Riverstone, Dart Mills, Buckfastleigh, Totnes, Devon TQ11 0NF.
Lesley started her artistic career very young as a dancer and musician, concentrating on piano. After graduating with Honours in choreography at university and studying playwriting at college, she began her stand-up comedy career in New York City and now performs regularly around Toronto.
She has a knack for improv and clowning as well and has acted in farces such as Don’t Dress for Dinner. She is an eternal sunshine comedian making her family, friends and even strangers laugh daily.
When Lesley became a mum, her creativity really flourished inspired by the imaginative world of her children and the importance of play and art.
Consequently, for Toronto Fringe Theatre Festival, FringeKids, Lesley wrote and performed in two musicals: Zucchinis! Zucchinis! Everywhere! and The JellyBean Forest. For FringeGrown-ups, she co-wrote and performed in When I Grow Up: a personal narrative, and is currently revamping her fourth production, performed by eight women in July 2012, How I Lost One Pound, The Musical.
She is so happy to share and perform this now one-woman show with the Totnes audience.
Picasso said, “All children are born artists: the problem is to remain an artist as we grow up.”
Parents, peers, work, life and mortgages stifle us the minute we get older. Lesley’s mission is to help bring back the voice and imagination of the long lost inner child to the adult. So she teaches comedy to actors and creativity and humour to business people, while running a graphic design company.
When she grows up, Lesley wants to record a song, make a video and be a ‘one hit wonder’ because rock stars don’t have to sing that great.
Mo is co-director of SoulOTheatre Festival Totnes, and founder of the Totnes Solo Performance Group.
On Tuesday 2nd July, Mo will tell the story of how the festival came to life, and will perform We All Have a Story. What’s Yours? on Wednesday 4th July.
Mandy started her working life in the theatre, playing Maddie in Tom Stoppard’s Dirty Linen, the Duchess of Gloucester in Crown Matrimonial – both in the West End – and Molly in the first TV adaptation of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.
She then became a founder member of Sky Television, writing, presenting and producing programmes.
Sixteen years ago she left the TV life behind to run a small farm in Devon. Having been concerned about environmental issues since childhood, she put her ideas into practice – growing organic vegetables, leaving fields unsprayed and raising sheep, pigs and hens organically.
Now working as a writer and editor, Mandy is the author of The Dreamer’s Guide to Running Holiday Accommodation (Breese Books), co-author of The Briefcase and the Baby: A Nanny and Mother’s Handbook (Mandarin), and co-author of several Green Books Guides.
She is a member of the Totnes Solo Performance Group.
Mandy will perform Dolly Tuttle on Saturday 6th July.
Jenny is a textile artist who grew up in Devon. She has always sewn and having taken early retirement from nursing she embarked on a City and Guilds Patchwork and Quilting Diploma. Jenny has also attended numerous stitch related workshops using many mixed media techniques.
She chairs the South Devon Branch of the Embroiderers Guild and for the past five years has been a member of a textile group called Contemporary Stitch that has challenged and inspired her to produce work of greater depth.
Over the years Jenny has developed an individual style that incorporates printing, image transfer, hand and machine and digitised machine embroidery on quilts, wallhangings and other artefacts.
Throughout her life Jenny has been exposed to and valued the positive aspects of a multicultural society. Visiting Ellis Island in 2006 and the Tenement Museum in 2007 inspired her to begin to tell some of the stories in fabric and stitchof the twenty million immigrants who entered America through the port of New York. Each immigrant came with their fears and aspirations for a better life for themselves and their families.
Like many immigrants today the first generation worked at low paid, menial jobs, saved hard, educated their children and gradually climbed out of poverty, eventually becoming assimilated into their new country.
On Friday 5th July, Jenny will talk about her personal exploration of immigration in Journey of Hope, using her work to illustrate the narrative.
Christoffer de Graal Is an inspirational multi-instrumentalist and singer. His music is an improvised feast to touch your soul and nourish your heart. Vocals, viola, guitar keyboard and live looping, blend in a call from the beyond, an invitation to drop deeper into stillness and heartfelt presence.
Christoffer will provide musical support to Agata Krajewska’s performance, This Being Human, on Tuesday 2nd July.
Tracey is the founder and creator of SoulOTheatre®, a programme designed to help actors and non-actors create their own one-person show by transforming raw material from their life-journey into creative solo performances.
She teaches at Ryerson University’s ACT II Studio and has taught improvisation at Toronto’s famous Second City.
Actors and writers in Tracey’s classes have gone on to perform their shows professionally across Canada.
Tracey has performed her hit one-woman shows The Burning Bush! and Two in The Bush! in New York, Toronto, Vancouver, Edmonton and Halifax.
The plays were the critic’s pick in Back Stage Magazine NYC, ‘Best of the Toronto Fringe Festival’ and won the ‘Audience Choice Award’ in New York City’s Frigid Festival.
She was recently a guest instructor for Israel’s Dream Doctors in Tel Aviv and an invited delegate to Canadian Stage’s Artist Educators Program in Toronto.
She wrote created and performed the critically acclaimed one-woman show Snug Harbour, which was chosen to open the Sante Fe Solo Performance Festival in 2011, and Toronto Fringe Theatre Festival the following year. The show was awarded the Critic’s Pick by NOW, Toronto’s weekly news and entertainment voice.
Tracey will give a keynote interview on Thursday 4th July.
John, a leatherworker with a workshop on Dartington Estate, makes beautiful bags and belts that are sold throughout the world.
He is a member of the Totnes Solo Performance Group.
John will perform Conversations With Dad on Wednesday 3rd July.
Matt is a British humourist and performance poet who has published a number of books and makes regular contributions to radio broadcasts.
As a teenager he was influenced by the Mersey Poets, including Adrian Henri, Roger McGough and Brian Patten.
He began his career as a performer in 1992, giving live performances to audiences in the South West of England. He has since performed across the country at conferences, cabarets, colleges and literary festivals. He is the President of the Exeter and East Devon branch of the charity Mind, and lives in Totnes, Devon.
Matt Harvey was appointed Official Wimbledon Championship Poet 2010. The job entailed coming out with a poem each day of the championship to entertain the spectators.
Watch Matt perform his brilliant Wimbledon poem Thwock at FORKED’s Hip Yak Poetry Shack, B-Bar, Barbican Theatre, Plymouth, 2012:
Matt will perform Is This Autobiography? on Tuesday 2nd July.
Agata was born in Poland 36 years ago.
From her show you find out how 16 years ago she came to live in England, where she studied at Emerson College and Speech and Drama School (East Grinstead), later touring the UK and Europe with The Rose Theatre Company.
When she had enough, she turned to spiritual and therapeutic disciplines. For the following 12 years she continued on a rich and revealing journey home to herself, supported by the practices of Embodiment and Presence.
In her work she communicates her experience of wonderment of life, being both a blessing and a challenge at the same time—an unresolvable paradox that only a heart can contain.
She is deeply touched by who we are and loves to honour it in her individual and group work with people.
Agata will perform This Being Human on Tuesday 2nd July, with musical accompaniment by Christoffer de Graal.
Elenna Mosoff is an award winning director, producer and strategic thinker from Toronto. She has worked extensively in Toronto, New York, London and Berlin. Elenna completed her MFA in Directing at Ohio University in 2010.
While living in New York in 2010, Elenna assistant directed SOUNDING, an adaptation of Ibsen’s Lady From the Sea, and worked as a programmer as part of HARP, the HERE Artists Resident Program.
She orchestrated ‘Picket Dreams,’ an interactive art installation in the FIGMENT Festival on Governor’s Island and created an installation in the back of a truck for the annual Lost Horizon Night Market.
Elenna has worked with the lauded international company, Punchdrunk as well as the Royal Opera House in the UK. She toured an original work, Hallucinogenic Toreador, to the Prague International Fringe which won Pick of the Fringe followed by productions in Athens, Ohio and Dallas, Texas.
In Toronto, Elenna has directed numerous production for Hart House Theatre, including Equus, The Canadian Premiere of Reefer Madness the Musical, The Rocky Horror Show and Godspell.
She is a founding member of The Mission Business, a company in Toronto which blends theatre, gaming and futurist scenarios to create immersive audience experiences.
The first endeavour of The Mission Business, ZED.TO, has won numerous awards, including the 2012 Canadian Digital Media Award for best cross platform fiction, The Tosho Cutting Edge Award for Theatrical Innovation, 2012 WorldFuture BetaLaunch Best in Show, and a 2025 International Design Innovation Award from Autodesk.
Most recently, The Mission Business closed Visitations at Toronto’s famous Drake Hotel, which was lauded by critics as “a step towards a new theatrical nirvana” (The Grid), as well as an immersive scenario for Autodesk Ideas at the NASA Ames Research in California.
As a producer, Elenna spent three years working with Toronto’s Dora Award winning premiere musical theatre company, Acting Up Stage, as well as producing the inaugural Soulo Festival in Toronto just this past May.
Throughout the festival she will be contributing her extensive experience of theatre directing and how to create site-specific solo performances.
Read more about Elena
Born in Toronto, Canada, Briane has had what might be called an eclectic career in the arts.
Described by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s Chas Lawther as “a modern day Renaissance man”, Briane explains his career simply as “not being able to hold on to a job”.
Briane first trod the boards professionally as a supernumerary with the Canadian Opera Company, while keeping out of the workforce by attending the University of Toronto.
Enjoying the chance to be on stage and make $2.50 a show, Briane moved up the ranks to be “King of the Opera Extras”, a production assistant, and then assistant stage manager, all the while continuing his performance career in mute roles.
After touring North America for two and a half years and appearing in 387 performances without uttering a word, until as Ambrogio, in the Barber of Seville, he sang “Did you call sir? I’m tired”, Briane retired after attaining the not so coveted title of Canada’s Foremost Operatic Mute.
What followed next was a career in journalism, which include a decade of writing for United Press International, covering the Toronto Blue Jays baseball team and concluded with NC publishing his guide to his home town, Making Out in Toronto.
He returned to the stage as a stand-up comedian and was the second featured act at Yuk Yuks, part of an International chain of clubs across North America.
On television Briane appeared on Evening at the Improv, Canada AM and the Smith and Smith Show. His feature film credits include Gas, Tulips, Comics, and finally a film with more than one word in the title, Spring Fever.
He is featured on Yuk Yuk’s oral history Guide to Canadian Stand Up, released in 2012.
Briane’s passion turned to improvisation once he witnessed Theatresports, a judged team competition, and for a decade he performed, hosted, coached and taught improv.
Briane graduated from the Second City Conservatory and has since taught improvisation at numerous schools and conferences. He is currently a special guest lecturer at Humber College in Toronto in the Comedy division.
In order to cover his mortgage Briane next moved to television where he created and produced a number of series for Canada’s Youth Network, YTV, andwrote for a myriad of television series including Sesame Street, where he actually put his head through Oscar the Grouch’s garbage can – something he still brags about.
Briane was nominated for a Gemini, a Canadian television award for his comedy writing. In the last three years, now armed with a line of credit, Briane has returned to his true passion: live theatre. He is the President of Smile Theatre, a company that tours intimate professional, musical theatre productions to homes for the elderly.
Briane was the Executive Producer of the Canadian Comedy Awards and Festival for ten years and was on the Board of Factory Theatre for three years.
Briane will perform So Far So Good: Confessions of an Operatic Mute on Friday 5th July.
Lucy’s passion in life is freedom, and she tells stories of liberation.
Her first performance was an educational piece about contraception for a group of young mums, featuring giant contraceptive devices. Everyone had a ball and shared their stories. This was when she first experienced the power of performance and of people sharing together.
She co-ran a kids’ circus, worked for a community arts company, did a theatre degree, bought a truck and went feral – her life became her performance.
On returning to society, she quietened down for a few years, tried to fit in, be ‘good’ and be accepted. Eventually she realised that she didn’t accept herself.
Lucy says, “Performing for me now, after a 20 year break, is terrifying and exhilarating.”
She is a member of the Totnes Solo Performance Group.
Lucy will perform A Tale of Two Mothers on Friday 5th July.
After her early career as a BBC reporter, where she learnt the art of interviewing, Liz established Liz Scott Coaching in 2005. She is co-founder of Coaching Connect, which helps coaches in the South West develop their practices, and runs a small video production company.
Liz will interview Tracey Erin Smith on Thursday 4th July.
Lloyd, with flaming red hair and beard, is an Australian who plays harmonica, ukulele and didgeridoo. He sings too.
He was inspired to solo performance by the mad idea that he could somehow mix storytelling, music and neuroscience, and piggyback that on his long and partially hidden desire to be centre stage.
Believing he had something to say but fearful that his pearls may be cast before swine—or indeed be pig food— he managed to perform his first solo show in April. His friends gave him a standing ovation. “It pays to select the audience yourself” says Lloyd.
A Little Silver Fish is inspired by his split between two countries (Australia and the UK), his love of neuroscience, and the journey to step into a bigger version of himself.
Lloyd is a member of the Totnes Solo Performance Group.
Skylark is Caroline on fiddle, Anna on piano, Clare on flute, Jane on percussion, and Roz on banjo. They sing their own arrangements of folk and blues in close harmony. The band’s repertoire for this festival will include songs that tell a story, new takes on favourite numbers and original compositions.
Skylark will perform on Tuesday 2nd July.
Marjorie Wingrove has been in and out of the acting business for her whole adult life. She has performed in TV (A&E’s Haunted Houses), theatre (the Angel, in Angels in America, Parts 1 & 2, Canadian Stage), film (Dizzy, by Andrew Hull), and lots of commercials (Degree deodorant, in her knickers).
For the last 10 years, though, she has been focused on raising her two young children. Her artist-self hid for a while, but is going like gangbusters now!
To return to her real love, Marj has been studying clown, mime, burlesque, belly dance, stage combat, cartoon voice, improv (Second City, Toronto), and attends a regular evening of scene reading with some of Canada’s most talented actors.
Marj also has discovered a love of triathlon, and makes time for one each summer (that’s two, so far). She is also studying to be a consultant of holistic nutrition (her children seem none to pleased about this).
What Marj is most enthusiastic about is that it’s from discovering her sense of Spirit, that has catapulted her into doing a ton of amazing things that she absolutely has always wanted to do, and loves.
Marjorie lives in Toronto, Canada, with her two beautiful, outspoken, over the top children, and a bunch of animals (she has lost track).
She is very excited to be making the trip to the first SouloTheatre Festival in Totnes, and plans to return. Marj is very grateful for this delightful opportunity!
Marj will perform “I Put My Lipstick On At 3 o’Clock” on Wednesday 3rd July.