Mick Ryan - Described by 'Living Tradition' magazine as 'an outstanding singer, songsmith and musical playwright', Mick is one of the most popular performers on the folk scene. He has made numerous albums, the most recent ('Away In the West', Mick Ryan and Paul Downes) receiving excellent reviews ('truly magnificent', 'Taplas' magazine). Having been runner up in the 'Vivien Ellis Prize' for stage musicals (1987), he is well known as the originator and composer of several popular 'folk operas'. His previous show, 'The Navvy's Wife', received wide critical and popular acclaim ('.a triumph', 'fRoots' magazine). 'The Pauper's Path' reiterates his versatility and skill as a songwriter, performer and director.
Paul Downes - Paul is one of the most respected musicians on the accoustic music scene. He prefers to be known as a singer of songs rather than a guitar technician. He is, nevertheless, a truly consummate musician on the guitar and other stringed instruments. According to Mick Ryan, with whom he forms a highly regarded duo, Paul is "the best guitarist, bar none". Which is why, perhaps, he has worked with a huge ranged of great performers, from Phil Beer to Pete Seeger, and appeared on literally hundreds of albums, including the double album of 'The Navvy's Wife' in which he played such a crucial musical and dramatic part.
Roy Clinging - Roy is a fine musician and singer from Cheshire, who was in the original cast of 'The Navvy's Wife' when it was especially written for the Chester Festival in 2006. He has performed at clubs and festivals all over the UK, both as a solo performer, and with his own show 'When This Old Hat', a history of 19th Century song.
Judy Dunlop - One of the finest female singers on the folk circuit, Judy has performed and recorded with members of 'Fairport Convention', 'Show of Hands' and 'The Albion Band', as well as releasing several well received albums of her own. She also performs in a duo with Jon Scaife. Her beautifully stylish and subtle singing can be heard on Ashley Hutchins' 'Lark Rise to Candleford' band. Her rendition of 'Farewell' was considered by many to be the 'showstopper of showstoppers' in 'The Navvy's Wife'.
Heather Bradford - A lovely singer and 'deliverer' of a song, Heather is currently performing with the folk-jazz quartet 'Albatross Pie', and the acoustic folk band 'No Reported Incidents', She has sung in duos with guitarist and singer-song writer Julian Longden, and with singer and raconteuse Stephanie Cox. She was also a member of the acclaimed harmony trio 'Hen Party'. Latterly, her performances in 'The Navvy's Wife' received great reviews ('outstanding', 'Mashtub' magazine)
Maggie Boyle - Through her singing, Maggie continues the tradition of music and storytelling passed on by her Irish family. She has accrued an impressive catalogue of live and recorded work. This includes film soundtracks, such as the title & closing tracks for 'Patriot Games', and international theatre and folk circuit appearances. Maggie has worked with James Horner, The Chieftains, Bert Jansch, Rambert Dance Company, Incantation, Steve Tilston, John Renbourn.... Needless to say, then, that she is a very fine singer indeed, and also plays a mean flute and bodhran.
Phoebe Kirrage - A mature singer, despite her tender years, Phoebe has a pure, true voice, which she uses to great effect. As (easily!) the youngest member of the Company at fourteen years old, her CV is, nonetheless, already impressive.
CHARACTERS (In Order of Appearance)
THE WORKHOUSE MASTER - Paul Downes
MARK (Husband of HELEN) - Mick Ryan
RICHARD (Husband of JANE) - Roy Clinging)
HELEN (Wife of MARK) - Heather Bradford
JANE - (Wife of RICHARD) - Judy Dunlop
MARY - (A Widow) - Maggie Boyle
A WORKHOUSE CHILD - Phoebe Kirage
A TRAMP - Paul Downes