Toby Clements worked as a journalist and editor on the literary desk of the Daily Telegraph for ten years before writing the four critically-acclaimed Kingmaker novels set in England during the Wars of the Roses. Toby continues to write historical fiction and lives in London with his wife and three children. “It is Clements’s ability to excite both tender emotions and a capacity for bloodthirstiness that has allowed him to achieve what Shakespeare couldn’t manage, and spin a consistently enthralling story out of the Wars of the Roses.” Daily Telegraph
Lead Actor – Katherine
Sophie Walter graduated from Bristol Old Vic Theatre School in 2019 and made her television debut in GRANTCHESTER for ITV. Sophie loved every minute of recording Winter Pilgrims, and believes the listeners will be as enthralled as she was when first discovering the epic story of Katherine and Tom. Sophie loved recording outdoors, especially all those battle scenes, her fondest memory was seeing the iconic Richard Braine pretending to have a hemorrhoid, as well as working with the wonderful George Glenn. She is so very excited for the release!
Lead Actor – Thomas
Will Fletcher trained at RADA then at Bristol Old Vic Theatre school before graduating in 2019. His professional stage debut was in The Girl Who Fell at Trafalgar Studios directed by Hannah Price. He will be starring in feature film The Road Dance alongside Hermione Corfield, directed by Richie Adams, set to be released in 2021.
As a child, I used to love hearing my grandpa tell stories of the medieval Kings and Queens of England. I was fascinated with the castles they built, the battles they fought, the legacies they left – When the role of Thomas came along- I truly felt that seven year old kid again, with scabby knees, waving a wooden sword and crying “CHARGE!” too loudly and being told off by a poor National Trust volunteer!
I think Toby Clements’ book paints such a vivid picture of the ruthless medieval landscape.
His story manages to capture the grand scope of the War of the Roses but also focuses on the untold tales from the common people who fought and gave their lives for the old houses of Lancaster and York.
It was such a pleasure to explore such a rich story with an excellent group of people – The whole experience was magical – and hopefully listeners will hear some of that magic in this gritty, nail biting, epic adventure!!
Fiona McAlpine is an award winning drama producer, who has been working in the industry over thirty years as an actress, director and producer. With her own company, Allegra Productions, she has produced over fifty radio dramas, documentaries and series for the BBC, including live orchestrated theatre events such as The Dark Tower and Elizabeth and Essex.
She has championed and produced several female novelist seasons for Radio 4 including the Iris Murdoch and Angela Carter seasons, and over the last twenty years has worked with many famous names, including David Tennant, Helen McCrory, Jeremy Irons, Fiona Shaw and Stephen Fry.
She is also a theatre director and producer and produced many short films in the early noughties, one of which, Billy’s Day Out, directed by Iain B. MacDonald, won Best Short Film at the Edinburgh international Film Festival (2004), and another, Other won Best film at the RIMA awards (2005).
She was shortlisted for Best Drama Producer in 2016 and 2019 at the Audio Production Awards. Fiona directed one of the first Audio Dramas for Audible Originals, Carmilla (starring David Tennant and Rose Leslie) which was nominated for an Audie award in 2016.
Her 2019 production of A Kestrel for a Knave for Goldhawk Essential/ BBC Radio 4, featured 15 year old actor, George Kent, who went on to win Gold, Best Newcomer, at the BBC Sony Awards 2020
Since lockdown began last March, Fiona has produced & directed over 16 hours of drama.
This year she has produced and directed a version of Homer’s Iliad, The Brummie Iliad by Roderick Smith for BBC Radio 3 and The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann as a three part series for BBC Radio 4.
Working on Kingmaker : Winter Pilgrims has been a great pleasure to work on this past (very difficult) year.. It was wonderful to work with such a creative cast and crew and to be able to record it in the beautiful surroundings of Leiston Abbey in Suffolk over a week last July, albeit with Social Distancing. It was a very special recording week, and is indeed a very special project. I do hope listeners will enjoy the end result of the story of Katherine and Thomas and all their adventures.
Gregory Evans is a television scriptwriter, playwright and radio dramatist. He’s also written short stories, features and reviews for various journals, and worked as a film critic. His tragi-comedy Shirleymander, was staged at the newly-opened Playground Theatre in West London in May and June 2018.
His original plays for BBC Radio 4 include The Polish Soldier, Ghosting, Shirleymander, Art & Gadg) and the twenty-part series Blood and Milk. He has written dramatisations of novels by authors by Joseph Roth, Graham Greene, Edgar Allan Poe, Stephen King, Jules Verne, Ray Bradbury and others.
His television drama includes The Bill, Casualty, Murder in Mind and Bugs; also the docu-drama The Sewer King for the BBC History series Seven Wonders of the Industrial World and Window of Vulnerability in the BBC-2 series Debut on Two.
Matthew Sheeran is a composer, orchestrator and arranger. Last year he was nominated for a Grammy.
He has orchestrated films, including Brothers of the Wind and the Russian epic Viking, as well as the trailer music for The Shape of Water, written by Dean Valentine. A CD featuring Matt’s Christmas Carol In The Bleak Midwinter was released last year, performed by soprano Christina Johnston and The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra.
Matt scored the 2017 feature for Film Suffolk, The Haunted Hotel, and their 2016 feature With Love From Suffolk, as well as the short film Dr Sugarloaf which was shown at the Cannes Film Festival.
This is the third audio drama project he has worked on with Fiona McAlpine. In 2013 he scored the incidental music for Britten’s Got Talent, a new play about Benjamin Britten which she directed (New Wolsey Theatre), and in 2015 he wrote original music for Carmilla, an Audible Original (starring David Tennant and Rose Leslie) which was nominated for an Audie award.
Matt’s work with his brother Ed Sheeran includes an orchestral duet with Andrea Bocelli Perfect Symphony. He’s also continued to work with Ed on a classical symphony which is under wraps.
He wrote a choral version of Blinded By Your Grace for Stormzy and composed a choral piece which was performed at Westminster Abbey.
Alisdair McGregor has specialised in audio production for 23 years working extensively for BBC Radio Drama and within the independent sector alongside the industry’s most high-profile players. His career has seen multiple major awards and accreditations. He co-created Holy Mountain, supplying “innovative and contemporary” audio drama for over 10 years. He was a visiting lecturer at the Royal Central School for Speech and Drama and Sheffield Hallam University and is currently working with Sheffield University on their ‘Restorying Vulnerability’ project, delivering audio projects to young people excluded from mainstream education.
He has worked with Fiona McAlpine on over thirty audio or radio productions over the past 20 years.
Richard Braine is television actor, playwright, and theatre director.
One of his most recognisable roles was that of Augustus “Gussie” Fink-Nottle in the ITV television third and fourth series Jeeves and Wooster based on the P.G. Wodehouse novels. In an earlier episode of the first series, he played the character Rupert Steggles. In Germany, Braine is known for appearing in a series of adverts for the Dinkel-Mini snack, after an outtake of his work on an advert for the brand appeared on a television bloopers programme and he was asked back to appear in subsequent ads.
His varied television career includes parts in EastEnders, Only Fools and Horses, The Brittas Empire and So What Now? and he has appeared in film roles in Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004), Finding Neverland (2004) and Calendar Girls (2003).
In 2016 he appeared as Henry Kirkov in the BBC series Father Brown episode 4.4 “The Crackpot of the Empire”. Theatre roles include Ratty in Wind in the Willows at the Bristol Old Vic. He also played a vicar in As Time Goes By. In April 2020, he appeared in an episode of the BBC soap opera Doctors as Bernie Sutton.
Georgie Glen is a British actress, known for her film and television work in both dramatic and comedic roles. Among her most popular performances are the running characters of Mrs. Higgins in the BBC One period drama series, Call The Midwife, from 2018 onwards, and of History teacher, Audrey McFall in the BBC One school-based drama series, Waterloo Road, from 2012 to 2015.
Glen also featured in the BBC One drama series, Les Misérables, as Mother Abbess; in 2012, she had appeared in Les Misérables the film, as Madame Baptistine. Additional period performances include Hannah More in the 2006 film, Amazing Grace, John Ruskin’s mother in the drama, Desperate Romantics about the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, as well as lady-in-waiting to Judi Dench in both Shakespeare in Love and Mrs. Brown.
Other notable performances include a recurring role in Heartbeat, as Sgt Jennifer Noakes and one of the eponymous Calendar Girls. A familiar face in British comedy, Georgie has also portrayed various characters in Little Britain and Harry Enfield and Chums, as well as a memorable guest role in The Thick of It.
Most recently she appeared in Series Four of Netflix drama, The Crown, playing Ruth Roche, Lady Fermoy, the maternal Grandmother of Lady Diana Spencer and lady-in-waiting to the Queen Mother.
Julian Harries has had an extensive career in theatre, film and television. For the BBC he played Flight Lieutenant John Maze in Bomber Harris, Callum McCulloch in EastEnders, and appeared in the BBC series Undercover Heart. Other roles include TV Host in the film Before You Go, (directed by Lewis Gilbert), Duff Cooper in Spies of Warsaw, with David Tennant, and “pub quiz-master” in Detectorists (Series 1).
He has guest-starred in two Doctor Who audio plays – Bloodtide and The Time of the Daleks.
Stage work includes the 2007 international tour of the Royal Shakespeare Company production of King Lear starring Ian McKellen in the title role and Sylvester McCoy as the Fool.
Played Brocklehurst/Pilot/St John Rivers in Shared Experience Theatre Company’s West End production of Jane Eyre.
In 2009, Harries played Guy Jones in Alan Ayckbourn’s comedy A Chorus of Disapproval at the New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich, and the Colchester Mercury Theatre, alongside Harry Secombe’s daughter, Katy.
In the 2016-17 UK & international tour of the stage adaptation of Dirty Dancing, he played Dr Jake Houseman.
Since 2007, Harries has been a Director of Suffolk -based Common Ground Theatre Company with his partner Pat Whymark.
Last year he worked with Fiona McAlpine and Robin Brooks (Allegra Productions) on a radio performance of Brooks’s new play Elizabeth and Essex at The Alexandra Palace, which was recorded in front of a live audience with the BBC Concert Orchestra and starring Simon Russell Beale.
He was recently in What a Carve up by Jonathan Coe which was an online success during lockdown.
Garmon Rhys graduated from LAMDA back in 2014 & has since worked extensively on stage & screen. He was recently in Sky Atlantic’s GANGS OF LONDON & will next be seen in TINA : THE MUSICAL on the West End (whenever the theatres re-open!).
Garmon had a wonderful time recording Winter Pilgrims. After a difficult first lockdown it was an invaluable reminder of the joys of storytelling & expression. It was a pleasure to collaborate with such an exuberant, hard-working group of people & I can’t wait to hear the finished product.
Roderick Smith’s career in Film, TV, stage and radio spans five decades. Recent work with the RSC includes Love’s Labour’s Lost and Much Ado about Nothing which has recently been televised as part of BBC’s Culture in Quarantine. He currently plays John in series 1 of Trying for Apple TV+. His play The Brummie Iliad, (adapted from Homer’s Iliad) was recently broadcast on BBC Radio 3 in January 2021, directed by Fiona McAlpine (Allegra productions), and with Roderick himself playing Homer. He also appeared in Film Suffolk’s With Love from Suffolk. Writing credits include Sunday Morning and K Top for NT Studio and Fourteen Mouthfuls of Air for The Arcola Theatre and the INK Festival.
Alexandra Ewing (Actor) graduated from Guildford School of Acting in 2018. Since moving back to Suffolk she has worked with fantastic East Anglian companies such as INK, tusk., The Keeper’s Daughter and Aldeburgh Classic Theatre, and is delighted to be adding Towton Productions to the list! Winter Pilgrims marks Alexandra’s first foray into radio and she could not have asked for a more thrilling, dramatic and joyful introduction.
Ché Walker has written scripts for Royal Court Theatre, Young Vic, Shakespeare’s Globe and Netflix. He has over sixty professional acting credits and forty directing credits. Working on Winter Pilgrims was sheer anarchic joy, and the passion and inventiveness of the cast – particularly as we were briefly released from lockdown to record- was a special highlight of 2020.
Grace Englert started her acting career with director Fiona McAlpine in 2013 for another radio play, and has since worked on features, with two cinematic releases sandwiched by the national lockdown(s) in 2020. Grace loved being back with Fiona for Winters Pilgrim and recording outside amongst the ruins of an abbey. There was a great camaraderie with the cast and crew and we galloped on imaginary horses.
Ed Jones is an Edinburgh Comedy Award-nominated performer and writer. His TV credits include White Gold and Tracey Ullman’s Show and he has also appeared on film in Mary Queen of Scots. He is one-third of comedy sketch troupe Crybabies and a founding member of musical theatre collective Hot Loft.
Edmund trained at The University of Leeds. His recent theatre credits include Donnely in Decisions, decisions at the The Pleasance Theatre, London. Camillo in The Winter’s Tale with The Festival Players. And Lord Henry Wooton in The Picture of Dorian Gray with Quintessence Theatre.
His film credits include Tristan in Parallel City where he received a nomination for Best Actor at the Branson International Film Festival. And Ralph in Schmetterling which received the BFI Award for Best UCA Comedy or Drama.
Charlie Keable is an actor and comedian who graduated from Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts in 2019. He starred in multiple productions and short films before the lockdown back in March 2020. Working on
Winters Pilgrim in such gorgeous weather with such a brilliant cast and crew was an absolute joy. The beautiful location’s proximity to his home town was not only nostalgic, but primarily made for a convenient commute from his parents house where he now lives. He is 24 years old despite his mum cooking all his dinners.
What a wonderful job this was! Working with many Suffolk based actors during a joyous release from lockdown. The battle scenes were a complete delight – screams of the wounded & dying, trudging through muddy battlefields, festive carousing. Did ever actors have such fun? The energy throughout the recording sessions was phenomenal. And it’s a raw & thrilling story to share. Thank you, Winter Pilgrims.
Richard Blaine’s early Rep career includes
many roles from bits to leads, Petruchio to Panto Dame.
TV and Film includes Smuggler,
Coronation Street, Baby of Macon
(Peter Greenaway) Farinelli (Georges Corbieau) No Fault of His Own (James Napoli).
Joint Artistic Directorship of award-winning Confederacy of Fools brought extensive touring of original work to Europe, UK, and USA, with many Edinburgh Festivals and London runs, including The Marriage of Casanova, Arts Theatre, West End. Resident in Suffolk after several years directing for BBC America and History Channel, as an actor he now concentrates on film work (Bradan in Britannia, Sky Atlantic; Luke the Lute in Flagstone; Father Bran in Cursed; Ramone in Rebel Dreamers; all Netflix, and in theatre is Artistic Director of Aldeburgh Classic Theatre, producing Summer Theatre, social, and educational work for the East Anglian region.
Patrick Marlowe has worked as an actor in theatres all over the world, including the National, RSC, Theatr Clwyd, the Orange Tree, Bristol Old Vic, Salisbury Playhouse, Eastern Angles, Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds, and many others, with directors including Jeremy Herrin, Howard Davies, Trevor Nunn, Christopher Morahan, Auriol Smith, and Andrew Hilton. TV includes: Casualty, Doctors, Judge John Deed, A Touch of Frost, Historyonics, Blood on Her Hands. Radio includes: Two Minute’s Hate, The Dog, The Corrupted. Patrick has an ongoing and very fruitful relationship with the Frinton Summer Theatre as both an actor and a playwright, having written six plays for them in the last six years. A trained coach and very experienced corporate trainer, he also teaches students from primary to undergraduates and has just completed a film project with a school in East Anglia.
Theo Fraser Steele
Theo Fraser Steele’s Television credits include: Victoria; The Thick of It; My Family; Keen Eddie; Hex; Close & True; A Christmas Carol; Shockers: The Visitor; The Prince of Hearts; Casualty.
Film credits include:The Golden Compass; Mad About Mambo; Before You Go; Mrs Brown.
Radio credits include: The Corrupted series 1-5; The Beach at Falesa; Lady Susan; The Prince; Number Ten series 1-4; A Small Town Murder; Two Minutes Hate; Romeo and Juliet; Antoine et Dougie; The Greengage Summer (all BBC Radio4).
Theatre credits include:Don Quixote(West End); Jeeves & Wooster in Perfect Nonsense,Sense & Sensibility, Single Spies(Theatre by the Lake);Doctor Faustus, The Alchemist, Don Quixote(RSC); Woman in Mind(Salisbury Playhouse); Bloody Sunday / Guantanamo(Tricycle Theatre & West End); The Drowned World(Traverse Theatre & The Bush Theatre); Outside Now/ The Moment Is A Gift(Prada Institute, Milan); The Importance of Being Earnest(Australian Tour & West End); Skylight(National Theatre & West End); The Shallow End(Royal Court & West End); A Week With Tony(Finborough); Amphitryon(Gate Theatre); Tamburlaine The Great(RSC)
Sally Ann Burnett
Sally Ann Burnett trained at ALRA in London and has worked in Regional Theatre ,West End, National Theatre and Television. It was a delight to work on Winter Pilgrims and play Gwen,a Welsh nurse, who sadly comes to a very brutal end! Recording at the beautiful Abbey was a gift during 2020 and all the Team were superb, creating Audio brilliance and enhancing the exciting story with atmospheric outdoor effects!
Actor – Horribly killed by a young nun in a real Abbey!
A hugely entertaining script, a highly exciting story, a fabulous location and a brilliant team of actors and technicians. What more can you ask? And all during lockdown! .
Judith is thrilled to be playing her first sadistic nun and can’t wait to hear the whole series
Lawrence Werber lives in Suffolk, close to the beautiful location where Winter Pilgrims was recorded. He is a founder member of Eastern Angles, the theatre company that has toured the Eastern region since 1981. He has worked extensively in theatre, including at the National and the RSC. But for those now in their 40s he is probably best known as Cedric the Mad Monk in Anglia TV’s Knightmare. So playing the Prior in WP is a kind of full circle – with reduced aggression
Tessa has worked in theatres all over the UK, including Edinburgh Traverse, Almeida Theatre, Soho Poly, Gate Theatre Notting Hill, Lilian Baylis, Wyndhams and Joint Stock in London. TV includes: Inspector Morse, The Widowmaker, A Casualty of War, Pillars of Society, The Deliberate Death of a Polish Priest, Czech Mate, Eldorado. Film credits include: Sammie and Rosie Get Laid, The Insurance Man, Bob’s Birthday (playing Mrs Schimmelbiscuit – Oscar winning animation). Radio drama for BBC and LBC.
Joe is an actor and stand-up comedian who has appeared in plays at the Ink Festival, in Suffolk directed by Tim Bentinck and Peter Kavanagh, and on BBC Radio 4 in A Kestrel for a Knave (directed by Fiona McAlpine) and The Halifax Slasher for Testbed Productions for Audible.
After just finishing his three years in Glasgow studying at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Winter Pilgrims was the perfect way to spend a few sunny summer days. Letting out agonised war cries in the middle of a lovely Suffolk field surrounded by a great cast and crew was an absolute pleasure. Jack cannot wait to hear the finished product.
Huw Brentnall is a director, writer and actor based in London. His recent credits include multiple roles in several audiobooks for the Online Stage, as well as Benedick in a Much Ado About Nothing and Horatio in Hamlet at the 2019 Cambridge Shakespeare Festival and subsequent tour of China. Huw is about to begin his MA in Classical Acting at the Central School of Speech and Drama.
Actor / Sound Assistant
Jimmy Rutherford graduated from the University of Kent in 2019 with a degree in Wildlife Conservation and, prior to this, studied acting at the Oxford School of Drama on their foundation course. Alongside his environmental work, he still loves working, both as an actor and behind the scenes, on film, theatre, and radio productions when the opportunity arises. His favourite memories of Winter Pilgrims include recording the narration sequences with Sophie and Will in the evenings, the battle scenes in the summer sun, and shepherding the local clucking chickens to stop them ruining a take.
Lucy has worked in theatre, radio and events for over 30 years, on a wide range of productions, events and tours, both in the UK and across the world. Since the pandemic began radio plays have been her primary source of employment, mostly working remotely from home. Being out on site, at the beautiful Leiston Abbey for a week, to record the epic “Winter Pilgrims”, in the sunshine with this fantastic cast was the highlight of her year.
“I’m so looking forward to hearing what we created together.”
Madeleine Brooks studied music at Manchester University. She recently finished training at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama on an MA in Opera Directing.
She has worked on four socially distant operas during the past year, both as a director and as an assistant director. She has really enjoyed venturing into audio drama this year, and has worked as a broadcast assistant on radio drama productions for Allegra Productions(for the BBC) and Towton this year, both on location and in the studio.
She thoroughly enjoyed emerging out of lockdown into the beautiful site of Leiston Abbey in her first job as broadcast assistant, as well as debuting as a nun, on this epic recording adventure.
Kitty Dunham graduated from Plymouth Conservatoire and went straight into recording Winter Pilgrims as part of the crew. Learning the ins and outs of audio dramas and watching the experts, both in-front and behind the mic, work their magic was such a treat so soon after graduating. Kitty also acted with Theatre on the Coast playing Betsy in ‘ATTA Girls’ in their 2020 summer season.
Sarah Keirle is a singer, electroacoustic composer, and PhD researcher based in Manchester, UK. With the absence of live music over the last year due to the pandemic, she was thrilled to have such an exciting project to sing for. She hopes you enjoy the medieval songs that accompany this fantastic story!
Full Cast and Crew List
Sophie Walter : Katherine
Will Fletcher : Thomas
Julian Harries : Sir Giles Riven / Robert Doud / Fournier
Ed Jones : Edmund Riven / Edward / Warwick
Joe McArdle : Morrant
Theo Fraser Steele : Latham / William Hastings
Edmund Attrill : Richard Fakenham
Richard Braine : Sir John Fakenham
Roderick Smith : Walter
Ché Walker : Geoffrey / Saxby
Garmon Rhys : Cobham / Dafydd
Georgie Glen : Prioress
Alexandra Ewing : Sister Alice
Patrick Marlowe : Dean (Brother Stephen)
Lawrence Werber : Prior
Judith Sharp : Sister Joan
Tessa Wojtczak : Sister Agnes / Goodwife Popham
Grace Englert : Margaret Cornford
Sally Ann Burnett : Gwen / Stationer
Jack Heydon : Mayhew / Official /Sailor
Richard Bates : Vintenar / Herald / Knight / Captain
Richard Blaine : Horseman / Fitzwalter / Old soldier
Charlie Keable : John Grylle / Wounded Soldier
Huw Brentnall : John Perers / Surgeon /Vintenar
Jimmy Rutherford : Archer /Walker/ Onlooker/ Soldier
Sarah Keirle : Singer
Simon Pratt : Singer
Matthew Sheeran : Composer
Gregory Evans : Writer
Toby Clements : Author
Kevin Moorhouse : Executive Producer
Fiona McAlpine : Director/Producer
Alisdair McGregor : Sound Design / Editor
Jimmy Rutherford : Sound Assistant
Lucy Barter : Production Manager
Madeleine Brooks : Production Assistant
Kitty Dunham : Production Assistant
Beatrice Robinson : Runner
Damian Evans : Production filming
Richard Reeves : Armourer
Recorded at Pro Corda
Leiston Abbey, Suffolk