MEET THE CAST 

IAN STROUGHAIR MASTER OF THE CASTLE 

Ian Stroughair is a seasoned West End performer where his role as Mary Sunshine in Chicago led him to create his drag alter ego Velma Celli.  
 
Known as ‘the UK’s Queen of live vocal drag’, Velma has been charming audiences across the globe for the past 14 years, from Australia to New York, and from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival to a two-year residency at London’s Hippodrome.  
 
Ian's other West End credits include the hit musicals Cats, Fame and Rent, for which he received critical acclaim. Ian made his TV debut on Eastenders in 1985, and many years later returned to make a special guest appearance as Velma in 2015. His show Me and My Divas won Best Cabaret at Fringeworld 2020. 

ALEX PHELPS THE LOVER 

Alex Phelps may be familiar to viewers of CBeebies as a regular performer - in Justin’s House, The Night Before Christmas, Romeo & Juliet and As You Like It.  
 
In 2019 Alex performed to rave reviews in Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre, York’s season of plays where he played Sir Andrew Aguecheek in Twelfth Night and Reynaldo in Hamlet.  
 
Alex’s other theatre credits include As You Like It for Shakespeare's Globe, the pantomime Aladdin at The Colisseum in Oldham, When Darkness Falls (original London cast, Park Theatre and UK tour), Things We Want for Manchester’s Hope Mill Theatre and the 2016 Summer Season at Keswick’s Theatre by the Lake (The Vertical Hour, Elektra, The Rivals). 

FANCY CHANCE THE HAIR HANGER 

Hailing from the school of cabaret, neo-burlesque and live-art, Fancy Chance aka Veronica Thompson is one of the few performers in the world actively performing hair hanging outside of a three ring circus.  
 
She has created, directed and produced her solo show Flights of Fancy supported by the Arts Council England, has been a collaborator and participant/performer in the all female cast of Florentina Holzinger’s award winning experimental dance theatre production TANZ, Dr. Carnesky’s Incredible Bleeding Woman and Showwomen.  
 
She has performed various seasons of her Loie Fuller tribute hair hang act with La Soiree, La Clique, Bernie’s Little Death Club, Club Kabarett and Quality Novelty. 

BRETT ROSENGREEN THE NAKED COWBOY 

Hypnotic and mesmerising Brett Rosengreen is currently one of the most sought-after male burlesque performers in the UK and Australia. Stylish, dramatic, sexy but always with a touch of humour, Brett is adored by women and men alike. 
 
Dripping with physical talent, he became one of the most in-demand dancers on the commercial dance scene, working with artists such as Kylie, Rhianna, Elton John, Take That, Robbie Williams, Jay Z and Cold Play to name just a few. His work in TV includes The X Factor, The Voice, Dancing with the Stars, Britain’s Got Talent, The Brit Awards and Australia’s Next Top Model. 
 
Brett now brings his talent and creativity to the world of burlesque, where he has performed in some of the finest cabaret shows and venues in the business such as the award-winning Australian all-male troupe Briefs in both Australia and London, House of Burlesque and Madam JoJo’s in London, as well as Proud Cabaret in London and Brighton and The Wam Bam Club UK tour. 

ANGIE SYLVIA the fire fox 

Angie Sylvia aka The Modern Pinup Girl is a fire and burlesque artist performing in the world’s biggest shows. A professional dancer, specialising in Hip Hop and Vogue, Angie turned her hand to burlesque after a long dance career that included performing with, and choreographing work for Imelda May, Lady Gaga,Tinie Tempah, Katy B, Akon and working as assistant choreographer for the Victoria's Secret fashion show in New York. 
 
As a founder member of London’s leading burlesque troupe The Folly Mixtures, Angie and the group performed for private clients including Cafe de Paris, Vogue magazine, The Hippodrome Casino, Proud Cabaret and toured their group and solo routines, as part of An Evening of Burlesque, throughout Europe, performing at some of the worlds top theatres, including London’s Leicester Square Theatre. The great successes of The Folly Mixtures led to their nomination for ‘Best Burlesque Act’ at the London Cabaret Awards. 
As a solo performer, Angie has been part of cabaret and variety’s most innovative shows around the world, including Miami’s Orchid, directed by Kylie Minogue stylist William Baker, Absinthe by Spiegelworld, Vegas Nocturne at The Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas, The Box in Sardinia, Carte Blanche at Tape London and Sziget Festival 2022 with Strut & Fret. 

DIDI DERRIERE THE BURLESQUE GODDESS 

Didi Derriere exploded onto the London Burlesque scene in 2015 since when she has delighted in fashioning acts in a variety of genres and moods. From her seductive Fan Dances to her deliciously authentic New Orleans 20’s Bump and Grind, Didi has grown into quite the creative chameleon. Her iconic Madonna tribute would have you fooled into thinking you had booked Madge herself! 
 
A professionally trained dancer, her exquisite acts are polished to perfection; executed to the highest of standards every time. From the raise of an eyebrow to a sky-high kick, every move exudes class and sass. 
 
Didi won the Crown of Burlesque Idol in just her first year on the scene and has continued growing ever since. She has been sashaying across stages in the UK and Europe, including Belgium, Switzerland and Estonia. 
 
She is resident in many of London's top Burlesque spots and regularly makes Guest Appearances with the Gin House Burlesque. She has become a firm favourite of the cabaret community, both on and offstage, finding a home in the hearts of producers and burlesque connoisseurs alike. 

FLORIAN BROOKS THE GENTLEMAN JUGGLER 

Florian, gentleman juggler par excellence, has charmed audiences in numerous settings of splendour and champagne. 
 
After performing for Monaco's royalty, Singapore's elite and Vegas' high-rollers, he juggles his way in to surprise you with an elegant, nonchalant, and inventive performance. 
 
Florian displays the kind of juggling that catches the imagination, even of those who dislike the thought of witnessing any 'legerdemain' at all. With his casual demeanor, consider him the Fred Astaire of juggling-- the one who makes it all look so easy. 

KLODI & YANN THE HAND BALANCERS 

Klodi and Yann are circus performers with over 15 years professional experience. They perform high level entertainment in various disciplines, specialising in hand-to-hand and balancing acts as well as contortion, juggling, aerial hoop and silks.  
 
Klodi Dabkiewicz is a former Rhythmic Gymnast and Polish Champion in Sports Aerobics. She performed for 4 years in the largest water show in the world in Macau The House of Dancing Water created by Franco Dragone (director of 10 Cirque du Soleil shows). She has now gone on to perform internationally with her acts at top level cabarets and shows including Cirque du Soleil, Lio Ibiza, Cirque Eloize, Formula 1 Monaco GP, GOP Variete, Art on Ice, La Clique, La Soiree, and the Royal Opera House London. 
 
Yann LeBlanc Yann graduated in 2010 from the National Circus School of Montreal. He went on to work with renowned Canadian company Cirque Éloize and has toured internationally with Cirque du Soleil, The 7 Fingers, Cirque Alfonse, GOP Variete, The Box and Art on Ice. 
 
Klodi and Yann now live in London. 

JOE KEELEY THE FLYING MAN 

Joseph Keeley is an international aerial artist who has twisted, tumbled and turned his way onto the stages of London, the UK and beyond.  
 
Since bursting onto the scene in 2017, Joseph has found himself swinging from the ceilings of some of London’s most prestigious venues, including Proud Cabaret, The Box Soho and the London Cabaret Club. Joseph’s specialisation in the discipline of the aerial arts has also taken him around the world, with recent escapades leading to shows in Monaco and Hong Kong. 
 
With a background of competitive gymnastics, theatre and circus, Joseph lights up the stage with his breathtaking displays of both skill and artistry. 

MEET THE CREATIVES 

DAMIAN CRUDEN DIRECTOR 

Damian was Artistic Director of Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre in York in 2018 (Macbeth, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo & Juliet, Richard III) and in York and Blenheim Palace in 2019 (Hamlet, Twelfth Night, The Tempest, Henry V). 
 
Damian was Artistic Director at York Theatre Royal for 22 years. He directed The Railway Children which won an Olivier Award for Best Entertainment in 2011. 
Originally performed at the National Railway Museum in York, the ground-breaking production incorporated a real steam engine into the imaginative staging, and later transferred to the disused Eurostar terminal at London’s Waterloo Station, followed by a season in Toronto and the King’s Cross Theatre in London. 
 
In addition to directing the celebrated York Mystery Plays (2012) Damian’s other notable productions include: Guru (Castle Opera Poland); Hymn To Love; In God’s Own Country (Germany); Murder, Margaret & Me; Sherlock Holmes: The Hound of the Baskervilles; Brideshead Revisited; In Fog and Falling Snow; The Restoration of Nell Gwyn; Blithe Spirit; The Legend of King Arthur; The Guinea Pig Club; Laurel and Hardy; Forty Years On; Peter Pan; My Family and Other Animals; To Kill A Mockingbird; The Wind in the Willows; Up the Duff; The Homecoming; The White Crow (Eichmann in Jerusalem); Death of a Salesman;  
Patient No. 1; Enjoy; Bouncers 2007 Remix; The Dumb Waiter; The Hare and the Tortoise (in York and Japan); Pygmalion; Broken Glass; East Is East; Hay Fever; Macbeth; A Cloud in Trousers; Brassed Off; Caitlin; A Taste of Honey; Habeas Corpus; Up ‘n’ Under; Frankenstein; Noises Off; Little Shop of Horrors; Othello; Romeo & Juliet; Closer; Les Liaison Dangereuses; Educating Rita and The Turn of the Screw.  
 
He has also co-directed 22 York Theatre Royal pantomimes. 
 
Before his artistic directorship at York Theatre Royal, Damian worked for various regional theatres as a freelance director. He was Associate Director for Hull Truck in the early ’90s and prior to that Co-Artistic Director of the Liverpool Everyman Youth Theatre. He worked for the Tron and TAG in Scotland and was a tutor for the Scottish Youth Theatre. Damian trained at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama from 1982 to 1986. 

RICHARD HURFORD WRITER 

Richard is a Swansea-born theatre, radio, outdoor arts, digital and transmedia performance playwright.  
 
One of many Welsh theatre practitioners to emerge from the acclaimed West Glamorgan County Youth Theatre, his work has been produced throughout the UK, Europe and in the USA.  
He has created live performances in theatres, arenas, tents, carparks, streets, lidos, nightclubs, pubs, museums, castles, football grounds, taxis, buses, churches, shops, restaurants, schools, libraries, parks, festivals, virtual worlds, under water and (so far only once) on the Moon. 
 
He also works extensively as a dramaturg, director, new writing/performance consultant, producer, creative project facilitator and role-plays Citizen Wordhandler in the OurTopia Universe arts activism project. 
 

nathan jones MUSICAL DIRECTOR 

Nathan is a Music Director, Conductor, Orchestrator & Keyboard Player/Programmer and studied a Master’s in Composition at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. 
 
As Music Director Nathan has worked with House of Broadway Cabaret, RCT Theatres, TheatreMask Productions, RWCMD and YMTUK to name a few. 
Nathan regularly orchestrates for the Novello Orchestra, RWCMD, Technicolour Choirs, Senbla and many musicals, concerts and recordings. 
 
Credits include Keys 2 for Toy Story in Concert, Muppets Christmas Carol in Concert, Beauty and the Beast in Concert and La La Land in Concert UK tours; depping Keys 2 on the Bat Out Of Hell and Joseph UK tours; Katherine Jenkins: Home For Christmas (Keys 2, BBC Cymru), 1000 Voices: Music of the Movies (MD, Hybu, MotorPoint Arena Cardiff) and Tiger Bay (Orchestrator & Keys 2/Accordion, Wales Millennium Centre). 
 
Nathan also works with a number of renowned Welsh choirs, including Neath Male Choir, Cwmbach Male Choir and Rechoir. 
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