DIANE SAMUELS grew up in Liverpool and now lives in London, writing plays, journalism, stories, and teaching Creative Writing to all ages and levels of experience. Her play, KINDERTRANSPORT, opened in 1993 at Soho Theatre in London. It has since been broadcast by BBC Radio, produced in the West End, off-Broadway and all over the world. Her work champions the elemental “feminine”, often bringing to light the hidden, invisibled experience of very different women, mythical and true-life, including: musical PERSEPHONE, a love story (with composer Maurice Chernick); THE TRUE-LIFE FICTION OF MATA HARI; romance of cross-dressing, POPPY + GEORGE. In 2019, she and Maurice Chernick mounted 3 sell-out concerts of SONG OF DINA, their new opera giving voice to the silenced sister of Joseph of multi-coloured coat fame.
Her plays and book, "DIANE SAMUELS' KINDERTRANSPORT" are published by Nick Hern Books.
Every day she posts writing prompts to trigger a creative spark for all on TWITTER @WritingBright
RESEARCH CONSULTANT / CREATIVE PRODUCER
GHISLAINE KENYON is a freelance arts education consultant and evaluator, curator and author.
After a teaching career she ran Education Programmes at The National Gallery and was then Head of Learning at a Somerset House. She has curated exhibitions such as the highly successful Tell Me a Picture at the National Gallery with Quentin Blake, with whom she also curated the re-opening exhibition at the Musée du Petit Palais in Paris. She has produced Arts and Health projects in both France and the UK. In addition to training and development work with teachers, she is an Associate Fellow of the King’s Fund, for whom she contributes to Leadership programmes. Her evaluation clients have included London Music Masters (LMM) and Garsington Opera. She is a governor at Barrow Hill Junior School and has served as Education trustee on several arts boards including Artichoke,The House of Illustration, the Britten-Pears Foundation, (Aldeburgh), Handel & Hendrix in London, The Friends of The Institut Français and The Museum Prize Trust. She is the author of Beyond Britten: the Composer and the Community (co-edited with composer Peter Wiegold; Boydell & Brewer 2015) Quentin Blake: in the Theatre of the Imagination (Bloomsbury, 2016) and The Arts in Primary Education: breathing life, colour and light into the primary curriculum (Bloomsbury Education 2019).
JOE HARMSTON is a theatre director, writer and producer who has been creating theatre events across the London, The UK, Europe, the USA and the Far East since the early 1990s. He has focussed on working closely with writers facilitating first productions and fresh realisations of their work through close collaboration. In 2019, he directed a reading of Diane Samuels' new play, LAND OF THE FREE, in London with Cate Blanchett in the leading role.
MUSICAL DIRECTOR / COMPOSER / PERFORMER
DAVID OSMOND trained at Rose Bruford College, graduating in 2007. Since then he has worked as an actor, musician, music director, and piano teacher. Most recently he has been touring the UK as Musical Director on Andy Platt’s new musical NO HORIZON.
Theatre credits includes: Fluellen/Cambridge in HENRY V (Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory/Bath Ustinov and tour), Tony Wendice in DIAL M FOR MURDER and Gordon Whitehouse in DANGEROUS CORNER (Nottingham Playhouse), Dan in NIGHT MUST FALL (Theatre Royal Nottingham), The Captain in EACH SLOW DUSK (Pentabus), Michael Brown in Rattigan’s LESS THAN KIND (Jermyn Street & Yvonne Arnaud Theatre National tour), LADY CHATTERLEY'S LOVER (Sheffield Crucible/ETT), THE HISTORY BOYS (National Theatre & West End), THE GOOD SOUL OF SZECHUAN (Young Vic), PAGLIACCI (ENO), SATURDAY NIGHT (Jermyn Street & Arts Theatre), THE SCHOOL FOR WIVES (Upstairs at the Gatehouse), SPEND, SPEND, SPEND (Watermill Theatre, Newbury), JEKYLL AND HYDE (Theatre Royal Nottingham), ST. JOHN’S NIGHT (Jermyn Street Theatre), IF I WERE YOU, LARK RISE TO CANDLEFORD, and MURDER ON AIR (Bill Kenwright), HUMBUG (Theatr Clwyd), A CHRISTMAS CAROL (Sherman Theatr Cymru 2009 and Theatre Royal, Northampton 2012), GILBERT AND SULLIVAN, ABRIDGED (No 1. National Tour), and THISBE (Waterloo Vaults Festival & Theatre Royal Stratford East tour). Film credits include: Michael in TRAPPED by Philippe Weibel. Play readings include: LAND OF THE FREE (by Diane Samuels, with a cast including Cate Blanchett), THE LIBERTY TRUCK (by Laurie Slade, with a cast including Edward Fox and Simon Callow), THE DISAPPEARANCE OF MISS BEBB (by Alex Giles, with a cast including Martin Shaw), and SEND FOR PAUL TEMPLE (by Francis Durbridge, with a cast including Stanley Tucci), all for the Kalisher Trust at Middle Temple Hall.
READING ROLE OF CORNELIA CONNELLY
LEONIE HILL is an actress, improviser and writer from Essex. She is incredibly passionate about telling female lead stories, particularly those of women in history whose voices have been lost. The story of Cornelia is both a tragic and inspiring example of a woman who's inner strength, courage and wisdom defies immeasurable heartache, when every obstacle has been thrown against her, she still manages to rise up and grow. Leonie is very excited and proud to be reading Cornelia's story in Diane Samuel's beautifully uplifting, 'Waltz with Me'.
Training: LAMDA, Millennium Dance. Theatre includes: 'Sandra' Peter pan Goes Wrong (Mischief Theatre, UK Tour) Performer in News Revue (Canal Cafe) 'Mariah' Twelfth Night, 'Hannah Kennedy' Mary Stuart and 'Miss Julie' Miss Julie (The Faction Repertory Season, New Diorama.) 'Sylvie', Much (Cock Tavern Theatre) 'Mistress Sawyer', The Witch of Edmonton (The Courtyard Theatre) Film and Television, 'Ariana', Mamma Mia The Movie (Starplay Productions) Ensemble, 'Mamma Mia, Here We Go Again' (Obscure Pictures Ltd) 'Mother' Aux (Evolutionary Films) Tuesday Le Bow 'Doctors' (BBC Television) Chloe Monks 'The Bill' (Talkback Thames) and Gemma Shelley in 'Doctors' (BBC Television).
READING ROLE OF MAGGIE BYRNE
RIA KNOWLES graduated from Dartington College of Arts, studying performance, movement and dance. Her work has included; *Timon of Athens* directed by Trevor Nunn, the 24hr play The Warp directed by Ken Campbell, The Torture Garden directed by Steven Hoggett (Frantic Assembly) and various appearances in tv, film and theatre. Ria has also worked as a voiceover artist for Channel 4 and MTV.
Ria is a mother of two teenagers, a shiatsu and deep tissue therapists and a dedicated martial artists. She practices and teaches Wing Chun, a martial art system with a 300 year lineage created by Buddhist Nun, Ng Mui.
She was drawn to this piece by her love of; music, theatre, female stories and legacies and a curiosity to examine themes on motherhood and the pursuit of purpose.