Francis Wright's Weblog

Search Results

PROFESSIONAL CV: actor – puppeteer – writer – voice artist

with 8 comments

The Psammead from BBC TV’s ‘Five Children and It’


FRANCIS WRIGHT
is represented by

MICHELLE BRAIDMAN ASSOCIATES
Futura  House, 169 Grange Road,
London SE13 3BN.

(020 7237 3523)

www.braidman.com

CREDITS INCLUDE:

FIVE CHILDREN AND IT   (BBC Children’s Drama)
The Psammead – voice/puppeteer. (Director: Marilyn Fox);

THE RETURN OF THE PSAMMEAD   (BBC Children’s Drama)
The Psammead – voice/puppeteer. (Director: Marilyn Fox);

THE PHOENIX AND THE CARPET  (BBC Children’s Drama)
Phoenix puppeteer & The Psammead – voice/puppeteer.
(Director: Michael Kerrigan);

ALICE IN WONDERLAND   (Hallmark Entertainment – film)
The Mad March Hare – voice/puppeteer. (Director: Nick Willing);

ART ATTACK & ART ATTACK INTERNATIONAL  (Media Merchants for ITV/Disney)
The Head – voice/puppeteer. 1991 – 2004;

YOU AND ME   (BBC Schools)
Dibs – voice/puppeteer/co-writer.
(Directors: Richard Callanan; Nicci Crowther; Cas Lester);

BEACHCOMBER BAY   (Renard Television for Channel 5) 65 episodes.
Sam Seagull; Spike Rat – voice/puppeteer.
(Director: Richard Callanan);

THE ARK   (Yorkshire TV/Anglia) Series 3 & 4.
Rat – voice/puppeteer.
(Directors:  Steve Wright; Roger Singleton-Turner);

BUG ALERT!   (Two-Sides TV/Channel 4) Series 1, 2 & 3.
Co-writer with Peter Eyre. Grub Bug, Grunge, Mystic Mug, and others – voice/puppeteer.
(Director: Peter Eyre);

SOOTY   (Granada) Series 50 & 51
Sweep,  Butch – squeaks/voice/puppeteer.
(Directors: David Coyle; Ian McLean)
;

BALLOONIVILLE   (Two Sides TV/Cartoon Network/Cartoonito)
Booma – voice/puppeteer.
(Director: Patrick Fleming);

DESECRATING EDEN (Film)
Narrator
(Director: Michael Edwards);

DONALD TRUMP DOES BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY  (Gaeta Music)
Donald Trump – voice/puppeteer.
(Directors: Hazel Buchan Cameron/Dmytro Morykit);

THE PAUL O’GRADY SHOW  (Channel 4)
Elocution Teacher for Paul in amusing on-screen item;

THE IMPRESSIONABLE JOHN CULSHAW  (ITV) Light Entertainment show. Puppeteer;

MORTIMER AND ARABEL   (BBC Children’s Fiction – ‘Jackanory’) Series 1 & 2. Coordinating puppeteer, Leggitt, Barnoff, Mr Sterrett, and others – voice/puppeteer.
(Directors: Roger Singleton-Turner; Vivienne Cozens);

GROTBAGS   (Central Television) Series 1 – 4.
Colin the Bat, Lumpy, and others – voice/puppeteer.
(Director: Colin Clews);

HOTCH POTCH HOUSE   (BBC Schools)
Shelley – voice/puppeteer.
(Director: Vivienne Cozens);

JAYS’ WORLD   (Meridian Broadcasting) Series 1 – 3.
JJ, Muriel – voice/puppeteer.
(Director: Ingrid Duffell);

MUYBRIDGE VARIATIONS (Pepper’s Ghost Productions) Producer/movement co-ordinator. Library and CGI database for animators, based on photographic sequences in ‘The Human Figure in Motion’ by Eadweard Muybridge;

WIZADORA   (Meridian Broadcasting) Series 1 & 2.
Hangle, and others – voice/puppeteer.
(Director: David Crozier);

BOSWELL AND JONTY   (Channel 5)  39 short gems;
Boswell – voice/puppeteer. Co-written with Peter Eyre;

SPITTING IMAGE   (Central Television)
Puppeteer/voices.
(Directors: Peter Harris, John Stroud)
;

THE WINJIN’ POM  (Spitting Image Productions)
Puppeteer.
(Director: Steve Bendelack);

MOTORMOUTH   (TVS)
Buster the Skunk, Talkback Computer voice – voice/puppeteer;

PANIC STATION   (TVS) Series 1 & 2.
Ferret, Lady Blister, Mavis – voice/puppeteer.
(Directors: Adrian Edwards; Ingrid Duffell);

SEVEN SPORT   (Sunday Productions, LWT) Series 1 & 2.
Narrator: The Voice of Seven Sport.
(Director: Jaswinder Bancil);

BOOKMARK   (Landseer Films for BBC TV) ‘Sunny Stories – the life of Enid Blyton.’
Voice Characterisations.
(Director: Ken Howard);

THE SPOOKS OF BOTTLE BAY   (Carlton) Series 1 & 3.
Sybil Sludge & others – voice/puppeteer.
(Director: Paul Cole);

THE DJ KAT SHOW   (BskyB)
DJ Kat’s Mother & Scottish cousin Hamish – voice/puppeteer;

STORYTELLER   (TVS)
‘The Soldier and Death.’ Puppeteer.
(Director: Jim Henson);

BUS STOP  (Pepper’s Ghost Productions)
Computer Animation series of shorts. ‘Brief Encounter’ (voices of Gordon & Cynthia) ‘Star trek’  (voices of just about everyone on the Star Ship Enterprise);

B AND B THE BEST  (BBC/Leopard Films)
10 x 1hr episodes for daytime. Narrator.
(Producer: Lisa Hazelhurst);

KITCHEN SHOWDOWN  (RDF Media.UKTV-food)
10 x 1hr episodes. Narrator;

AMERICAN PRINCESS   (NBC/Granada) Reality TV show – 6 episodes.
Voice and Communication Skills mentor for the ten contestants. In vision;

AMERICAN PRINCESS – 2  (WE/Granada) As above – second season;

AUSTRALIAN PRINCESS    (Granada/Channel 10) Reality TV show: public speaking coach for the contestants. In vision;

THE ARABIAN NIGHTS  (Hallmark Entertainment) Film.
Voice Characterisations, including a realistic chimpanzee with dialogue!

THE TENTH KINGDOM (Hallmark Entertainment) Film.
Voice characterisations;

NEWSNIGHT  (BBC TV) Voice Characterisations – For period documentary items;

THE GENERATION GAME  (BBC TV)
With Bruce Forsyth  & Rosemarie Ford. Marionette Performer & Judge;

THE FANTASTIC FLYING JOURNEY  (2-Sides TV for ITV)
Voice characterisations for animation series;

TOP SHOW (Oxford University Press Video)
Gerald the Owl – voice/puppeteer. (Director: Rob Maidment);

THE OSMO ENGLISH SHOW (BBC Worldwide)
Victoria the Vulture – voice/puppeteer. (Director: Don Arioli);

TERROR TOWERS (Media Merchants for ITV): Boris the Spider – voice/puppeteer. (Director: Tim Edmunds);

SOME MORE VOICES:

Kiss FM; Voices for ‘Tiny Planets’ animations; Characters, narration and dialects for audio guide recordings; Rank Screen Advertising; Tussaud’s Group (Chessington World of Adventures, Thorpe Park, Alton Towers, Dover Castle, etc.); Narration for commercial websites;

FILMS INCLUDE:

LABYRINTH (‘Ludo’ team; goblins – puppeteer.) LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS (‘Audrey 2’ team); DRAGONSLAYER (SFX Dragons, puppeteer);

BROADCAST WRITING CREDITS INCLUDE:

BUG ALERT! – Series 1 – 3  (78 half-hour episodes)   Co-writer   (CHANNEL 4); MORNING STORY (BBC Radio 4); YOU & ME – various episodes over eleven years (BBC TV); WATCH (BBC TV);  DOCURAMA: Hands Up For More (TVS);  BOSWELL AND JONTY (39 episodes, co-writer) CHANNEL 5; DONALD TRUMP DOES BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY – song lyric (Gaeta Music).

THEATRE CREDITS INCLUDE:

Polka Children’s Theatre (actor/puppeteer); Little Angel Theatre (actor/puppeteer); Playboard Puppets (actor/puppeteer); Caricature Theatre of Wales (puppeteer);

MURDER IN THE CATHEDRAL by T.S. Eliot  (Thomas Becket) 75th Anniversary staging, St Mary’s, North Stoke, Sussex. (Director: Brian E. Cook);

FATHER NANDRU AND THE WOLVES by Julian Garner, a folk-play commissioned by Wilton’s Music Hall (Actor/puppeteer).

Written by Francis Wright

January 30, 2014 at 12:00 pm

Posted in

FRANCIS WRIGHT: BIOGRAPHY

with 24 comments

I am a Londoner, born and bred. Until recently, I had no idea about the family history in my other pages.

I was born in St. John’s Wood in a private nursing home, and the family house was in Crescent Grove, SW4 – a battered crescent of handsome late Georgian houses built for the ladies-in-waiting of Queen Charlotte, as far as I recall.

We left Crescent Grove in 1963 – just after I started school – and moved to Station Road, Barnes, SW13, where we stayed for 20 years. My first school was Glengyle Preparatory School for Boys in Carlton Drive, Putney, SW15.

Glengyle Preparatory School for Boys
(photographed in 1965)

At the age of 9, I was sent to Colet Court  (St Paul’s Preparatory School), which was at that time (1967) still housed in handsome Victorian red-brick buildings in Hammersmith – Colet Court on one side of the road, and St Paul’s on the other, brooding at the end of its driveway.

St Paul’s Preparatory School, Colet Court
photographed in 1968 before the school’s move from Hammersmith to Barnes

Colet Court was an interesting and largely enjoyable experience, thanks in the main to one of the form masters, the always bright and good-humoured Alan Bateman (his initials ‘AJSB’ graced many an exercise book.)  This lively and stylish young man had the knack of inspiring creativity, and I don’t think any of us have ever forgotten him. As a class, we were very sorry when he left to take up a post in Canada, but the Canadians will have benefited enormously. He now lives and works in Kenya, where he has been a headmaster for many years.

Mr Bateman – always known affectionately as ‘Batman’ – was often responsible for ‘The Colet Court Play’ – an annual event which I was desperate to be part of. I was eventually cast as Little Buttercup in H.M.S. Pinafore – which suited my hystrionic tendencies, but probably did nothing to further the reputation of Coletine drama. The performance still exists on an LP – somewhere. Probably very scratched, and virtually unplayable. Just as well.

After leaving the senior school, St. Paul’s, I studied drama, and graduated with honours. I decided to specialise in puppetry, which seemed to be a good way of never being typecast and/or doomed to a life mainly out of work.

My professional writing credits began with the BBC’s long-running series ‘Morning Story’ – only 15 minutes of fame, but it was a start.

The first four years of my performing career were spent with a touring children’s theatre company, the excellent Playboard Puppets, playing everything from a tortoise to a granny.  Going ‘freelance’ then meant a year out of work – during which time I made ends meet by being a journalist, writing about British TV programmes and their stars for several European and worldwide publications.

I then became one of the two leading characters in a series for BBC Schools called YOU AND ME … My character’s name was Dibs – or the yellow one, as he was known to those who could never remember the names. The rather downtrodden Dibs, and his opposite number, the gruff-voiced Cosmo, carried on exploring life’s little ups and downs for eleven years. There’s a bit more about it in the main blog.

My credits include the Psammead in the BBC’s teatime classic children’s drama FIVE CHILDREN AND IT, the Phoenix in THE PHOENIX AND THE CARPET, the evil Sybil Sludge in THE SPOOKS OF BOTTLE BAY, and the March Hare in Hallmark Films’ version of ALICE IN WONDERLAND, which boasted a cast more star-studded than the Milky Way.

I featured as ‘The Head’ in ITV’S ART ATTACK and ART ATTACK INTERNATIONAL for many years, and also co-wrote and performed three series (78 half-hours) of BUG ALERT! for Channel 4 and ITV. I even became an icon of sorts when I inherited the role of SWEEP in SOOTY. This involved having to squeak a lot, and frequently get covered in custard.

Other series included PANIC STATION, SPITTING IMAGE, MOTORMOUTH, GROTBAGS, MORTIMER AND ARABEL, JAYS’ WORLD,  BEACHCOMBER BAY, GOPHERS!, and many more over 20 years.

I also teach personal presentation and speaking skills – for anyone who wants to develop the way they come across in public. Clients could be performers, business executives, interview candidates who need a confidence-booster – or dad who has to speak at his daughter’s wedding.

After lecturing on communication to the Business Studies students at Middlesex University, I  was asked to take part in the Reality Show AMERICAN PRINCESS for Granada/NBC, which involved helping to turn ten American girls from all walks of life into young ladies.

I was responsible for their public speaking and elocution, being a kind of Henry Higgins to their Eliza Doolittles. The role was repeated for AUSTRALIAN PRINCESS, and AMERICAN PRINCESS II.

Recent projects include narrating two 10-part series: B & B THE BEST (for BBC TV), followed by ROSEMARY SHRAGER’S KITCHEN SHOWDOWN  (for ITV Daytime), and appearing on THE PAUL O’GRADY SHOW – teaching Paul to ‘speak proper’!

I also appeared as Thomas Becket in TS Eliot’s MURDER IN THE CATHEDRAL. The production celebrated the 75th anniversary of the play’s premiere, and was – like the 1935 original – mounted by Radius (The Religious Drama Society of Great Britain.)

It was staged in the tiny 13th century Sussex church of St Mary, North Stoke, and was directed by Brian E. Cook. The following year, I was asked to take part in a performance of readings celebrating the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible, and recently played a variety of roles in SHAKESPEARE SOUP – a revue about the Bard and all his works.

FATHER NANDRU AND THE WOLVES was premiered at Wilton’s Music Hall in the East End of London. A folk-play written in verse by Julian Garner, the show featured gigantic wolves, puppets of all shapes and sizes, musicians and actors, and told the story of a village community in the last days of Ceaucescu’s Romania. It was a pleasure to be part of it …

 

Written by Francis Wright

July 10, 2012 at 7:00 pm

Posted in

PRODUCTION PHOTOS

with 2 comments

The Psammead, with team: standing L-R: James Davis, Paul McGuinness, Mark Holt, Francis Wright, Malcolm James (Psammead designer); kneeling L-R: Andy Fraser, Alan Groves.

'Mortimer & Arabel' the exterior of Rainwater Crescent.

‘Mortimer & Arabel’ the exterior of Rainwater Crescent. This remarkable set filled the Model Stage of BBC Visual Effects where the two series were shot.

The Psammead (Francis Wright) with Tamzen Audas, Simon Godwin, Charlie Richards and Nicole Mowatt

YOU AND ME: Dibs and Cosmo (played by Francis Wright and Frances Kay); the puppets were made by Tim Rose

YOU AND ME: Dibs and Cosmo (Francis Wright & Frances Kay) with Harry Towb, Bharti Patel, Clive Mason, Gary Wilmot, Jeni Barnett and Larrington Walker

YOU AND ME: Dibs and Cosmo with Bill Owen, Jeni Barnett, Gary Wilmot and Indira Joshi

BEACHCOMBER BAY: Casey-Lee Jolleys with Bertha (Sheila Clark), Salty Dog (Richard Coombs), and Sam Seagull (Francis Wright). In the foreground are Spike and Marlon, the ship’s rats (Francis Wright and Richard Coombs)

GOPHERS!: Arthur Burrows (Francis Wright – key puppeteer/voice – with Frederick Warder in the body); all the characters designed by Ron Mueck

GOPHERS!: Arthur Burrows wrestles with his conscience

GOPHERS!: Sly the Lizard (Francis Wright) assistant to the evil Dr. Wince. Puppet designed by Ron Mueck

GOPHERS!: Sly being punished

GOPHERS!: The crows, Frankie and Ollie (Francis Wright & Erik Collinson)

The Cast and Crew of Gophers! (at Tyne-Tees TV.)

The Cast and Crew of Gophers! (at Tyne-Tees TV.)

From GOPHERS!; Beatrice & Arthur Burrows (Erik Collinson & Frederick Warder) with their voices (Sue Scott-Davison & Francis Wright)

From GOPHERS!: Beatrice & Arthur Burrows (Erik Collinson & Frederick Warder) with their voices behind (Sue Scott-Davison & Francis Wright)

GOPHERS! Director Nick Willing with Sly (Francis Wright)

GOPHERS! Director Nick Willing with Sly (Francis Wright)

Francis Wright & Arthur Burrows (Frederick Warder) over the garden wall

Francis Wright & Arthur Burrows (Frederick Warder) over the garden wall

The evil Dr. Wince (Sue Scott-Davison with fur and stethoscope) plots with lizard sidekick, Sly (Francis Wright)

The evil Dr. Wince (Sue Scott-Davison with fur and stethoscope) plots with lizard sidekick, Sly (Francis Wright)

Arthur Burrows (Frederick Warder & Francis Wright) with friends

Arthur Burrows (Frederick Warder & Francis Wright) with friends

BUG ALERT! Grub Bug (Francis Wright) in his kitchen about to create havoc – and something tasty

The Unit Photo of THE MUCH BUNCH, taken 1979.

THE MUNCH BUNCH – unit photo, 1979. From L-R: Mary Turner (director); Christine Glanville, Francis Wright, Paul Marwaha (camera), Sue Dacre, Bogus Machnik (design assistant), John Read (producer), Ann Brandon, John Jelly (designer), David Ross and Joyce Wren

LABYRINTH: Ludo (Ron Mueck in body) with Sarah (Jennifer Connelly).
Ludo’s face team: Don Austen, Sue Dacre and Francis Wright

BUG ALERT!: Slop (Joe Greco) and Grunge (Francis Wright) in their den

WIZADORA: Hangle the coat hanger (Francis Wright)

MORTIMER AND ARABEL: The evil Mr Leggitt (Francis Wright) character designed by Quentin Blake

THE SPOOKS OF BOTTLE BAY: Sybil Sludge, a wicked estate agent (Francis Wright)

ALICE IN WONDERLAND: Mr. March Hare (Francis Wright – key puppeteer/voice – with Adrian Getley in the body)

ART ATTACK: The Head, with Francis Wright and producer Nic Ayling

Taken at The Greenwood Theatre near London Bridge. The stage was often used for TV programmes.

BUG ALERT! Series 2 (Two-Sides TV) Taken at The Greenwood Theatre near London Bridge. The stage was often used for TV programmes.

Polka Children's Theatre: the cast of 'The Wind in the Willows' adapted and directed by the theatre's founder, Richard Gill, with designs by Elizabeth Waghorn. The cast, from L-R: Peter Calverley (Mole); Francis Wright (Toad); Simon Gregory (Rat); Andy Lawrence (Badger). In front are Debby Cumming and Susan Lintern-Coward.

1983 – Polka Children’s Theatre, Wimbledon: ‘The Wind in the Willows’ adapted and directed by the theatre’s founder, Richard Gill, with designs by Elizabeth Waghorn. The cast, from L-R: Peter Calverley (Mole); Francis Wright (Toad); Simon Gregory (Rat); Andy Lawrence (Badger). In front are Debby Cumming and Susan Lintern-Coward.

WOODEN STARS at Polka Children's Theatre. This show was a whirlwind history of puppet theatre, written and directed by Polka's founder, Richard Gill.

WOODEN STARS at Polka Children’s Theatre. This show was a whirlwind history of puppet theatre, written and directed by Polka’s founder, Richard Gill. It featured puppets of all kinds – antique and modern. The performers (standing, from L-R) were Simon Gregory, Francis Wright, Gerald Home, Susie Breakell, and (seated L-R) are Debby Cumming and Sue Jeffrey.

Underground and Underneath the Psammead

YOU AND ME: Dibs in fancy dress

Donald Trump from
“Donald Trump does Bohemian Rhapsody”

‘Ballooniville’ – the cast and production team, 2011


Shelley from BBC TV’s ‘Hotch Potch House’

The Phoenix spreads his wings (‘The Phoenix and the Carpet’ – BBC TV, 1997)

The Psammead (Francis Wright) grants a wish.

The Psammead (Francis Wright) grants a wish. Photo by Andy James

the Psammead (Francis Wright) being given some tender loving care by his designer, Malcolm James

The Psammead (Francis Wright) being given some tender loving care by his designer, Malcolm James. Photo by Andy James

The Psammead (from BBC TV's 'Five Children & It') at rest.

The Psammead (from BBC TV’s ‘Five Children & It’) at rest. Photo by Andy James

The Psammead (Francis Wright) bids farewell to director Marilyn Fox on the last day of shooting

The Psammead (Francis Wright) bids farewell to director Marilyn Fox on the last day of shooting. Photo by Andy James

The title card from 'The Adventures of Captain Zeelig' - a drama-based games show made by 2-Sides TV for Channel 5.

The title card from ‘The Adventures of Captain Zeelig’ – a drama-based games show made by 2-Sides TV for Channel 5.

Production credits for 'The Adventures of Captain Zeelig' (2-Sides TV for Channel 5)

Production credits for ‘The Adventures of Captain Zeelig’ (2-Sides TV for Channel 5)

This expressive character was made and sculpted by Philip Eason. He felt that this photo could have been taken in the rehearsal rooms of the National Theatre.

‘Weaver’ from ‘English Express’ (BBC Schools). Philip Eason made the puppet, and felt that this photo could have been taken in the rehearsal rooms of the National Theatre.

The character narrates the story of Gemma, a small girl who copes with bullying in the playground

‘Weaver the Storyteller’ from ‘English Express’ (BBC Schools). The character narrates the story of Gemma, a small girl who copes with bullying in the playground

A still from the closing scenes of LABYRINTH. Ludo is at the back, big and shaggy. Passing minicabs continued to interfere with his radio controlled face until the end of the shoot.

A still from the closing scenes of LABYRINTH. Ludo is at the back, big and shaggy. Passing minicabs outside Elstree Studios continued to interfere with his radio controlled face until the end of the shoot.

James Coombs as the evil Colonel South in 'The Adventures of Captain Zeelig' - an environmentally aware drama-based games show (phew!) With him is his purple sidekick, Cyber Rat (Francis Wright).

James Coombes as the evil Colonel South in ‘The Adventures of Captain Zeelig’ – an environmentally- aware drama-based games show (phew!) With him is his purple sidekick, Cyber Rat (Francis Wright). The series was directed by Peter Eyre

From 'Hotch Potch House' (BBC Schools); the musical numbers were shot against bluescreen; here Richard Coombs (who also played Rags) plots simple choreography with Victoria Willing, Juli Marr, Alison McGowan and Rosie Riggs.

From ‘Hotch Potch House’ (BBC Schools); the musical numbers were shot against bluescreen; here Richard Coombs (who also played Rags) plots simple choreography with Victoria Willing, Juli Marr, Alison McGowan and Rachel Riggs

The interior set of 'Hotch Potch House' designed by David Bevin of Red Rhino.

The interior set of ‘Hotch Potch House’ designed by David Bevin of Red Rhino

The authors of 'Bug Alert!' (Peter Eyre & Francis Wright) with cast

The authors of ‘Bug Alert!’ (Peter Eyre & Francis Wright) with cast

Father Nandru and the Wolves: poster, 2014

‘Father Nandru and the Wolves’ by Julian Garner (poster, 2014)

Kapra with Handler: Francis Wright with Goat, ‘Father Nandru & the Wolves’ – Wilton’s Music Hall, 2014. Photograph by Vanessa Quiney)

The goats, waiting to go on. (From 'Father Nandru & the Wolves' by Julian Garner, Wilton's Music Hall, 2014. Photograph by Vanessa Quiney)

The goats, waiting to go on. (From ‘Father Nandru & the Wolves’ by Julian Garner, Wilton’s Music Hall, 2014. Photograph by Vanessa Quiney)

Written by Francis Wright

April 11, 2012 at 5:00 pm

Posted in

%d bloggers like this: