PATRICK BARLOW (Adaptor). Patrick Barlow created the National Theatre of Brent in 1980, in which he plays Artistic Director and Chief Executive Desmond Olivier Dingle. Their legendary two-man epics for the theatre include The Charge of the Light Brigade, Zulu!, The Black Hold of Calcutta, Wagner’s Ring Cycle. The Messiah (Tricycle Theatre), The Complete Guide to Sex, Love Upon the Throne – The Charles and Diana Story (nominated for an Olivier) and The Wonder of Sex at the National Theatre. The National Theatre of Brent now consists of Patrick, John Ramm and Martin Duncan. Their radio version of the Messiah was transmitted on Radio 4 for the Christmas 2006 and their brand new radio series The Arts and How They Was Done – Desmond and Raymond’s global tour of the entire history of the arts – was transmitted in April 2007 also on Radio 4. Look up nationaltheatreofbrent.com for full and unexpurgated details. Besides the National Theatre of Brent, Patrick wrote the libretto for the Judgment of Paris for the Covent Garden Venture (music by John Woorich) and Requiem for a Relationship for the Gogmagog Theatre Company with music by Django Bates. Hi film and television writing includes: The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole, The Ghost of Faffner Hall, Scarfe of Sex, Mighty Moments from World History, The Messiah, The True Adventures of Christopher Columbus, Queen of the East, Van Gogh (Prix Futura Berlin Film Festival), Massive Landmarks from the Twentieth Century and The Young Visiters adapted from the novel by Daisy Ashford, starring Jim Broadbent and Hugh Laurie. His radio writing includes: The Compleat Life and Works of William Shakespeare; The Patrick and Maureen Maybe Music Experience with Imelda Staunton; and with the National Theatre or Brent All the World’s A Globe (Sony Radio Award and Premier Ondas Award for Best European Comedy) and The Complete and Utter History of the Mona Lisa (Sony Gold Award for Best Comedy and the New York Festival Gold Award for Best Comedy.) Publications include: All the World’s a Globe, Shakespeare: The Truth!, The Complete History of the Whole World, Lo Upon the Throne, The Messiah, and The Wonder of Sex. His theatre acting includes: The Knack, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, loot, The Common Pursuit, Silly Cow and Toad in Alan Bennett’s The Wind in the Willows. Film acting includes: Shakespeare in Love, Notting Hill, The Girl from Rio, The Diary of Bridget Jones and most recently Nanny MCphee. Television acting includes: “Talk to Me,” “All Passion Spent,” “Aristophanes,” “Cows,” “French and Saunders,” “Absoloutely Fabulous,” “ A Bit of Fry and Laurie,” “Is it Legal?”, “Goodbye Mr. Steadman,” “Hans Christian Anderson,” “”Murder in Suburbia,” “Shakespeare’s Happy Endings,” “Marple,” and “Jam and Jerusalem.” Radio acting includes: The Misdsummer Marriage, The Diary of Adam and Eve, The Wizard of Oz, Christmas Eve, Rent, The Furniture Play, Volpone, Just Plain Gardening and Terry Pratchett’s Small Gods. He is a regular contributor to Looking Forward to the Past and Quote Unquote. Patrick won an Olivier Award and What’s Onstage Award for Best New Comedy for his adaptation of The Thirty-Nine steps.
MARIA AITKEN (Director). As a director in America and the UK, her work includes Japes (Bay Street Theatre, USA); Man and Boy (tour and Duchess Theatre); Easy Virtue (Chichester); Vita and Virginia (Sphinx Theatre Company); Lady Bracknell’s Confinement (Vineyard Theatre, New York); The School for Scandal (Theatr Clwyd); As You Like It (Regent’s Park); The Mystery of Irma Vep (Leicester Haymarket and Ambassadors); Are You SittingComfortably (Watford Palace); The Rivals (Court Theatre, Chicago); After the Ball Was Over (Old Vic); Private Lives (Oxford Playhous); and Happy Family (Duke of York’s). Recently she has directed several plays and classic serials for BBC radio, including Nabokov’s Laughter in the Dark (which won the prestigious Gold Sony Prize); Terre Haute starring Ian McKellen, and her own adaptation of Ivy Compton Burnett’s novel Mother and Son. Maria Aitken’s work as an actress includes: Blithe Spirit; Bedroom Farce and Larkinland at the National Theatre. At the Royal Shakespeare Company she has played Travesties; Waste and The Happiest Days of Your Life. Among her many leading roles in the West End: Humble Boy, Design for Living (Gielgud); Sylvia (Apollo); Hay Fever (Albery); Other People’s Money (Lyric); The Vortex (Garrick); The Women (Old Vic): Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All for You (Ambassador); Private Lives (Duchess); A Little Night Music (Adelphi). Maria’s many television appearances include “Love on a Branch Line,” “The Good Guys,” “Quiet As a Nun,” “ Poor Little Rich Girls,” “Shelley,” “Ripping Yarns,” “Bedroom Farce.” She wrote and presented the documentary “Great River Journeys (An Amazon Adventure),” and had two series of her won BBC chat show “Private Lives.” She co-produced and appeared in the BBC series of master classes “Acting.” Films include Asylum, Jinnah, Fierce Creatures, The Grotesque, The Fool, A Fish Called Wanda, Melba, Mary Queen of Scots. She is a visiting teacher at the British American Drama Academy; The National Theatre Studio; The London Actor’s Centre; the Julliard School in NY; the Yale School of Drama; the graduate acting program at The Tisch School of the Arts at NYU; The NY Actor’s Center and the Academy of Classical Acting in Washington DC. She is the author of two books: “A Girdle Round the Earth” and “Style: Acting in High Comedy.” She lives in New York and London with her husband, the novelist Patrick McGrath. Her son is the actor Jack Davenport.