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The Girls

(and sometimes guys)

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- JEN -

I love a good story told well. The moment I’ve got a script in my hand I’m off on a journey, digging deep until the “terrifying unforeseen” of a live performance.

 

My degree in English & Drama took me into Theatre in Education with Diversions Theatre Company, Leicestershire. The real launchpad was a decade of treading the boards at The Regal Theatre - fabulous roles in period dramas, farces, musicals, concerts with Urban Voice singing first soprano and then co-founding BlackChair Theatre company which toured with Shakespeare adaptations.

 

From these happy years I took the plunge into master classes with the Old Vic Theatre School in Bristol and then into professional training with Bristol Acting Academy; In my giddy forties! It’s too late for my dream role, Mary Poppins, but I’m blossoming where I am planted and loving the fertile, creative ground of Exmoor. 

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For my full acting CV, head this way.

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- RUTH -

My journey as a violinist started at the age of four when I was recruited as an early member of the Taunton Suzuki Group and was given my first violin - a cereal box with a wooden ruler stuck on it!

 

Thankfully I mastered the correct violin hold and posture quickly and so was promoted to a real violin within weeks! This opened the door to some great opportunities for a (mostly) enthusiastic young fiddler, in the form of residential courses with the Somerset County Youth Orchestra and the National Children’s Orchestra. I attended sixth form at Wells Cathedral School where I (mostly) enjoyed the opportunities to play regularly in ensembles and orchestras. I won’t lie; I also enjoyed the fact that I could skive prep time by pretending to go and practise my violin!!

 

Following a degree in Environment Management (an eco-zeolot, I wanted to save the planet, but clearly didn’t quite succeed!) and a post-graduate diploma in Music Therapy, I married gardener hubby Ingo and we settled down in Minehead since when - as well as having two lovely kids! - I’ve been teaching in local schools, playing with the Taunton Sinfonietta, at my church in Alcombe, with my dad, with other local musicians, for occasional barn dances and weddings and, of course, for Take Three Girls productions with the lovely Monika Balogh on piano (and my dad in Monika’s maternity leave absence!). I also play regularly for the residents of a local care home where I’m drawing more and more from my training as a music therapist to explore the therapeutic use of music with people who have dementia or have suffered a stroke. 

 

Take Three Girls productions are a wonderful excuse to simply have fun playing whatever we please (as long as it passes muster with Jen) to complement the fabulous stage action!  

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- MONIKA -

In Hungary and after I graduated with two masters degrees at the University of Pecs, I worked as a music teacher and choir conductor.

I left behind my job, made the move to Somerset (which I very quickly fell in love with) and found my happiness here. 

 

It was in Somerset that I started to teach piano and singing whilst I worked as a piano accompanist for the Minehead Male Voice Choir.

 

I eventually met Ruth Gasperini! Ruth and I became good friends, and after discovering a shared interest in music, we started to play and gig locally together. We typically played classical pieces, but also enjoyed the odd jazzy and more popular requests!

 

I have really enjoyed working on a number of projects with Jenny and working alongside wonderful, various casts over the years.

Every performance has been a fantastic experience and I look forward to working on more future projects in the years to come. 

Other Faces You May See

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RACHEL

My childhood passion was watching 1930’s and 40’s films. The old greats instilled a love of drama, and after my first play at the age of ten, in H.G Wells, Half a Sixpence, I got the bug. 

 

My training and work within the health and social care sector taught me much about the complexities of human behaviour. I find people fascinating. This and treading the boards at The Regal Theatre for seven years, led to my degree in Theatre Studies with Rose Bruford College. Every character I work on teaches me more about myself and humankind in general.

 

I have been blessed to have had the opportunity to join Take Three Girls in Hands Across The Sea, Fallen Angels, Agnes Of God and Breath of Life. 

 

I have given up my day job to focus on things that I am passionate about. My acting, voice-over work and writing keep my creative juices flowing. I also love rolling up my sleeves on my small-holding and seeing my produce and ducks and chickens thrive.

DUNCAN

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I'm fourteen and at boarding school. Pupils are invited to audition for ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’. Excitement. But I’m in a class too low to be eligible. Disappointment and brooding. Thankfully resolve takes over; I go to the teacher directing the play and say, I would like to be in it please.

 

A few days later she asks me if I’d like to play Puck. I did like. On stage I went, not exactly acting, more easily learning the lines (and nearly everyone else’s) then unconsciously embodying a rather naughty Being, surrounded by matters largely out of his control. Some say that was the beginning of being type cast.

 

Playing a character forces us to believe in people who wield their power in ways we might try to exclude from our own lives. Challenge.

 

Many characters later I get to play with Jen, a professional in every way, and in her I see my school teacher’s vision and flexibility reflected. Development. Thank you Jen.

MO 

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I’ve always sung! At the age of 2 I discovered that a few nursery rhymes could be rewarded with ice cream, but the big reveal came on coronation Day, 1953, when aged 6 I sang for my first proper audience – our packed village hall.  They applauded and I was hooked.  This was what I wanted to do.

I began classical training at 14, performed locally and won a few competitions.  At college, while continuing my classical training I took up the guitar and got into folk music.  It was the golden age of protest songs and, with a friend, I sang many of those in folk clubs and on church steps in London.  During the next 10 years I did radio, recordings, TV and session singing. Settling into marriage and suburban life I returned to classical singing. I joined a choral society and took the lead in several operas, operettas and oratorios (my favourite!)

On moving to Somerset in 1989 I became involved with Roadwater players. I discovered that acting was as much fun as singing and later worked with Black Chair Theatre and Barnstormers.

I’ve been lucky to work with so many lovely and talented people and have had a mountain of happy times. My career highlight?  When Cliff Richard borrowed my nail file!  Sigh…..

PATIENCE

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When I was nineteen, a friend suggested that I auditioned for the part of Gillian Holroyd in Bell, Book & Candle. To my amazement I was offered the lead and took over where Kim Novak left off!!

I subsequently played Cicely in The Importance of being Ernest, Kitty in Charlie’s Aunt and Elvira in Blythe Spirit. I’ve played a lesbian in an award winning production of Bella Donna; a dipsomaniac who hit the sherry bottle in Noel Coward’s Waiting in the Wings and a sex maniac in a play whose title I can’t remember.

There have been many other roles and many other lines to learn throughout the years, but the roles that stand out for me are: Amadeus (one of Salieri’s Venticelli ); A Pack of Lies (Helen Kroger); and Dr. Stockton’s wife in An Enemy of the People by Ibsen.

Now, I have met Jenny! Two plays in and, hopefully, more to come. I’ve been cast as men on each occasion...it would be nice to pay a dowager duchess or a femme fatale.

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JEREMY

I have been involved with drama since school and university, where I co-wrote a play performed at the Edinburgh Fringe in 1982 based on Jaroslav Hasek’s The Good Soldier Sveik.

 

In Hong Kong, I acted with Stylus Theatre Company, The Hong Kong Players and Aurora Theatre in: Journey’s End, Macbeth, Amadeus, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Filumena, Duetto, Shadowlands and Sleeping Beauty. With Take Three Girls, I have appeared in Hands Across The Sea and Fallen Angels.

 

Other interests include playing regular village cricket and co-founding The Porlock Pilgrim’s Trail, a new walking route around Exmoor that takes in many scattered and under-appreciated historic gems.

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