Goldi, Red & Gingerbread

Goldi, Red & Gingerbread is a new project for 2020. With a HUGE thanks to Arts Council England, we were awarded emergency support funding to launch a brand new project that means we can get our music and stories out to audiences across the world! We are are also very lucky to be working with a team of  actors, musicians, directors and producers, and together we have been making our way through lockdown, singing loud and proud.

We are currently mid-project and in the process of recording and producing songs from The Gingerbread Man, Goldilocks & The Three Bears and Little Red Riding Hood. All of which will be available on an album to download, or you can stream for free from our website once it’s ready. We will also be distributing albums (CDs and Mp3s) to schools and families in our home city of Derby too.

The next step is recording abridged versions of these tales, along with our recorded songs, to create special bedtime stories for you and your family. Our final step will take place in September, where each song and story is being interpreted in BSL by a team of incredible performers, filmed and uploaded to our website that you can watch for free.

We’ll update you as the project develops! In the meantime, please take a look below and meet our team of performers…

Bethan Morgan

Actor-Musician

Bethan played our adventurous and hilarious Grandma from our 2019 production of Little Red Riding Hood. Thanks to Bethan for being part of this new project!

What’s your favourite children’s story and why?

The Borrowers – I love all the adventures that they get up to. They make use of bits and pieces that would be thrown away and although they are very small, they are very clever.

If you could be any fairytale character who would you be?

I would be Gerda in The Snow Queen. She’s very brave and caring and rescues Kai from the Snow Queen. It’s nice to see a girl rescuing a boy, rather than Princes saving Princess like in lots of stories.

What’s your favourite musical instrument?

I play lots of instruments but I don’t play the Saxophone and that’s the one I like the sound of most. I also like to play the drums, really loudly!

Where did you grow up and what encouraged you to do the job you do now?

I grew up in Cardiff and I had a brilliant Drama teacher in school called Mr. Palmer. He took us on a trip to the theatre and that’s when I decided I wanted to be an actress.

Paula James

Actor-Musician & Storyteller

Paula played the Little Old Lady, a Puppeteer and a Cook in our original production of The Gingerbread Man back in 2017. Thank you to Paula for joining us on this project.

What’s your favourite children’s story and why?

My favourite story growing up was that of “The Unwanted Giant”. It was about a mean, smelly, grouchy giant who moved into a cave next to a little town. The townsfolk were very put out by the giant, but by the end of the story the townsfolk really care for him which I always thought was nice. Also, it doesn’t quite end how you’d expect it to, which I really like in a story.

If you could be any fairytale character who would you be?

I think I’d be a wicked witch, because it would be fun to have magic and be able to turn houses into cakes and biscuits!

What’s your favourite musical instrument?

Ooo, that’s tough because I really like all instruments, my favourite type of instrument is a stringed one, whether that’s a piano, a mandolin or a shamisen (which is a traditional Japanese instrument).

Where did you grow up and what encouraged you to do the job you do now?

I grew up in London, and the honest answer is that I didn’t know what jobs someone like me could do. I’m a non white person who grew up in a white family and white community. People said I could sing well and it was just assumed that I’d become a performer, again I think that’s because the people I grew up with didn’t really know what else non white people did for work, the only visible examples they had were the (very) few performers that they had been exposed to, so that’s what was expected of me. I do enjoy it a lot, and hopefully the fact that I can’t imagine doing anything else is a sign that it’s the right path for me.

 

John Holt-Roberts

Actor-Musician & Storyteller

John played the cheeky Gingerbread Man in our original production of The Gingerbread Man in 2017. Thank you to John for joining us on this project!

What’s your favourite children’s story and why?
My favourite story when I was younger was Robin Hood. I love that it’s exciting and adventurous, that there are many different versions, and that his good deeds were things that could happen in the real world.

If you could be any fairytale character, who would you be?
If I could be any Fairytale character I‘d be a talking wolf. Wolves get a rough deal in fairytales, they’re amazing animals and I’d like a chance to set the record straight.

What’s your favourite musical instrument?
I love a good Cello, but my favourite musical instrument has to be the guitar. It’s simply the best.

Where did you grow up, and what encouraged you to do the job you do now?
I grew up in York, which is a nice place but my school was pretty bad at developing interest in the arts. I was very lucky to attend a Youth Theatre where I was allowed to be comfortable and confident and express myself. Whatever I’d have wanted to do after that, I felt it was possible.

Caroline Parker MBE

Performer

Ivan (Hiccup’s Artistic Director) worked with Caro on Derby Theatre’s production of The Jungle Book. As we started thinking about this project we knew we had to involve Caro as she’s such a wonderful performer! Thanks to her for being part of this new project.

What is your favourite children’s story and why?

My favourite Fairytale Is the The Elves and the Shoemaker. Probably because there was no cruelty in the story, only kindness.

If you could be any character from a fairytale, who would you be?

If I was to be. Fairy tale character, I would be a kindly witch like a Fairy Godmother. In fact my dream has already come true as I played her in a pantomime Cinderella last year!

What’s your favourite musical instrument?

My favourite musical instrument is the saxophone , being deaf the musical instrument needs to be loud playing notes I can hear. The sax is LOUD! So can enjoy the music.

Where did you grow up, and what encouraged you to do the job you do now?

I grew up in a rural village called Pott Shrigley, have always known I need to entertain people so was drawn into the performing arts. Was involved in school plays then joined the Manchester Youth Theatre and LOVED it, so went to college to study drama and theatre and now have been a professional performer since 1983.

Karen Young

Actor-Musician & Storyteller

Karen played Mummy Bear in our production of Goldilocks and The Three Bears. You may have seen her in the original run at Derby Theatre at Christmas time in 2018, or at Jackson’s Lane in 2019. Thanks Karen for joining us for this project!

What’s your favourite children’s story and why?

Although I have a soft spot for Goldilocks and the three bears, I have a strong love for another story about a particular bear… Winnie the Pooh! I love the tales of friendship, adventures and of course lots of silly little songs!

If you could be any fairytale character who would you be?

Tinkerbell! So I could fly around Neverland, cause some mischief and fight pirates!

What’s your favourite musical instrument?

I love stringed instruments and although I can’t play it I would have to say the cello, with the fiddle ( violin) coming in a close second!

Where did you grow up and what encouraged you to do the job you do now?

I grew up in a small village outside of Aberdeen in Scotland. I was encouraged to become an actor and musician because of my love of storytelling, playing music and according to my mum, I ” Always did love dressing up!”. It’s great getting to share this with other people who enjoy stories as much as I do.

Katie Tranter

Actor-Musician & Storyteller

Katie played the mischievous Goldilocks in our original production of Goldilocks and The Three Bears at Derby Theatre in 2018. Thank you Katie for being part of this project.

What’s your favourite children’s story and why?

I have lots of favourites but one of them is ‘Green Eggs and Ham’ by Dr. Seuss because it is very very very silly and the pictures make me laugh.

If you could be any fairytale character who would you be?

I would be Sinbad the Sailor! He goes on adventures around the seas of Africa and Asia fighting monsters and lots of magical things happen. There are lots of stories about Sinbad and they are thousands of years old!

What’s your favourite musical instrument?

Oooh…this is a tricky question because I love playing lots of instruments but I think, at the moment, my favourite instrument is the accordion because it is a very loud instrument that I can sing along to. My favourite song to play on it is called ‘Over the Hills and Far Away’ by John Tams and you can see and hear me playing it here

Where did you grow up and what encouraged you to do the job you do now?

I grew up in a little town on the Welsh border called Knighton. Half the town is in England and half is in Wales and I am from the Welsh half. Bore da pawb! (That’s Welsh for hello everyone). It was a lovely place to grow up because there is a lot of green countryside and fluffy sheep. I have always wanted to perform in theatre shows for as long as I can remember. I used to watch my dad perform in shows at the school where he was a teacher. I was particularly inspired by his performances in musicals ‘Oliver’ and ‘Scrooge’. My first performance was when I was 4 years old and I played a jack-in-a-box. I loved jumping up out of my box and making the audience laugh.

Oraine Johnson

Musician

Ivan (Hiccup’s Artistic Director) worked with Oraine in Derby Theatre’s production of The Jungle Book. When we decided to produce our first album, we knew we wanted Oraine involved to ensure our music sounds the best it can be! Thank you Oraine for being part of this new project.

What is your favourite children’s story and why?

My favourite children story is Peter Pan. I love the magic and wonder of the idea of Neverland – a place where you don’t have to grow up.

If you could be any character from a fairytale, who would you be?

If I could be any fairytale character it would be Robin Hood (I know he could possibly be real but he’s still a cool character).

What’s your favourite musical instrument?

My favourite instrument is the drums.

Where did you grow up, and what encouraged you to do the job you do now?

I grew up in Birmingham in a place called Wandsworth Wood. I wanted to be an actor as I fell in love with comics, superheroes and films. I remember watching GooniesHome Alone and other movies like Batman and thought it would be great to able to work and play in world’s that I love.

Alex Nowak

Performer
We met Alex when working on Derby Theatre’s production of Treasure Island. We knew we wanted to work with Alex again as he’s such a brilliant performer. Huge thanks to him for being part of this new project.
What’s your favourite children’s story and why?
 
I don’t have a favourite children’s story but I do like The Jungle Book and The Secret Garden. They are full of fun, adventure and escapism. The main characters in each story learn valuable life lessons on their epic journeys. It also teaches the reader to be kind and not be a coward.
If you could be any fairytale character who would you be?
 
It would have to be Nemo the fish from Finding Nemo. He’s colourful, full of energy and positivity. Nemo is a free spirit, he can swim anywhere in the world for free and visit as many countries as he wants – I would love to do that!

What’s your favourite musical instrument?
 
I don’t play a musical instrument but I love playing about with the drums because they are loud and I feel very powerful when playing them – I like to make my presence known! Drums are very effective in terms of vibrations, rhythms and beats – these things are what I listen for in music and enjoy.
Where did you grow up and what encouraged you to do the job you do now?
I was born and bred in Northampton. I was very shy due to my deafness in secondary school and when I started doing drama lessons, it gave me new found confidence as I had to perform to audiences. I then developed such a huge passion for acting and love playing different characters.

Natasha Julien

Performer

We met Raffie (Natasha) when working on Derby Theatre’s production of Treasure Island. We were so excited to bring her onto this project and work with her again. Big thank you to her for being part of this new project.

What’s your favourite children’s story and why?

Pocahontas is my fave film and story. The reason is that it’s about two people coming together from two complete different countries and also the fact that she’s black and he’s white, no matter the colour of their skin, they fell in love. Kind of reminded me of my parents who had to put up with racism in the past for just wanting to be together.

If you could be any fairytale character who would you be?

Princess Tiana -the fact that she’s strong headed even though she fell in love and became a princess-  she still pursued her dream/career – wayyy before she met the prince. I like that.

What’s your favourite musical instrument?

Mm…I don’t have a favourite but it is between  drums / bass and piano

Where did you grow up and what encouraged you to do the job you do now?

I grew up in Manchester. It was my mother’s strong minded influence (just because you’re Deaf doesn’t mean you can’t do whatever you want do) and my dad’s taste in music – he would always put on music videos of Michael Jackson. He would dance with me in the living room in front of the TV copying movements or have a dance battle!

This inspired me to dance as I felt as I got older it took me away from reality so I can just be me as I always faced barriers as a Deaf person. It was a safe space. My BSL skill has opened up a lot of opportunities that I never thought would happen. I’m blessed.

Becky Barry

Creative Associate & Performer

We first worked with Becky on our original production of Three Wise Monkeys. Becky is a brilliant performer, musician and qualified BSL interpreter and has also been helping us to produce this new project. A huge thank you to her for working so hard to make this project happen!

What is your favourite children’s story and why?

‘The Pudding Like a Night on the Sea’ by Ann Cameron, because it always made me so happy to read when I was little.  It was descriptive, funny, and at times made me a bit scared – the sign of a brilliant story, I reckon.

If you could be any character from a fairytale, who would you be?

Robin Hood – especially right now…I’d pop down to Downing Street and see if I could have a chat about equality and human rights.

What’s your favourite musical instrument?

This is a really difficult one, as I love different instruments for different reasons.  If I had to choose, I think I would say drums.  I’m a wind player, so I don’t have much experience of playing percussion myself, but I find it very evocative, and there are so many different types of drums that they’re wonderfully versatile.

Where did you grow up, and what encouraged you to do the job you do now?

I grew up in Cornwall, with a very supportive family who drove me to Devon each week for youth theatre.  I always knew I wanted to work in the arts, and when I was 19 I met the Cornish Deaf Community.  Their effervescence, patience and generosity were very influential, and I began learning BSL; qualifying as an interpreter in 2011 (Becky Allen RSLI).  I’m now very lucky to combine working as a performer, theatre maker and interpreter.

 

Tilly-Mae Millbrook

Actor-Musician

Tilly-Mae played our curious and brave Little Red, in our 2019 production of Little Red Riding Hood. Thank you Tilly-Mae for being part of this project.

What’s your favourite children’s story and why?

My favourite children’s story is Matilda by Roald Dahl. I love reading books and so does she. She also knew that the most important trait in a person is kindness.


If you could be any fairytale character who would you be?

Little Red Riding Hood…of course.


What’s your favourite musical instrument?

The Cello! I wish I could play it. It has such a beautiful rich sound.


Where did you grow up and what encouraged you to do the job you do now?

I grew up in Guildford. My local youth theatre (Yvonne Arnaud Youth Theatre) gave me lots of opportunities to perform outside of school. I was really inspired by my friends and the people leading it and decided to make it my job! I also met some of my best friends there. The Yvonne Arnaud Theatre is on a road named ‘Millbrook’ and that’s why I decided to have it as my stage surname!

 

Esme Sears

Storyteller

Ivan (Hiccup’s Artistic Director) first met Esme when he was Sound Designer on a production of Beauty and the Beast, where Esme played Belle. We are thrilled to have Esme part of this project with us, big thank you to her.

What’s your favourite children’s story and why?

Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild. I started dancing very young and fell in love with this world of 3 adopted girls finding themselves through the opportunity to dance and perform as well as creating a non conventional sense of family within their home but also within the theatre/dance school. This story felt like home to me as I was developing a love for Ballet and dreaming of life in the arts.

If you could be any fairytale character who would you be?

If I could be any fairytale character I would be Thumbelina. There’s something exciting about being so small, being able to hide and seeing nature from a different perspective.


What’s your favourite musical instrument?

My favourite instrument currently is the ukelele which I love to play.

Where did you grow up and what encouraged you to do the job you do now?

I grew up in the England in the East Midlands specifically with my family heritage being Caribbean. I have always loved the world of performing because it was a way for me to use my imagination and express myself when I was quite shy in other areas of my life. I feel that telling stories is something we all have in common, it unites people from all over the world and I became fascinated with how storytelling in theatre, audio and screen could bring hope, joy and inspiration to audiences as well as helping us to connect to more through learning more about ourselves and others.