In February 2016 Scaffold were commissioned to create an immersive experience of love and poetry at Hampton Court Palace, based on Shakespeare’s Sonnets.
A couple reunite after some time apart – but infidelity threatens to destroy their love. Meanwhile, can the court poet help a lonely soul woo their sweetheart? A new story formed almost exclusively from Shakespearean sonnets performed twice a day in the Great Hall – where Shakespeare and his company performed 400 years ago. You’ll also see performers popping up all through the Tudor route, with sonnets a-plenty to share, and music from lutenist Robin Jeffrey. The experience is a celebration of Shakespeare’s Sonnets and a story displaying the conflict, negotiation and indomitable force of Love.
Produced by Historic Royal Palaces in collaboration with Scaffold Shakespeare Company
Theatre work includes The Ockerbys on Ice (The Dukes), It’s A Wonderful Life!(UK tour), Therese Raquin (Theatre Royal Bath), Richard III, Titus Andronicus (RSC), Closer (NT), Shangri-La (Finborough Vibrant), Beethoven’s Always Right,People You May Also Know (Theatre 503), Blood Wedding (The Courtyard), The Comedy of Errors (The Space), Volpone (The Gatehouse), Charley’s Aunt (Vienna’s English Theatre), She Stoops to Conquer (Birmingham Rep & UK tour), As I Lay Dying, Gulliver’s Travels (BAC), Studio Ypsilon (Prague), Hamlet (Gulf & Iraq tour), Britannicus, Hamlet (Salisbury Playhouse), You Never Can Tell, The Cure for Love (York Theatre Royal), The Rivals, Beside The Sea (Bristol Old Vic), Bye Bye Love (UK Tour) and The Heiress (Yvonne Arnaud).
Television includes Genius, Suspicion, Murder Maps, Silent Witness, Anna of the Five Towns, Sophia & Constance, Tender Is the Night, The Inspector Alleyn Mysteries, Kinsey, Grange Hill, Bergerac, Singles, Urban Legend.
Feature films include My Foolish Heart, Babel and Supergirl. Short films include Daisy and D (Iris Prize Festival Films), Embryo (NUA), Faithful (NFTS, nominated for Best Short, Edinburgh International Film Festival), The Final Curtain (Met), Rachel and The Wulf (Transcend Pictures), The Other Side of Home (Golden Hare Films), Chalk (WFS, Winner, 2015 LA Short Film Festival), French Cricket (BFI Academy), Firewood (Crystal Bear nominee, Berlin Film Festival), Let Me Speak (NFTS, Special Prize, Open Film Festival Saint Petersburg), The Interview (BBC).
Annabelle trained as an actor at Mountview and as a singer at the VCA. For Hampton Court Palace she performed in Encounters directed by Joanne McInnes, and An Elizabethan Christmas directed by Tom Latter. Theatre work includes: The Mousetrap (West End), Lysistrata and Salome (TLC), Julius Caesar, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Much Ado About Nothing, The Tempest and Robin Hood (Principal Theatre Company), O Little Town and Whisky Dusk (Specifiq), Dick Barton (Warehouse Theatre), When Harry Met Sally (National Tour) and A Christmas Carol (King’s Head).
Concert work includes narrating Fire!, Widecombe Fair, Dreamtime Tales and Zambezi Tales with the RPO and LMP for Classical Roadshow; and Agincourt at St George’s Borough, a concert for children commisioned for the 600th anniversary.
Audio work includes Baba Fateh Singh and other roles for the English dub of The Rise of Banda Singh Bahdur, as well as several series of children’s stories for Ziptales.
As an Associate Artist of TACIT theatre Annabelle directed and composed The Ballad of Robin Hood (Southwark Playhouse), and composed and music directed A Study in Scarlet and The Canterbury Tales (TACIT, Southwark Playhouse and National Tour).
She is a founder director of Scaffold Shakespeare Company.
Tobias trained at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts.
Acting credits include: Encounters with the Past (Jo McInnes, Hampton Court Palace), Agincourt 600 (Richard Mallett Arts Management, St George the Martyr), Salome (Hoxton Hall, Greece, France and London site-specific), Medea, The Oresteia, (both Riverside Studios), Antigone (Riverside Studios and 2011 International Festival Of Greek Drama, Cyprus), all for Thatre Lab Company. Twelfth Night, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet (Young Shakespeare Company); Julius Caesar, Macbeth, The Taming of the Shrew (Principal Theatre Company); Giants of Old, Whisky Dusk, Mystery at the Museum (Specifiq); Empty Vessels (Rosemary Branch); The Dictator’s Face (Off Cuts Festival); Hamlet (Icarus Theatre Collective); Twelfth Night (Sell A Door).
Tobias is an Associate Artist of Specifiq, and a founder director of Scaffold Shakespeare Company.
Liza Graham was born in Washington DC and studied at New College, Oxford, Trinity College of Music and the Royal Academy of Music. She works as a mezzo-soprano, writer, translator and Shakespearean text coach.
While at Oxford, she studied Shakespeare with the late Professor A. D. Nuttall, author of Shakespeare the Thinker. She also made a specialised study of the works of Robert Armin, the Elizabethan actor and author who originally played Shakespeare’s later comic roles.
Her operatic roles include Arnalta and Nutrice in Monteverdi’s Poppea, Cesare in Handel’s Giulio Cesare, Mrs Sedley Peter Grimes, Zita Gianni Schicchi, Orlofsky Fledermaus, Marcellina Figaro, and First Maid Elektra. She also has an extensive repertoire in Lieder and song.
She is co-author of Speak Low If You Speak Love, Scaffold’s original show based on the Sonnets, first performed at Hampton Court Palace in January 2017.
Initially trained as a lawyer (just in case), Keith defeated the object by specialising in criminal defence. Given his obvious addiction to unsocial hours and low pay, it was inevitable that he should end up back in the theatre, and in the last 14 or so years, he has sung, acted, devised, directed, bellowed at children and ignored garment care instructions from Buchan to Bucharest. A particular highpoint has been persuading an entire year of drama students to give their showcase over to a devised piece using no costume and a single cardboard box. The school in question has never asked him back.
He does not, it seems, play good people very often: In 2014, he was the first actor ever to publicly play the uber-villain Corvino in Thomas Nabbes’ 1640 lost wonder The Unfortunate Mother for Owle Schreame Theatre, a performance described as ‘Polonius on steroids’. He did actually play Polonius, and Claudius (and Scrooge), two years later, in touring productions. Other theatre includes a drunken blackmailer in Vaudevillains for Les Enfants Terribles (touring, and London); Lucifer, Herod and Mak the Sheep Thief in York Mysteries; a filthy inebriate priest in The Errors of their Ways by Torben Betts (UK premiere) for Eleanor Rhode; an impeached Prime Minister in Unmanned (Equal Measures) for Tinuke Craig.
Film includes a paedophile in The Last Time I Saw You; a necromancer’s sidekick in Exit with Julian Glover, an anthropophagus in Valentine’s Day for Benjamin Taylor and, as Dr Rufin, providing psychotherapy to Brian Cox’s J. Edgar Hoover in Malediction d’Edgar (Program 33, Marc Dugain).
As an aberration, he played the celebrated miscarriage of justice campaigner Paul May in the Old King’s Head’s production of Someone to Blame (dir. David Mercatali).
Shakespeare for other companies also includes Leonato in Much Ado, and the most forgettable Prospero of recent years. He is developing a specialism in Chekhov’s bumptious doctors.
He is a frequent (and very quick) recorder of audiobooks (which have required the use of six languages so far) for the RNIB, ranging from The Good Man Jesus And The Scoundrel Christ by Philip Pullman, to the weighty social history Austerity Britain, and The Authorised Biography of Margaret Thatcher (yes, all of it).
He is an absolutely awful dancer, and threatens to play the accordion if adequate payment is not forthcoming.
Theatre as director includes: An Elizabethan Christmas (Hampton Court Palace), Dirty Promises (Hope Theatre – nominated for Best Director, Off West End awards), The Comedy of Errors (The Space), Beethoven’s Always Right and Never Rains but it Pours (Theatre503), The Stolen Inches (New Diorama), The Death of Norman Tortilla (Tristan Bates), Plays What Yew Wroteand Lost and Found (Saffron Walden Maze Festival).
He has directed short plays and readings at the Arcola, Rich Mix, Southwark Playhouse, Tristan Bates, Old Red Lion and Theatre503.
As Assistant Director: Encounters with the Past by Elizabeth Kuti (Hampton Court Palace), Valhalla by Paul Murphy, both directed by Jo McInnes (Theatre503); Our Ajax by Timberlake Wertenbaker, directed by David Mercatali (Southwark Playhouse).
Tom is the Artistic Director of Sheer Drop Theatre – developing and producing new plays; and Associate Director at Hampton Court Palace for 2017.
Very passionate about travels, languages and different cultures, Lula Suassuna has lived and worked in Brazil, France and the UK. He is fluent in English, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Italian and German. Lula has just finished shooting WAR ON DRUGS for History Channel.He has also appeared in the feature 50 KISSES (award-winner – Rhode Island Film Festival), the short JUNTA (Cannes Film Festival – Short Film Corner), HENRY V (directed by Tobias Deacon, his fellow cast member in SPEAK LOW IF YOU SPEAK LOVE), LE PETITPRINCE (touring Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Turkey), POILU AND TOMMY (nominated for Best Production at the Off West End Awards), THE TURKEY CARPET (London and Strasbourg) and the 1st European production of TWO SISTERS AND A PIANO by Pulitzer Drama Prize winner Nilo Cruz. He has also performed the roles of Cyrano de Bergerac, Iago, DomJuan, Athos in an adaptation of THE THREE MUSKETEERS, Salieri in AMADEUS, Antipholus of Syracuse in THE COMEDY OF ERRORS,amongst others. Lula is also an experienced voice over artist and physical performer (motion capture, martial arts, stage combat, sword fighting, horse riding, several other techniques, sports and dance styles).