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BERNARD J. TAYLOR

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Much Ado

Album Cast
Rod Brown | Simon Burke | Sheri Copeland | David Hedges | Barry James
Peter Karrie | Kathy Long | Paul McGann | Janet Mooney | Claire Moore
Dave Pendlebury | Stuart Simons | Steve Stapley | Craig Rees | Claire Robinson

PAUL McGANN (Benedick) has achieved international fame as the new Dr Who and for his leading role in the cult film Withnail and I. At the time of the release of this recording, he was appearing with his three brothers in the big budget BBC production of The Hanging Gale, which he and his brothers also helped to produce. He later appeared in the role of Andy McNabb in the BBC Television film of McNaabb's book, The One That Got Away. After a number of stage and television roles, he made a big impact in the title role of the BBC series The Monocled Mutineer and has played leading roles in a number of other film and television productions - including Aliens III for 20th Century Fox, Paper Mask for Film Four International, Withnail and I for Handmade Films, Catherine The Great for UFA/Patrola, The Importance of Being Earnest for the BBC, to name but just a few. Although primarily known as a dramatic screen actor, he has appeared in musicals before - most notably in John, Paul, George and Bert at the Horseshoe Theatre, Basingstoke. He also did some singing in his role as the murderous opportunist in Paper Mask. Paul has actually appeared in a previous (non-musical) production of Much Ado About Nothing at the Horseshoe in Basingstoke, playing the role of Dogberry .

CLAIRE MOORE (Beatrice) has starred in most of the major West End hits of recent years and in 1993 was acclaimed by Impressions Magazine as "the greatest singer on the British musical stage today". She created the role of Ellen in Miss Saigon and took over from Sarah Brightman in the original West End production of Phantom of the Opera. She was subsequently voted the favourite Christine by members of the Phantom Appreciation Society. She has also appeared as Fantine in the West End production of Les Miserables. Her debut solo album, Child of the Earth, was released on the First Stage Records label in 1993 and received glowing reviews in Britain and the USA. She has created lead roles in recordings of three Bernard J. Taylor musicals ­ Angela in Success! (released in 1993); Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice (released in July, 1994) and Mina in Nosferatu The Vampire, which was released in April, 1995)

GUEST STAR PETER KARRIE (Don John) has made a big impact with his portrayal of the Phantom in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera in London and Toronto and in the summer of 1994 was voted The Greatest Phantom of All by members of the international Phantom Appreciation Society. He has played lead roles in many other hit musicals, including Jean Valjean in the West End production of Les Miserables, Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar, Che Guevara in the first national tour of Evita, and the American in Chess. He created the role of John Blackthorn in the USA production of the musical version of James Clavell's Shogun in 1990. In 1994 he created the role of Darcy on the recording of Bernard J. Taylor's Pride and Prejudice (released in 1994) and the title role in the recording of Bernard J Taylor's Nosferatu The Vampire (released in April, 1995). For more information about Peter, write to the Peter Karrie Fan Club, Salkyns, Gt Canfield, Bishops Stortford CM22 6SX, UK.

BARRY JAMES (Leonato) has established himself as one of the great character actors of the musical stage through such roles as Thenardier in the West End production of Les Miserables (a role he also recorded on the international cast recording), Mendel the psychiatrist in March of the Falsettos (a role he created), Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors (a role he created for the British stage), Herod in Jesus Christ Superstar, Otto Kringleline in Grand Hotel, the Baker in Into the Woods and Beadle Banford in the National Theatre production of Sweeney Todd ­ for which he received a nomination for Best Supporting Performance in the Olivier Awards. Stephen Sondheim was so taken with Barry's performance in this role that he wrote an additional scene for the character. Barry has been described by Masquerade magazine (which is devoted to musical theatre) as "one of the best-kept secrets of the British musical stage" ­ a performer whose achievements far outweigh the recognition he has received so far. At the time of recording, Barry was appearing in She Loves Me at the Savoy Theatre. Barry sang the role of the madman Renfeld in the recording of Bernard J Taylor's Nosferatu The Vampire.

SIMON BURKE (Claudio) has had much success in films and television as well as on the stage. His major stage roles have included Raoul in Phantom of the Opera in London, Marius in Les Miserables in Sydney, Anything Goes and Falsettos in Australia, and the title role in Leonardo in Oxford. He has also starred in Australian television drama series such as Brides of Christ, Heroes 11 ­ The Return, Loveless, A Hard God, Scales of Justice and Soldiers. Films include The Devil's Playground, for which he won the Australian Film Institute's Best Actor award, The Irishman, The Clinic and Slate, Wyn and Me.

JANET MOONEY (Hero) is in constant demand for concerts and recordings. She has appeared in a number of operatic productions, including the world premiere of The Bacchae for English National Opera and a number of leading roles in productions by the Travelling Opera company - including the title role in Carmen, Zerlina in Don Giovanni, Despina in Cosi Fan Tutte and Musetta in La Boheme. Janet studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. In 1989/89 she appeared in the role of Cosette in the West End production of Les Miserables. She created the role of Jane Bennet in the recording of Bernard J Taylor's Pride and Prejudice, released in 1994 and has appeared on a number of other recordings

DAVID PENDLEBURY (Dogberry) studied music and drama at the Guildford School of Acting and at Nene College, Northampton. He had his West End debut in 1993 with Kiss of the Spider Woman, which was quickly followed by roles in City of Angels and The Phantom of The Opera. He has also appeared in touring productions of Chess, Being Alive, Leonardo, and two tours of Jesus Christ Superstar. As a member of the Ambrosian Opera Chorus, he has sung in Zurich, Dortmund and Birmingham.

ROD BROWN (Don John) has developed an enthusiastic following in the Eastbourne area after appearances in many leading roles in musicals, opera and oratorio with the Eastbourne Operatic and Dramatic Society. He frequently performs in concert as a guest tenor.

DAVID HEDGES (Balthasar) studied at the Alexander Academy of Dance and Drama and has played Leonard in The Yeomen of The Guard, Billis in South Pacific, Bell in Inmates and Spoletta in Tosca. He has also appeared in a touring production of Oh Mr Porter, a show celebrating the work of Cole Porter. He has also appeared in various concerts and cabaret shows.

STEVE STAPLEY (Friar Francis) has appeared in leading roles in a number of amateur productions in East Sussex - including The King And I, West Side Story, Carousel and Kiss Me Kate - and, shortly before this recording, drew great praise for his performance of Frederick Trumper in a production of Chess at the Congress Theatre in Eastbourne. Steve has appeared on two previous recordings by Bernard J. Taylor - Success and Nosferatu the Vampire.

SHERI COPELAND (Ursula) has appeared in a number of productions in East Sussex, most recently in Chess at the Congress Theatre, Eastbourne. She has appeared on two previous recordings of work by Bernard J Taylor - Pride and Prejudice and Nosferatu the Vampire. She also played the female lead, Mina, in the production of Nosferatu at the Royal Hippodrome Theatre, Eastbourne, in November, 1995, and at the time of writing was appearing in a production of Starlight Express in Germany.

CLAIRE ROBINSON (Margaret and chorus) made her professional debut as a child in a production of The King and I. Since then she has played many roles including Florence in Chess, Sally Brown in Snoopy The Musical, Annie in Round and Round The Garden, and Nancy in Oliver.

KATHY LONG (Attendant and chorus) took part in a number of school productions and after leaving school spent six years with Christian rock bands, playing alto sax and clarinet. She returned to the musical stage with roles in Eastbourne productions of Show Boat and Die Fledermaus and most recently played Svetlana in Chess.

STUART SIMONS (chorus) has appeared professionally with First Act Opera playing a guard in Tosca at Dover Castle. He has appeared in prominent roles in a number of productions with different amateur companies - including The Arbiter in Chess at the Congress Theatre, Eastbourne. He appeared in the production of Nosferatu at the Royal Hippodrome Theatre, Eastbourne, in November, 1995, and has been constantly busy in the theatre since then.

CRAIG REES (chorus) co-founded a cabaret group called Greasepaint in between numerous appearances in various musical productions in East Sussex.

 

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