THE AFTLS APPROACH
For most of his working life, William Shakespeare was a sharer in the King’s Men, London’s leading theatre company. He knew the actors he was writing for and collaborated with them on seeing the plays into performance.
All theatre is a collaboration, of course, and while actors can no longer collaborate directly with Shakespeare, the Actors From The London Stage (AFTLS) company always aims to work with him, respectfully and creatively, throughout the rehearsal process. Our company’s aim is to make his words exert their magic and their power in performance, but we do this in a vital, and perhaps unconventional, way. We have no massive sets to tower over the performers and no directorial concept to tower over the text of Shakespeare’s play. In fact, AFTLS does not have a director at all; instead, the play has been rehearsed by the actors, working together to create theatre, cooperating with each other in their imaginative engagement with the play’s words.
Now the actors ask you, the audience, to perform that same kind of imaginative engagement that Shakespeare was thinking about when, in the Prologue to Henry V, he instructed his spectators: “Think, when we talk of horses, that you see them, / Printing their proud hoofs i’ the receiving earth / For ’tis your thoughts that now must deck our kings.” Now the actors seek a new collaboration, working with you, the audience, in the way that only live theatre can. It is not a hard job for people to do, even though we are now used to having everything shown us on screen, and even though we usually no longer rely on the powers of imagination and collaboration to bring a play’s world into being. If you share the fun of collaborating with us, then the excitement of the performance will be richly rewarding for you and for the actors, for this special act of working together, actors and audience combined, marks the latest stage of that long journey Twelfth Night has made from Shakespeare’s writing the play with and for the actors he knew so well. So, tonight, watch and listen and “let us... / On your imaginary forces work.”
Al Barclay (Sir Toby Belch / Valentine / Antonio) trained at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, where he worked closely with the inimitable Patsy Rodenberg for three years on voice and theatre practice. For twenty years, he has combined film and theatre work internationally, specialising in material that challenges accepted boundaries. Ten summers at Sprite Productions working with stellar companies across a range of Shakespeare’s canon led to his ongoing collaboration with Tim Carroll and The Factory on Hamlet, The Odyssey, and Macbeth, which in turn led to a number of deep creative partnerships with companies across Europe, including Honey Tongued in Dubrovnik, where he played Claudius in Hamlet on location in King’s Landing. Since then, he has continued to expand immersive and interactive theatre in London alongside Coney, Hartshorn Hook, and The Guild of Misrule, through large-scale immersive versions of classic books. He’ll be reprising his five-star sell-out performance of A Christmas Carol this December, playing Scrooge. He frequently entertains corporate clients on behalf of Shakespeare’s Globe, where he makes use of his extensive practical experience of Shakespeare’s text and Elizabethan stagecraft, and performs customised snippets at everything from weddings to raucous parties. Alongside this, he travels widely for MyKindaFuture and Cragrats, facilitating workshops dealing with employability and confidence on behalf of major global firms such as KPMG and Allen and Overy.
Kaffe Keating (Orsino / Feste / Fabian) trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, and graduated in 2014. He also won the Michael Bryant Prize for verse-speaking in his final year, which was awarded by Nicholas Hytner at the National Theatre. He has worked predominantly in theatre, most recently on the world tour of the National’s production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, playing the lead role of Christopher Boone, which he first played in the West End in 2015. Kaffe is also a member of The Factory, a London-based theatre company dedicated to experimental productions of Shakespeare’s plays. Kaffe has also directed and taught workshops with various youth theatres, and is a guest teacher at the Emil Dale Academy in Hitchin, England. He is very excited to join the cast for Twelfth Night, and to visit all of the amazing places the tour will go!
Katherine Newman (Viola / Sebastian) is an actor, writer, theatre maker, and voiceover artist. She has worked extensively with new writing and devising companies including Curious Directive, BAZ Productions, and Told By An Idiot. She is an associate artist at Applecart Arts and a founding member of The Den Collective. A sample of her acting credits include Veronica in 20th Century Fox’s Bohemian Rhapsody; the voice of Professor McGonagall in the Harry Potter video game for Warner Brothers; Freija in Your Last Breath at the Southwark Playhouse; Lady Macbeth in Macbeth at the Oxford Playhouse; and Laura in Obama-Ology at the Finborough Theatre. She also wrote and performed the one-woman show Fucking Little Elf Bitch to 5-star London reviews. Katherine regularly teaches acting and audition technique at Central Saint Martins, voice work for teachers in training, communication skills for training healthcare professionals, and various workshops for storytelling, play, and characterisation for both training and professional actors. She is also an experienced tutor, working with dyslexic and autistic students on creative writing and confidence building.
Jonathan Oliver (Malvolio / Sir Andrew Agucheek / Curio / Sea Captain) studied at Manchester University. Highlights from many years since include Banquo / Duncan / Ross in the Factory Theatre’s recent Macbeth (as well as previous Factory productions of Hamlet, The Seagull, and The Odyssey); Boris in The Cherry Orchard at Nottingham Playhouse; Pozzo in Waiting for Godot at the Arcola Theatre; Shylock in The Merchant of Venice for Creation in Oxford; Robespierre in The Snow Palace for Sphinx Theatre in Warsaw and Lodz; Hamlet for Théatre Point in Corsica and at the Avignon Festival; young Hitler in George Tabori’s Mein Kampf, Farce for the Yorick Company in Edinburgh and London; and Achilles, Iachimo, and Claudius at the tiny Willow Globe in deepest Wales. He has also acted with some of the greatest musicians of our time, with performances including Monostatos in Ivan Fischer’s production of The Magic Flute for the Budapest Festival Orchestra in Abu Dhabi, Budapest and London; Aeneas in Dido and Aeneas for the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment; and Oberon/Theseus in A Midsummer Night’s Dream for Leonard Slatkin’s Orchestre National de Lyon. Films include Mike Leigh’s Peterloo; Pride and Prejudice and Zombies; The Memorialist; Bertrand Tavernier’s La Mort en Direct; and Return of the Jedi.
Claire Redcliffe (Olivia / Maria / Officers)’s theatrical appearances include Jane in But It Still Goes On, Ann in Outward Bound, Melinda in Perchance to Dream, and Phoebe Throssel in Quality Street at Finborough Theatre; Titania/Hermia in A Midsummer Night's Dream at The Company; Leonato/Hero in Much Ado About Nothing with Actors From The London Stage; Sister Rosa in Cyrano de Bergerac and Hermia in A Midsummer Night's Dream at Grosvenor Park Open Air, Charlotte/Martha in Charlotte’s Web for Birmingham Stage Company; Dorothy in Stepping Out at Salisbury Playhouse; Donna in A Wordless Thing for Theatre 503; Celia (Understudy) in As You Like It and Nancy in When We Are Married at Garrick Theatre; Portia in The Merchant of Venice, Bet in Oliver, Margaret in Much Ado About Nothing, Nancy in When We Are Married, and Lucy in The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe at the West Yorkshire Playhouse; Estella in Great Expectations and Hatty in Tom’s Midnight Garden at Manchester Library Theatre; Ophelia in Hamlet at The Factory and Manchester Library Theatre; Kit/Shona in Top Girls at Watford Palace Theatre; Dinah Lord in High Society at Shaftesbury Theatre; Eva in Kindertransport at Bolton Octagon Theatre (Best Actress nominee, Manchester Evening News Awards); Erica in Question Time at Arcola Theatre; Dinah Lord in High Society and Hermia in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Regent’s Park Open Air; Lucy Lockit in The Beggar’s Opera, Maggie in Engaged, and Sophia Freelove in The Road to Ruin at Orange Tree Theatre; and Ophelia in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead at Theatr Clwyd. Television includes Dr. King in Cuckoo (Series 2 and 3), Cath Marshall, Hannah, Jade and Lisa in Doctors, Shannon in Eastenders, and Fiona Carr in Holby City (BBC); Alice in The Royal (Yorkshire Television); and Wendy in Auf Wiedersehen Pet. Film includes Boarding School Teacher in Christopher Robin (Mystical Productions Ltd.) and Charlotte Gray (Channel 4 Films).
ABOUT ACTORS FROM THE LONDON STAGE
Actors From The London Stage (consisting of five British Shakespearean artists from such companies as the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Royal National Theatre of Great Britain, and Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, among others) is an educational program developed in 1975 by Homer Swander at the University of California, Santa Barbara. The theatre company is now based in London and at the University of Notre Dame. The artists devote a large part of their time to lectures, workshops, seminars, and informal meetings with students. Their stay provides students and faculty with a unique opportunity both to observe extraordinary performances and to discuss literature and the art of theatre in depth with some of the most talented artists from some of the most important theatre companies in the world. Contact us at shakespeare.nd.edu/AFTLS.
Founder: Homer Swander
Academic Director: Peter Holland
Founding Directors: Tony Church, Lisa Harrow, Bernard Lloyd, Sir Patrick Stewart
Associate Directors: David Acton, Bruce Alexander, Matthew Davies, Caroline Devlin, Tim Hardy, Richard Neale, Paul O’Mahony, Michael Palmer, Eunice Roberts, Alison Skilbeck, Chris Staines, Lucy Tregear, Jack Whitam, Jennifer Winter, Alinka Wright
Emeritus: Gareth Armstrong, David Rintoul, Vivien Heilbron
ABOUT SHAKESPEARE AT NOTRE DAME
Actors From The London Stage is a national outreach program of Shakespeare at Notre Dame. Shakespeare at Notre Dame consists of the McMeel Family Chair in Shakespeare Studies, the Shakespeare in Prisons Network, the Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival, Actors From The London Stage, ancillary lectures and events, and library collections. Shakespeare at Notre Dame’s mission is to serve as a pre-eminent venue for the study and performance of the works of Shakespeare, providing Notre Dame and the wider community with an on-campus culture steeped in the works of William Shakespeare — both on the page and on the stage.
Mary Irene Ryan Family Executive Director: Scott Jackson
General Manager: Debra Gasper
Audience Development Manager: Jason Comerford
Ryan Producing Artistic Director for the Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival: Grant Mudge