Ying Tong Bios

Roy Smiles
Roy Smiles (Author) is from West London.
Ying Tong premiered at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in October 2004  and then transferred to the New Ambassadors Theatre in the West End  in February 2005.
Recent theatre credits include: Stand Up, The Little Green Monkey  Club (Old Red Lion), Bombing People (Jermyn Street), Promised Land,  Top Of The Town (Kings Head); and Roberto Calvi Is Alive & Well  (Finborough), which won a Guiness Fringe Theatre Award.
He has had a playwriting attachment to the National Theatre Studio  and has been the resident playwright at both the Warehouse Theatre in  Croydon and Jermyn Street Theatre in Piccadilly.
Ying Tong is the first part of his “Dead Comedians” trilogy, the  other two being The Bitter End (Groucho Marx/Lenny Bruce) and The Lad  Himself  (Tony Hancock) which will be going on a first class UK tour  next year.

Robert De Fries
Robert de Fries (Spike Milligan) is from Newcastle. He began his theatre life in Goulburn in 1987. He has appeared in many Canberra productions since 2001, working with Free Rain, Canberra Rep, Huitker Movement Theatre, New Century. Those productions include Black Comedy, 12 Angry Men, Things We Do For Love, Learning Curve, Dealer’s Choice, Pass The Butler, I Never Sang For My Father, Banana Bread. He has also had several appearances at the Street Theatre’s Bunch of Fives, and at the Multicultural Fringe Festival.  Robert’s sanity levels are very different from Spike Milligan’s (one could say polar opposites, but then Spike was bipolar), so he has looked for some other point of commonality, and has easily found it - Spike was also a staunch campaigner against muzak and other unnecessary environmental noise.

Steven Kennedy
Steven Kennedy (Peter Sellers) joins the Rude Mechanicals from the Canberra based
Commedia Del'Arte group - Troupe Dart. With Troup Dart Steven performed at the 2006 National Folk, National Multicultural and Adelaide Fringe Festivals as the tragically downtrodden, working class hero Pulcinella.
In 2005 he played the head kicking megalomaniac Inspector Truscott in Joe Orton's LOOT and has also appeared in 2 feature films and 15 short films.
Steven has an undiagnosed split personality disorder - something which
has put him in good stead to play the many characters made famous by Peter Sellers
Robbie Matthews
Robbie Matthews (Harry Secombe) recently performed at the National Folk Festival with the Canberra Union Voices.  He has appeared in NUTS presents: 'One Night Only', and 'The Adventures of Boy President' at the Multicultural Fringe, as well as performing in a series of radio plays for Artsound FM. When not acting or singing, he is the Editor in Chief of The Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine
(and webmaster for Rude Mechanicals)

He feels a connection to Harry because they both enjoyed their grub...
John Honey
John Honey (Wallace Greenslade) has acted in over 35 productions, mainly for Canberra Repertory where he was recently in Sly Fox, Comic Potential, Bus Stop, The Madness of George III and Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde. John was in New Century Productions’ When In Rome and Twelve Angry Men. He was Salieri in Free Rain’s acclaimed production of Amadeus. He is also Treasurer of Canberra Rep.

John feels a connection with the “ever patient, dignified announcer” Wallace Greenslade as he once was a part time newsreader on Canberra television.

Ian Hart
Ian Hart (Director)
I started directing plays and revues in the early 1960s for UNSW Dramsoc, but since then I’ve mainly been a film and video director and producer in exotic locations. Over the past 35 years I seem to have accumulated about 60 productions shot in Australia, Europe, Russia, SE Asia and China. However, in recent times the siren song of live theatre has turned my head and I find myself back on the boards as an actor or behind the scenes as a director or multimedia designer for groups such as Hong Kong Players, American Community Theatre and Canberra Repertory. This new venture with The Rude Mechanicals is another step into the risky realm of entrepreneurial theatre where we aim to première new works and re-interpret venerable classics.

Luisa Pauletto (Costumes and ASM) has been involved with theatre on and off since she made her first appearance as Tweedledum in Alice in Wonderland (Cooma Little Theatre) in 1996.  Since then she has graduated to more substantial nonsense, with roles in such plays as A Streetcar Named Desire (The Method Group) and Summer of the Aliens (NUTS), and she directed Much Ado About Nothing (Ursula College) in 2002.  She also hangs around film sets whenever she can get away with it.  Luisa has a Major in Theatre Studies from the ANU and now spends much of her time selling tickets, manning the bar and generally organizing the front office at the Tuggeranong Arts Centre. 
Ying Tong marks Luisa’s debut in costume design.  She would like to thank the kind gentlemen of The Rude Mechanics for having her along, and promises not to look during Steven’s nude scene.

Mal Houston
Mal Houston (Production Manager/Stage Manager)
  My interest in Theatre really only started with my joining Canberra Repertory in 1991 and since then it has all been go, go go!
I have served on Rep's Council for some 14 years, six of which as President (and currently Vice President).  My other activities include a one off acting stint as Forman of the Jury in 'Twelve Angry Men', Production manager for various Rep shows, Front of House convenor, and, a one off Stage Manager for a series of one act plays by Christopher Durang for Rep Studio.
I am really enjoying the experience of working with a great group of people in 'YIng Tong'  I am confident  that our show will be a wonderful success.
Spike Milligan
Spike Milligan
Directors Notes:
Spike Milligan – his part in my downfall *

1956, a boarding school in Armidale: every Sunday a small, spotty ex-Boy Scout listens to The Goon Show after lights-out on a crystal set under the bedclothes. At recess the following day he joins a cabal of more spotty would-be Goons to reproduce the show from memory, with all the voices. Ripple dissolve to 1962 and our wannabe Bluebottle is in Sydney directing plays and revues for UNSW Dramsoc and Spike Milligan is in Australia writing Idiots Weekly for the ABC.  Spike receives an invitation to the last night of the University Revue. Much to everyone’s amazement Spike and Patricia appear in the audience and then at the party afterwards. Moriarty crits the show, Jim Spriggs sings, Eccles presides over the destruction of a piano, Patricia takes Spike home… what a night. Six months later Spike is admitted to hospital in London with yet another bout of depression.

Having been touched by the sacred finger of goonery, how could I resist Roy Smiles’ funny and incisive play about Spike and The Goons. I hope you enjoy watching it as much as we enjoy bringing it to life..

* See Spike Milligan's books "Adolf Hitler: My Part in His Downfall",  "Mussolini: His Part in My Downfall" and "Rommel?  Gunner Who?"

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