Release The Clowns is what happens when a mix of comedy writers, performers and improvisers get together to have fun. We are a team of seasoned pros and new talent just enjoying making comedy.
Producers Nick Hildred and Alex Marion bring some semblance of order to the chaos, but only when they're not causing chaos themselves.
Our current core team includes:
Phil Whelans - improv and comedy legend. He's written and performed widely on TV and Radio (including his sitcom 'My First Planet' for BBC Radio 4). He writes brilliant sketches for RTC and smashes his performances. He supports West Ham.
Gemma Layton - actor, writer and all-round comedy genius. Alex found Gemma making people laugh in a London theatre and somehow convinced her that messing around with us would be fun. What a lucky day that was for us! Gemma brings razor sharp characterisations and her innate ability to spot and amplify the 'funny' to everything she does. If you ever need a truly versatile voice actor, think 'Gemma Layton' and, if you're very lucky, she just might appear... or just look for her in Spotlight.
Kasper Michaels - actor, voice over artist and all-round funny guy. A genius behind the mic, he brings energy and a wealth of experience to every recording. Yes, he is Canadian, no he doesn't say 'Eh?' in every sentence and no, he doesn't give off a vague whiff of Caribou. Yes, he is very talented, a consummate professional and outstanding in a VO studio. You can hire him for voice overs from SohoVoices.
Karen Morden - performer and one of our main writers. Karen's scripts blend wit, intelligence and silliness. Her stand-out performance as Dame Judy Dench playing an urban youth still baffles the unwary.
Phil Nice - with a CV as long as Reggie Kray's criminal record, Phil is literally the oldest member of RTC. By a long way. He's a seasoned improviser, comedian, TV writer and actor. We're very glad to have him writing and performing with us. He also supports West Ham.
Holly Meechan - actor, improviser and a host of other things I can't enumerate here. Holly's energy and sheer sense of comedy make her an essential ingredient in the malted loaf that is Release The Clowns. She's like yeast - without her we'd be much flatter. A true comedy goddess.
Martin Hyder - actor, writer, mathematician. Martin has been around almost as long as Phil and has a CV as long as Ronnie Kray's criminal record. He's performed in more radio plays and comedies than I've had hot dinners. A proper pro!
Amy Holmes - actor and a cool head while all around are clucking like wet hens. Amy's comic timing is impeccable, her vocal control is brilliant and she's hilarious. What she's doing hanging around with the likes of us, goodness knows.
Simon Littlefield - writer and... writer. Simon has written a bundle of incredible stuff for RTC from Catenders to Aileen, the psychopathic granny. Simon has a vast wealth of TV and Radio experience including being one of the main writers for BBC Radio 4's NewsQuiz for about 20 years. Thank heavens we've got those incriminating photos of him, otherwise we'd never have got him on board.
Joe Clegg - Yet another FA improviser, Joe is someone you want to step out on stage with. Always funny, with good timing and a vivid imagination, Joe has brought an all-important slightly 'northern' voice into the mix. It's not all London, London, London, you know.
Joanna Tilley - writer, performer and go-getting script entrepreneur. Jo has been with us since early on and given us some sublime sketches and performances along the way. And right now, if you've got a script with female characters who seem a bit one-dimensional, Jo's script doctoring service can help you turn them into the sort of characters who leap off the page. Use go to joannatilley.com
Tim Keeling - actor and improviser, Tim is also a really good writer, but so far hasn't sent us anything (hint, hint!). A graduate of both Monkey Toast and the FA, Tim is currently lighting up the improv scene with 'The Right Kind Of Trouble' - new residency at the Rosemary Branch Theatre N1. There, I plugged your show, now send us some sketches!
Dan Willis - writer, performer, Social Media guru. Dan joined us to bring us into the 21st century vis a vis social media. We then discovered he's a good comedy writer too. Then we discovered he performs. And now he's doing all the above. Clever lad!
Nick Hildred - writer, producer, improviser, sound editor, performer - is there anything Nick can't do? Yes. Social media, as it turns out. Nick is crap at social media and tends to weep if asked to upload something to YouTube. His past is shrouded in mystery... unless you ask him about it, in which case he starts wittering on about all the radio shows he wrote years ago and how he gave up TV to be a stay at home dad. Loser! No surprise, he supports West Ham. Although he now claims to have stopped supporting them, which makes people laugh at him even more than usual.
Alex Marion - writer, producer, improviser, performer - for every yin there's a yang and for every Nick, there's an Alex. It was clear from his birth that one day Alex would produce Release The Clowns. First, he built up years of experience performing comedy and running comedy venues, then went to study improv with the FA and there met Nick. Having hardly spoken to each other before, they were suddenly flung together improvising a scene fixing a telly. That's how friendships are born, folks!
Our Season 1 core team included:
Helen Duff - comedian, improviser, voice over artist, occasional sperm impersonator. Helen has been tickling fringe audiences for years and is a member of up-and-coming improv team 'The Right Kind Of Trouble'.
Emily Sargent - a performer who is part of the FA improv family. When not making audiences guffaw, she's a writer at The Times. And who said Release The Clowns was lowbrow nonsense?
Jonathan Thake - writer, performer, improviser extraordinaire, Jonathan provides us with many funny scripts and performances to match. Recently, I praised him for his interpretation of an alien doctor called Zenzon. He said he couldn't even remember doing it. That's just sooo Jonathan!
Verity Softly - hilarious performer, Verity's brought comedy, energy and her sweet Australian brogue to RTC. A doyenne of Youtube (her vids are brilliant) and amazing social media strategist, she can get you laughing and tweet you around the globe before you know what's hit you.
Leni Pikrodafnis - actor and all-round lovely person, Leni has comedy in her bones. It's a medical condition, apparently, and can only be alleviated by regular performance. Lucky us!
Marco Chiu - actor, improviser and another FA alumnus. Marco has been part of RTC since before day one. Literally. We recorded the first ever RTC sketch with him on the weekend before the first recording. We were supposed to be doing a photo shoot, but it went horribly wrong, so we decided to record instead. And the rest, as they say, is history!
Naomi Bonafoux - actor, improviser, presenter, model - Naomi, as with Helen Duff and Phil Whelans, has actually trained as a clown. If you listen carefully to her performances, you will hear how she puts her body and soul into every line. A brilliant performer and amazing energising force in the recording studio.
Simon Edwards - actor, improviser and semi-professional beard model. Simon brings charm and a brilliant sense of fun to every performance. Whether behind the mic or on stage, if Simon's there, you know that laughter will soon be filling the air.
Now, I've probably left someone out and will get shouted at, but if I have, just email me and I'll sort it. Ta ta!