At the same time he was 'techie' for Bristol Players, working in theatres around the West Country whilst still supporting community theatre in Westbury Park, Bristol. Phil was the founder member and director of Stage Left whose acclaimed productions were staged in Alma Tavern Theatre in Bristol. Recently Phil worked with our own Jacqs Graham as stage manager for Canterbury Tales (2014) and lighting designer for Ann Boleyn (2018). On the subject of acting Phil says "It's not really for me. In fact I have the utmost admiration for anyone who can learn lines and walk and talk at the same time!" Welcome to Softsod Phil! :)
Meet our epic 'Softsod' recruits who have formed the backbone of our awesome cast to date, in no particular order ...
Lucy Elzik - was cast into the lead role of 'The Woman' in UnSpoken after David directed her as Paulina Salas in Death and the Maiden. He was so impressed by her he immediately started to write her into the role of the mysterious 'woman in therapy' in UnSpoken. Lucy went on to perform the role in over 25 shows at both the Bath and Edinburgh Fringes (2018) and demonstrated her complete command of the complex and deeply troubled woman. Issy Packer of Theatre Bath wrote "Elzik’s portrayal of an unstable woman who wrestles with guilt, shame and humiliation is beautiful. She taps in to every emotion on stage, leaving the audience mesmerised." Enough said.
The Cast (Past & Present)
Jacqs Graham: Director
Director Jacqs' extensive experience includes Calendar Girls, a riotous production of Canterbury Tales and the intimate, Di and Viv and Rose by Amelia Bullimore, before more recently directing the award winning Anne Boleyn at Bristol's internationally renowned Tobacco Factory, Richard III and many, many more. As an actor, she scooped the 'Best Actress' award for her performance as Kate Keller in Arthur Miller's All My Sons and as Jackie in My Mother Said I Never Should. Who better than Jacqs to pave the way as the devastatingly creative director behind Softsod's first three plays, Fragile Man, UnSpoken and The Ebbing Hour.
Richard Miltiadis - once played the notorious ’Third Roman Soldier’ in Howard Brenton’s controversial 'The Romans in Britain’ flirting outrageously with nakedness (is there a theme here?!). David and Richard met when they appeared together in a short film together, after which David snapped Richard up for the newly written two hander Fragile Man, believing he was perfect for the role of ‘Y’. He was! Playing 'the man on the edge' Richard was immense and picked up rave reviews throughout the Fringe run. Broadway Baby glowed about him, saying "Miltiadis expertly vacillates between panic, anxiety, intimidation and rage; he is the source of the play’s vital, enduring tension".
Rosie Closs - Rosie is a deeply watchable, mindful character-actor who reinvented the role of The Woman in the touring play The Ebbing Hour. In her audition she reduced the panel to tears with her portrayal of a deeply troubled but incredibly human woman. The moment of her on-stage break-down was captivating, real and heart-breaking. Rosie is now our much sought-after jewel in the crown - the ever present 'leading woman', a total gem of a human as well as an outstanding actor.
Nico Smith - joined Softsod in 2019 to play Man X in The Ebbing Hour. Following in the footsteps of our Artistic Director David Martin, he had huge shoes to fill ~ and David's over-watchful attention to overcome. Three years later and with a hugely successful tour of The Ebbing Hour under his belt Nico can be satisfied that he more than lived up to expectations. A first class actor, with great presence and a sublime 'real' version of himself to draw upon. Always a pleasure Nico.
Emma Smart - starring right now in our one-woman play Mother. Emma is our latest Softsod recruit following in the tradition of being "utterly breath-taking". Mother has been specifically written for her and it really shows as she occupies Molly like a second skin, portraying the funny, lost, loner from 'up North' with great poise and superb timing. Emma transitions seamlessly through the array of feature characters, from Molly to Frank and on to Beatrice Brown and Grandma Peggy as if being joined on stage by a cast of many. She handles the pace and pathos superbly - a joy to behold. Come and see for yourself ... The Alma Bristol 7th-9th June.
James Locke - came to Softsod when he was cast in to the tricky, but 'oh so expansive' role of Man Y in The Ebbing Hour. A tour-de-force actor who was super impressive at audition, but who took the role to a whole new level on stage. He captivated audiences as his character oscillated between terror, rage and blasé. With a sublime focus to detail (yes, he learns his lines) but relaxed on-stage manner, James manages to cast an unbreakable spell. We're already planning his return.
Phil Hall - has over 40 years experience in all aspects of theatre, initially as backstage crew for Bristol Arts Centre Theatre, where he learned his craft (set construction, stage management, sound and lighting design) and soon became their lead lighting designer.
David Martin ~ Writer & Director
David Martin is the founder member of Softsod Productions and the author and producer of Fragile Man, UnSpoken and The Ebbing Hour whilst writing, producing and directing Mother. He is passionate about theatre, story-telling and raising awareness about mental health and social issues. His notable stage appearances include as Desmond in The Winslow Boy, Joe Keller in All My Sons and Rev. Hale in The Crucible. He also appeared in Mollier’s Tartuffe at Bristol's iconic Tobacco Factory. For Softsod, David has played Man X in Fragile Man and the Therapist in both UnSpoken and The Ebbing Hour.