Josette Bushell-Mingo OBE – Performer
Josette is a Swedish-based English theatre actress and director of African descent. She was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award in 2000 for Best Actress in a Musical for her role as Rafiki in the London production of Disney’s The Lion King.
In 2001, Josette founded black-led arts festival PUSH at the Young Vic. In 2006 she was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire.
In 2007 she directed the theatrical production of Margaret Atwood‘s novella The Penelopiad.
Born in Lewisham, London, she has been living and working in Sweden for many years. She is currently the artistic director for The Swedish National Touring Theatre Tyst teater ensemble.
Her production of The Odyssey, performed in Swedish Sign Language received huge critical acclaim in Scandinavia.
Josette sits on the board of the Swedish Film Institute.
Directing credits include: Glo (The Volcano Theatre, Canada); When We Dead Awaken (The Vasterbottensteatean Sweden/Unity Theatre Liverpool); The Ghost Sonata (The People Show); The Penelopiad (The Royal Shakespeare Company); Two Step (PUSH 04 at The Almeida); Simply Heavenly (Young Vic and West End); Mother Courage(Nottingham Playhouse); The Tango Room, The House of Bernarda Alba, Dreamhouse, Minotouramachia and Telling Tales (Aspects Theatre Company); Antigone (The Luntan Teater, Sweden); Edwina – A Cautionary Tale For Grown Ups (The Stadsteatern, Stockholm); Medea (The Kulturhuset, Stockholm); The House of Bernarda Alba (The Blo Theatre, Stockholm); Rosa Rosa (Raw Material, Amsterdam); The Threepenny Opera(Contact Theatre, Manchester); Two Gentlemen of Verona (Central Television); Co-Directed King Lear (Kaboodle Theatre Company).
Theatre credits as an actor include: Antony And Cleopatra (The Royal Exchange, Manchester); Virgina Monologues (The New Ambassadors); The Lion King Musical (The Lyceum Theatre); The Creation, Death & Knowledge In Everyman, Virtuoso, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, The Thebans (The Royal Shakespeare Company); The Women of Troy (The Royal National Theatre); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (The National Theatre of Germany, Dusseldorf); The Porter’s Daughter (The Cockpit Theatre).
Her other theatre work includes: The Iron Man (The Young Vic); Threepenny Opera (Contact Theatre, Manchester); Romeo And Juliet (Birmingham Repertory Theatre); Woza Albert (Temba/Oxford Stage Company); From The Mississippi Delta (Talawa/Contact, Manchester); The Dramatic Attitudes of Miss Fanny Kemble (The Nuffield Theatre, Southampton); School For Wives (Derby Playhouse); Panic For Lumiere and Son, Of Mice And Men (Kaboodle Theatre Company); Rainmaker (Theatre de Complicitie).
Television credits includes: Blood River (BBC).
Film credits include: Blood In Their Eyes (Indica Films). Josette has also worked as a choreographer for The Royal Shakespeare Company, The Almeida Theatre, The Custard Factory, Kaboodle Theatre Company and Central Television.
Shapor Bastansiar – Musical Director/Piano
Shapor was born in Iran into an artistic family. All of his 3 brothers are virtuoso instrumentalists who have graduated from the music conservatoire in Tehran.
Shapor began to study at Tehran conservatory of Music at the age of 10, choosing the piano as his main instrument.
After receiving his diploma started he studying musical composition and worked as the stage manager for Opera and Ballet at Roudaki Hall in Tehran. He wrote several pieces of music for children during that time.
Upon graduating from musical composition, he moved to Sweden in 1988, where he underwent a compressed course in film music composition.
Shapor has been working as a piano teacher in Stockholm for many years. He has composed countless pieces in many different musical styles ranging from classical to pop and folk. Most of these have been performed by symphony and philharmonic orchestras around the world, such as the Cologne radio symphony orchestra, the Oberhausen symphony and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, conducted by Shapor himself.
Shapor has been collaborating with Sweden’s national theatre since 2015.
Shaney Forbes – Drums
Shaney Forbes is one of the most in demand drummers in the UK. Known for his passion for playing and learning all styles of music, luscious swing feel and charisma, Shane has worked with most of the great names on the British jazz scene. Word of Shane’s talent quickly spread in the early stages of his career so his path has also crossed with internationally renowned artists.
To name just some of the calibre of artist Shane has worked with are: Jean Tousaint, Soweto Kinch, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Courtney Pine, Steve Grossman, Robert Mitchell, Andrea Pozza, Nathaniel Facey, Steve Williamson, Julian Joseph, Abram Wilson, Cleveland Watkiss, Enrico Rava and The Floacist.
Now currently co-leading the multi award winning group Empirical and his own project called Wave, touring the UK and Europe with the Soweto Kinch Trio and touring Italy with the Andrea Pozza Trio.
From 2001 – 2004 Shaney was a member of Tomorrow’s Warriors. In 2004 Shaney went on to study for a BMUS Hons at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance with exceptional tutors such as Simon Purcell, Phill Pesket, Dave Wickens and Tristan Maillot.
Whilst at Trinity he developed his knowledge of composition. Just before leaving Trinity in 2007 Shane won The Jazz Radio and Yamaha scholarship award for outstanding musicianship.
In 2009 Shaney was the winner of the Worshipful Company of Musicians. Since winning the award he has been educating in schools and colleges for the company all over London.
Neville Malcolm – Bass
Neville Malcolm is one of the most in-demand bass players in the country. Known as ‘Level-Neville’, he is an understated star on both acoustic and electric bass, combining an earthy, soulful feel with effortless technical ability.
Coming from a background in Gospel music, Neville started out playing organ and guitar, switching to bass as he developed an ever greater interest in jazz and other music.
Turning professional in the early ‘90s, he worked with Philip Bent and Steve Williamson and became part of London’s Acid Jazz scene.
He has since performed all over the world and recorded with Billy Cobham, Gabrielle, Tom Jones, Carl Orr, Alex Wilson, Nathan Haynes, Marlene Shaw, Dave Valentin and Jack DeJohnette. Most recently he has been touring and recording with two of the world’s best known jazz crossover groups, Incognito and Us3.
Dritëro Kasapi – Director/Videographer/Co-Devisor
Dritëro Kasapi is a theatre director originating from Macedonia and now based in Stockholm, Sweden. He was educated at the The Faculty of Dramatic Arts in Skopje, Macedonia.
His work is multi-award-winning and has received international performances at many renowned festivals including; Wienna Festwochen, Bonner Biennale and Festival d’Avignon.
IN 1999 Dritëro foundered and artisticly led the CTC – a producing theatre and educational centre in Skopje Macedonia, In 2005 Dritëro too up the artistic directorship of Gottsunda Dance and Theatre in Uppsala Sweden he currently holds the position of Deputy Artistic Director of Kulturhuset Stadsteatern in Stockholm.
His work of over 40 different productions ranges from devised work to new writing, from classical plays to multimedia productions.
Dritëro’s recent works include Hamlet by Shakespeare, Enron by Lucy Preble, An Enemy of the People by Ibsen and Lampedusa by Andres Lustgarten.
Christina Anderson – Dramaturg
Christina’s work has appeared at The Contemporary American Theater Festival, Penumbra, Yale Rep, A.C.T., The Public Theater, Crowded Fire, and other theatres all over the USA. American Theater Magazine selected Anderson as one of the fifteen up-and-coming artists “whose work will be transforming America’s stages for decades to come.
Awards and honours include 2015/16 Aetna New Voices Fellow (Hartford Stage), 2011/12 Playwright-in-Residence at Magic Theater (National New Play Network), two PONY nominations, 2011 Woursell Prize Finalist (University of Vienna), , three Susan Smith Blackburn nominations, Christina obtained her B.A. from Brown University and an M.F.A. from the Yale School of Drama’s Playwriting Program.
She’s an Assistant Professor of Playwriting at SUNY-Purchase College.
Rosa Maggiora – Design/Costume
Theatre includes – THE WIZ , (Birmingham Rep & West Yorkshire Playhouse) STONES IN HIS POCKETS, WOMEN , POWER & POLITICS, CATEGORY B, SEIZE THE DAY and DETAINING JUSTICE (The Tricycle); A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM (The Almeida & Edinburgh Festival) FREE OUTGOING (Royal Court / Edinburgh Festival); THE PENELOPIAD (The Swan, RSC / National Arts Theatre Canada) ; GOD IS A DJ (Oval House / Tour); WAITING FOR TAMARA (The Old Vic ); ANANSI AND THE MAGIC MIRROR (Talawa Hackney Empire); MOTHER COURAGE (Nottingham Playhouse /Regional Tour / Hackney Empire); WAITING FOR GOD KNOWS (Riverside Studios, London Talent); STARSTRUCK (Tricycle Theatre); EVERYMAN (RSC / USA Tour); A RIVER SUTRA (Three Mills Island Studios, London); SHAKUNTALA (Gate Theatre, London); MAKING THE FUTURE (Oxford Stage Company / The Young Vic); EASTER (RSC / Barbican); NO BOYS CRICKET CLUB, PARTY GIRLS (Theatre Royal Stratford East); HAPPY DAYS (Glasgow Citz). Dance and Opera credits include AWAKENING and ANOTHER AMERICA: FIRE both at Sadler’s Wells for the Push Festival – collaboration between Push, ROH2 and English National Opera.
Matt Haskins – Lighting Design
Matt is an international lighting designer working in theatre, opera, site specific, concert and corporate environments.
Theatre credits: Kiss Me (Hampstead Theatre); Nina (Unity Theatre Liverpool/Riksteatern Sweden); Last Five Years (New Wolsey Theatre); Much Ado About Nothing (Queens Theatre Hornchurch); Peter Pan Goes Wrong (Apollo Theatre West End); Peppa Pig’s Surprise (UK Tour & West End); The Edge, 1001 Nights (Transport Theatre – UK Tours); The House of Mirrors & Hearts (Arcola Theatre); Crocodiles (Manchester Royal Exchange); Wind in the Willows, The Years Between (Royal & Derngate); Truth & Reconciliation (The Royal Court); Dream Story, Mud (Gate Theatre); Steel Magnolias (Bath Theatre Royal/ UK Tour).
Opera credits: Der Fliegende Holländer (Estonian National Opera); Albert Herring (Maggio Musicale Fiorentino); La Cenerentola (Teatrio Regio, Turin); Anna Bolena (Teatro Donizetti, Bergamo); Roberto Devereux (Teatro Real, Madrid); Glare (Royal Opera House), The Virtues of Things, The Commission, Cafe Kafka (Royal Opera House/ Aldeburgh Music/ Opera North); Anna Bolena, Roberto Devereux, Maria Stuarda (Welsh National Opera); Maria Stuarda (Royal Opera House Oman); La Traviata, Don Giovanni, Turn of the Screw, Cautionary Tales (Opera North); Turn of the Screw (The Israeli Opera); Babur In London (The Opera Group); Into the Little Hill (Hamburg Laeiszhalle); La Cenerentola (Malmo Opera).
Associate Lighting: The Master & Margarita (Complicite).
Concert Lighting: Grace Jones (Royal Albert Hall).
He recently created the lighting for a 3000 pixel LED Dress, celebrating the life and work of pioneering computer programmer Ada Lovelace.
Unity Theatre is Liverpool’s small-scale theatre with big ambitions. Their programme of presented and produced work is edgy, radical and unashamedly contemporary, while their talent development programmes have aided the establishment of many of the UK’s top touring companies including Told by an Idiot, AD Infinitum and Kaboodle.
Recent successes have included co-productions with Riksteatern (Nina – a story about me and Nina Simone) in Liverpool, London, Sweden and Edinburgh, Up the Road Theatre (Bardolph’s Box), 20 Stories High and Theatre Rites (Broke n Beat Collective) Hightide and Soho Theatre (Lampedusa, London, Aldeburgh and Liverpool) and Eastern Angles (Chicken, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Roundabout), and productions of Chris Gribnall’s Gaffer, Bruce Norris’ Clybourne Park and an international touring production of David Yip’s Gold Mountain.
On 7 January 2017 Unity Theatre temporarily closed its doors to the public to undergo a £845,000 capital redevelopment project supported by Arts Council England and Liverpool City Council as well as £10,000s from funds and donations, reopening in June 2017. The redevelopment of the Hope Place venue is driven by the needs of Unity’s artists and audiences and is the first major work to be carried out since the previous redevelopment in 1998. It will also ensure that Unity Theatre has a strong digital profile and is an environmentally sustainable venue.
The National Touring Theatre of Sweden
Riksteatern (or “the Riksteater”) was established in 1933 by Arthur Engberg. “Not only the citizens of the capital city in Sweden should be granted the privilege of first class theatre productions. The rest of the nation also has the right to claim this!” – with these words, after a long public debate, Riksteatern was given the proper state funding and support. At first Riksteatern, in the 1930s, was supposed to be the touring section of Sweden’s Royal Dramatic Theatre, in an effort to reach an audience in Sweden that couldn’t get the chance to visit the national stage in Stockholm. However, in the 1940s Riksteatern was given their own ensemble, producing stage productions solely for Riksteatern and with the purpose to be given on-tour. In 1966 Riksteatern was corporatised with Sweden’s second influential touring theatre organization Svenska Teatern and became “Svenska Riksteatern”. In 1967 Riksteatern started a section for producing theatre productions for children and youth, called Unga Riks (“Young Riksteatern”) which has performed quality theatre for children for three decades, performing in schools all over Sweden at low cost on a regular bases. Since 1977 the theatre group Tyst Teater (“Silent Theatre”) is also part of Riksteatern. It’s a unique group that specialises in staging theatre productions for deaf audiences. These performances have become very popular and sought after internationally in recent years. In 1999 “Riks Drama” was founded by Lars Norén, Sweden’s leading contemporary playwright today, and also the section of “Riks Gästspel” for guest performances by Riksteatern abroad.
Artistic Director: Måns Largerlöf