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Graeme Dalling

Graeme trained at the Guildford School of Acting and is currently performing in Melly Still’s production of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin which plays at the Harold Pinter Theatre in London’s West End until the end of August. 


Theatre work includes: Measure for Measure (Guildford Shakespeare Company), Let The Right One In (Royal Court/Apollo Theatre/St Ann's Warehouse NYC/U.S tour), Elsie Thatchwick (Edinburgh Fringe/Theatre 503), Rope(Brighton Fringe, Rialto Theatre), Much Ado About Nothing (Iris Theatre, Covent Garden), Macbeth (Trafalgar Studios), Der Ring Des Nibelungen (Royal Opera House), On Golden Pond (Middle Ground/National tour), To Kill A Mockingbird (York Theatre Royal/National tour), The Snow Queen (Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough), Old Vic New Voices: 24 Hour Plays (Old Vic), Huck (Chipping Norton/Southwark Playhouse/National tour), Treasure Island (Northern Broadsides/National tour), Treasure Island (Birmingham Stage Company/National tour) and Oliver! The Musical (New Vic, Newcastle-Under-Lyme). Television includesDoctors and HollyoaksFilm includesHome For Christmas


What or Who inspired you to want to become an actor/actress? 

I was inspired by a particularly wonderful teacher - Mr Robinson - who taught us Drama at school. He inspired us to read all the classic plays and took us on monthly theatre trips to the Citz in Glasgow. We saw some really cutting-edge productions, often involving sex and swearing which we all loved, and we would talk about the shows and dissect them the next day in class. 


Forefront was an amazing after school drama club that really got me into performing. We did big proper productions, and Naidha Thompson the head, helped me prepare my speeches for drama school; I learnt the importance of professionalism and strict discipline to my craft from her and I really don’t think I would have got in to Drama school without her influence! 


When I learnt that my great uncle, Laidlaw Dalling, was an actor, I remember thinking, ‘that’s what I’m going to do too.’


What theatre have you most enjoyed?

Punchdrunk’s The Drowned Man is probably the best thing I’ve ever seen and Ben Whishaw’s Hamlet at the Old Vic was the first proper play I saw in London and his performance is still lodged in my memory. I also saw Hamilton for $20 in a tiny New York theatre before it went huge which was incredible. Also, seeing Anne Marie Duff in Saint Joan at the National, The Ferryman at the Royal Court and Mark Rylance in Jerusalem, were all amazing theatrical experiences.


What has been the biggest challenge in your career to date?

Probably performing Claudio in Much Ado about Nothing, my first big Shakespeare role. It was a difficult role and it was outdoor theatre which brings it’s own set of challenges. I found it very hard. I just don’t think I got it, which happens sometimes, but it’s a horrible feeling. I was a nervous wreck and genuinely didn’t know what was going to come out of my mouth! I got through it, but it gave me a fear of Shakespeare for a while. I resolved never to feel like that again. I’ve recently played Angelo in Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure and I prepared so much to avoid that fear. Thankfully it paid off and it was a great experience.


What do you enjoy most about your job? 

The work itself really, but also the people, the travel, the unpredictability, and the fact that I can say I’m doing something for a living that I genuinely love.


If you weren’t an actor/actress what job would you like to do?

I’d be a Personal trainer or maybe a song writer, but I’d be equally happy teaching surfing somewhere hot, with long hair and a big beard!

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Eliot Giuralarocca

After studying for a degree in English Language and Literature at Christ Church, Oxford, Eliot trained as an actor at the Guildford School of Acting. Over the past 25 years he has worked solidly as an actor in Theatre, Film, T.V. and Opera while also creating his own work, devising and developing projects as a Theatre-maker and working as a freelance Theatre Director. As Artistic Director of Dragonboy Productions, he brings this experience together to focus on creating and developing new work for the theatre. 


For Dragonboy Production's next show, In and Out of Chekhov’s Shorts, Eliot had adapted some of Anton Chekhov’s short stories and is very much looking forward to creating and directing the show. He is currently performing in Melly Still’s production of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin (Rose Theatre Kingston, Neil Laidlaw Productions and the Birmingham Repertory Theatre) which plays at the Harold Pinter Theatre for a 9 week run in London's West End following a UK tour. 


Eliot played Prospero in The Tempest - a show that he adapted and created with the Spanish company, Le Tendre Amour. The show opened the International Festival of Theatre in Malaga and subsequently played throughout Europe as part of the British Council's Shakespeare Lives programme. It was nominated for the Gran Premio de España de Artes Escénicas 2016. 


Other Theatre credits include playing the title role in The Beekeeper (Blackeyed Theatre/Waterloo East) for which he received an OFFIE Best Actor nomination in the Off West End awards, Alice in Wonderland (Guildford Shakespeare Company), Alarms and Excursions (Chipping Norton), The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui (Liverpool Playhouse Nottingham Playhouse), Il Turco In Italia (Royal Opera House); Measure for Measure (Thelma Holt Productions); A Small Family Business (Watford Palace Theatre); Don’t Look Now (Lyric Hammersmith); The Comedy of Errors, Titus Andronicus (Shakespeare's Globe); Twelfth Night (Royal Exchange Manchester); Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead, Horse & Carriage (West Yorkshire Playhouse); The Black Dahlia, Buried Alive, The Cherry Orchard, Demons and Dybbuks (Method & Madness); A Midsummer Night's Dream (Nuffield Theatre Southampton); The Government Inspector (Salisbury Playhouse); Man for Hire (Stephen Joseph Theatre Scarborough); The Lion the Witch & the Wardrobe (Library Theatre Manchester); Oxygen (Tricycle Theatre). 


T.V. work : Mind Games (ITV) and Egypt (S4C). Film work : Nine (Lucamar/ Weinstein); Night Swimming (Tri-Star); DIY Hard (British Film Foundation); Cake (Subrosa Films)


What was you first role and what first attracted you to theatre?
My Archangel Gabriel in the School Nativity play, aged 5 was, I’m reliably informed, a sight to behold. I think I probably realised from an early age that acting was something you could do to show off without getting into trouble!


I also had a really inspiring English teacher at school - Dave Smith - who suggested that I audition for the National Youth Theatre. I did audition, got a place and had a wonderful summer performing and after that there was no looking back.


What shows and performances have you most enjoyed?
As a young actor, Complicite’s The Street of Crocodiles and Phelim McDermott and Julian Crouch’s Shockheaded Peter were productions that blew me away and changed my perceptions of what theatre could achieve. In the last few years, Conor McPherson’s Girl from the North Country and the Old Vic production of Fanny and Alexander were both stunning productions while The Inheritance by Mathew Lopez was a tour de force that I felt grateful to have seen.


What has been the biggest challenge in your career to date?
As a young actor, playing Bucky Bleichert in Mike Alfred’s production of The Black Dahlia was a huge challenge. It was a wonderful rollercoaster of a role; 2.5 hours on stage without an exit. Waiting in the wings on the first night was probably the most nervous I’ve ever been! Getting used to the physical and mental stamina of performing that role every night of the week and week in-week out was a challenge that I relished.


What do you enjoy most about your job?

I love the fun, the camaraderie and the friendships that are forged and the fact that no two days are ever the same. The life of an actor or a director is always a series of ups and downs. I believe the trick is to relish and embrace that sense of unpredictability rather than dread it!


I love the process and challenge of creating a piece of theatre and being challenged by others to do that as well as possible. It keeps you young or at least allows you to cling on to the illusion that you are still young! Being around talented, passionate and creative people is good for the soul. In many ways acting isn’t really a job for grown ups at all. But it is fun.


I’ve also been very lucky to have been able to travel and perform in different countries around the world as well as visiting towns and cities the length and breath of the UK. Being paid to do that still feels like a privilege.


If you could pick any theatre company to work with on your next project which would it be?

I’ve had the great good fortune to have performed at Shakespeare’s Globe as an actor. I adore Shakespeare so if I could wave a wand I’d love to act there again or direct a show there; there’s something about the space with the actors sharing the same light as the audience that just has a bit of magic about it.


Which director do you most respect?

I hope I’ve learned something from everyone I've worked for, but I'd say that Mike Alfreds was an important influence on my directing work. I had the good fortune to work with him for a couple of years as an actor in his Method and Madness company and learned a great deal about the rigours of Directing and the mechanics and techniques of storytelling and narration.


What ambitions do you have?

I think my ambition has always been the same; to do good work with good people. Everything and anything else flows from that really.


If you weren’t an actor and a director what job would you like to do?
I’ve spent at least 25 years pondering this very question! I haven’t come up with an answer yet which is probably why I’m still doing it!

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Tom Neill

Tom is a multi-disciplinary artist and producer working throughout the UK as a composer, actor and theatre director. He is a founder member of Prime Studios in Windsor and an associate artist of international touring company Blackeyed Theatre. In and Out of Chekhov's Shorts represents Tom's third time working with Eliot Giuralarocca.


Theatre Work includes, George Wilson, The Great Gatsby, Blackeyed Theatre (dir. Eliot Giuralarocca); Ensemble, Death In Venice, Opera North (dir. Yoshi Oïda, revival dir. Rob Kearley); Finding Alice (dir. Jessica Swale); Don't Look Back, dreamthinkspeak (dir. Tristan Sharps); Sir John French, Oh What A Lovely War (dir. Adrian McDougall); Trofimov, The Cherry Orchard (dir. Bart Lee); Voice to the Voiceless, Beautiful Creatures (dir. Danielle Corbishley); Bruce Flaherty, Blue / Orange (dir. Stephen Macaulay); Givola, The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui (dir. Bart Lee); Stephano, The Tempest (for South Hill Park); also Christmas shows for various companies and tours to Primary, Secondary and SEN schools.


Music Work includes : Not About Heroes (dir. Eliot Giuralarocca); The Other Side of Me (Alleyne Dance, with Alan Dicker); Three Songs of Charlotte Mew (Soprano / Piano); Fanfare for the Future (Onyx Brass); The Winter Giant (Beautiful Creatures and Battle Festival); Untitled (Orange) (Jazz, after Nadja Daehnke); Call of the Bells (Beautiful Creatures and Reading Borough Council); Under Milk Wood (Pentameters); Beauty and the Beast (Blackeyed Theatre); Henry V (for South Hill Park); as well as orchestrations, songs and sound designs for various companies.


Tom's upcoming work includes adapting The Elves and the Shoemaker for Greenwich West Community and Arts Centre; producing Marina Carr's The Cordelia Dream for tour; recording Katie Maddocks' debut EP of songs Them's The Breaks; also recording and co-composing new bebop and modal jazz with Ruben Berrios' quartet Baron Mara Jazz.  For further information www.tomneill.eu


What or Who inspired you to want to become an actor/actress?

It was the only thing I really enjoyed, despite being dutifully mediocre at all the other things I was given. I love the drama of the stories of the theatre, and the opportunity to be crazily comedic in unlikely situations. I was lucky enough to find myself around people who felt the same.


What was your first experience of acting and what shows/performance/s have you most enjoyed?

I have so many treasured early experiences. I think, as a boy being cast in a production of The Rivals at the Redgrave Theatre in Farnham, and being amazed by the operation of a full-time producing theatre. In my professional life, working with the iconic director Yoshi Oïda - on Benjamin Britten's 'Death In Venice' has been one of my most enlightening and rewarding experiences.


What has been the biggest challenge in your career to date/what ambitions do you have?

I once did a tour of care homes, and performing a tap dance to a room full of wheelchair users was quite a mental challenge. I had a lot of faith that they retained the generosity to enjoy what I was doing. Thankfully they did. I have ambitions to see lesser known plays on stage - there are so many good ones that get overlooked in favour of the money-spinners.


What do you enjoy most about your job?

I like being away from home. The bills land on the door mat and nobody is there to pick them up :) I love turning up in a new place. Perhaps you'll be staying in a country pub with a circle of folk musicians having a session, or be getting chips from the greasy spoon beneath the Preston Travelodge. The theatres are mostly beautiful, and the company always is.


If you weren’t an actor/actress what job would you like to do?

I'd have to find a job where my skills were transferable; that is, the ability to say anything seriously and convincingly, without having to actually believe it. Prime Minister, perhaps.

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Laura Singleton

Laura trained at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and is a Member of the National Youth Theatre of Wales. 


Theatre Credits include, Henry in Lord of the Flies (Sherman Theatre and Theatr Clwyd), Amber in Buddy (Gate Theatre), Mickey in The NightWatch (Richard Burton Company), Tanya in Punk Rock (Richard Burton Company), Anna in Stars in the Morning Sky (Richard Burton Company) Television credits Fixers Memory Loss (ITV), Tuesday at Jackie’s, (BBC Wales). Multimedia work: Jennifer in YEN (Ustinov Studio, Bath)  Radio credits Torchwood and Long Way From Home

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What or Who inspired you to want to become an actress?

Growing up, I was very lucky to have two very passionate and inspiring Drama teachers during my teenage years, Beverley Roblin who taught me in school and Michelle Richards who was at The Stage Centre, stage school. They opened up the world of theatre to me in all its different forms which allowed me to fall head over heels with it, and I’ve never looked back.


What was your first experience of acting?

My first experience in acting was in Primary School, playing the Widow of a Woodcutter who was killed by a falling tree. It was a very dramatic start to my acting career! And from there, I've always loved to create and tell stories onstage.  


What shows or performances have you most enjoyed?

I’ve seen a lot of shows that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed but the most memorable was Simon Stone's production of Yerma at the Young Vic. I love watching theatre where you are utterly transported into the world of the story and you forget you’re watching actors onstage in a play and that’s what this show did for me. It had such powerful, earthquaking performances from all of the cast, especially Billie Piper and It is still imprinted on my mind to this day.


What has been the biggest challenge in your career to date?

The biggest challenge for me so far was Michael Fentiman’s production of Punk Rock where I played Tanya Gleason. I was very much pushed out of my comfort zone and the show really taught me about the power of language as well as testing my mental and emotional stamina as the play was a rollercoaster of emotions and dealt with some very strong themes. But it was an absolute privilege to perform with my fellow cast members each night and getting to meet the writer Simon Stevens at the end of it was the cherry on the cake. It is a memory I will never forget. 


What do you enjoy most about your job? 

I love that I am able to travel and visit new places and to make friendships with people for life. But most importantly it's wonderful to have the opportunity to explore different projects and to be creative while having an absolute blast doing it. I’m very lucky to say I have a job that I love.


If you weren’t an actress what job would you like to do?

This is a hard question. I’m actually not sure, because for as long as I can remember acting is all I’ve ever wanted to do. But I love working with children so I would probably be a Drama teacher so that I could inspire kids in the same way that my teachers/mentors have inspired me. 

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Elisabeth Snegir

Elisabeth moved to England from Russia in 2012 and has just graduated from The Actor Musician course at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts earlier this year. 


Theatre credits at Mountview include Sarah in Our House, Boult/ Fisherman in Pericles, Helena/ Starveling in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Marian Paroo in The Music Man


In and Out of Chekhov’s Shorts is Elisabeth’s first professional show since leaving Mountview and she is thrilled to be working with Dragonboy Productions on such an exciting adaptation of the work of one of Russia's greatest writers.


What or Who inspired you to want to become an actor/actress?

In Moscow I trained as a musician, taking part in competitions and concerts, so being on stage has always been a part of my life. And I have always loved telling stories, entertaining people and being in school productions was something I really enjoyed being a part of. The moment when I think it clicked that I wanted to pursue this as a career was when I saw a production of Gecko’s ‘Institute’ on a school trip. The incredible storytelling and the camaraderie of the actors on stage was electrifying. That’s when I finally realised that I wouldn’t be happy doing anything other than acting and hopefully making people feel the same way I felt watching that production.


What was your first experience of acting and what shows/performance/s have you most enjoyed?

The first time I went on stage as an actor was in Moscow, in a school production of the Snow Queen. I played Gerda when I was 7. I remember being absolutely terrified I’d fall over or break something. But I remember it being so much fun in the end! 


A show that I loved performing was a production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, we did at Mountview, directed by Richard Cant. I played Helena, who is such a brilliant, funny, warm character. It was also the very first time I had ever delved into Shakespeare, so it was a challenge. It turned out to be a production I will never forget. 


Another show which has really stayed with me was an Actor-Musician production of ‘Dead Dog in a Suitcase’ which I did earlier this year. The politic of the play is incredibly relevant today and it made me realise the importance of theatre as a construct. 


What has been the biggest challenge in your career to date/what ambitions do you have?

The biggest challenge for me so far was probably my last year of training at Mountview. It’s not always an easy path, and that is what I have realised this last year. 

What ambitions don't I have is the real question! I would love to see the concept of Actor Musicianship grow in theatre, so playing a role in the development of that is something I am very passionate about. 


What do you enjoy most about your job? 

I think what I most enjoy about my job is being surrounded by creative people and being able to play, explore and have fun with likeminded people- what a brilliant job to have! 


If you weren’t an actor/actress what job would you like to do?

I find it difficult to imagine myself in another job however the obvious answer would be a musician, but to be honest, a dog walker.