Poets and Players

About the Performers


Paul Beevers has played guitar and bouzouki in a number of traditional bands at dance festivals throughout Europe. He has played with Jane in Tabuka and Chouchenn for around a decade. He has a particular passion for Irish, Klezmer and Breton music. He makes guitars, mandolins and citterns and teaches instrument making at Manchester College of Arts and Technology.

Chris Davies is a freelance performer, musician and composer based in Manchester. He works with professional theatre companies and also in schools, colleges and universities, and composes musical scores for culturally diverse shows and visual theatre.

Luke Das-Gupta (trumpet) trained at the Royal Northern College of Music and studied jazz with Stan Barker, as well as taking part in workshops given by Wynton Marsalis and Bobby Shew. Luke has played classically with all the major North West orchestras and has played on many national touring shows including Les Miserables, Blood Brothers and Chicago. He also leads his own Jazz trio, "Luke and the Dukes".

Ben Farmer plays the accordion and melodeon, which he studied at the Liverpool Institute for the Performing Arts. Currently he teaches music in a school near Blackpool. When not at work, he plays music with his friends and games with his son, Ewan and wife, Jo and is looking forward to a new addition any moment... Ben played with Jane Lawrence in the band "Chouchenn" and is a co-founder of the group "Tabuka".

Jane Lawrence has played and composed music for many years. Originally from Manchester, she studied Ethnomusicology at Goldsmiths and learnt tabla in India with a master musician. She runs HoBow, a community fiddle group in Lancaster and plays with Tabuka and Chouchenn, with whom she has recorded two CDs. When not playing her fiddle or being a busy mother, she loves swimming.

Lorna Lewis has just appeared in Pomegranate for The Royal Exchange and Macbeth for Chester Gateway. Since leaving The Arden School Theatre 4 years ago, she has appeared at The Royal Exchange in Manchester in The Seagull, Ward 6, London Assurance and Sherlock Holmes and at the Contact Theatre/Liverpool Unity in Bubbysaurus. She has also appeared in Merchant of Venice for Poor Tom and Dr Faustus for TDP.

Stuart McCallum is a 26-year-old guitarist based in Manchester. His intense focus, phenomenal improvising and restless creativity have not gone unnoticed in the UK.. He has toured and recorded with British jazz stars such as John Surman and Don Weller, as well as musicians from bands such as Texas, Jamiroquai and Simply Red. he has supported American singer Carmen Lundy at Ronnie Scott's, London, as a member of the Geoff Gascoyne Quartet.

Sonia Moorhead is an MMU School of Theatre graduate, having worked with Roger Hanes (associate director of the Library Theatre co.) Helena Kaut Howsen and Gregorz Bral (director of Teatr Piesn Kozla). Most recently she worked with the acclaimed "Horse and Bamboo Theatre" and has developed street performances for festivals, including "Streets Ahead", often incorporating her stilt-walking skills. She sings on the Manchester live music circuit and is now writing and developing her own site-specific show for 2007.

Andrew Mucha is interested in the Anthropology of Music especially music written in the realm of Faery and the Myths behind it. He sometimes supports Chris Davies in playing music.

Aidan Smith (keyboard, vocals) learned piano from lessons and songwriting in a garage. He has sound-tracked three short films and released three e.p.s and one full-length album "Fancy Barrel". A musical film co-written with Graeme Cole is currently in the pre-production stage.

Louis Smith (guitar) a recent graduate, Louis is a paragon of musical versatility. He has been known to perform on drums, piano, French horn, trumpet, didgeridoo and his first instrument, guitar. He is also a skilled songwriter. He loves aeroplane food.

Jon Thorne is best known as the bassist in Lamb, and has recently played and recorded with artists as diverse as Trilok Gurtu, Robert Miles, Robert Fripp, Coco Rosie, Gilad Atzmon, Lou Rhodes and Claire Teal. He releases his debut album "Manchester Road" in June 2006 (double bass, Strung Out).

Arts Council England