Under the Artistic Direction of Sandy Thomson, Poorboy is the biggest, permanent, performers’ ensemble in Scotland.
Sandy Thomson – Founding member and Artistic Director
Sandy was CATS Award nominated for Best Director in Poorboy’s first year alongside Andy Arnold, Richard Baron and Anthony Neilson. She has been involved in creating both traditionally staged and site specific promenade performances and cross arts audience experiences for nearly 25 years. Trained at RADA, Sandy has also written, directed, produced and designed work with and for a range of organisations including the National Theatre of Scotland, The Royal Lyceum and Stellar Quines.
A passionate advocate for the act of playing to be at the heart of the creative process, and the need for a safe environment to encourage artists to embark on bold collaborations Sandy has led the company, its programme and its rehearsal rooms for 11 years and its 15 strong, cross disciplinary Ensemble for the last two.
The value she places on the inclusion of audience as a vital component to creating a vibrant, unique, shared experience has created everything from classic theatre to car chases. It has resulted in collaborative works with actors and artists from DJs to photographers made for nightclubs, cupboards, trains and office blocks as well as, of course, for the stage, where her constant desire for unrepeatable performances that treat the audience as one of the gang has led her to make Christmas shows with real snow, to reimagine the works of Shakespeare with casts of up to 90 and to create catwalks and a chorus of audience members for her own works.
Through her work with Poorboy, RSAMD and the Cultural Enterprise Office she has mentored and supported dozens of other artists in both formal and informal structures for 25 years.
Brian Ferguson – Artistic Associate
Brian first worked with Poorboy in 2005 in ‘Bridgebuilders’. Shortly after that he became an Artistic Associate for the company. In 2006 he played Lucifer in the Poorboy/ National Theatre of Scotland’s production of ‘Falling’. In his role as Artistic Associate he has also been Assistant Director to Sandy Thomson and Co-directed projects for the company. He has been a member of the ensemble since its creation.
As a freelance actor Brian has worked extensively in Scotland and the UK. Recent theatre work includes ‘Dunsinane’ with the Royal Shakespeare Company, ‘Earthquakes in London’ at the National Theatre and ‘The Dark Things’ at The Traverse Theatre. He was also in the original cast of the National Theatre of Scotland’s ‘Blackwatch’
Alex Attwood – Artistic Associate
Alex Attwood has composed music for a wide range of disciplines including TV adverts, a marching bhangra big-band, internationally award nominated animation, and promenade theatre. From 2002-2005 he ran a live funk club in Edinburgh featuring soul/jazz/hip-hop artists from across Britain. During this time he also ran a number of 10-15 piece soul bands with residencies across Edinburgh.
Working on the first Poorboy production ‘Learning the Rules of Chinese Whispers’ in 2004 Alex discovered the joy of working on promenade theatre, and with Sandy Thomson contrived to have music for the show reaching the audience by means of passing cars, pub juke boxes, buskers and hidden ceilidh bands.
Working on the music and audio for Poorboy’s ‘Blood and Roses’ Alex composed music ranging from 20th century classical fairy-tales, 50s blues and Russian folk music and is now working on finishing a pop album project for a publishing company whilst developing a TV series. You can hear more of his work at www.alexattwood.com.
Jeremiah Reynolds – Artistic Associate
Jeremiah Reynolds is originally from St. Louis, Missouri in the heartland of America. He moved to Scotland in 2006 and trained in Acting at the RSAMD. Jeremiah became a permanent member of the ensemble in 2009. He continues to collaborate with Poorboy from his new base in Brooklyn, New York.
Some work he has done includes Poorboy’s Pirates and Mermaids (Nominated for the Stage Award Best Solo Performer), A View From the Bridge, The Snow Queen (The Royal Lyceum Theatre), Birds… (Poorboy/Arches), Peer Gynt (Dundee Rep/NTS), And Tell Sad Stories… (Citizen’s Theatre). At the RSAMD Jeremiah was the honoured recipient of the John Gielgud Bursary, the James Bridie Silver Medal, and the Norah Cooper Mulligan Prize for the speaking of verse. He has also received national awards in children’s storytelling.
Poorboy is an exciting ensemble for Jeremiah because it is constantly learning and developing as a whole by allowing its individual members to use their strengths to challenge the rest of the ensemble.
Eilidh trained at The Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts where she received a BA(Hons) Acting and won The Spotlight Prize 2007. She has been a member of the Poorboy Ensemble since 2009.
Work for Poorboy includes ‘Blood & Roses’- a site specific audio play first performed in and around The Tron Theatre & soon to be re-imagined as part the Edinburgh Fringe 2011 and ‘3 Day Wonder’- a show created and performed, site specifically, in a house in the tiny cliff top village of Auchmithie.
Other theatre credits include ‘A Christmas Carol’ at Cumbernauld Theatre, RE: Hedda at The Arches Theatre, Fairy Dog at The CCA as part of their Fiendish Plot Season, Tales from the Brothers Grimm for Creation Theatre Company, Nosferatu at The Arcola Theatre and ‘Sleeping Beauty’ & ‘Hansel & Gretel’ for PACE Theatre Company. She made her West End debut in Steven Berkoff’s ‘On The Waterfront’ at The Theatre Royal Haymarket where she understudied and then played the role of Edie Doyle.
Film credits include ‘Small Faces’ directed by Gillies MacKinnon, various short films and most recently playing the lead character in ‘Behold Me Standing’, a new Scottish Feature Film made by Minehorse pictures.
In her spare time, Eilidh is manager & also teaches for The Italia Conti Associate School, Clapham.
Elaine trained at Landside College. After this, she worked with various theatre companies, performing in venues including The Citizens, The Tron and The Royal Concert Hall.
Elaine has also worked in Film and TV. Credits include Taggart, Crimes That Shook The World, and I Saw You, along with other work for the BBC.
She started working with Poorboy three years ago, initially working on the Blast Hamlet, performed at the Tron. Over the last few years Elaine has been part of The Christmas Workshop, the second Blast Hamlet, Macbeth, Doctor Faustus, Measure for Measure and Taming of The Shrew.
Since working with Poorboy, Elaine has also been the production manager for Pirates and Mermaids when it was at The Edinburgh Festival in 2013. Poorboy has also allowed Elaine to further her own writing and has supported development days on her current play.
Ashley Smith trained at the RSAMD.
She is the winner of the James Bridie gold medal and Ian Bannen award.
Recent theatre credits include; Mother Courage (Birds of Paradise) Bunnies (Oran Mor),
The Snow Queen (Lyceum Theatre), Magic Spaghetti (LicketySpit), Sense
(Frozen Charlotte), Pobby and Dingan, Hansel and Gretel (Catherine Wheels),
An Incident at the Border (Oran Mor), Peer Gynt (Dundee Rep/NTS),
Baby Baby (Perissology/StellarQuines), Nasty, Brutish and Short (Traverse/NTS),
365 (NTS), Liar (TAG), Spanglebaby, Fallen and Stories for a Wild
Night (Poorboy), Peter Pan (Citizens)
Radio includes; The Seagull, Side Effects (Bona Broadcasting),
McBeth’s McPets (BBC Radio Scotland)
Film includes; Behold Me Standing (MineHorse), Reflections (Haggis and
Bratwurst Productions), A Mug’s Game (McArdle Media)
Frederic was trained at the Conservatory of Brittany (France), then at The RSAMD in Glasgow. As a French actor, he has worked with companies all over France on both classical and contemporary theatre. His track record in Scotland include devised theatre with Poorboy (Stories for a wild night) and development work for Vanishing Point (Little Otik).
Having a Swedish background, he has also worked as a translator and assistant director for the National Theatre of Brittany and the National Dramatic Center of Grenoble (France).
Frederic is currently involved in a new cross collaborative and cross disciplined company in France.
Choreographer/ performer/ teacher – www.cienux.com
French/ Uruguayan choreographer/performer based in Scotland since 2007. She is the Artistic Director of Nux. She is particularly interested in collaboration across artforms and mental health subjects. Nux held residencies at Dance Base (Edinburgh/UK), Dance House (Glasgow/UK), La Caldera (Barcelona/Spain) and at the Choregraphic Centre of Galicia (A Coruña/Spain) resulting in 4 works: Imprints (2010), Grounds (2009), Déixame bostezar (2008), L’épaisseur des choses (2007). She teaches at the RSAMD (Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama/ Glasgow) and Dance Base (National Centre for Dance/ Edinburgh). She professionally trained in Contemporary Dance, with a focus on release technique, in Paris with Corinne Lanselle and Nathalie Pubellier inter alia and in Barcelona with Alexis Eupierre, Cecilia Colacrai, Damian Munoz among others.
Pauline has had an energetic and varied career full of ups and downs. She was extremely excited to be cast as Lizzie in the smash film Trainspotting, but less so to spend 6 weeks gutting fish in the BBC series A Mug’s Game. Her first theatre job was unpaid at London’s Nottinghill Gate Theatre but this was offset by playing Mary McGregor to Fiona Shaw’s Miss Brodie at the National Theatre, directed by Phyllida Loyd (who could have, but didn’t cast her 15 years later when directing the film of Mama Mia. Just sayin’, like). Pauline then spent a long, tortured time on the West-End suffering the nightly trauma of seeing 2 small boys slaughtered by their mother in Deborah Warner’s Medea. At the same time, her stage-husband was cheating on her in a different play – it was a confusing time. She then toured America before hitting Broadway and Paris in the transfer of Medea. Pauline then went on to hide a very valuable tulip down her pants in the play of Jeanette Winterson’s novel, Powerbook, also directed by Deborah Warner. Pauline’s favourite job was a TV mini-series for USA networks. In Attila, she was paid a ridiculous amount of money to roll around in muck and speak in a funny voice. Pauline has been rolling in a lot of muck and employing a wide range of silly voices since having her children (which she’s not paid nearly enough for).
In 2008, her first play, King Of The Gypsies, opened at the Edinburgh Festival to 4 & 5 star reviews before going on to tour around England.
Raised variously in Arbroath, Carnoustie and Dundee, Robin’s first professional job was aged 14 at Dundee Rep, playing Young Steerforth in David Copperfield.
Six years passed before he landed his second job, as Renton in the UK tour of Trainspotting. He then went on to play the part in the London West End production, where artist and writer John Byrne saw Robin and cast him as Phil McCann, in the film of his seminal play, The Slab Boys.
Since then he has enjoyed a varied career in the UK and abroad, playing characters both real and imagined.
He starred as Arthur Conan Doyle, alongside the late Ian Richardson, for the BBC and played A.E. Housman in Tom Stoppard’s play, The Invention of Love.
He worked with Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg on the HBO mini-series, Band of Brothers, playing Edward ‘Babe’ Heffron and later continued this war-time theme, playing William in Christian Carrion’s Oscar-nominated film, Joyeux Noel.
He has played Puck in Lucy Bailey’s Midsummer Night’s Dream and Jock in Peter Sheridan’s Borstal Boy.
He made his Broadway debut in Deborah Warner’s TONY award-winning production of Medea, starring Fiona Shaw, and played Daniel in BBC Radio Scotland’s SONY nominated drama, Daniel and Mary.
He lives in Edinburgh, with his partner and two sons.
Simon Conlon has many hats he puts on. He has been involved with Poorboy in a number of different guises on some of their productions, including performance, script development, dancer, graffiti artist, visual artist and photographer. Poorboy is exactly the type of cross-discipline, forward-thinking artistic landscape in which he can incorporate different expressive threads all aimed towards an audiences overall experience. Plus, he gets to wear lots of hats. Cool hats.