Who we are

Who we are

How we began…

Splendid Productions began in September 2003 and has been growing speedily since then. Splendid create high quality, professional, political theatre with theory based practical workshops for young people across the UK.

Our specialty is bringing Brechtian technique to life for students, both in performance and by providing a workshop experience for them to explore it for themselves. Making Brecht relevant to our audience rather than a slice of theatre history, to understand and use the techniques in their own work.

Beginning September 2004 we toured ‘The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui’ by Bertolt Brecht. This was revived in Summer 2006 as part of The National Theatre’s ‘Watch This Space’ Festival, the first written play to be performed on the outside stage. Our one-hour version for 3 actors was incredibly successful within the education market and sold out in 10 days.

In September 2005 we began touring our Brechtian adaptation of George Orwell’s Animal Farm ‘Four Legs Good Two Legs Bad’. In September 2006 our adaptation of Sophocles’ ‘Antigone’ went across the country finishing in March 2007, followed by 'The Good Woman of Szechuan', Autumn 2007 to Spring 2008 and 'Woyzeck', 2008/2009. After a successful run with 'Woyzeck' at the 2009 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, we began our sixth tour, 'Dr Faustus'. In 2010 we released production DVDs of 'Woyzeck'and 'Dr Faustus', and kicked off our national tour of 'The Trial'.

We have provided workshops and performances to over 500 schools in 51 counties across the UK providing over 1500 sessions for schools in the last ten years.

Kerry Frampton

Kerry Frampton The Artistic Director at Splendid Productions is Kerry Frampton

Kerry trained at Bretton Hall. She has worked as an actor, deviser and musician for the last 14 years.

Credits include: A Change of Mind (Sadlers Wells), The Orchard Skins (Lakeside Theatre), Paradise (Moray House Theatre), Midsummer Night’s Dream (Cambridge Arts Theatre). For Splendid she has played lots of character roles in The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, Four Legs Good Two Legs Bad and Good Woman of Szechuan she also played the title role in Antigone. In 2008/09 she abandoned a long career of playing a selection of men by taking the part of Marie in Woyzeck – alongside a couple of male characters just in case.

As a musician she was in the original line-up of the band Aqualung on bass and double bass.

As a writer and performer Kerry devised half of the book for the epic production of Carnival Messiah and appeared in its successful runs at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in 1999 and 2002 as well as taking it to its spiritual home of Trinidad in 2004.

Kerry worked for English Touring Theatre for two years developing their successful Practitioners Unplugged workshops. Alongside Mal Smith she devised their Berkoff, Boal and Caryl Churchill sessions. She also devised the education tour accompanying their productions of Ibsens Ghosts (2002) and the highly acclaimed National Tour of King Lear starring Timothy West (2002).

Kerry has been workshop leading for ten years and has a particular passion for devising and creating non-naturalistic theatre.

Our Artistic Director also has a sideline designing the highly popular Splendid Mind Maps that are a perfect expression of her brain (in a visual form). You should check them out... they are excellent. Kerry Frampton has been driving Splendid since 2003 and has nurtured it like her own child.

Mal Smith

Mal Smith The Associate Director at Splendid Productions is Mal Smith

Mal directed ‘Woyzeck’ with Lucy Cuthbertson and contributed additional script and songs to Ben Hales’ excellent adaptation.

Mal trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama, Graduating in 1996 with First Class Honours.

He has worked as an actor, director and writer with companies including, English National Opera, Welfare State International, The Young Vic, Centred Theatre, Pumpkin Productions, Lock-in Theatre, Oldham Theatre Workshop and Really Useful Company.

Credits include: Jesus Christ (Jesus Christ Superstar), Chino (West Side Story), Radu (Mad Forest), Punk (A Small Green Space), Dog (Robinson Crusoe Castaway), Caliban (The Tempest), Wong (Good Person of Szechwan), Arlecchino (Il Lirica Punka), Dan/Pig (A Mouthful of Birds), Robin Hood (Secrets of Sherwood). He played numerous roles in three actor tours of ‘Arturo Ui’ and ‘Four Legs Good, Two Legs Bad’ and ‘Antigone’ with Splendid. Recently he donned wig and nylons to play ‘Vera’ in ‘When The Lights Go On Again’ – although the nylons were an optional extra.

Adaptations include Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, Freak Like Me, Four Legs Good, Two Legs Bad, Antigone, Frankenstein. In 2006 he created a new street theatre piece, ‘Little Red’, touring England, Edinburgh and Slovenia. He has also devised and directed ‘Out of Our Faces’ and ‘Get out of MySpace’ – two TIE pieces on alcohol abuse and cyberbullying respectively. With Kerry Frampton, he directed and adapted ‘Jason and The Argonauts’ for the 2007 Fringe.

Mal was central in the creation and development of English Touring Theatre’s Practitioners Unplugged programme, devising and touring workshops nationwide and recruiting and training new workshop leaders between 1999 and 2004. Alongside performing, workshopping and fight choreography, he runs INSET sessions and is a regular at the NISDA conference.

He is the author of "Artaud and his Legacy" - a study guide for A'Level.

Lucy Cuthbertson

Lucy Cuthbertson

Our current Director and Education Advisor is Lucy Cuthbertson

Lucy is Head of Drama at Kidbrooke School and an Advanced Skills Teacher in Drama for Greenwich LEA. Prior to teaching she trained at The Poor School and was a founder member of Ridiculusmus Theatre Company with whom she toured 'The Third Policemen' for two years throughout UK & Eire. As a freelance director she worked with The Hush Hush Ensemble ('Tamburlaine' and 'The Changeling') and other productions included 'King Lear' at the Tabard Theatre; 'Bloodlust' at the White Bear and 'Radio City' at Jermyn Street Theatre.

As a teacher she has directed numerous productions with success in several festivals including 'Hamlet' chosen to be performed at The Duke of York's (Schools' Shakespeare Drama Festival) and 'Just' by Ali Smith chosen to be performed in the Olivier Theatre (National Theatre Connnections Project).

Her most recent project with Kidbrooke students, a world premiere adaptation of Ali Smith's booker shortlisted novel 'Hotel World', played for a week in the main programme at Greenwich Theatre and Theatre Workshop, Edinburgh Festival. It was awarded Best Play in the Fringe Report Awards 2008.

Ben Hales

Ben Hales

Ben Hales has been a key creative member of Splendid Productions since 2004 and has composed music and film segments for all of its touring shows. He also adapted the scripts for Splendid’s versions of Bertolt Brecht’s ‘The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui’ and ‘The Good Woman of Szechuan’, Buchner's 'Woyzeck' and Marlowe's 'Dr Faustus' as well as contributing scenes to ‘Antigone’.

Other composition credits include soundtracks for the BBC, commercials for Mitsubishi, Wrigley’s and Chrysler and original music for Actors Touring Theatre productions of ‘Gizmo Love’ and ‘Bad Jazz’.

Ben has also toured extensively as a guitarist and multi-instrumentalist for Aqualung, Duke Special, David Ford, smallwhitelight and The Fray.

His first play, ‘(In Parenthisis)’ won Ambassador Theatre Group’s Metamorphosis 08 Playwriting competition, and was performed at The Churchill Theatre in Bromley in June 2008.

Genevieve Say

Genevieve Say

Genevieve Say is an independent dance artist, performer and choreographer based in the UK. In 2003 she trained at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, graduating with First class BA(Hons) in Dance and Performance. Since then Genevieve has been working professionally as a dancer nationally and Internationally for many companies, including Splendid Productions, Gary Clarke, Collision (Lisi Perry), Flukt (Norway), Anna McDonald, Eee-Motion, Sweetshop Revolution, and Cheshire dance.

Genevieve was mentored by Jude Kelly MBE as part of Dance Uk's future leaders mentorship scheme. She is currently artistic director and co-founder of the Birmingham Dance Network, an artist-led organisation which creates networking, performance and discussion opportunities for West Midlands based dance professionals.

Since 2006, Genevieve has been choreographing her own work under her own name and as The Mustdashios, a company she set up in 2010. Genevieve was commissioned by Urban Moves International Dance festival (2012) to choreograph 5IVE, an outdoor dance piece. She has also been commissioned by various institutions, organisations and companies including Manchester Metropolitan University, UcLan University, Merseyside Dance Initiative, Dance Initiative Greater Manchester and the Brindley Arts Centre, Runcorn. She has choreographed original work for Seven, Contact Theatre Manchester, Hot August Fringe London, LEAP Festival Liverpool, Word Of Warning Sampler series Manchester, Up The Walls Chester, DEDA, and Turn Festival Manchester.

Genevieve works as a workshop facilitator, and has been leading sessions for all age groups for over 10 years. She often delivers sessions on contemporary technique, dance and theatre devising processes, physical theatre technique and contact improvisation.

Rosie McKay

Rosie McKay

Our Physical Theatre specialist is Rosie McKay

Rosie is a physical theatre practitioner whose facilitation and choreography continue to evolve through the practice of Feldenkrais technique alongside Astanga Vinyasa Yoga. Trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama, she graduated with First Class Honours in 2002, a year later she went on to complete a Masters in Physical Theatre with the University of London.

In the year between, Rosie joined English Touring Theatre’s thriving education department, developing the Practitioners Unplugged Tours, and working creatively on education projects to support productions. She also worked as a practitioner with Touchstone and Vocaleyes.

In her workshops Rosie not only develops the physical theatre skills of students with a clear eye upon ways in which they can use the material creatively in devising and performing. She also works with them on integrating breath, body and voice to encourage their sense of awareness. She believes that with this awareness comes response-ability to self and others, which in turn encourages creative experimentation and, ultimately, quality performances.

In her own practice, Rosie is in the process of developing a subtle physical language based upon the principle of tracing energetic impulses through the body. This practice sits at the centre of her choreographies.

Her credits as collaborator, performer, and choreographer include I am blinking (for SPRINT); Trapt; Trace 1 & 2; and Pale Landscape.

Rob Vesty

Rob Vesty

Rob studied Drama and Theatre Arts at Birmingham University before training as an actor at Welsh College of Music and Drama.

He then spent six years as an actor working in theatre. His credits include: Pip (Great Expectations, Unicorn), Andy (Getting On, York Theatre Royal), Billy (The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, Liverpool Everyman), Hansel (Hansel & Gretel, Unicorn), Jumper (Running Girl, Boilerhouse).

Since 2002 Rob's work has developed as a performer, director and teacher, working particularly with young people in schools or with community groups.

He is a qualified teacher of Drama, and spent three years at The King's School where he directed a version of Othello (re-titled Othella) for the Shakespeare School's Festival (Gulbenkian Theatre). For the annual King’s School arts festival each summer (King's Week) he directed Jason and the Argonauts, Ionesco's Rhinoceros and Arabian Nights. He also assisted on Les Misérables at Canterbury’s Marlowe Theatre.

In 2007 he joined Splendid Productions for a tour of Brecht's The Good Woman of Szechuan.

His recent performance projects include Rosemary Lee's Common Dance at gDA as part of the Dance Umbrella festival; collaboration with performance artist Kristin Fredricksson of Beady Eye on a movement performance-project with the over 65s - Senior Moments, and a revival of his production of Rhinoceros as a community project at Jackson's Lane theatre using a cast of young teenagers cast from a range of schools in the Haringey borough.

He is now a Lecturer in Performing Arts at Middlesex University where he is developing a research and practice specialism in interdisciplinary improvisation - the kind of improv that both actors and dancers might do in a shared space.

Scott Smith

Scott Smith

Scott Smith studied Drama and Theatre Arts at Middlesex University (Ivy House) in 2000 and has been working as an actor since 2001.

Scott has worked using many different theatrical styles but has a self declared love of Brechtian Theatre and is therefore delighted to be working for Splendid for his first time.

Some of his credits include “Mike” in East, “Bottom” in A Midsummer’s night Dream, “Mick” in The Caretaker and a one man show. Scott was also in the British Feature Film “The plague” which won two international awards.

Jimmy Whiteaker

Scott Smith

Jimmy graduated from Birmingham Theatre School in 2006 and has been working as an actor and writer for theatre since.

Jimmy has acted in various styles, from naturalism to experimental, ensemble-based theatre. Credits include Horst in Sherman's Bent, Producer in Ravenhill's Product, Ensemble in Crimp's Attempts on Her Life and Fewer Emergencies.

Jimmy has been commissioned by a number of theatre companies as a writer, including The West Wing Arts Centre, Hearth, Theatre West, and Myrtle Theatre Company (based at The Tobacco Factory, Bristol).

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