Profiles

The Team.





























































































Lynne






















Kate Billingham (Director)

White Cobra's first production of Scaramouche Jones marked Kate's third encounter with Justin Butcher's script. She first saw Pete Postlethwaite take on the role as part of a nationwide tour, then studied the text at University as part of her BA(Hons) in Drama with Psychology. Kate was delighted when her production went on to win Best Play and the Audience Appreciation Awards at the 2016 British All Winners Festival.


Kate won "Best Actress" in Days of Wine and Roses at The Manx Easter Festival 2014, amongst other awards for the same production, which later went on to win all awards at The British All Winners Festival 2014 for full act plays.

Kate has also appeared in a series of leading parts including taking the title role in Hedda Gabler and Maggie in Dancing at Lughnasa for other theatre companies.

Kate has also appeared on film in two short movies filmed on location in Italy, and also in health and safety and training films for No Going Back Productions.


Richard Jordan (Director)

Richard has spent the majority of his professional career working in broadcast journalism for a variety of Television and Radio companies. In more than twelve years with Bloomberg Television he produced and presented the popular weekly sport business show, Financial Goals. During this period he interviewed some of the biggest names in world sport including Pele, Sepp Blatter, Jacques Rogge, Lennox Lewis and Tim Henman.

He has presented for both BBC and Independent radio, but in recent years has concentrated on drama. Richard has worked with Oxford Film and Television on a full live scale broadcast on Sky Arts. So far the company has produced six full scale theatrical touring productions and is currently working on it's seventh which is due to tour in Spring 2017.

This series saw him working at The Courtyard Theatre in Stratford on Avon, which was for many years the home of the RSC, and remains a venue where the group performs, and at The Lyric Theatre in Shaftsbury Avenue in the heart of London’s West End.



Bernadette Wood

Bernie has been with White Cobra Productions since the group’s first production of ‘Scaramouche Jones’ in 2012.


Previously, as well as backstage support for a range of groups and productions, Bernie has also appeared in productions of Patrick Marber’s Closer (‘Alice’), Noel Coward’s Hayfever ( Myra), Nicholas Wright’s Vincent in Brixton (Ursula) , Brian Friel’s Dancing at Lughnasa (Chris) and Peter Whelan’s Accrington Pals (May).

She has also assisted on and appeared in several short films, shot in the UK and Italy.

Working with White Cobra Productions has allowed Bernie to work on a diverse range of productions and broaden her stage management experience. Bernie can also be seen on stage with The Shakespeare Revue.


Philip Welsh

Philip has been passionate about the technical aspects of presenting drama, since working as a teenage follow-spot operator at Northampton Royal Theatre. In the subsequent years, he has worked as an actor, sound engineer and designer; was Head of Drama at a 1,000 pupil secondary school; has been a member of the management team at an Arts Centre in Kent; worked for the Department of Transport on video and computer based driver training products; managed projects throughout Europe and the Middle East and is currently directing his 50th stage play.


Philip is a great believer that attention to detail is the key to reaching an audience. He is never happier than when listening to people after a show, discussing aspects of the emotional response the piece has evoked in them. He believes that he would rather not have his name on the credits, if the technical input has diverted attention from the performance.


Fraser Haines

Fraser Haines studied Drama at the University of Kent at Canterbury and spent his formative years working with the Unicorn Theatre for Children at the Arts Theatre, London and has worked in theatres in Colchester, Welwyn Garden City and Northampton.


Fraser has played a wide variety of roles in his 40 + years career and his favourites include Lucky Eric in "Bouncers", John Proctor in "the Crucible", Captain Hook in "Peter Pan" (directed by Richard Jordan), George in "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf" and his most recent appearance was the role of The Baker in Stephen Sondheim's "Into the Woods".

Fraser recently inflicted his singing voice on an unsuspecting public in productions of "Little Shop of Horrors" and "The Beggars Opera" and has just completed filming "Love Notes" for director Chris Griffiths. Fraser also does voice over work for corporate training films and has been a voice extra in large scale film productions such as "Troy" and "King Arthur".

A lifelong fan of Tony Hancock, Fraser felt privileged to be asked to be "The Lad Himself" in "Hancock's Last Half Hour" and to be working again with his colleagues in White Cobra on The Shakespeare Revue.


Paul Fowler

Paul has been involved in the theatre all his adult life - and for some time before that too.

For someone who turned, like many, from acting to directing when the words began to stick less easily, it's somehow ironic that Paul clearly remembers the first words he spoke on stage.

It wasn't until he moved to Kettering in Northamptonshire in the mid-1970s that Paul really began to get the theatrical bug, joining the town's leading society - the Cytringan Players, led by inspirational director Peter Shatford.

Approaching his 50th birthday Paul took a career break to study for an honours degree in Drama and Literature at the University of Essex and also qualified to become a drama adjudicator.

He is now Chairman of the Guild of Drama Adjudicators judging drama festivals all over the British Isles.


Ursula Wright (1937 - 2016)

Ursula directed well over fifty productions, ranging from Shakespeare and the classics (Aristophanes, Goldsmith, Sheridan, Brecht etc) to opera and musicals, a community play (The Kingdom of the Rose), revues and site/occasion specific entertainments of all kinds, including for the Millennium Dome. She directed White Cobra Productions successful tour of The Shakespeare Revue during 2014/15 and they are delighted to reprise the tour during the latter part of 2016 in her memory. She is sorely missed by all who worked with her.

Ursula’s involvement with theatre began at primary school in Birmingham, when she appeared in a performance of The Princess and the Pea (as the princess, not the pea!), wearing her mother’s cut-down evening dress – it was war-time and clothing coupons were rationed. At her all-girls secondary school she progressed to playing various Shakespearean men, usually positioned on a step or rostrum (a deep voice trumped a short body when it came to casting), under the direction of a legendary and formidable English teacher called Miss Flint. At university Ursula returned to female roles – being small didn’t seem to be an issue any more – and directed for the first time. She also performed in cabaret and revue – a theatrical genre that was especially popular at the time.

After a brief spell doing a variety of secretarial jobs and working in the Box Office of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Ursula settled on a career in teaching, first as a modern languages teacher (using plenty of role-play and cabaret songs) and later as a drama specialist, having acquired an appropriate qualification. On retiring from the profession in 1997, she joined Masque Theatre and re-created its Youth Theatre. In 2012 she was asked to devise and direct the Masque Theatre 80th Anniversary Gala Performance at the Royal Theatre.



Kaye Tompkins

Kaye has been working as a professional musician, accompanist, composer and musical director since completing her degree in music at Leeds University. She also spent nine years running her own successful music, art and drama centre, the Arts Barn - creating choirs, music groups, exhibitions, plays and jazz clubs; directing musicals, concerts and revues.

In her capacity as Musical Director, Kaye has worked for many years with numerous musical theatre and small independent companies, on shows as varied as Sweeney Todd, Assassins, The Fix, Company, Frankenstein, A Little Night Music, Camelot and many, many more.

As a composer, Kaye has collaborated with writer Kaye Vincent and together they have produced five full length works for Musical Theatre. KT is currently in the process of taking her debut choral work, According to Mary, to Peterborough Cathedral.

Kaye is delighted to be asked to work with White Cobra Productions on The Shakespeare Revue.


Rod Arkle

Rod started going to the theatre in his early twenties and it did not take him long to hop up on to the stage and ‘join in’ playing Ed in Entertaining Mr Sloane and Frank in Forget Me Not Lane before moving to Bedford and delving into musical theatre.

Memorable musical moments for him being Judas in JCS, Valentin in Kiss Of The Spider Woman and Lancelot in Camelot.

Rod has run his own building and joinery companies for most of his working life, but now is working full time for a construction company from the Midlands, and is studying for a diploma in Construction Management.

Rod is looking forward to working with White Cobra Productions with its array of very talented performers.


Kimberley Vaughn

Graduated from a three year acting course at Mountview Theatre School and moved straight into singing for the next fifteen years working in quartets, bands and duos on a professional and semi-professional basis. Musical theatre and plays, my favourite roles Anna in the ‘King and I’ and Spider Woman in ‘The Kiss Of The Spider Woman’ two very diverse roles. Plays have been particularly rewarding with three successful entries into Festivals - Night Mother, Peggy For You and Three Tall Women, each play achieving high praise and winning many awards including ‘Best Actress’. The Shakespeare Revue is a new challenge and performing with White Cobra Productions is a very exciting experience.



Denise Swann

After many years acting, including some of Shakespeare's wonderful female characters, Chekhov and more modern playwrights, and working backstage with local theatre groups, Denise was very pleased to be asked to help with stage management on White Cobra's production of Days of Wine and Roses and thoroughly enjoyed the experience of visiting a variety of theatres with this extremely successful production. White Cobra have amazing away days! It didn't take any thought at all to accept an invitation to continue my involvement with this company's future productions.


Martin Borley-Cox

Martin is an award-winning broadcaster and documentary-maker. He studied drama at university before going into journalism.

Martin has performed with a number of theatre groups in Northampton with roles including Mercutio in Romeo & Juliet, Ford in The Merry Wives of Windsor, Trinculo in The Tempest, Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Berowne in Love’s Labour’s Lost.

This is a welcome return to directing for Martin, after a 30-year-break.

Martin is also a keen photographer, graphic designer, qualified masseur and Justice of the Peace. His debut novel is due out next year.


Peter Borley-Cox

As a chartered management accountant, Peter is the king of spreadsheets and his skills as a 'change manager' for a multimillion pound organisation means he's great at telling us all what to do. He has been part of an award-winning choir, performed in The Beggar's Opera, and played the tuba. But he's part of the team because he makes great cakes.


Ian Spiby

Until recently, was Head of Performance Studies at the University of Northampton where he was in charge of drama, music and dance. One of the reasons he got the job in the first place was, that as well as being a drama specialist he was also a qualified musician and has played the piano from an early age. He is particularly interested in opera and has taught that subject at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. In addition, he has performed in many venues nationally over many years and has broadcast on BBC Radios 3 and 4.


Ella Drake

Ella is a recent graduate of the University of the West of England, where she was a student of Drama and acting. She has a passion for theatre, and is looking forward to the chance to expand her interest in the creative aspects. She is thrilled to be given the opportunity to join White Cobra as their theatre technician. In her spare time, Ella enjoys creative writing, and hopes one day to publish her own novel.


Lynne O'Sullivan

Lynne has loved the theatre for as long as she can remember and spent many years working at The Royal and Derngate Theatres in Northampton. She has directed and appeared in many plays over the years. From being prim and proper as The Heiress, in the play of the same name to bearing her soul, and plenty more besides, as Chris in Calendar Girls. Other favourite roles include Rita in Willy Russell's Educating Rita and Elizabeth in Kate Atkinson's Abandonment. Lynne loves performing and being on stage but admits working on September in the Rain has reignited her desire to direct again.


Pat Bancroft

Pat start her theatrical career age five as a ‘leaf’ on the now demolished New Theatre, progressing to child parts with the Rep.Then, while also having to ‘earn a crust’, joined Northampton Gilbert & Sullivan, Northampton Operatic and the Masque Theatre with whom numerous leading parts followed over the years.Some favourites being Annie in Annie Get your Gun, Golda in Fiddler on the Roof and Maria in The Sound of Music.After joining an ‘Interact’ semi-professional tour of Florida with School for Wives she went on to play one of her favourite roles Queen Elizabeth in Vivat,Vivat Regina with the group. Throughout this time Pat was busy taking leading parts with the Cytringan Players which including performing at the Minack Theatre in Cornwall.Her directing debut came with the ‘Cyts’ and has gone on to encompass many full length and award winning one-act festival entries throughout the country.Latterly Pat has been directing for the Masque Theatre, but still searching for new challenges, Love Letters will be her first performance for White Cobra.......


Bryan Hall

Bryan is a life member of Northampton Amateur Operatic Company (now Northampton Musical Theatre Company) having played leading roles in most musical shows including Fiddler on the Roof, South Pacific and Sound of Music (opposite Pat Bancroft). His last lead role was in Kismet at the Derngate Thearre, directed by the late, great, Michael Napier Brown. His favourite role as Don Quixote in Man of La Mancha.

Bryan joined Interact for a three week tour of Florida with Molieres School for Wives and when the Royal and Derngate re-opened in 2006 was in Laurie Sansom's production of Sondheim's Follies.

Bryan is pleased to working with his friends Richard and Kate of White Cobra, to be reacquainted with Paul Fowler and cast opposite Pat Bancroft again.


John Myhill

John has been performing since the age of 14, including leads in “Doctor In The House”, “Salad Days”, “Run For Your Wife”, “Bouncers”, “Blackadder Goes Forth” and numerous pantomimes, many of which he wrote. More recently he’s also worked with Masque Theatre, playing Toad in “The Wind In The Willows”, Argan in “The Hypochondriac”, Benedick in “Much Ado About Nothing” and Salieri in “Amadeus” among others.

He’s also directed many times and will be directing the 2017’s open-air production of Shakespeare’s “Antony & Cleopatra” for the Masque Theatre

Having acted alongside many of the members of White Cobra for these other groups he was very flattered to be asked to direct “Dizzyboo”.