Creativity in lockdown

Lockdown has seen a rise in some wonderfully creative thinking from our brilliant industry when it comes to finding different ways to deliver performances to audiences despite restrictions. Here we highlight some of the work our clients have been involved with during lockdown.

Marc Zayat has been kept busy with the new and hilarious comedy play, Bog Roll Bandits. Hosted by Ethereal Theatre Company, which Marc also co-founded, and in collaboration with The Cockpit Broadcast, Bog Roll Bandits follows six neighbours in lockdown prepared to risk everything to pull off the biggest toilet paper heist of 2020. Set in the magical world of Zoom, with friendships, jobs and Banana Bread on the line, will they succeed? Marc is co-creator of the project and plays the role of the lovable, geeky conspiracy theorist, Tyler.

Another Actorum member creating brilliant lockdown-inspired work is Maria Forrester who is currently co-writing, co-producing and co-starring in new web series, The Insiders. Available to view on YouTube, the series follows the highs and lows of a couple isolating together during the Covid-19 lockdown in London. It’s a feel-good, modern series that tackles a relevant and difficult subject with loads of heart and courage. Impressively, the series is all shot on one iPhone in a small one-bed flat.

It’s not all about brand new work though, Actorum’s Ben Galpin recently took part in a live-streamed reading of Shakespeare’s Love Labour’s Lost as part of The Show Must Go Online. The project comprises a global cast in weekly readings of the Complete Plays of Shakespeare, read in the order they were believed to have been written. Ben played the love-struck Berowne, complete with a green parrot, collection of hats and a wooden spoon tree! Full show available here.

Nadia Shash can be seen on The Little Angel Theatre’s YouTube channel reading the well-loved classic Beauty and the Beast. These recordings are part of The Little Angel Theatre’s ‘Stories for Children’ series, taking tales, read by some of their brilliant actor-puppeteers, in to their audience’s homes to provide some comfort and entertainment whilst the theatre is having to be closed. Nadia has previously worked with Little Angel Theatre on both Zeraffa Giraffa and Emily Rising.

Rosie Abraham can also be seen online reading a children’s story and hers is for dramatherapy charity, Roundabout. Since the start of lockdown Roundabout has been providing therapeutic online resources for their clients, one of which is “Roundabout-A-Story”. It aims to create a bank of stories for children and their families to share at this challenging time. Rosie wrote and recorded a story called Magnificent Dolores, which is about a pony who doesn’t know she’s a unicorn.

Ben Galpin & Marc Zayat perform at Sharjah Fringe Festival

Ben Galpin and Marc Zayat travelled to the inaugural Sharjah Fringe Festival in the United Arab Emirates to perform in Joyce.

Ben played Dad and Marc played Bo-Bo the Hamster, who journey together into the world of a storybook in this hilarious and heart-warming family show. On their way, they meet some extraordinary characters including a stick of Dynamite who could explode at any moment; an inventive, futuristic Spacewoman; a daydreaming medieval Prince; and a Giant who yearns to be small.

Complete with puppetry, music and live magic, this enchanting and colourful new adventure dazzled audiences from 18 Jan – 1 Feb 2020. Read more on the Sharjah Fringe website or enjoy the trailer below.

Tabby McTat promotional image

Ben Galpin in Southbank Centre’s Tabby McTat

Ben Galpin played Fred the Busker and Sock in Freckle Production’s adaptation of Tabby McTat at the Southbank Centre.

Based on the popular book written by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, this heartwarming tale of friendship and loyalty was packed full of original songs by Bobby Delaney.

“absolutely purrrrrr-fect in every way”

Rock ‘n’ Roller Baby

Tabby McTat ran at London’s Southbank Centre over the Easter holidays 2019.

Ben Galpin heads down under with The Hunting of the Snark

Ben Galpin returns to play the explorer Barnaby Bellman and rainbow coloured Jub Jub Bird in the sparkling, family musical adventure The Hunting of the Snark.

After running in the West End’s Vaudeville Theatre and touring the UK in 2017, the show returns this summer with shows at the Southbank Centre from 26 – 28 May. Followed by a tour of Australia with shows at Arts Centre Melbourne 11 -15 July and Sydney Opera House 17 -22 July.

All children, animals and silly people are welcome to this imaginative new adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s classic poem. With the show brought magically to life by a cast of five high-energy performers, a parade of fantastical creatures, puppetry ad lashings of daft humour.

Side-splittingly funny, joyful, fast-paced and bursting with a soundtrack of witty songs by an award-winning songwriter, The Hunting of the Snark is set to delight, excite and entertain again this summer.


“Ben Galpin is debonair as the Bellman, an expert explorer (Indiana Jones with a touch of Bear Grylls), and delicious as a rainbow-tasselled Jubjub bird”
The Times


“a masterclass in witty, engaging, imaginative musical theatre for children … Gather up your littluns and take them to the Vaudeville Theatre. This is definitely one not to miss”
Musical Theatre Review


“the stand-out performance and the one you’ll remember long after the curtain has fallen comes from Ben Galpin who seems completely at home on the West End stage”

Photos by Simon Annand

Ben Galpin in the West End’s The Hunting of the Snark

Ben Galpin plays explorer, natural historian & Snark expert Barnaby Bellman and the rainbow coloured Jub Jub Bird in The Hunting of the Snark in the West End’s Vaudeville Theatre and on tour around the UK during 2017.

The impossible voyage of an improbable crew to hunt an imaginary creature is brought magically to life in this sparkling musical comedy adventure for 4 to 94 year olds. Enter the imaginative world of Alice in Wonderland creator, Lewis Carroll, in this brand new, highly original, ultra-modern adaptation inspired by his beloved classic poem.

A few reviews for Snark:

“Ben Galpin is debonair as the Bellman, an expert explorer (Indiana Jones with a touch of Bear Grylls), and delicious as a rainbow-tasselled Jubjub bird… The search for the Snark may be a fool’s errand, but when the company is as loveable as this, only a spoilsport wouldn’t jump aboard.”
★★★★ The Times

“a masterclass in witty, engaging, imaginative musical theatre for children … The cast is a highly talented bunch …  Galpin gives us  an earnest khaki-suited explorer – David Attenborough merged with Jacob Rees-Mogg”
★★★★★ Musical Theatre Review

“This show is completely charming and delightful … the stand-out performance and the one you’ll remember long after the curtain has fallen comes from Ben Galpin who seems completely at home on the West End stage. Galpin’s portrayal of the flamboyant adventurer ‘The Bellman’ is utterly convincing, entertaining and energetic. In his second guise, he also appears as Jub Jub, an oversized bird who has much of the Rod Hull Emu about him. Galpin shimmies a wacky artificial grass skirt costume with great aplomb! Remember his name. He is most definitely one to watch out for.”
★★★★ LondonTheatre1

Ben Galpin back on the road with The Tempest

After a summer touring Twelfth Night with Open Bar, Ben Galpin is back on the road with Thick As Thieves’ production of The Tempest.

Prospero and his daughter have been wronged, set adrift in the Mediterranean by a usurping sibling and a rival king. They have lived on a deserted island for 12 years… well, almost deserted. When fate brings his enemies sailing past the island, Prospero decides to take matters into his own hands. What follows is a story of love, freedom and the consequences of heavy drinking.

A storm is about to descend… brave the elements and witness a company of four actors romping through this magical comedy. This fresh adaptation of Shakespeare’s classic stays entirely faithful to the original text, whilst offering a riotous departure from the norm.

The Tempest sweeps into theatres accompanies by relentless energy, breakneck costume changes and sparking comedy.

The Tempest will be touring throughout September and October, with venues including Theatre Severn, Trinity Theatre Tunbridge Wells and Waterside Arts Centre.