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Tour 2006 UK: Cast

The Cast

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Richard Burton

George Herbert, The Journalist

Richard Burton was an international star of the stage, motion pictures and the spoken word. As a player upon the major stages of Great Britain, Canada and the United States, his voice and visage was universally known.

He was one of the rare actors whose professional accomplishments met the challenge of classic stage literature including roles which grow and mature throughout an actor’s lifetime.

The consummate actor began life as the son of a coal miner in Pontrhydyfen (pronounced Pontradeven), South Wales.

Over the years, Mr Burton gathered seven Academy Award nominations for Best Actor in such diverse motion pictures as Becket, The Spy Who Came In From The Cold, Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf, Anne Of A Thousand Days and Equus.

The 47 motion pictures that he made include Alexander The Great, Circle Of Two, The Night Of The Iguana, The Taming Of The Shrew, Where Eagles Dare, Under Milk Wood, Tristan And Iseult, The Wild Geese, and his last, 1984. His most popular recordings were Shakespeare’s Coriolanus, The Love Poems Of John Donne, The Poetry Of Thomas Hardy, The Little Prince, A Personal Anthology, Shakespeare’s The Rape Of Lucrece, all of Dylan Thomas’s works, and Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version Of The War of The Worlds.

A Commander of the British Empire, he was also a Don and Fellow of St Peter’s College, Oxford University. Richard Burton was married to former Freelance Production Assistant, Sally Anne Hay when he passed away on 5th August 1984 at his home in Celigny, Switzerland.

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Tara Blaise

Beth, Parson Nathaniel’s Wife

Tara grew up in County Wicklow, Ireland. She studied Speech and Drama up to grade eight with The Royal Irish Academy of Music and graduated from The Gaiety School of Acting in Dublin in 2003.

Her singing career began at 16 when she formed Les Legumes, but it was when much-vaunted band Kaydee sought her out that she began to make waves. Their album was re-recorded to feature Tara’s unique vocal style and released to very positive reviews.

A call from a mutual friend hooked Tara up with John Hughes (manager of The Corrs). Struck by her individual approach to melody and lyric writing, Hughes offered her an album deal on his own Spokes label. The result is Dancing On Tables Barefoot, which features the unmistakeable Tara Blaise sound allied to a range of styles, from meditative to out and out pop.

The album was released in the summer of 2005 and the Sunday Times said: “Pretty much everything here could be a single.”

Tara has appeared live at The Isle Of Wight Festival, T In The Park, Kinross, V Festivals, Chelmsford & Staffs and in Ireland at the Oxegen Festival. She headlined London’s Bush Hall in September 2005, and has just finished her first headlining Irish tour.

Next single is a new remix of stunning track Paperback Cliché.

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Justin Hayward

The Sung Thoughts Of The Journalist

No one who has ever experienced Justin Hayward singing will have forgotten the plaintive, soaring quality of his voice or the crystal clear guitar solos.

Justin is the vocalist, lead guitarist and composer for The Moody Blues in an era that has spanned 38 years and sold 55 million albums. He wrote their two-million seller, Nights In White Satin, and earned the group a succession of platinum, gold and silver records, as well as numerous awards for compositions such as Question, Tuesday Afternoon, The Voice, Blue Guitar, Your Wildest Dreams and I Know You’re Out There Somewhere.

In 1974 Justin received the first of a number of ASCAP awards for his work as a songwriter and it is these that he treasures most, for they represent recognition from his peers. In 1978 Justin had a hit single with “Forever Autumn” from “The War of The Worlds” album. In 2004 he was awarded the Gold Badge Award from The British Academy Of Songwriters.

With his beautiful melodies, unique guitar phrases and a kaleidoscope of musical styles and textures, he maintains a flourishing solo career with albums such as Songwriter, Blue Jays, Nightflight produced by Jeff Wayne, Classic Blue, Moving Mountains, The View From The Hill and a CD & DVD of Live at San Juan Capistrano which includes a solo performance of Forever Autumn. He has recently released An Audience with Justin Hayward at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame DVD.

Justin continues to record and tour with the Moody Blues throughout out the world and they will be touring the UK at the end of the year.

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Alexis James

The Artilleryman

Alexis was part of the HTV drama workshop in South Wales before moving to London to attend the BRIT School of Performing Arts. His West End debut was playing the Narrator Gringoire in Notre Dame De Paris as part of the original cast at the Dominion Theatre. He then created the role of Tybalt in Romeo et Juliette -The Musical at the Piccadilly Theatre. His trio of French musicals was completed by appearing in Les Miserables understudying and playing the Student Leader Enjolras, including the final performance at the Palace Theatre and the rebirth, under John Caird’s direction, at the Queens Theatre. During this, he was fortunate enough to appear alongside Dame Judi Dench for one night only!

Other theatre credits include: Broken Journey, Viva Ibiza, Romancing, Walk With The Angels, A Life in the Daze of Stanley Bishop and A Generation Arises.

TV credits include: Mike Bassett England Manager (BBC), A Dance to the Music of Time (Channel 4); A Generation Arises (BBC Wales); The Tribe (Deep City Films).

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Chris Thompson

The Voice Of Humanity

In 1975 Chris joined Manfred Mann’s Earthband and was with them until 1986. During that time he enjoyed a number of hit singles, including Blinded by the Light and Davy’s on the Road Again, the former being a number one around the world; and albums The Roaring Silence (1976), Watch (1978), Angel Station (1979), Chance (1980), Somewhere in Africa (1982), Live In Budapest (1983) and Criminal Tango (1986).

In 1979 Chris formed his own band Night which released two albums, Night (1979) and Long Distance (1981) and produced two top twenty hits Hot Summer Night and If you Remember Me.

In 1989 Chris wrote and performed the official championship song of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships The Challenge, which reached number one in Germany. In 1994 he sang the theme from the successful German TV series Florida Lady. This series also gave birth to a brand new recording of Blinded By the Light.

Chris toured extensively with MMEB 1975 to 1986 and Night 1979 to 1983. After 1986 Chris recorded and toured under his own name and with Alan Parsons. Chris also worked with Queen and other Artists on the 46664 Nelson Mandella Aids benefit concert in Capetown, November 2003.

For the last two years Chris has been working on a Multi Media / Musical project entitled Rediscovery due to be released in 2006.

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Russell Watson

Parson Nathaniel

A lifelong Manchester United fan, Russell’s big break came in May 1999 when he was invited to Old Trafford to sing before United’s Premiership-winning match. His performance of Nessun Dorma received a standing ovation. The Decca Music Group quickly signed him and in September 2000 his debut The Voice was released to huge acclaim.

This 1.5 million-seller went on to win Classical Brit awards for Best Classical Album and Best Classical Debut album and was only knocked off the No. 1 spot by his follow-up Encore a year later.

Encore went double Platinum in the UK (where it was at No. 1 in the classical charts for 30 weeks), double platinum in New Zealand, Platinum in Ireland and Gold in Singapore with over 1.7 million albums sold. Russell won a further two Classical Brit Awards for Best Classical Album and Male Artist of the Year.

Third album Reprise was released in 2002, went Platinum in the UK within two weeks, reaching No. 13 in the pop charts and No. 1 in the classical charts, but Russell felt follow-up Amore Musica truly reflected the core of him: “It’s about Russell Watson singing from the heart and I don’t think I’ve ever done that before.”

Russell’s new album ‘The Voice – The Ultimate Collection’ has recently been released, going straight to Number 2 in the main album charts. His 20 date ‘Ultimate Tour’ has just been announced for November/December so it is set to be a very busy year!

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Anna-Marie Wayne

Carrie, George Herbert’s Fiancée

Anna-Marie started acting in her young teens, guest starring in the TV comedies The Upper Hand, alongside Honor Blackman, and Mr Bean, with Rowan Atkinson. She went on to train at the Guildford School of Acting and, upon graduation, played Elisa in Solitary Confinement at the West End’s ICA The Mall.

Since then she has played the lead role of Laly in Best Friends (New End Theatre 2005/Edinburgh Festival 2002), Roberta in The Railway Children (King’s Head Theatre), and lead roles in Slow Train To Izmir (Southwark Playhouse), The Rival Queens (Union Theatre), The Little Tragedies (Total Studios), The Passing Out Parade (Etcetera Theatre) and The Crucible (Electric Theatre).

Recent film work includes the lead role of Jacque in Number One Longing, Number Two Regret, alongside Jenny Agutter, as well as Who Flew Over What? from Tonic Films, Screen Yorkshire’s Ironwerkz and Getting Shirty (finalist in London’s Sci-Fi Festival).

She has spent the last 18 months in Los Angeles where she has filmed a number of short films and commercials and has just signed to play the lead role of Violet in a new romantic comedy feature film Easier To Love.

Anna-Marie is delighted to be part of the three generations of the Wayne family whose performances appear in the show – herself, Jeff and her grandfather, Jerry.


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