MICHAEL STRASSEN (Director)

 

Michael's production of Sondheim's Assassins at The Union Theatre last year won the prestigious Off West End Award for Best Production, also attaining Critics Choice and Show of the Week in Time Out. Earlier this year he directed a new production of Godspell to mark it's 40th anniversary.


Michael trained at the Guildford School of Acting. On graduating he went into the original cast of 'Miss Saigon' at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane. He went on to work at The Bristol Old Vic, Newcastle Opera House, Theatre Royal Plymouth and Leicester Haymarket. Productions include 'Sweeney Todd', 'Piaf' (Jacko), 'Jesus Christ Superstar' (Simon/Judas), 'The Golden Ass', 'Poppy', 'Lonely Hearts', 'Sleeping Beauty' (Henry), 'You're a Good Man Charlie Brown' (Linus), 'Yakety-Yak!' (Javett), 'The Pirates of Penzance' (Frederic), 'Pacific Overtures', 'Rock Hard' (Rock) and 'Hot Stuff' (Joe Soap). 'Hot Stuff' went on to be a No. 1 UK tour. Other West End credits include 'Les Miserables' (Marius), 'Jesus Christ Superstar' at the Lyceum, (Simon Zeolotes), and 'Oscar' at the Shaw Theatre (Robert Ross). He played Bernard in 'Jean de Florette' at the Young Vic and recorded a new version of Dickens' 'Hard Times' for Imagination/BBC as Tom. He appeared in concert with Ruthie Henshall and Bernadette Peters at the Royal Festival Hall. Michael also appears in 'Hey, Mr Producer!', (DVD/Video) celebrating Cameron Mackintosh's contribution to world theatre.


Working with Stephen Sondheim was a personal high point for Michael. He did this at Oxford University during Sondheim's professorship there. Michael played several leading roles, including the role of Yussupov, to much acclaim from the highly accomplished audience, which included Sondheim, Lionel Bart, Cameron Mackintosh and many other of the world's leading director/producers.


Michael was asked to sing Marius in 'Les Miserable's for the VE Day Anniversary at Hyde Park attended by the Royal Family and an audience of 250,000. The concert was broadcast worldwide by BBC Television. Christmas 2005 he was invited to sing at Windsor Castle for President Chirac's state visit in a special presentation of 'Les Miserable's.


Michael executive-produced Ruthie Henshall's solo CD, 'Pilgrim' and two CDs of humorous poetry with Lord Denham and Joanna Lumley '(A Thing of Shreds and Patches/'Victorian Plums'). He worked on the Robert de Niro movie 'The Bridge of San Luis Rey' as co-musical supervisor. and sang on the soundtrack of the Gold Circle-produced major motion picture 'Something Borrowed' starring Debra Messing and Dermot Mulroney. Michael worked with director Jonathan Kent and legendary composer Michel Legrand on the first workshop of 'Marguerite' (Lucien).


Michael directed Ruthie Henshall's first one woman show at the Royal Festival Hall and subsequent UK Tour, then From West End to Broadway which still tours today he then directed the controversial play 'The Pitchfork Disney', by Philip Ridley for the Yvonne Arnaud Mill Studio. He staged and directed 'The Attic', a new musical about old and new toys and their values clashing written by Mark Carroll. This was performed at The Theatre Royal, Haymarket with a West End cast. The cast album is now available.


He staged and directed 'Company' at the Edinburgh Festival, which received five stars from The Scotsman and much acclaim. In 2009 the show was re-produced by The Union, again receiving rave reviews. Michael appeared as himself and produced music and the Youtube top 5 video 'Arm Candy' for comedienne Tricia Walsh Smith for the cult series Pineapple Dance Studios which sold globally and had its finale at the Indigo02 . Last year he performed in Sondheim's 80th Birthday Prom at the Royal Albert Hall and staged the Inspiration Awards at Cadagon Hall. He will stage them again in October this year both in London and Los Angeles. He has just completed the edit of House Pest, a TV pilot which he directed and is working on a TV pilot 'The Show Must Go On' which aims to find funding for under privileged social groups to attend accredited drama schools.

 

www.michaelstrassen.com

 


 

CHRIS MUNDY (Musical Director)

 

Credits include: The Union Theatre - MD/keys 1 on Sweeney Todd (Time Out and Evening Standard Critics' Choice); Assistant Musical Director to Michael England on Company; MD/keys 1 on the all-male The Pirates of Penzance (Time Out Critics' Choice, WHATSONSTAGE winner of Best off-West End Production 2010); Musical Director on the transfer of The Pirates of Penzance to Wilton's Music Hall and The Rose Theatre, Kingston; Musical Supervisor for Assassins (Off-West End Award winner for Best Production 2010); and Musical Director for the next installment of The Union's all-male G&S, Iolanthe, at The Union Theatre and Wilton's Music Hall (Time Out Opera Critics' Choice).


Other work: musically directing the UK premiere of Austentatious at The Landor Theatre; Musical Director for the Snappy Title series, concerts of new musical theatre writing; keys 2 depping on the UK Tour of Evita for Bill Kenwright Ltd; and MD for The Inspiration Awards 2009 at Cadogan Hall, featuring Ruthie Henshall. Chris was invited back to The Inspiration Awards in 2010 as Musical Arranger and Musical Director. In 2010 Chris was also MD/Arranger for Jill Halfpenny Celebrates The Great British Songbook at Wilton's Music Hall.


TV filming includes: rehearsal piano for the BBC television series The Choir: Unsung Town (TwentyTwenty Television), and Titanic: The Mission (TwentyTwenty Television, Channel 4).

 

 

 

 

 


 

STEVE MILLER (Lighting Designer) is the resident lighting designer at the union Theatre, and has been part of the family there for over 10 years. Recent credits include 'The Pirates of Penzance' (Union, Wiltons and The Rose. Winner Best Off-West End Production, Whatsonstage Awards), 'Iolanthe' (Union and Wiltons, Nominated for 3 Offies 2011), 'Company', 'Assassins' (Winner Best Production and Best Sound, Offies 2010), ''A Man of No Importance' (Union and The Arts Theatre WE).

 

Other productions include: 'Once Upon A Time At The Adelphi', 'Sweeney Todd', 'The Mikado', 'Tick Tick Boom', 'H.M.S. Pinafore', 'Macbeth', 'The Pajama Game', 'Irish Blood, English Heart', 'Cloud Nine', 'Confusions', 'Be My Baby' (Also Directed), 'Greengrass', 'Annie Get your Gun', 'All Nudity Shall Be Punished', 'Little Boy' (Also Directed), 'Prose & Cons'.

 

Steve is very happy to be working with Michael Strassen again having enjoyed their previous shows together immensely.

 

Steve will be heading to Liverpool in October to direct the play 'Albert's Sister' at the Actors Studio.

 

 


 

KINGSLEY HALL (Costume Designer) was born in Africa and raised in Switzerland. Ever since a young age he has had a love of all things theatrical. He learned to sew from his mum and trained as a sculptor at school in Switzerland and has been surprised at how useful both skills have been throughout his life. He went on to train as a performer at Bird College in London and has worked as such in TV and theatre in the UK and America. Most recently he designed the costumes for 'Dames at Sea' here at The Union.

 

 


 

ROY TAN (Official Photographer)

 

As one who has been an Art Director in several top advertising agencies, one can easily see how that has influenced Roy's photographic work. He now spends his time mainly as a portrait photographer. But when time allows, his other passion takes him to the musical theatre. Here, he captures special moments in time to be immortalized. Roy also lends time to The Theatre Guild, as well as supports Dress Circle in Covent Garden, by being their official photographer. You can see many of Roy's exclusive images on westendtheatre.com and in Musical Stages magazine.

 

At the moment, Roy is preparing his book and photo exhibition, showcasing people that have contributed to making the theatre such a magical place. Artists, one may easily recognise, that have been photographed so far, include Bea Arthur, Chaim Topol, Chita Rivera, Elaine Stritch, Julie Walters, Michael Ball, Ruthie Henshall... to name but a few.

 

Over the last 10 years, nearly all the West End musical photo-calls have seen Roy's presence. He has also been the Official Photographer for a few noted West End productions and some off West End / touring productions, these include : Jerry Herman's The Best of Times, Shout - the musical, Salad Days, Annie, Cats, Godspell, My Fair Lady, South Pacific, The Sound of Music, Sweeney Todd and Liza Minnelli in Concert, for Ms Minnelli's official website.

 

You can see more of Roy's work at www.roytan.zenfolio.com

 

 


 

SASHA REGAN (Producer) founded the Union Theatre in 1998, converting a derelict paper warehouse into a studio theatre with bar and café. Most recently the Union was nominated for The Peter Brook, Empty Space Awards – Best Studio Space 2010. The Union did win the Best Up-and-coming Studio at the same Awards in 2008.


Sasha Regan, starting directing at University, where she gained a 2:1 in Drama. Her first play out of college was ‘Can’t Stand Up for Falling Down’ at the Birds Nest in Deptford. Theatre directing credits include; ‘We’re all doing Time’ (CRITICS CHOICE), ‘Chelinot’ (SUNDAY TIMES CRITICS CHOICE), Kander & Ebb’s ‘Cabaret’, ‘Sweeney Todd’ (CRITICS CHOICE) and ‘Pirates of Penzance’ (WINNER OF THE WHAT’S ON STAGE, BEST OFF WEST END PRODUCTION, 2010). After performing at The Prince of Wales Theatre for the What’s on Stage Awards, the Pirates then transferred to the beautiful Wilton’s in the spring of 2010 and then moved to The Rose Theatre in Kingston.


Most recently she directed ‘Iolanthe’ (CRITICS CHOICE). Iolanthe was recommended as one of TIME OUT’s top 10 musicals of 2010. Iolanthe transferred to Wilton’s where it received great reviews and full houses. Iolanthe has been nominated for ‘Best Production’ in this year’s offwestend.com Awards.


Sasha was incredibly pleased to be nominated in 2010 as Best Director in the BroadwayWorld.com Awards, where she was nominated alongside directors of such notable shows such as, Legally Blonde, Priscilla, Love Never Dies, Sweet Charity and Hair.


Sasha produces as one half of Regan De Wynter Productions. Their most recent successes have been ‘Dames at Sea’, ‘Iolanthe’, ‘Pirates of Penzance’, ‘Company’, ‘Absent Friends’ and ‘A Man of No Importance’, which transferred to The Arts Theatre in London’s West End in February 2010. Most recently ‘Assassins’ won the award for ‘Best Production’ in the offwestend.com Awards 2010. Both ‘Iolanthe’ and Michael Strassen’s production of ‘Godspell’ have been nominated for Best Production of 2011 in the offwestend.com awards 2011.


Sasha won the Stage One Bursary for New Producers in 2010.


Sasha is a married working mum, with two daughters, Bea and Nellie Regan.

 

 


 

PAUL CALLEN (Associate Producer) trained as an actor at the London School of Musical Theatre. Whilst performing in The Union Theatre's production of 'Sweeney Todd' he thought The Union would be the perfect place to transfer the critically acclaimed production of 'Company' he had been involved in at The Edinburgh Festival. Last year he co-produced Stephen Sondheim's 'Assassins' (Best Production/Off West End Awards 2011). Earlier this year he was Production Manager for The Union Theatre's transfer of 'Iolanthe' to Wilton's Music Hall and Associate Producer on Stephen Schwartz's 'Godspell'. In October Paul will be assisting Michael Strassen on the 'Inspiration Awards' here in London and LA.