The Standing In The Wings Company of Performers

We are delighted to be working with exceptional talent from across Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire. For more information about each of our performers, please click on their name for a full bio.

Lauren Bain

Lauren began performing from a young age and spent many a weekend dragging her parents into London whilst she rehearsed and performed in the Youth theatre group, ‘West End Kids’. Eventually, Lauren went on to train at the London College of Music where she got the opportunity to perform in musicals such as  Quill, Closer Than Ever and Into The Woods. Returning back to Bedford after training, Lauren sought out a local group to continue performing with and found Sharnbrook Mill Theatre in Bedford. Previous credits for The Mill include Beth (Merrily We Roll Along), Lyra (Cloud) and most recently Cathy (The Last 5 Years). Lauren also portrayed Catherine in Waiting for Snow by Kaye Tompkins at The Masque Theatre in 2018.

Lauren is honoured to join the Standing in the Wings company and looking forward to getting stuck into this creative outlet!

For Standing In The Wings: Wishes & Dreams

Heather Bambridge

HeatherAlthough Heather works full time in the Construction Industry, her true love has always been performing. She has been lucky enough in the past to work professionally as an actor at The London Dungeons, a Princess for a children’s party company and sing as a member of a three piece Motown Tribute band that performed in venues all over the country.

Musical Theatre credits include: Nancy (Oliver!), Gertrude McFuzz (Seussical), Diva (Priscilla, Queen of the Desert), Helene (Sweet Charity), Ermengade (Hello Dolly!), Rosy (The Adventures of Mr Toad) and Swing (Chess and Avenue Q).

Play credits include: Jo (Entertaining Angels), Miss Spider (James & The Giant Peach) Sorel (Death by Design), Frances (No Sex Please, We’re British), Tabitha Ragg (Sweeney Todd), The Nanny (The Bloody Chamber) and Irina (Three Sisters).

Shakespeare credits include: Juliet (Romeo and Juliet) and Cobweb (A Midsummer Night’s Dream).

Pantomime credits include: Dick (Dick Whittington), Genie of the Lamp (Aladdin) and Much (Robin Hood).

Graham Breeze

Graham has been involved with theatre for over 40 years, performing and directing. He trained at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and worked professionally for 10 years in the West End, No 1 tours, regional theatre, TV and radio. He has also performed and directed for the International Gilbert & Sullivan Festival in Buxton and Harrogate.

Musical Theatre (includes):

Alfie (A Man of No Importance), Curly (Oklahoma!), Sid Sorokin (The Pajama Game), Jesus (Godspell), Sky Masterson (Guys & Dolls), Closer Than Ever, I Love You You’re Perfect Now Change, Cliff (Cabaret), Eisenstein (Die Fledermaus), Fatty Arbuckle (Mack & Mabel), Pirelli (Sweeney Todd), Frederik (A Little Night Music), Baker (Into The Woods), Hysterium (A Funny Thing Happened…), Gomez Addams (The Addams Family), Mr Bumble (Oliver!), Juan Peron (Evita), Ruth (The Pirates of Penzance).

Plays (includes):

Radu (Mad Forest), Algernon (The Importance of Being Ernest), Ed (Torch Song Trilogy), Frank (Educating Rita), De Flores (The Changeling), Cherry Owen/Mr Pugh/Mr Waldo (Under Milk Wood), Mr Jenkins (The Witches), Sideway (Our County’s Good), Hippolytus (Hippolytus), Mr Worthy (The Recruiting Officer), Trofimov (The Cherry Orchard), John Miles (Theft), Henry (The Anniversary).

Shakespeare:

Macbeth, Measure for Measure, The Winter’s Tale, The Tempest, Twelfth Night, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Love’s Labours Lost, Pericles, Richard III, King Lear, Hamlet and The Taming of the Shrew.

For Standing In The Wings: A Night At The Musicals

Leisa Cooke

Leisa

Leisa has had nearly 40 years of being able to do the thing she loves most – performing.

She trained at the Hertfordshire Theatre school and went on to work in London, performing at various fringe venues in and around Camden in a variety of Shakespeare and contemporary pieces. Her most memorable production was at the Bloomsbury Theatre as Miss Polanski in Promises, Promises with Helen Shapiro and Christopher Ryan.

Moving forward, she has been fortunate to perform in countless productions, including, Emily Tallentire (The Hired Man), Marion Paroo (The Music Man), Polly Baker (Crazy For You), Eliza Doolittle (My Fair Lady) Euridice (Orpheus in the Underworld), Micaela (Carmen), The Baker’s Wife ( Into The Woods), Beggar Woman (Sweeney Todd), Kate Monster (Avenue Q), Florence Vassey (Chess), Lady of the Lake (Spamalot), Hannah Timara (Cloud), Lilly Vanessi/Katharine (Kiss me, Kate), Gertrude McFuzz (Seussical) and Mary Magdalene (According to Mary – Bedford performance).

Play credits include: Sarah (Entertaining Angels) Elizabeth Proctor (The Crucible), The Vagina Monologues, Mrs Johnson (Blood Brothers) Bernadette (Stags and Hens), Catherine Mompesson (Roses of Eyam), Katie Corbet (LIVE! – which Leisa also helped to convert from film to stage) and Curly’s Wife (Of Mice and Men) to name a few.

For Standing In The Wings: A Night At The Musicals

Barbara Hockey - Musical Director

Babs

Barbara is a professional musician, writing commercial arrangements for television and for  professional showteams. She plays keyboards as a session musician, MDs for musical theatre shows across Northamptonshire and adjudicates for music festivals.

She also works as a Chief Examiner, writing papers for the UK and around the world, and in teacher training. It’s an eclectic mix that keeps her out of mischief!

For Standing In The Wings: A Night At The Musicals

Adam Hollingshurst - Musical Director

After graduating from the University of Nottingham with a BA(Hons) in Music in 2016, Adam has worked as an accompanist for choirs, music societies and music exams, as well as a musical director and piano/music theory teacher.

He has been the musical director with Wellingborough Pantomime Society for five years and for Wellingborough Musical Theatre Society (formerly WAODS) on productions of Anything Goes, My Fair Lady and Half a Sixpence at the Castle Theatre. On the more classical side of the spectrum, he has worked with the Northampton Bach Choir in preparations for part of their 2022 concert season and with local Gilbert and Sullivan societies. He is also proud to be the current conductor for the NMPAT Community Choir, who rehearse on Tuesday evenings with regular performances throughout the year covering a variety of genres including classical, pop, and musical theatre.

For Standing In The Wings: Wishes & Dreams and performances at Ashurst Mews, Northampton.

Michael Horne

Michael

Michael has been performing in shows for over 30 years, having started out in a small pantomime group in the village where he grew up. Since then, he has performed and directed with companies in Great Dunmow, Bishop’s Stortford, Stevenage and Sharnbrook, Bedfordshire.

He trained for three years at the Ripon Operatic Summer School taking on both chorus and principal roles.

His principal acting roles include Brin (Cloud: a new musical), Dorsey (Parade) and Paul (Company), all with Sharnbrook Mill Theatre; Ravenal (Show Boat in Concert) and Robert (The Drowsy Chaperone), with ShowCo Bedford; Thomas Andrews (Titanic), Motel (Fiddler on the Roof), Anthony (Sweeney Todd) and Oscar (Sweet Charity), with Stevenage Lytton Players; Freddie (My Fair Lady), Arac (Princess Ida) and Cable (South Pacific), with The Dunmow Players.

With Sharnbrook Mill Theatre, he directed the musical The Last Five Years in 2022 and the play The Crucible in 2018. With Stevenage Lytton Players, he directed Proof, Anything Goes, Godspell and The Crucible.

When not performing or directing or designing artwork for productions, he is a computer programmer in Cranfield and lives in Potton with his surprisingly understanding wife and step-children. He can be found on Twitter @recantha.

For Standing In The Wings: Wishes & Dreams and performances at Rush2TheDen.

Daniel Fortune

Daniel is a professional session singer and has performed alongside musicians who have backed the Elvis touring band, Celine Dion, Sheena Easton and a singer who recorded several albums of backing vocals for Elton John.  Daniel is one of the lead singers for Northamptonshire based band, Pure Genius.

Musical Theatre credits include: Tony (West Side Story), Link Larkin (Hairspray), Danny Zuko (Grease), Emmett Forrest (Legally Blonde the Musical), Chad (All Shook Up), Joe Casey (Our House), Robbie Hart (The Wedding Singer), The Artful Dodger (Oliver!) and Daddy Brubeck (Sweet Charity).

Play credits include: Mickey (Blood Brothers), Treat (Orphans), John (Whose Life is it Anyway?), Michael (Parents Evening) and most recently Kriston (Stop! …The Play).

For Standing In The Wings: A Night At The Musicals

Charlie Jackson - Musical Arranger

Charlie studied Composition at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. During the course of his degree he performed publicly on a regular basis on both piano and viola, everything from classical to jazz to opera. Charlie has always had a keen interest in theatre, for 3 years serving as Musical Director for iShine Performing Arts – a theatre production company based in South Wales which focusses on nurturing the next generation of stage talent.

This isn’t the first time Charlie has worked with Kathryn. He was also Musical Director of Rosendale Productions, performing on stage in London.

Following a Masters degree in Arts Management, Charlie went on to work at the BBC as a Researcher on the hit medical drama Casualty.  Charlie has made appearances with the City of Cambridge Symphony Orchestra, the Cambridge Concert Orchestra and Cambridge Sinfonietta.

During the Coronavirus pandemic Charlie used the long lockdowns to teach himself coding. Now back in Bedfordshire, Charlie is extremely excited to be flexing his creative muscles again with Standing in the Wings.

For Standing In The Wings: Wishes & Dreams (Vocal Coach and Arranger)and performances at Ashurst Mews, Northampton.

Simon Jackson

Simon recently returned to the stage after a break from performing for several years, during which time he studied Technical and Production Management at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, and then worked as Technical Manager at Jacksons Lane, a venue specialising in contemporary circus in North London. He is now exploring the world of photography.

Musical Theatre credits include: Jean Valjean (Les Miserables), Action (West Side Story), Melchior (Spring Awakening), Nicky (Avenue Q), Jamie (The Last Five Years), Tommy (Tommy), The Balladeer (Assassins)

Play credits include: Scripps (History Boys), Mark Renton (Trainspotting), Edward (Skylight), Lucky Eric (Bouncers)

Technical credits include: Production Management for Hamlet, After the Dance, Free, and All About My Mother; Lighting Designer for Matilda, A Christmas Circus Fairytale, Aspects of Love, and Jesus Christ Superstar; Technical and Stage Manager for Fantastic Mr Fox. Simon also regularly provides technical support for StageWrite, a new writing festival at The Place Bedford.

For Standing In The Wings: Wishes & Dreams

Alan Mackenzie

AlanAlan studied Modern Languages at St John’s College, Cambridge. After a postgraduate opera course at the Guildlhall School of Music and Drama in London and moving to Brussels in 1983 he has played Toad (Toad of Toad Hall), and with the Brussels Light Opera Company as Sir Despard Murgatroyd (Ruddigore), Jack Point (The Yeomen of the Guard), Mars and John Styx (Orpheus in the Underworld), Danilo (The Merry Widow) – in 1991 and 2005, Captain Corcoran (HMS Pinafore), Pooh-Bah (The Mikado), Falke (Die Fledermaus), Baron de Gondremarck (La Vie Parisienne), the poet Hajj (Kismet), Pseudolus (A Funny Happened on the Way to the Forum) and Sweeney (Sweeney Todd). He also appeared in Brussels as Osborne (Journey’s End).

Returning to Bedford in 2018 he has appeared with the Swan Theatre Company as Magwitch (Great Expectations) and as Julius Caesar and has trod the boards in two productions for the Bedford Drama Club. He also wrote and performed in an affectionate play about Florence Foster Jenkins – Lady Florence – which was presented at the Quarry Theatre as part of the Bedfringe in 2021.

As an antidote to amateur dramatics, he has also written and self-published a collection of short stories and two novellas.

Bridget Peirson-Davis

Bridget

Bridget has loved to sing and act from an early age.  Aged 5 she took to the stage as Mary in Higham Ferrers Junior School Christmas Nativity
play and a few years later as a teddy bear in Kettering Convent’s annual show.  Whilst boarding at Overstone School Northampton aged 11 she met her singing teacher, Anne Griffin, to whom she will be forever grateful for introducing her to an extensive range of soprano classical repertoire in a variety of genres and languages.

Over the years, Bridget sang and acted her way through music festivals, concerts, leads in operas, musicals and plays and took on the role of artistic director for local amateur groups before being encouraged by a good friend to attend a BA honours degree course in Music and Drama at the University of Northampton.  After graduating she was asked to teach singing at the same University, but was soon to move to Belgium where she ran a drama club for a while and continued to teach singing for 11 years at the British School of Brussels and then privately at home.  During the 18 years she spent in Belgium, she became local representative for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music.  She appeared in many musicals and plays and as soprano soloist in oratorio works including Handel’s Messiah and Haydn’s The Creation with the International Chorale of Brussels.  As well as treading the boards, Bridget returned to directing musicals and plays including Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd, Harburg and Allen’s The Wizard of Oz and Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Gondoliers and plays including Sherriff’s Journey’s End.  In Brussels and Antwerp she recorded voice overs for museums, churches, English learning programmes, short stories for CityBooks and post production voice over work for the film The Happy Prince.

Since returning to the UK in 2018, Bridget has appeared in plays in Bedford with Swan Theatre Company and Bedford Drama Company.  Had Covid not closed our theatres in 2020, she would have appeared in Bedford Marianettes production of Rob Parker’s For Love or Money.  She regularly sings in concerts and as guest soloist with Kempston Musical Society and Ouse Valley Singers under the baton of her friend and accompanist Janet Welsh.  Recently she played a brief character role for a popular ITV entertainment programme.  Bridget is a member of the actors’ union Equity and the Association of Teachers of Singing.

For Standing In The Wings: Performances at Ashurst Mews, Northampton.

Mindy Robinson

Mindy studied theatre at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in LA before moving to England.

Her favourite roles include Martha Brewster in Arsenic & Old Lace (Northampton Masque Theatre), M’Lynn in Steel Magnolias (Playhouse Theatre) and Mother Superior in Sister Act, in which she’s played the part no less than 3 times for Northampton Musical Theatre Company, KOS-MTC and Tingdene Players. Mindy has also directed One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, The Sunshine Boys, The Odd Couple (Female Version) for Northampton Masque Theatre to name a few and most recently Little Shop of Horrors at the Deco Theatre for White Cobra Productions.

When not on stage, you will find her in the kitchen with her baking business, SophistiCake Creations or teaching Music & Drama on Saturday mornings for Northamptonshire Music and Performing Arts Trust – NMPAT.  A keen walker, raising thousands of pounds for various charities, Mindy has also completed 5 London Marathons.

For Standing In The Wings: Wishes & Dreams and performances at Ashurst Mews, Northampton.

Jess Samples

JessUsually found in the History classroom, Jess enjoys performing whenever she can! Most recently, Jess played the role of Beauty in Wellingborough Pantomime Society’s production of Beauty and the Beast.

Jess began performing in musicals when she was five years old, participating in a range of local community productions including Emperor’s New Clothes and Whistle Down The Wind (Castle Theatre, Wellingborough).

Jess was delighted to be invited to be a tutor at Sharnbook Mill Theatre’s Youth Theatre Summer School 2021.

Musical Theatre credits include: On the Street Where You Live,  A-Z of Musical Theatre, Naughty Numbers (University of Birmingham), Scaramouche (We Will Rock You), Frenchy (Grease), Bird Girl (Seussical) and Fizzy (Bugsy Malone).

Shakespeare credits include: Emilia (Othello).

For Standing In The Wings: A Night At The Musicals plus Holiday Clubs – Fairytales & Myths and Time To Time Travel.

Andy Stewart - Saxophone

Andy has worked previously for many years as a peripatetic woodwind teacher.
UK National tours include Me and My Girl (with Faye Tozer from Steps), Hello Dolly! (with Anita Dobson) and Anything Goes (with Angela Rippon).
Further afield Andy performed on the tour of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang in Singapore and an Elvis tour to Holland.
Andy is a regular with Eastbourne Theatres and in 2022 completed his 18th panto (oh yes he did!) for their production of Sleeping Beauty.
Recently Andy started working on a new venture performing solo at weddings and corporate functions and with The Tibbs Dementia foundation and he is about to undertake a series of concerts in care homes.
For Standing In The Wings: Wishes & Dreams
Dawid Szwaj

Dawid is currently in his first year of studies at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire studying Vocal Performance.
He developed his love for singing through many theatrical performances, choral work and solo repertoire he has performed throughout his teens. Dawid was recently the recipient of the ‘Shirley Grant Vocal Fellowship Award’ alongside being awarded the Wellingborough Rotary ‘Musician of the Year 2023’.
During his teens Dawid has worked with choirs on a national and international level; performing at world renounced venues such as the Royal Albert Hall, Birmingham Symphony Hall, and Birmingham Town Hall, performing on a Spanish tour with the NMPAT County Youth Choir, and working with the Polish National Youth Choir on a recording of ‘Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius’ with the Gabrieli Consort & Players and the amazing Nicky Spence, Anna Stephany, and Andrew Foster-Williams.
Besides pursuing his passion for singing, Dawid is also an active Football Referee currently enrolled on the FA National CORE programme, where he works alongside Stuart Burt (Level 2A Premier League Assistant Referee), Paul Howard (EFL National List Referee), Will Finnie (EFL National List Referee), Ian Rathbone and James Campbell.
Theatre Credits Include: The Prince/Beast (Beauty & The Beast, WPS), Paul/Company (Rent, BTW Productions), Mr Noble & Mr Mooneyham (School of Rock, NMPAT), Jack Durden (Jack & The Beanstalk, WPS), Fred Graham (Kiss Me, Kate, NMPAT).
Choirs Include: NMPAT CYCh ’23, Gabrieli ROAR Senior Choir, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire Chamber Choir.
For Standing In The Wings: Wishes & Dreams and performances at Ashurst Mews, Northampton.
Scott Topping

Scott is delighted to be part of Standing in the Wings company, alongside some phenomenal talent (on and off stage!). Scott’s love for performance grew from his first love of music, competing in choral singing competitions across Germany as a child, he then learnt to play the flute as a teenager and eventually completed his Grade 8.

Scott went on to train in Musical Theatre before retraining as a Mental Health Nurse which lead him to live in London for 10 years and offered some unforgettable moments of performing in some beautiful venues. Scott has been fortunate enough to combine both his worlds of work and has been involved in several national TV and radio campaigns with NHS England.

Credits include: Max Garber (Lend Me a Tenor, Courtyard Theatre), Emmett Forrest (Legally Blonde, The Polish Theatre), Donkey (Shrek The Musical, The Cresset), Man 2 (Songs For A New World, Courtyard Theatre), Robbie Hart (The Wedding Singer, Edward Alleyn Theatre), Buddy (Elf The Musical, The Cresset) & George Gershwin (Thoroughly Modern Millie, Adelphi Theatre).

Becky Woodham

Becky has been singing and acting since her school days and whilst she has no formal training, hopes she is improving! She enjoys treading the boards alongside her husband, Mark.

As part of several amateur groups, her Musical Theatre credits include Mrs Blitztein (Blitz), Margaret Grace (A Man of No Importance), Var (Cloud, a new musical), Bad Idea Bear (Avenue Q), as well as taking part in various concerts including backing Russell Watson in Milton Keynes Theatre, According to Mary in Peterborough Cathedral and St Paul’s, Covent Garden, and Once Upon a Christmas Song at Sharnbrook Mill Theatre with many others of the Standing in the Wings company.

Whilst her main love is musicals, Becky has enjoyed returning to acting over the past few years, in productions such as The Vagina Monologues, Goody Nurse (The Crucible), Helene (A Doll’s House), Ruth (Entertaining Angels) and Wendy (Duets).

For Standing In The Wings: A Night At The Musicals, Wishes & Dreams and performances at Ashurst Mews, Northampton, Rush2TheDen and Rushden Goods Shed.

Mark Woodham

With around 30 years’ experience, Mark has performed in plays, musicals and choirs mainly in and around Northampton, Wellingborough and Sharnbrook.

Roles have included: The Wizard (The Wizard of Oz), The Monsignor (Sister Act), Moonface (Anything Goes), Apostle Thaddias (Jesus Christ Superstar), Boone (Whistle Down The Wind), Ritchie (A Chorus Line), Mr. Sowerberry (Oliver!), Benny Southstreet (Guys and Dolls), Galahad’s Mum (Spamalot), Brian (Avenue Q), Bardolph (Entertaining Angels), Jonathan (Duets), Rasher Flynn (Man of No Importance), Asylum Keeper (Sweeney Todd), Old Man Strong (Urinetown), Lazar Wolf (Fiddler on the Roof), The Wolf and Rapunzel’s Prince (Into The Woods).

Mark has also sung in many choir performances but most notable were for those accompanying Russel Watson and Alice Fearn on two of their 2016 tour dates and also performing in According to Mary in St Paul’s Church, Covent Garden. Mark’s favourite role remains as Father Christmas for many functions and events and also for Wicksteed Park during their 2020 season.

Now lucky to have retired, Mark enjoys time spent with his PlayStation, koi and the garden and the odd architecture spotting trips to London. Mark is looking forward to sharing this new musical adventure with Standing in the Wings alongside his wife Becky who is also in the company.

For Standing In The Wings: A Night At The Musicals and Wishes & Dreams