound to offer complete sound facilities for theatre.

Clement designed sound for the West End premieres of Phantom Of The Opera (followed by an extensive tour of Japan) and The Invisible Man both by Ken Hill, Sophisticated Ladies, The Mystery of Edwin Drood and Sweet Charity, and was also responsible for the extensive sound requirements of the Carl Alan Awards, Fairuz at Olympia and the opening of the famous Blackpool Rollercoaster involving a half mile open air sound system, all with The Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra.

He has designed sound for World premieres of La Cava the Musical, The Haunted Hotel, Zorro The Musical, Marlene with Sian Phillips and the concert version of Jesus Christ Superstar, The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber in the National Opera House of Ukraine, The Breeze one day multi stage open air rock festival and Opera in the Park for audiences of sixty thousand.

Unusual designs have ranged from arena systems for Chess, Evita, Jesus Christ Superstar, Fame and the Russian State Ballet in the 6500 seat Spectrum Arena, Oslo to the other extreme of the Cheltenham Festival of Literature for nineteen consecutive years.

Clement's recent designs include productions of Cyrano, Take 5 and The Nutcracker at the O2 Arena for Birmingham Royal Ballet, Bounce The Street Dance Sensation in Holland and South Africa, national tours of The Shell Seekers, Boogie Nights, Hot Flush, Terms of Endearment, Private Lives, Last of the Summer Wine, Gotta Sing Gotta Dance, Spend, Spend, Spend for The Watermill Theatre and Wonderful Town with the Halle Orchestra, Catwalk Confidential in the West End and Miami and the European premiere of White Christmas: The Musical. He has just completed the sound design for the York Mystery Plays being performed outdoors for the first time in twenty four years, weather permitting!

Clive Judd - Associate Director

Clive trained at The Watermill Theatre on The Regional Theatre Young Director Scheme in 2011/12. He graduated from the University of Manchester in 2008.

Clive received the Directors Guild Award for Most Promising Director for Herons by Simon Stephens at the National Student Drama Festival in 2009. His production of 5:30 by Alistair McDowall was nominated for Best Studio Production at the Manchester Evening News Awards in 2009.

Theatre includes: as Director: Plain Jane, Cheap Seats/Royal Exchange Theatre; White Blood Cells, Cheap Seats/Blacks Members Club/Temple Works; 5:30, Cheap Seats/Library Theatre/24/7 Theatre Festival; Herons, Falling Leaves/Library Theatre/NSDF09.

As Assistant Director: Lettice and Lovage, Great Expectations, Radio Times, The Wind in the Willows, The Watermill Theatre; Some Like it Hotter ,The Watermill/Oxfordshire Theatre Company; Love on the Tracks, The Watermill/Big Olive; Punk Rock, Royal Exchange Theatre/Lyric Hammersmith.