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Meet the Cast

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ANDY FORD

Andy started in the business at a young age with his first paid gig shortly after his twelfth birthday, by 14 he had joined a band as a singer and was the front man for many years before eventually going solo. Moving to the Cabaret scene he started to introduce more humour and it was the comedy that created excited interest from showbiz agents culminating in many tours and cruises.
In 1997 he was featured on ITV's Big Big Talent Show hosted by Jonathan Ross, and his unique performance resulted in Executive Producer Nigel Lithgoe inviting Andy to appear on the Royal Variety Show in the presence of Her Majesty the Queen and Prince Philip on the occasion of their Golden Wedding Anniversary
More TV appearances followed including ITV’s Talking Telephone Numbers and Channel 5's award winning children's comedy show, Havakazoo. In 1998 Des O'Connor invited Andy onto his famous couch and the merriment created ensured a return spot on Des's next series plus regular appearances on Today with Des and Mel where he performed alongside Rod Stewart, Celine Dion, Shania Twain and many other stars.
In Pantomime Andy enjoys playing the 'Simple Simon' type role and over the years he has teamed up with icons such as National Treasure Dame Barbara Windsor, David Hasselhoff, Henry Winkler, Steve McFadden, Louie Spence, Warwick Davis and many others.
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JULIAN CHARLES

Julian Charles is no stranger to the stage he started performing from the age 8 years old being involved in plays and pantomimes playing roles such as Silly Billy, Wishee Washee and Simple Simon and in plays such roles as The doctor in One flew over the Cuckoo's Nest and Jim in The Vicar of Dibley .Recently Julian Charles went back to university and trained professionally at Bristol institute of performing arts and achieved a BA Honours in musical theatre. His professional credits so far are touring with The panto Bus playing The Baron in jack and the beanstalk, Working Scarefest at alton towers ,Recording a podcast for BBC radio 4.

Julian has just secured a job working as a Kids Entertainer for Froggles Parties and is also off to lapland Finland to play Santa clause.

Julian is playing John Miles for the second time as he was involved in drink up thy cider in 2017 and is looking forward to portraying him once again .

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DI JACOBSON

Di is delighted to revive her role of Yvonne Cutler nee Tucker, the Wife of Adge Cutler whom she portrayed in the original airing of, 'Drink Up Thy Cider' in 2017. As part of the Tobacco Factory Choir she has appeared in prestigious venues in and around Bristol as well as filming episodes of the hit Sky Show, 'Trollied' and various other local productions. She also enjoys playing comedy roles like Polly in Fawlty Towers and Yvette in a production of 'Allo, Allo'. In pantomime she shows her versatility by playing everything from a Minion to the Evil Queen in Snow White. 

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VIV DANNING

New to our Show is multi talented Actor/ Singer/ Musician/ Impressionist and all round good egg Viv Danning. Viv has had a long and distinguished career in many different fields. He first worked with Andy Ford in Pantomime in 1995 as the Sultan in Aladdin. Long before that meeting however Viv joined professional act The Chevrons in 1975, this was the first chance to present his many talents in a Cabaret setting, previous to that he had played Bass as a member of the band Calypso.

The experience of being in The Chevrons was great for Viv and saw him playing all over the country sharing the stage with stars like Wayne Fontana, the Swinging Blue Jeans, Noel Edmonds and many more.

In 1978 he joined South West Dance Band ‘Haze’, as lead vocalist and trumpet player before moving on to join the sensational Comedy Showband ‘OMEN’ where his many talents could shine.

Viv plays Trumpet, Horn, Euphonium, Drums, Harmonica, Bass Guitar and of course the Sousaphone!.

The Drink Up Thy Cider cast are delighted to welcome this tour de force to their Show!

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ANDY
McBRIDE-COOGAN

Andy McBride-Coogan appeared in our last production of DUTC and is back again for this great show in a number of roles including our other local superstar Acker Bilk, Reg Chant (Adge’s original accordionist) and Tommy Banner from the Wurzels.

He has appeared on TV in the Sky Production “Delicious,” and has made a number of short films. He is also an actor and director in local theatre and has appeared on stage in lots of local productions where is particularly enjoys playing the baddie. Recently Andy has been filming a new drama for Channel 4 which will be screened later in the year.

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EMMA BUNCE

Emma’s entertaining gene seems to have come from her Mum. She was a good singer and appeared on Junior Opportunity Knocks on TV. Growing up they sang together, but her mother noticed that Emma would “ act a song” rather than just sing it . It was a headmistress at school who said this girl can act ! She sent Emma off to Sally Noble’s drama school . There she won one of 20 converted places at the HTV drama workshop. She worked with Aled Jones and Bill Oddie, taking small roles in HTV childrens dramas “The Bubblegum Brigade “ and “Chatterbox” . Emma also hosted Super Ted’s 10th birthday party at Cardiff Castle and had the wonderful opportunity of interviewing Bonnie Langford ,Melvin Haines and Derek Griffiths.
In the nineties she featured in the midland bank adverts as the schoolgirl on the sofa.

In the BBC drama Against all Odds, Emma played a teenage Mother, who set her flat on fire. She also made multiple appearances in Casualty (as every Bristol born and bred actor does). Stage work includes Crazyface at the Bristol old vic and of course Drink up thy cider in 2017. She is currently involved in a pilot for a BBC short comedy drama - so watch this space ! Emma is looking forward to reprising her role as West Country Barmaid /Landlady ‘Mable’ and working again with Andy and the rest of the fabulous cast.

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JAKE PALMER

Jake is currently training at BIPA (Bristol Institute of Performing Arts). In his time at BIPA he has played lead roles such as ‘Billy Flynn’ in Chicago, ‘Warner Huntington lll’ in Legally Blonde and ‘Bert’ in Mary Poppins.
In 2018, he performed at the All England Theatre English Final in the multi-award winning One Act adaptation of Federico Garcia Lorca’s ‘Bodas de Sangre’ adapted by Ross Brown.
As well as continuing his own training, he is currently working as a dance teacher at Razzamataz Bristol North.
Jake is very excited to be joining the cast of Drink Up Thy Cider!

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MICHAELA SYDNEY

Born when national football was great Michaela has performed from a little girl, putting on shows for the family.

Michaela started her singing career in Gospel Music touring with America Ministers when they were in the UK.

Working as a session singer she was dubbed a beach girl for her harmonies.

Travelling to Tenerife she stayed there 3 years entertaining holiday makers with her Gloria Estefan show. A holiday romance brought her back to the UK and sunny Bristol where she continued to entertain in the South West as a Soloist and in a duo called Guilt Edge.

Michaela pursued her love of theatre with a Post Grad Diploma and headed for the West End for a short time at the Shaftesbury Theatre.

Theatre has played a big part in her career with lead roles of Sally (Me and My Girl) Anna ( King and I) and her favourite Mama Rose (Gypsy). One of her favourite roles has also been the Evil Queen in Snow White, maybe one year she can appear with Andy in Panto!

She now has 2 children's Theatre Schools called Razzamataz.

Michaela was in the original cast of Drink Up Thee Cider and is looking forward to another successful run

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STONEY GARNETT

For many decades Stoney Garnett has been plying his comedic trade, his unique and popular comedy style has been loved by Bristolians and embraced by folk from further afield. A long and varied career has seen him work alongside icons like Richard Harris, Anthony Hopkins, Sir John Gielgud and in the early days he even supported Roy Orbison, The Rolling Stones and ...wait for it… the Beatles! He is delighted to revive his portrayal of George (Drink Up Thy Cider) Rollings in our Show sharing the stage with his mate Andy Ford.

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FRANCESCA CARLY

Francesca Carly has always loved performing from a very young age, she is currently a professional singer most known in Bristol and Wales performing at holiday parks, clubs, weddings and charity events. She graduated from drama school in 2019 with a BA (Hons)Degree in musical theatre taking part in semi-professional shows, one of those including a children's show starting as Queen Elsa, Rapunzel, Cinderella and many more princesses in the production of "enchanted tales. Francesca is currently a musical theatre teacher for little ones age 4-7s - 8,12s at perform bringing her passion and love for theatre through teaching. Francesca Carly is well known as the youngest Michael Jackson tribute artist in the South West starting at the age of 15 and went on to touring her tribute shows, around beautiful auditoriums around Wales and the South West, and even got invited to meet the cast of thiller live (west end). Francesca is looking forward to being back on stage doing what she loves best.

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V ACADEMY DANCERS

The V Academy dancers feature Olivia Dorrington,

Lucy Mancinetti and Nina Hayward. The Dance Troupe are from Vicky Moody's popular and successful Dance School.... V Dance Academy

The School has been well established in the Bristol area for more than 10 years and it offers lessons in Hip Hop, Ballet, Contemporary, Lyrical & Street Dance.

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FELIX SURBE

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Felix is our 20-year-old Musical Director and Pianist, specialising in Opera and Musical Theatre.

His initial training at Bristol Pre-Conservatoire, under the tutelage of Dr. Jonathan James, gave him an excellent grounding in ensemble playing and musicianship. During this time, he also gained valuable experience playing for the South Gloucestershire Music Hub in prestigious venues including The Royal Albert Hall, Birmingham Symphony Hall, and St Georges, Bristol. Felix is currently studying under British concert pianist, Helen Reid.

As a Musical Director, Felix works for The Secret Cabaret Club, Bristol Musical Theatre, as well as providing accompaniment for The Big Act Academy of Theatre Arts. His private practice includes coaching graduates from The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Associated Studios, Wales International Academy of Voice, and The Urdang Academy, London.

Credits as Musical Director include: Drink Up Thy Cider (Redgrave Theatre, 2021), The Last Five Years (KW Productions, 2021), Peer Gynt- a reimagining (Circle Theatre, 2019), and 13 (South Gloucestershire Music Hub, 2018).

As an excellent sight-reader, Felix often accompanies choral societies, instrumental exams and masterclasses, as well as being in high demand as an accompanist for Opera and Musical Theatre. He enjoys session work and is available for recordings upon request.

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LUKE HINCHLIFFE
Drummer

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JORDY ROWLANDS
Banjo/Guitar

 

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HARRY HADEN-BROWN
Musical Supervisor

 

Originally from Fareham, Hampshire, Harry trained at the University of Bristol and with National Youth Music Theatre. In 2017 he was the original Musical Director for the first incarnation of Drink Up Thy Cider performed at the Redgrave Theatre in Bristol. Harry is the in house Musical Director for several leading cabaret evenings and teaches at Arts Ed as well as spending most of the week accompanying auditions and masterclasses. After a stint with the Phantom of the Opera UK Tour  he's now glad to be back out making magic with the world premiere of Disney’s Bedknobs and Broomsticks adding to a very full and prestigious portfolio. We are delighted to have Harry on board for this production.

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MICHELLE
JACKSON-MOGFORD

Stage Manager/ Assistant Director