Upstage Dancer “Upstage’s visits to the Victoria Hall in Stoke have brought creative and challenging opportunities to many students, some of whom had never taken part in drama, music or dance activities before. Thomas’s team are wonderfully skilled in bringing the best out of the participants as well as sharing new skills and developing and nurturing confidence and a sense of ownership amongst the groups. Parents are delighted to see the final performances and confirm their satisfaction by re-booking their son/daughter onto the next available Upstage course.”

- Jo Blagg, Head of Education, Victoria Hall, Stoke, Ambassador Theatre Group.


Thomas Kett

Upstage Dancer Thomas Kett
Artistic Director/Writer

Thomas Kett established Upstage Musical Productions whilst teaching at Arts Educational Schools in Chiswick, South West London. He co-ran the summer courses there for five years before moving the company to the Ambassador Theatre Group where he ran the course in some of their leading theatres, both in London and the regions. Tom is also a writer and an actor and has written plays that have been produced in London, Guildford, Edinburgh and in France. As an actor, he trained at RADA and has appeared at the Leicester Haymarket, the RSC, the Almeida Theatre, the Tricycle Theatre and on TV. Tom has co-written and directed six musicals with Upstage and was also Venue Director on behalf of the Shakespeare for Schools Festival 2007.



Stevie Hughes

Upstage Dancer Stevie Hughes
Composer/Lyricist /Arranger/Musical Director

A self-taught musician, Stevie has performed as a saxophonist at venues such as the Royal Albert Hall, the Royal Festival Hall, Ronnie Scott's, the Glastonbury Festival and the Oriental and Regency Hyatt Hotels in Bangkok. Since then, he has composed/arranged music for the Fraser Myers Big Band, the Willie Garnett Big Band and Cliff Hardie's Soho Jazz Orchestra and for several TV and film projects. He realised the music for Ghetto (as well as being Musical Director) and has designed sound for many other theatrical shows. He has just completed his third musical for Upstage entitled Sweetville. Influenced by music from across the globe, his music enables students to experience the unique opportunity of singing and dancing to an array of styles within stories they can relate to, supported by a fully-orchestrated, recorded backing.



Lucy Ellenthorpe-Waters

Upstage Dancer Lucy Ellenthorpe-Waters

Lucy initially studied at Corona Stage School and later went onto Laban to complete her dance training. On leaving Laban, she was involved in a large-scale dance project mentoring BA dance students in East London. Since then, Lucy has facilitated dance in schools and community projects through-out South East London and she runs adult dance classes at the Churchill Theatre in Bromley. Her interest in Special Needs has led her to work with groups of teenagers who are aiming towards their award in Dance Leadership. Lucy has choreographed a number of musicals on behalf of Upstage Musical Productions at theatres that include: Richmond Theatre, the Gate Theatre (Notting Hill), Wimbledon Theatre, the Maltings (Farnham) and the Tricycle Theatre (Kilburn).



Upstage Dancer”Fun and exciting! Loved the dancing.”

- Agnes Bleach, aged 11 years.



Steve Smith

Upstage Dancer Steve Smith

Steve trained at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. He has since worked at the RSC, the National theatre, the Abbey Theatre (Dublin), and Clwyd Theatr (Cymru) with directors that include Terry Hands, Michael Attenborough, Deborah Warner, Danny Boyle and Nick Hytner. He recently directed shows at the Shakespeare for Schools Festival and The Dreamer on behalf of Upstage Musical Productions.



Jill Nalder

Upstage Dancer Jill Nalder
Director/ Musical Director

Jill is originally from Wales and trained at Mountview Theatre School. West End credits include Madame Thenardier in Les Miserables and original cast of Sam Mendes’ production of Oliver! On tour and repertory, she appeared in Annie no less than three times, Cabaret, Godspell, One Flew Over The Cukoos Nest, The Hobbit, Nunsense, Oliver! at the Nottingham Playhouse and Sugar, the musical of Some Like it Hot. Jill has directed workshops for Impact Theatre Group. She has taught singing and directed at Stagecoach for eight years. Along with other cast members of Les Miserables, she conceived and directed late night shows and events for West End Cares and is a founder member and director of WestEnders, bringing the best of the West End’s hits together in one evening.



Kate Budgen

Upstage Dancer Kate Budgen

Kate completed an MFA in Theatre Directing at Birkbeck college in 2007. Recent Directing Credits include: Happy Birthday Luke/Second Life/Carpet and Floorboards (Tara Arts Studio), The History and Future of Flight (Hampstead Theatre Studio), White Riot (Soho Theatre Studio), Stoopud Fucken Animals (Traverse Drill Hall, Edinburgh), Mud (Gate Theatre), When In Rome...(People's Studio Theatre, Newcastle), Sunday is the New Saturday (C Central, Edinburgh Festival Fringe), Star Quality (Newcastle University), Dido and Aeneas (Newcastle Early Music Festival). Kate has also directed new short plays and work in development at Theatre 503, The Old Red Lion for Nabokov and the Gate Theatre.

Assisting credits: Cloud Nine, (Almeida Theatre), Ghosts (Gate Theatre), The Chairs (Gate Theatre). Kate works on a freelance basis for the Almeida Theatre as a workshop facilitator, and runs Gate Ink, a playwriting course for young people at the Gate Theatre. She is also an associate director of Pentabus Theatre.



John Hogg

Upstage Dancer John Hogg
Musical Director

John was born in Liverpool and trained at the Italia Conti Academy of Performing Arts. As an actor he has played many leading roles in such shows as Blood Brothers (Narrator), The Fantastiks (Matt), The Boyfriend (Bobby), Stags and Hens (Peter), Mister Cinders (Guy), Cider With Rosie and many others. He played the part of Danny Williams in Phil Redman's television drama series What Now? alongside actors lan Hart and Victor Maguire. For his work as a composer and lyricist, John was awarded the prestigious Vivian Ellis Prize from a panel of judges that included Tim Rice, Don Black, Lionel Bart, Elaine Paige and Vivian Ellis himself A performance of Hogg in the Limelight at the Talk Of London brought together a cast of the West End's best, including leading ladies Sally Ann Triplet and Helen Hobson. John wrote six original numbers for the production of The Clip Joint at the Players Theatre in London directed by Tony award winner Gillian Gregory. He was the lyricist and co-script writer for the musical adaptation of Enid Blyton's Famous Five which enjoyed a successful national tour, Kings Head run and DVD release. More recently his score for a musical treatment of Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life was well received in Toronto, Canada and hopes to go into production here in the UK soon. John has taught for the Stage Coach franchise and enjoys his work with the Upstage Theatre Company.



Iain Jones

Upstage DancerIain Jones

As an actor, Iain has appeared at the Royal Exchange, the Salisbury Playhouse, Liverpool Playhouse, Bolton Exchange, Hull Truck, Library Theatre, Manchester and the Arts Theatre, London. On TV he has appeared in Coronation Street, The Bill, A Rather English Marriage and Christmas Carol-The Movie. Iain has directed at the Rosemary Branch Theatre, the Battersea Arts Centre, the Edinburgh Festival and was resident director for the Shakespeare for Schools Festival.



Rachel Rimmer

Upstage Dancer Rachel Rimmer

Rachel read Dance and Community at Manchester Metropolitan University and has recently returned as an associate lecturer in the field of dance performance, technique and choreography. Professionally, she has collaborated with several contemporary dance choreographers including Birmingham-based Rosie and currently Vincent Cacialano of ‘Magpie Music Dance’ based in the Netherlands. Rachel is a Dance Artist and professional musician currently working as the Dance Artist in Residence for Stoke-on-Trent Theatres. From this role, she has choreographed for and collaborated with Upstage Musical Productions for the past two and a half years.



All directors and workshop leaders have fully Enhanced CRB Checks.



Upstage Dancer“I've learnt a lot. Thanks, I've really enjoyed it”

- Patsy O'Neill, aged 13.