Production Profiles: Dancer Leanna Ferguson

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As part of our continuing series production profiles we take a look at Leanna Ferguson. Leanna will be appearing in the new production Black Spartacus when it comes to the Courtyard Theatre in August.

Born and raised in the west London area (white city). Dancing has been something she has been interested in since the age of 7 having developed a great love music and a love of how it makes her feel emotionally as well as physically. She soon started performing with others her age within her community centres.

Leanna then began to go on to big stage performances with four other girls calling themselves G.W.I up until the age of 14. At the age of 16 then went on to performing with a group called Bigga Fish showcasing at some of London big events including the Big Lottery, East London’s park festivals, London millennium dome.

This lead to opportunities for Leanna to teach and support workshops and summer programmes a year into joining the group, due to the success of the these programs and workshops her ideas were implemented into all performances. The style of dance that they specialised in was Street/Hip-Hop.

She currently practices a number of dance styles including Hip Hop, Street, Dancehall, Contemporary and African/Caribbean fusion. Along her journey she has found her dancing to be somewhat of a fusion of various dance styles mixed into one vocabulary. About it she says “Its a language you feel not just hear. Dancing from your head to your toes makes shivers go down your spine, whether they glide or jump it makes you want to get up and do it to.”

Leanna loves the fact that dance makes others express themselves and feel free. Teaching dance alongside dancing with others provides a humble felling within herself knowing the Arts changes lives for the better.

In the future Leanna business goal is to have opened up her own dance casting Agency along with an dance wear clothing shop specifically specialising in dance groups only, providing all needs that may be required from customised clothing down to all types of foot wear.

Tickets to Black Spartacus are available here

for updates follow us on social media

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BlackSpartacusPlay

Twitter: https://twitter.com/theeblackswan1

Production Profiles: Musician Zozo Shuaibu

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As part of our continuing series production profiles we take a look at musician Mohammed Shuaibu aka Zozo Shuaibu. Zozo’s musical performance will be a key part of the play Black Sparatcus.

Zozo Shuaibu is a singer, multi-instrumentalist, writer, storyteller and music producer, born in Sierra Leone of Nigerian parents.

He has worked extensively with bands, theatre and dance companies in Africa and the UK, and is much in demand for his experience and expertise in song writing, composing, music production, performances and workshops in schools.

His recording career started as the lead singer for Sabanoh 75 in Sierra Leone with hit songs Carry on, Konko , Dance to me and many more. He later moved to Nigeria where as a recording artiste and session musician with E.M.I. Nigeria Ltd he recorded two albums.

In his Kuzari studio in London he has recorded many albums and his latest album is on iTunes titled Lagos 2 Freetown.

Over many years, Zozo has contributed immensely to projects like Black History Month with Irie Dance Theatre. West African Drumbeats programme with Cumbria Music Services that has achieved national recognition for innovative and excellent practice, and has involved over 300 schools throughout the UK.

He also composed and performed music for Expressive Software Projects Ltd who specialise in music software for schools’ The Dums International’. He has been a key practitioner in projects organised by the Creative Partnerships in London and Cumbria.

Zozo is an expert storyteller drawing on his West African Heritage and his own creativity. His stories are very popular in schools and some of them can be found on the tune-in.org website.

Tickets to see Zozo perform in Black Spartacus are available here

for updates follow us on social media

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BlackSpartacusPlay

Twitter: https://twitter.com/theeblackswan1

Production Profiles: Cast Member Devon Morgan

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As part of our continuing series production profiles we take a look at actor Devon Morgan. Devon will be playing the role of Biassou, a rebel leader in the play Black Spartacus.

Devon Morgan is without doubt one of the most active contributor to British black theatre. He has written, directed, produced and acted in a string of plays that brought delighted audiences real home town drama and comedy, including: Johnny Dollar (Reggae musical) Backslider and Oh Happy Days (Gospel musicals); hilarious comedies: Princess Black; Push comes to shove; Jealousy; Rhatid; Massive; Rasanova; Double Trouble; Just a visa mi want; and more serious  plays such as: Keep the love alive; Single black and proud; and Earth angels.

Devon has not only used his versatility as an actor/director but as a writer/producer, creating fun and laughter by varying themes, moods, and social awareness through his theatrical genius.

Devon is a man of immense talent. He is a hard and dedicated professional of the arts and is a real asset to British black theatre. His credits include Channel 4 comedy “Blouse and Skirt” with Oliver Samuels, appearances on the sitcom “Desmond” and novelist.

Tickets to Black Spartacus are available here

for updates follow us on social media

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BlackSpartacusPlay

Twitter: https://twitter.com/theeblackswan1

Production Profiles: Cast Member Ben O’Toole

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As part of our continuing series production profiles we take a look at actor Ben O’Toole. Ben will be playing the role of Comte de Charlevoix, a Plantation Owner in the play Black Spartacus.

Having started out Studying Drama at the University of Hull and having a sudden change of heart deciding to change to another course of Religion & Sociology Ben has now returned to his former passion first and foremost which is the participation in the diverse, challenging and rewarding role one feels on stage. Having been in Productions such as ‘The Pillow Man’ written by Martin McDonagh, ‘Blood Brothers’ written by Willy Russell and finally ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ written by Howard Ashman. Ben is looking forward to this great opportunity to be involved in a production which is highlighting such an historical moment and depiction of the inspirational life of the real ‘Black Spartacus’ Toussaint L’ourverture

Tickets to Black Spartacus are available here

for updates follow us on social media

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BlackSpartacusPlay

Twitter: https://twitter.com/theeblackswan1

Production Profiles: Cast Member Philippe De Paris

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As part of our continuing series production profiles we take a look at actor Philippe De Paris. Philippe will be playing two roles in the play Black Spartacus; General Laveaux a French Soldier and Governor of St Domingue as well as Bayon de Libertat the Master of the Breda Plantation.

Originally from France, Philippe started acting at a very young age. He continue into his late teens before being offered a modelling contract. He continued to work as a model until he moved to London in 1989. A few years ago Philippe rekindled his passion for acting and started attending various courses and classes, from RADA to Method Acting. He wanted to see if the spark  he once had for acting was still there and also how he would fare with the challenge of acting in a language that wasn’t his mother tongue. He must have been doing something right as he has already been cast in a number of independent short and feature films including “Sophia Lazzati”, “The Attachment”  and “An Angel At Christmas”. “An Angel At Christmas” has been picked up by film festivals around the world and received 3 nominations at the Madrid International Film Festival.

At the moment Philippe is in the process of filming another two projects and will be taking to the London stage for the first time in Black Spartacus. On being in Black Spartacus Philippe has said

“The reason why I was attracted to play those characters was because of the challenge of playing two different parts in one play, but also being born in France the subject of the play is a part of my history which I must admit,  knew very little about.”

Tickets to see Philippe in Black Spartacus are available here

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Twitter: https://twitter.com/theeblackswan1

Production Profiles: Cast Member Claire Jeater

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As part of our continuing series production profiles we take a look at actress Claire Jeater. Claire will be playing the role of Madame de Libertat the wife of Bayon de Libertat, Master of the Breda Plantation in the on stage production of Black Spartacus.

Claire was part of the original team workshopping and recording Black Spartacus for radio.

Most recently Claire played Grace Kingsley in the thriller Fatal Encounter at the Gordon Craig Theatre Stevenage, Goneril in Phil Willmott’s “Lear” at the Union Theatre, Southwark and this time last year she was entertaining up to 800 people a night playing Frika the Goddess of Marriage in an ensemble production of “The Ring Cycle” at the Scoop, the free open-air theatre on the South Bank (nominated for an Offie for best ensemble).

She trained at Guildford School of Acting where she was chosen by the extraordinary director Leah Thys to play Olga in “Three Sisters” graduating in 1993. Her first job was playing Helena in Bedford Theatre Company’s beautiful open-air production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” shortly followed by a stint in panto as Dandini. She went on to play Laura in “The Woman Who Cooked Her Husband” directed by John Forgeham and the title role in “Candida”.

Lots of touring followed playing the wicked Miss Minchin in “A Little Princess”, Witch One in “The Witches” and Ladybird in a ten month tour of “James & the Giant Peach” both for Birmingham Stage. At the Canal Cafe and Edinburgh she received outstanding reviews for her portrayal of an alcoholic ex-Miss UK in the musical comedy “Everyone Loves Me”. When Claire lived in South East London she played Lady Macbeth at the Broadway Theatre Catford and joined Caribbean theatre company, Blue Mountain to play Desdemona in their tour of “The Perfect Blackman”, she also went to Dubai with UKTT to play Jacqueline in “Don’t Dress for Dinner” and understudied all the female roles in “Charley’s Aunt” directed by the late Mel Smith for Bath Theatre Royal.

Roles at the open-air lakeside theatre at Hever Castle include; Miss Gibson in “Daisy Pulls it Off”, Ruth in “Blithe Spirit”, Mary in “Caught in the Net”and Jackie in “Hayfever”.

Radio work includes the Empress Drusilla in “Not Tonight Caligula” directed by John Antrobus for Wireless Theatre and Madame Libertat in “Black Spartacus” directed by Joseph Charles for Thee Black Swan. Claire was a regular co-presenter with Henry Kelly on “Clubhouse” an audio magazine for blind golfers (Radio 5-Live)

Film credits include Margaret in “Caregiver” (Star Cinema), Vanessa in “Women & Babies” (Tailormade Films).

She can currently be seen in the advert break on “Long Lost Family” (ITV) towing a delightful 1960s caravan.

Tickets for Black Spartacus are available here

for updates follow us on social media

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BlackSpartacusPlay

Twitter: https://twitter.com/theeblackswan1

Production Profiles: Cast Member Carmelita Bennett

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As part of our continuing series production profiles we take a look at Carmelita Bennett. Twenty two year old Dance Graduate Carmelita will be appearing in the new production Black Spartacus when it comes to the Courtyard Theatre in August.

Carmelita started dancing before she was even three years old and at the age of five performed within The Carol Straker Dance foundation in the production of ‘In Celebration of My Sisters’ at the Royal Albert Hall in the late 90’s. She went on to study dance and has taken part in many dance troupes in London before going on to join the Tropical Isles Carnival Band.

Performing at Alexander Palace, Nottinghill Carnival, The Place London, Laban, Southbank, The curve Theater Leicester and various other locations in and across London, Carmelita has, as of this July, graduated from De Montfort University Studying dance and wishes to push further into developing her skills and perform professionally.

Continuing the passion her dad had for ballroom dance, Carmelita takes a keen interested in mainly contemporary dance, but is a lover of all styles and participates in all forms when possible. As she recently graduated Carmelita is planning to continue her education by pursuing entrance to dance intensive courses in New York for the next Academic year.

To see Carmelita in Black Spartacus, tickets are available here

For updates follow us on social media

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BlackSpartacusPlay

Twitter: https://twitter.com/theeblackswan1