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Julia Goodman

Coming home to West Sussex has been one of the great pleasures of my life.  I  grew up here, going to the Villa Maria convent school in Bognor.  My parents were already well known in the world of theatre and the arts, and I naturally followed in their footsteps. 

A group of us (including Pat Hastings, who is now, years later, a member of Voices in Performance) started the Attic Theatre group, which used to meet behind the fish and chip shop in North Street, Chichester.  Mike Elphick, David Wood, Julian Sluggett, Tom Chadbon and many others who were to go on to fame and glory started there.  I played with the Chichester Players with my mother Pearl, a memorable Blanche in A Streetcar named Desire.  I then joined the original company of the Chichester Festival Theatre, working in a wide range of capacities with some of the greatest actors of all time.  This is where Rod Beacham (another VIP) and I first met: he in the original Laurence Olivier company, with Mike Gambon, Albert Finney, Michael Redgrave … Rod and Mike Gambon were spear carriers.  I was an usherette.

I then moved to London and the Central Drama School, was ‘discovered’ by television and made series such as The Brothers, The Lotus Eaters and Fanny by Gaslight and the film Those Glory, Glory Days.  In theatre I played Lady Macbeth, Rosalind and Bianca with the British Actors Theatre Company and The Bristol Old Vic, then further TV appearances in Coronation Street, Eastenders, Inspector Morse, Minder and … I’ve forgotten most of the rest …

In 1989 I founded Personal Presentation Ltd.  The company uses specially trained actors to deliver a unique brand of personal communication coaching, and, outside of Voices in Performance, consumes most of my (and husband Mark’s) time!

One of our members, Christine West, wrote The Burning of the Tyger, in which, in 1977, I played William Blake’s wife Catherine with Peter Baldwin as Blake and Rod Beacham as Hayley, in the Priory in Priory Park, in the first ever Chichester Festivities!

Voices in Performance is the perfect combination for me of friends old and new, of experience and experimentation, of fresh shoots from long established roots.  It’s like coming full circle, and coming home.

Mark Mason-Jones

My experience with Voices in Performance has brought home to me the power of performing poetry, out loud; this is a completely different experience from just reading it quietly to yourself, and really brings out its magic and makes you connect to it in a completely different way.  After graduating from Cambridge I travelled round France for many years building barns before coming to my senses (?), taking an MBA and moving into marketing and management consultancy.  I’ve been helping my wife Julia (Goodman) run Personal Presentation Ltd. since 1994.   Before Village Voices and later the VIPs, my experience of public performance had been limited to singing on the beach with my granddaughter Jasmine and the occasional school production about three hundred years ago (and my only claim to any sort of Thespian fame was from marrying the wife!).  But I’ve really enjoyed the various performances of poetry we’ve done to schools, William Blake, War and now Love! 

Christine West

Born in Britain and raised in Canada, Christine returned for post-graduate studies in Drama Education at the Central School of Speech and Drama, London where she met her ex husband, Julian Sluggett, who introduced her to the Attic Theatre ‘gang’: Julia, Mike, Tom, David, Patrick (their best man), Bob Clench et al. She too worked a season at the CFT - on the switchboard!

Julian and Bob were inspired to reunite as many Attic members as possible for Chichester’s 9th Centenary; thus Reunion Theatre Company was born. Christine jumped at the chance to research a favourite poet, writing and directing The Burning of the Tyger about William Blake’s crucial experiences in Felpham, West Sussex from 1800-1803. The play was performed in the Priory, Priory Park, where Blake’s trial actually took place, for the first Festivities, and enjoyed a popular reprise the second year. Rod Beacham played both Hayley, Blake’s patron, and, the drunken soldier who accused him of treason.

Christine’s career has largely been in drama education as a teacher, advisor and academic. Her writing includes book adaptations for young people in schools, colleges and arts centres. She has also devised and directed for schools, youth theatres and theatre for children groups. In the mid ‘80s, another Attic Theatre alumnus, Richard Noyce, then director of Newbury Community Arts Centre, was instrumental in her being commissioned to research and write the first community theatre venture in Newbury. The resultant play, Martyrs, explored the motives behind the three men burned at the stake under ‘bloody’ Mary. The late great Chichester-based medieval scholar and educationalist, Dr John Fines, passionate about drama education and then teaching at Bishop Otter College, was magnificent at deciphering and translating the original trial documents Christine and the research team had amazingly rediscovered.

Christine was delighted to get involved in a project to celebrate the 250th anniversary of Blake’s birth. Originally planned as a restaging of The Burning of the Tyger, the project morphed into a poetry event for the enthusiastic Village Voices group. New research and re-writing of the narrative resulted in ‘William Blake – a celebration’ and the formation of an ‘official’ spin off group, ‘Voices In Performance’.

An enthusiastic amateur silversmith, she has been delighted to discover that she shares Clare’s interest and respects her expertise.

Patrick Hastings

Patrick Hastings was at school in Chichester in the early Sixties and caught the excitement of the foundation of the Festival Theatre. He was part of the Attic Theatre Company, a youth group still fondly remembered. He appeared with Julia in Billy Liar. Patrick was Billy’s friend, Arthur. Julia played one of Billy’s birds.

Patrick’s love of poetry was greatly inspired by the infectious enthusiasm of Charles Pelham, who turned A Level English into a wondrous adventure.

At Oxford, Patrick performed in drama and revue with OUDS. Those were fruitful years and he worked with some of our best known actors, comics and writers, before they started professionally.

Poetry and drama gave Patrick a hinterland whilst following a career in Psychology and Special Education. Now he has more time, Voices In Performance is a chance to do what he loves with old and new friends.

Clare Howard

Clare's career background is mainly in advertising and she spent most of her working life at J Walter Thompson and Yellowhammer advertising agencies.

She started as a secretary and worked her way up to become a television producer making tv and radio commercials; clients have included Guinness, After Eight Mints, Polo Mints, Sunsilk Shampoo, HMV Records, and many others.

Clare has also worked for several years for rock band ‘Genesis’, touring with them, and living and working at their recording studio in Surrey.

As a silversmith she has designed and made jewellery in precious metals and is interested in all the arts.

Peter Green

Peter is a founder member of The Regis Players.  

He has very much enjoyed his association with Village Voices and being 'part of the team' on all four of the William Blake events in Felpham, Chichester, Arundel and West Dean and the production of Carry On Cupid in 2012.

 

 

Honorary Members  

Roger Limb

As a boy Roger hated piano lessons but at the age of twelve he discovered that the piano was a friend and companion, not an adversary. Fortunately his passion for the 88 keys has not been dented by his 50 year relationship with the double bass. He was writing music from an early age, he wrote a piano concerto at the age of 13, well, the first ten bars anyway, and by the age of 15, was doing jazz gigs and regularly playing the bass in orchestral ensembles. During his student years he was musical director on numerous shows including ‘Oklahoma’ and he conducted a performance of ‘Messiah’

After a spell on the continent with a touring jazz band and then a year as a music teacher (John Lydon was a pupil) he managed to find a way into the BBC, working first as a studio manager, then newsreader and television announcer) His interest in composing led him to the BBC Radiophonic Workshop where he spent 20 years writing scores of scores for just about every programme department including a stint on Dr Who.

Since leaving the BBC during the purges of the 1990s, he has been regularly in demand as a jazz musician and accompanist playing at Ronnie Scott's, the Jazz Café and the Isle of Wight Jazz Festival. He recently performed at a concert featuring the Radiophonic repertoire at a sell-out concert at London's Roundhouse. And he continues to write; a musical ‘The Bonnie Prince’ was written and performed in 1999 and he has written several songs for his regular ensemble ‘Jazz Culture’.

John Baily and Veronica Doubleday

Professor John Baily and his wife Veronica Doubleday started their work on Afghan music 30 years ago, when they lived for two and a half years in the city of Herat. Veronica learned singing from a local female vocalist Zainab Herawi, and John learned to play two types of lute, the rubab and dutar, studying with master musicians including Ustad Mohammad Omar and Ustad Rahim Khushnawaz.

Over the years they have worked in Afghan communities around the world and given numerous concerts. They are fluent Farsi speakers and have become widely acclaimed as performers. John’s major publications are Music of Afghanistan: Professional musicians in the city of Herat (1988) and the Freemuse report “Can you stop the birds singing?”  The censorship of music in Afghanistan (2001). Veronica has written a highly accessible narrative ethnography, Three Women of Herat (1988, republished in 2006). They have published CDs of their field recordings with UNESCO, and CDs of their own performances as a husband and wife duo and with their group Ensemble Bakhtar, (with Yusuf Mahmoud on tabla drums and Matthaios Tsahourides on a bowed lute, the Greek lyra). In 2003 worked with the Aga Khan Music Initiative in Central Asia to set up a classical music training scheme in Kabul, which has now grown into two fully fledged music schools in Kabul and Herat. He is Emeritus Professor of Ethnomusicology at Goldsmiths, University of London, and Head of Goldsmiths’ Afghanistan Music Unit.

John has a long connection with Chichester, having moved there at the age of four. He studied at the Prebendal School and later at Midhurst Grammar School. VIP members Julia Goodman and Nigel Purchase were his friends as children, and he later met VIP member Patrick Hastings in connection with the Attic Theatre, where John contributed his musical talents on guitar and vocals.

Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Mark Brown  MSc RLC

Lieutenant Colonel `JB' Brown RLC was commissioned into the Royal Corps of Transport on 12th December 1987. He is currently commanding 7 Regiment, Royal Logistic Corps in Germany. He has served in a variety of posts in his 21 year career to date, including operational tours in Northern Ireland (twice), the first Gulf War, the Falkland Islands and recently in Baghdad, Iraq. Other service has seen him based in UK, Germany, Cyprus and Canada as well as operational short trips to the Balkans and Afghanistan.

‘JB’ has been writing poetry for 20 years and was featured in The Sunday Times on Remembrance Day in 2008 as one of a new generation of ‘soldier-poets.’ He is working on his first collection.