RBL is for everyone.
Our inventive, supportive and diverse ensemble create stories that involve us all.
MEET THE COMPANY
Toby and Dani Davies (Company Directors)
Toby and Dani are the co-founders and associate producers of RBL. They met whilst training as actors at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. Previously, Dani trained at Arts Ed and Toby studied English at St Andrew's University.
They both still work as actors, child care permitting, and for RBL Dani played Olivia in Twelfth Night and Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing, whilst Toby played Henry in Henry I of England, Capulet in Romeo and Juliet and even braved an Off the Block in 2015. As individuals, the two have toured a fair bit and worked with such companies as Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory, The Guildford Shakespeare Company, Basingstoke Haymarket, Hampstead Theatre, Southwark Playhouse and in the West End.
Making productions happen offers Toby and Dani as much pleasure as acting in them and being a small part of the drive to culturally embolden Reading continues to prove a hugely rewarding experience.
Question 1 Favourite playwright?
Toby: Beth Flintoff is brilliant and will be a household name in a few years, but right now it's Dennis Kelly for his dialogue.
Dani: Shakespeare, Tennessee Williams and I love Anya Reiss
Question 2 What moment inspired you to enjoy theatre?
Toby: I was set to change schools because of poor grades until one lesson I came across Hamlet comparing playing a pipe to telling a lie, Tis as easy as lying.I don't know why, but suddenly it all made sense.
Dani: A Streetcar Named Desire with Vivien Leigh and Marlon Brando and a really terrible production of Romeo and Juliet. I probably would not be where I am today without my English teachers, but I did not think so at the time . . .
Question 3 What is the best piece of theatre you have ever seen and why?
Toby: London Road at The NT. It was a tricky subject matter discussed by a massive range of characters in hugely imaginative ways. I'd gone after working in a cake shop at London Bridge, with my free sandwich.
Dani: I loved Curious Incident for its physical language. My first trip to the National to see St Joan also sticks in my mind. However, probably my best theatrical moment was watching the understudy go on for David Tenant in the RSC's Hamlet. So nervous but so brilliant, he won over a very hostile audience and got a standing ovation.
Hal Chambers (Associate Director)
For RBL, Hal has directed Henry I of England, Much Ado About Nothing, Romeo & Juliet, Twelfth Night and Off the Block 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.
Hal is a theatre director and writer who trained at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and National Theatre Studio. He has worked with The Lyric Hammersmith, Polka Theatre, York Theatre Royal, Eastern Angles, Donmar Warehouse and many more. He is also Artistic Director of Tucked In Productions and regularly leads projects for Shakespeare's Globe.
Shakespeare for the OMG generation? Yes, yes, a thousand times yes, when it's as good as this.
The Times on Hal's Romeo & Juliet 2013
Superbly directed . . A revolutionary and ambitious production of Much Ado
The Stage on Hal's Much Ado About Nothing 2015
Oliver Welsh (Associate Lighting Designer)
For RBL, Oli created the lighting design for Henry I of England, Twelfth Night, Romeo and Juliet, Much Ado about Nothing.
Other credits include Oh! What a Lovely War, Caucasian Chalk Circle, Beauty and the Beast (UK Tours for Blackeyed Theatre), R+J (Southwark Playhouse, Original Theatre Co).
In addition to working on live events, Oliver is part of the electrics team for BBC Dragon's Den and moves numerous UK No1 tours across the country, including Derren Brown - Miracle, Breakfast at Tiffany's and The Full Monty. He can often be found at the Old Vic, London, installing productions such as Clarence Darrow, The Crucible, Tree, Hairy Ape, The Caretaker and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead.
Sammy Fonfe (Associate Choreographer)
For RBL, Sammy has choreographed Twelfth Night, Romeo and Juliet and Much Ado About Nothing.
She gained an MA in Creative Musical Theatre Practice at Arts Educational School, London.
As Choreographer and Movement Director, she's worked for: Redhill, PHA, The Harlequin Theatre, Tristan Bates Theatre, UK Tours, Theatre Royal Portsmouth, Carnival Films, with Lisa Scott Lee on an Asian & UK Tour and at South Hill Park, amongst others.
Sammy performed for many companies including Bill Kenwright Ltd, Riverside Studios, Lyric Theatre Hammersmith and is Managing Director of the Berkshire Theatre Company.
Joe Morris (Associate Sound Designer)
For RBL Joe has worked as sound designer for Henry I of England, Oscar Wilde on Trial, Much Ado About Nothing, The Old Father and the Krampus and composer at Off The Block 2015 & '16.
Joe has worked as sound designer for many productions including High Society (The Mill at Sonning) and One Man Hamlet (Revolve Theatre Company, Theatre National de Nice 2016). Joe is also Director of Henley Theatre Services and co-founder of the events company Bamboozle Presents.
Rosalind Steele (Associate Composer)
For RBL, Ros composed Twelfth Night & co-composed Henry I of England with Benjamin Hudson. She has also written music for Tucked In, GB Theatre and several 'Read not Dead' performances at Shakespeare's Globe.
Rosalind trained as an actor at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and has enjoyed working (often as an actor/musician) for companies including Shakespeare's Globe, Bristol Old Vic, The Lyric Hammersmith, Theatre by the Lake, The Watermill, Oxford Shakespeare Company, Eastern Angles, Tall Stories, GB Theatre & Tucked In.
Benjamin Hudson (Associate Composer)
For RBL: Henry I of England (with Rosalind Steele), Much Ado About Nothing, Romeo and Juliet and Off the Block.
Benjamin is a composer and sound designer working predominantly in film, TV and games. He has created work for a wide range of companies including Cartoon Network, 4Music, Lexus and Unicef.
Other theatre credits include Ragnarok (Eastern Angles) and Helver's Night (Company Of Angels). He is also one half of experimental hip hop duo Baconhead and has performed at major festivals across the UK and Europe, as well as receiving regular radio support from BBC Radio 1 and 6Music.
Beth Flintoff (Associate Writer)
For RBL: Henry I of England and Oscar Wilde on Trial.
Beth is a playwright and theatre director. She is currently under commission to Tonic Theatre for a new play as part of their Platform series, which will be published by Nick Hern Books in the autumn. She is also writing a large-scale site specific performance piece for the Greenham Common Trust, Greenham: War and Peace for September 2017.
Beth was the Outreach Director at The Watermill Theatre in Newbury for five years, where she wrote and/or directed many productions including Jekyll and Hyde, Othello, Romeo and Juliet, and Hardboiled: The Fall of Sam Shadow. Her production of Hardboiled transferred to New Diorama where it was nominated for two 2016 Off West End Awards (Best Director, Best Designer). Recently Beth has had a new play developed at Nuffield Theatre (Southampton), and researched a piece about Queen Victoria with Tucked in Productions at Kensington Palace.
She was the Founding Artistic Director of the new writing fringe ensemble Debut Theatre Company and is a Script Reader for Theatre 503.