The Habit of Art

The Habit of Art

by Alan Bennett

Directed by Victor Craven

Tuesday 3rd -
Saturday 7th March, 2015
The Tower Theatre performing
at the Bridewell Theatre, off Fleet Street

London amateur première

Production photographer : David Sprecher. Additional photography by Louise Morris


Fitz (W H Auden) : Ian Recordon
Henry (Benjamin Britten) : Martin South
Donald (Humphrey Carpenter) : Dan Usztan
Tim (Stuart) : Neil Bowman
Brian (Originally Boyle) : Ian Hoare

Neil (Author) : Mark Macey
Kay (Stage Manager) : Sue Brodie
George (Assistant Stage Manager) : Andy Murton
Joan (Costume Supervisor) : Harriet Watson
Ralph (Dresser) : Tom Tillery
Matt (Sound) : Sharita Oomeer
Tom (Rehearsal Pianist) : Colin Guthrie

with the voice of Michael Gibson as Charlie

Production Team
Director : Victor Craven
Set Design : Jude Chalk
Lighting Design : Stephen Ley
Costume Design : David Taylor
Sound Design : Victor Craven
Musical Director : Colin Guthrie

Stage Manager : Richard Davies
Voice Coach : Julia Collier
Assistant Director : Caitlin Homes
Assistant Stage Managers : Moira McSperrin, Wayne Gilbart
Lighting Operator : Michelle Roebuck
Rehearsal Prompt : Anna Fiorentini
Set Construction and Get-in : Rosie Shipman, Keith Syrett, Jude Chalk, Michael Bettell, Keith Hill, Leon Chambers, Phillip Ley, Laurence Tuerk, Jess Bernberg, Adam Taylor, and members of the cast & crew
Publicity & Marketing : Ann Blumenstock, Sue Brodie

Ian Recordon has played a wide variety of roles ranging from Valmont (Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Eddie Carbone (A View from the Bridge),Sir (The Dresser) Raplh Nickelby and Newman Noggs (Nicholas Nickelby) C S Lewis (Shadowlands) and Frank Bryant (Educating Rita) to lighter roles such as Elyiot (Private Lives), Henry Higgins (Pygmailion) Gary Essendine (Present Laughter), Malvolio (Twelfth Night), Bottom (A Midsummer Night's Dream) and Geoffrey (Stepping Out). Recently he played Graham in Talking Heads (A Chip in the Sugar) at the Landor Theatre, Tony Friedman (On Religion), Uncle Jack (Dancing at Lughnasa), and Tony Buckingham (Baba Shakespeare) at the Arcola tent and then at the RSC Courtyard Theatre, Stratford. In 2014 - Jaques (As You Like It) in London and Paris, Julius Caesar, Dr Chasuble (The Importance of Being Earnest), Sir George Younger (Tartuffe) and Commandant Josef Kramer (Walking through Wire) at the Hen and Chickens.

Martin South has acted and directed for the Tower Theatre Company for more than thirty years, and has been its Artistic Director. Recently, he directed the Fleet Street comedy Damages and appeared as Father Henry Garnet in 5/11, the Duke of Exeter in Henry V (for Network Theatre), Daniel Peggoty in David Copperfield, the Chairman of the Music Hall Royale in The Mystery of Edwin Drood!, Sir William Collyer in The Deep Blue Sea, John in Speaking in Tongues, Boolie Werthan in Driving Miss Daisy and The Player in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead.

Dan Usztan joined the Tower Theatre in 2012, and his roles include Bobby in Coyote on a Fence, Gerry in Dancing at Lughnasa and Dennis in Loot. Elsewhere, roles include The Constable of France in Henry V (Network Theatre), Robbie in Stags and Hens, Tom in Round and Round the Garden and Toby Belch in Twelfth Night (Woodhouse Players). He directed last year's production of After the Dance (Upstairs at the Gatehouse) and is an Assistant Artistic Director of the Tower Theatre.

Neil Bowman recently graduated from an acting course at The Poor School in King's Cross. While there he played a variety of roles ranging from Kistunov in The Good Doctor to Polonius in Hamlet and even an all-singing Sweeney Todd. This is his third performance at the Bridewell Theatre, having previously appeared as a soldier in Terrorism and a murderous postman in Fewer Emergencies.

Ian Hoare has been involved in more than twenty Tower productions since he joined the company in 2002. He has especially fond memories of playing Hamm in Endgame, Lord Cecil in 5/11, the Rev. Parris in The Crucible and Otto in The Diary of Anne Frank. He is delighted to be working again with Victor Craven, who directed him in Comic Potential in 2013. Ian is a North Londoner who follows the Arsenal and earns a living by lecturing in journalism.

Mark Macey's credits with the Tower include Dinner, A Little Night Music, The Diary of Anne Frank, Outside Edge, Vincent in Brixton and Hot Mikado. With other companies in London, Southampton and Suffolk he has appeared in Gross Indecency, Kiss of the Spiderwoman, Guilty Pleasures, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Festen, The Laramie Project, The Libertine, Return to the Forbidden Planet, Take 5, The Real Thing, Little Shop of Horrors, Me and My Girl, Guys and Dolls, West Side Story, Cabaret, Chicago, The Crucible and Godspell.

Sue Brodie joined the Tower in 2006 after a long spell away from acting. Since then she has appeared in The Country Wife, Breath of Life, Cigarettes and Chocolate/Hang Up, Whipping it Up, the controversial production of Dinner, as Betsey Trotwood in the Tower's touring production of David Copperfield, the musical murder mystery The Mystery of Edwin Drood!, Moira Buffini's Dying for It and, most recently, in the 1950's farce Sailor Beware.

Harriet Watson was lucky enough to do a lot of acting at school but then there was a long gap before joining the Tower Theatre Company in 1998. Her first part was a wonderful character in Good Fun and since then she has played a wide variety of roles, notably, twice as an ambiguous man/woman! She has always wanted to be in an Alan Bennett play and so is very pleased to involved in this exciting production.

A Tower member since 1959, Tom Tillery has appeared in over one hundred and fifty productions ranging from Shakespeare to Kander and Ebb, Euripides to Sandy Wilson. He collects theatre programmes and has over six thousand of these, the earliest from the 1880s. He was on the Olivier Awards Panel in 2004 - the year that Alan Bennett's The History Boys won the Best Play Award.

Sharita Oomeer joined the Tower Theatre Company in 2008 and has appeared in a number of productions including The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, The Changeling, Calendar Girls, On Religion, Tartuffe and, most recently, Rosencrantz and Guildernstern Are Dead.

Andy Murton has recently appeared as Pete in Loaded at The Brockley Jack Studio Theatre and Guildenstern in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, Upstairs at the Gatehouse. He's also currently working on a project with AlterEgo Theatre Company and the City of London Police called Behind Closed Doors, raising awareness of domestic abuse.

Colin Guthrie has acted, directed and musical directed for many Tower shows since he joined in 1985. Recent musical directing credits include Telstar and The Producers, which also toured to the Minack Theatre in Cornwall in the summer, where it won the coveted Minack Theatre Trophy. Colin has also composed music for many Tower shows, including David Copperfield and Lark Rise. He is playing the Reverend Purefoy in Sailor, Beware! this January. Directing credits include The Voysey Inheritance, as well as the last play produced at the Tower's old home, Strangers on a Train.

Victor Craven. As Director : Comic Potential (Theatro Technis); On Religion (Bridewell Theatre); Blackbird (Theatro Technis); A Chip in the Sugar, Her Big Chance, Bed Among the Lentils and A Lady of Letters (Landor Theatre), Lettice and Lovage, Ten Times Table, Relatively Speaking and Confusions, One For the Road, Habeas Corpus and Toad of Toad Hall. As Projection Designer : Sleeping Beauty (Park Theatre), Titanic: The Musical (Southwark Playhouse), These Shining Lives (Park Theatre); Enron (Bridewell Theatre); On Religion (Bridewell Theatre); Calendar Girls (Bridewell Theatre); The Beekeeper (The Space); The Cause (Old Vic New Voices) and Frankenstein (Shunt Vaults).