Our ethos dictates that each member of the company is equally valued, whatever their role, and that their roles are full and varied, with personal responsibility to the whole.
All head shots that you can see above and below were drawn by our Artist in residence Catherine Faulkner who is playing the Nurse this season. If you like what you see please see more at her blog - http://
For the September Schools Season, GYP is thrilled to be joined by:
Kate Allem (Balthasar)
Joshua Hudson (Lord Montague)
Emma Kent (Apothecary)
Amy Elliott plays Escala this season
Since dancing from the tender age of 3 Amy is no stranger to the stage; having performed in three seasons of pantomime at the Everyman Theatre, played ‘Pepper’ alongside Ruth Madoc in ‘Annie’ and numerous dance school plays and other show. Amy is an active member of the National Youth Theatre and has just returned from Sheffield after performing in ‘SLICK’ for 3 weeks. Hoping to progress onto a musical theatre or drama schools next year. Amy is really excited to have this opportunity to take part in 'Romeo and Juliet.'
Mike Fay plays Paris this season
In his second season with GYP, ‘Romeo and Juliet’ will be Mike’s first tragedy with the Company. He is currently studying Drama & Theatre Studies A-Level at Pate’s Grammar School. Previous acting roles include Freddy Einsfold-Hill in 'My Fair Lady, The Narrator in 'Joseph' and two lovestruck revolutionaries in the guise of Marius in 'Les Miserables' and Perchik in 'Fiddler on the Roof'. This will be his third time performing Shakespeare and he is thoroughly looking forward to the challenge it presents.
Luke Rollason plays Mercutio this season
and sexually promiscuous maniacs. So it is with great pleasure that he announces that this year
he will break out of type to play Mercutio, a bawdy, slightly unhinged and sexually promiscuous
maniac who dies.This will be Luke's third year working with GYP.
Dan Sundelin plays Capulet this season
Good Morrow, How Now, Salutations! This will be Dan’s fourth season of GYP. Playing roles such as “Francisco” and “Second Gravedigger” in Hamlet, “Oberon” in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and "Grumio" in Shrew, Dan is excited to be working with Edward once again in this year’s production of Romeo and Juliet. Recent roles Dan has performed are “Leader” in Oedipus: The King, “Willard” in Footloose, and “The Ghost of Xmas Present” in A Christmas Carol. Dan is looking forward Longborough again, as well as the RSC Dell Gardens. Dan is now studying Contemporary Theatre and Performance at Manchester Metropolitan University Cheshire, and is looking forward to the crazy yet exciting rehearsals with this year’s ensemble. Anon, Adieu, Cheerio!
Clodagh Ogden plays Lady Capulet this season
Clodagh is one of the more senior members of the ensemble and has been a vital part of GYP since 2009. In her first production she played the role of 'Osric' and 'Minstrel' in 'Hamlet' in 2010 'Peter Quince' and 'Minstrel' in 'The Dream', and last year the specially devised part of 'Minstrel' as well as 'Vincentio'. Her dramatic and musical skills are currently being honed at drama school where she is doing a Musical Theatre course. Where she is now in her second year. Clodagh has been involved in every musical since year 7 until she left secondary school. She's played 'Mrs. Potiphar' in 'Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat' and 'Ronette' in 'Little Shop of Horrors'. She has recently been the leading lady in her village panto playing Little Red Riding Hood in 'Little Red Riding Hood' (she was more excited about wearing the long red cape than being a principal role!) Clodagh loves working with Edward and being part of GYP. She is really excited about this year's season!
Alexa Bull plays Juliet this season
Alexa is about to enter her graduating year at Conservatoire drama school, The Manchester School Of Theatre. She has worked with Edward in productions 'High School Musical', 'As You Like It' and GYP's 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' and has loved the new and exciting ways Edward uses to approach Shakespeare. It has been her dream from a very young age to play Juliet in her favourite Shakespeare play and she is extremely excited to perform with GYP again.
Catherine Faulkner plays the Nurse this season
Catherine is honoured to be spending her third year in GYP playing another character she loves. In 2010 she played the Dream’s Bottom, in 2011 Katherina and this year, she is the comedic Nurse! Having played Celia in The Rococo Player’s ‘As You Like It’, Agnes in Phoenix Player’s ‘David Copperfield’ as well as school productions such as ‘Les Miserables’ playing a drunk Madame Thenardier, Catherine can firmly say that there is nothing quite the same as a GYP production whether it’s the enthusiasm, the ensemble atmosphere, the hilarious innuendos or simply just our sound baths: there is always something exciting in the air! Having completed an Art Foundation course at Stroud College Catherine is now studying Illustration at Brighton University where she continues drama alongside.
Murray Spear plays Tybalt this season
This is Murray’s third year with GYP (sort of....) In ‘A Midsummer’s Night's Dream’ he played Mustardseed, a fairy/freaky tree. In ‘The Taming of the Shrew’ he played a Suitor to Bianca/Bench before mysteriously disappearing only to return at the end of the run pretending to be an aeroplane around Stratford. After the disappointment of not quite making the role of Balcony this year he is content with settling for the role of Tybalt. Murray enjoys some stuff some of the time in some places. He has half the mental age of a seven year old and half that of someone 50 years older. He has recently pretended to be a wonderful musician, be Edward Derbyshire and on a rather large sinking ship.
Luke Nixon plays Montague this season
Luke is currently studying for his GCSE's at Rendcomb College and will study drama at A level before hopefully embarking on full-time drama training to persue a career as a professional actor. This is Lukes first season with GYP and he is looking forward to playing Lord Montague and the complex challenge. As well as recently playing the lead role in "Skellig" Luke has written, cast and directed aplays at his school and enjoys composing music.
Lucy Wordsworth plays Lady Montague this season
This is Lucy’s first production with GYP; she is really looking forward to it and the challenge to try something different. She is currently studying GCSE Drama at Balcarras School and hopes to study it at A level. She is also working towards Grade 8 Singing and both Grade 6 Tap and Modern Dance. Lucy is a member of the Cotswold Savoyards, Studio Playhouse and the 2010 and 2011 Youth Music Theatre companies but she has never before performed in a Shakespeare play. She is also performs with the Cheltenham and Tewkesbury Dance Company (CATS).
Luke Ellis plays Romeo this season
Luke has been a keen drama student for many years now. He has previously done work experience at the Cheltenham Everyman Theatre and stage managed at King's Theatre, Gloucester. Acting roles include ‘Tranio’ in ‘The Taming of The Shrew’, ‘Demetrius’ in ‘A Midsummer's Nights Dream’ (both with GYP), ‘Silvius’in ‘As You Like It’, ‘Cheshire Cat’ in ‘Alice in Wonderland’, ‘Chino’ in ‘West Side Story’ and more. Luke’s acting is renowned for provoking powerful emotions, such as making children cry and being hurled abuse by locals. Luke says he feels privileged to be playing Romeo and looks forward to not wearing a dress. Hopefully.
Elliot Gomm plays Benvolio this season
Elliot is delighted to be involved in GYP for a third consecutive season and is looking forward to the performances. Known for his love of the performing arts and flamboyant nature, he lights up the stage wherever he goes. He is sure to bring a mischievous and far-from-staid angle to his interpretation of that master of the dark arts, Benvolio.
Charlie Chitty plays Balthasar this season
This is Charlie’s third production with The Gloucestershire Youth Players. He is currently a
writer, theatre enthusiast, avid movie-goer-by-himselfer, unauthorised and ignored television
critic and unapologetic hater of blueberry muffins.
Lucy Cooper plays Friar Laurence this season
Although this is only my second performance of a Shakespeare play (and so my second year with the Gloucestershire Youth Players), I have had some experience in other shows. such as playing Nancy in 'Oliver' and the Pharoah in 'Joseph' (so if someone in the company randomly bursts into song, apologies, but that is probably me. Force of habit). Despite only being a part of GYP for a short time, it has already become clear the amount of passion and commitment that goes into every performance, and I look forward to being able to develop my acting skills throughout the course of this production.
Sara Lavelle plays Friar John this season
This is Sara's first year with GYP. She has always loved to act and is passionate about singing and dancing. She enjoyed taking part several dance production over the years and has always been keen to take part in school productions. She is now thrilled to have the opportunity to work with such a talented ensemble and is excited to be part of what will be a wonderful performance.
Amy Young plays Servant/Watchman/Musician this season
This is Amy’s first year with the Gloucestershire Youth Players. Being a big fan of Shakespeare, she cannot wait to participate in such a wonderful play as ‘Romeo and Juliet’ with such a talented company. Currently studying A levels at Cheltenham Bournside School and Sixth Form Centre, she has been lucky enough to have played roles in ‘My Fair Lady’, ‘Les Miserables’, 'Wizard of Oz' and performed at the Oxford Playhouse as the sadistic ‘Gendarme’ in the National Theatre Connections' play ‘Frank and Ferdinand’. Amy has no doubt that being a part of GYP is going to be an incredible and memorable experience!
Hannah Churchill plays Servant/Watchman/Musician this season
Romeo and Juliet marks Hannah’s first year performing with the Gloucestershire Youth Players and she is very excited to be involved. Her stage debut was at just 3 years old dancing as a dumpling (which is often considered to be the highlight of her performances to date). This has been followed by numerous less-exciting roles in dance and school shows. Hannah performed in the pantomime ‘Aladdin’ and recently did work experience with ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ at the Everyman Theatre. She has performed in several shows with Theatre Studio and occasionally steps over to the other side; working on tech, stage management and as an assistant director for the musical ‘Oklahoma!’.
Louisa Cowan plays Servant/Watchman/Musician this season
Although this is Louisa’s first year with GYP, she has been involved in a number of other performances over the years, including performing in an all-female original production (much excitement was involved, since she usually plays deformed/psychotic men) at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival last year. Her favourite parts have been Philip Wakem in ‘The Mill on the Floss’, Konstantin in ‘The Seagull’, and Orphan-twenty-three-holding-bucket-six in ‘Annie’ (some confusion was involved in the bucket-numbering system). She is thoroughly excited to be involved in GYP this year!
Rebecca Macduff is Stage Manager this season
This is Rebecca's first season with GYP. She came to know many existing members through productions outside GYP and is really excited to be a part of this one. She has provided technical support for many productions such as Macbeth, directed by Edward himself, and cannot wait to do the same for Romeo and Juliet.
Katie Locker is Wardrobe Mistress this season
Katie has been involved and associated with GYP since 2009 when she was wardrobe mistress and ensemble member in 'Hamlet'. Due to this unstinting commitment she has become a key member of GYP. As well as working with this year's production, she has taken part in 'The Tempest' and 'A Midsummer Night’s Dream'. As well as taking part in GYP, Katie was also a member of the younger company GYST, and has taken part in numerous other plays both for exams and for fun. Katie has really enjoyed the process this year and cannot wait for the performances - once she returns from Australia!
Jessica Stamp is Assistant this season
This is Jessica's second season with GYP and she, as well as the rest of the ensemble, is looking forward to her participation - she has many fizzing ideas which she will bring to bear in her work with the appearance and aesthetic of this demanding show.
Edward Derbyshire is directing this season
Some disappointment has been expressed that Edward has not submitted a biog again this season: could this be because he is shy? The answer is probably 'no', although he does feel strongly that it is much more important that the talented young people who make up the GYP ensemble are the ones who, after their hard work and commitment, take the limelight. After working on Chinese, Latin and piano admin Edward is content to labour, as he has on all his other projects past and present, in the shadows, reading Shakespeare at two in the morning and hiding under the bedcovers with the bike light (so as not to disturb anyone) ensuring he is up-to-date with methodology and current Shakespeare scholarship (most of it bunkum). Occasionally he will migrate to the piano to pen a 'chooooon' and dream up either a delicious sound bath or some 'a capella' singing with which to terrify the ensemble, or alternatively the audience. Sometimes he might sleep, with one eye open. Edward is at every performance, ready to give notes before the next show and constantly challenge both the actors as well as any pre-conceived notion of what 'amateur' (which actually means the one who loves in Latin) theatre is. GYP, for the company, is a professional troupe and, therefore, he is convinced that only the professional is possible for GYP. This is his only motivation as Artistic Director. Edward apologises to his wife and six children for his passion for Shakespeare - well was he really Edward de Vere? (Shakespeare, that is) - and for his belief in a better world. Some idealists sleep little and die hard.