Sitting Up for Michael rehearsal photos

Janette McManus, Paul Christian Rogers, James McAnespy
Janette McManus
Paul Christian Rogers, Peter Dineen, Fintan Dineen

Sharron Byrne, James McAnespy

Sharron Byrne, James McAnespy

Sharron Byrne, James McAnespy

Emma Spence, Fintan Dineen, James McAnespy

Janette McManus, Paul Christian Rogers

James McAnespy

The full cast of Sitting Up for Michael

The full cast of Sitting Up for Michael

Janette McManus, Paul Christian Rogers, Emma Spence, Sharron Byrne, James McAnespy

Director Alex Howarth

Emma Spence, Sharron Byrne

Janette McManus, James McAnespy, Sharron Byrne, Peter Dineen

Fintan Dineen, James McAnespy

Peter Dineen, James McAnespy

Paul Christian Rogers, James McAnespy, Peter Dineen, Sharron Byrne

Laura Duffy took these fantastic rehearsal pictures of Sitting Up for Michael, featuring our entire cast and director, Alex Howarth.

C.L.G./Sitting Up for Michael Double Bill is debuting in the White Bear Theatre, London from April 8-27. Tickets are on sale now from TicketSource

Meet the cast & crew - Georgia Stanley-Hirst, Props & Costume

Georgia is currently in her final year of a degree in Theatre Production Arts at Mountview Academy and is specialising in Stage Management. 

Having worked with Alex on a production at Mountview last year and Stage Managing his show, at Edinburgh Festival in the summer, it’s been great for them to be working together again. 

In the past, she has stage managed productions for Mayhem Musical Theatre Company and Perfect World Productions and has worked on a number of productions at Mountview, including ‘Spring Awakening’ and ‘Richard II’. 

After graduating from Mountview, she will continue to work in a wider variety of jobs within theatre and continue working in the industry.

Meet the Cast and Crew: Fintan Dineen as Rory

Fintan Dineen is a 22 year old writer and performer from South West London. Fintan graduated with a First in Interdisciplinary Arts & Performance (BA Hons) at the University of Portsmouth in 2013. He is now studying an MA in Performance Practices and Research at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. 


He is currently working on a one man comedy piece as part of Brink Festival (a festival collated by MA RCSSD students). In the past, Fintan has worked up and down the U.K. with the Young Vic, Belarus Free Theatre, Hammersmith Lyric and the National Youth Theatre. Apart from acting, Fintan looks forward to a career in the creation and devising of contemporary, forward thinking and socially engaged performance.

Meet the Cast & Crew: Emma Spence as Doris

Originally from Bangor, this is only the second Northern Irish play that Emma has acted in, having spent most of her time on the stage being American/Spanish or English.



Emma trained in courses at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts; Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the Method Studio.

Theatre credits include Maria Twelfth Night (The Nursery); Cassie The Time Traveller's Mother (The Britannia); Sue A Gaggle of Saints (The New End Theatre, Hampstead); Sue Bash (Theatro Technis); Emma The Factualist/Rationalist Pool No Water (Clean Break); Servant/Girl Blood Wedding (The Bridewell Theatre); Jennifer The Misanthrope (The Bridewell Theatre) andOlivia/Luciana/Nurse From Shakespeare With Love (The Rag Factory).

C.L.G./Sitting Up for Michael Double Bill
 is debuting in the White Bear Theatre, London from April 8-27. Tickets are on sale now from TicketSource

Meet the Cast and Crew: Paul Christian Rogers as Joe/Sam

In 2007 Paul completed his BA with Drama and Performance Studies and in 2012, he moved to London to complete the MA in Acting from East 15 Acting School. 

During his training, his credits involved roles such as Laertes in Hamlet, Slim in Cowboy Mouth and Lopakhin in The Cherry Orchard. This culminated in the showcase at the Criterion, with Paul’s scene being well received by critics saying he has 'the comic timing under control and squeezes every ounce of humour from the situation.' (The Stage) 

His first role out of drama school was in Carl Heap's adaptation of a 'Pilgrims Progress' at The Yard Theatre, playing many eccentric characters, with the production receiving Time Out's 'pick of the month'. Paul also appeared in Immersion Theatre's 'Dorothy in Oz' (Waterloo East) a dark retelling of the classic tale, with Paul featuring as the re-imagined Tinman, a pierced biker suffering from anger issues. Most recently Paul appeared in Lazarus Theatre's 'The Merchant of Venice' (Brockley Jack Theatre) as the merchant Antonio. 

When Paul isn't treading the boards or in front of a camera, he is a keen writer and deviser, with several screenplays written.

C.L.G./Sitting Up for Michael Double Bill is debuting in the White Bear Theatre, London from April 8-27. Tickets are on sale now from www.whitebeartheatre.co.uk

James is bearding it up to make him a more aged Brian. #soupstrainer #SittingUpForMichael



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Meet the Cast and Crew: Sharron Byrne as Frieda

Sharron trained at Birmingham School of Speech & Drama where she represented the school in the William Poel verse speaking festival.

Her early theatre credits include: Kate in The Taming Of The Shrew & Trinculo in The Tempest at the Cambridge Shakespeare Festival and Emilia in The Winter's Tale (Rainbow Shakespeare). She spent several years touring in productions with the acclaimed theatre company Riding Lights and has also been a writer, director and performer for Rainbow Children's Theatre.

Most recently Sharron toured nationally in The Lady in the Van with Hull Truck and starred as Elaine with the star-studded cast of Calendar Girls in two national tours.

Her TV & radio experience includes Love Hurts and Dangerfield on the BBC, Wayne-A Growth Industry (BBC Radio 4) and Moving Molehills (BBC Nottingham).

She's joining us as Frieda in Sitting Up for Michael.

C.L.G./Sitting Up for Michael Double Bill is debuting in the White Bear Theatre, London from April 8-27. Tickets are on sale now from www.whitebeartheatre.co.uk

Meet the Cast and Crew: Peter Dineen as Billy

Peter Dineen is a renowned theatre and television actor, whose most notable appearance was as devious sheep trader Giant Reid in Father Ted.


Peter’s most recent work was on the feature film ‘The Bricklayer’ in which he played the lead role of ‘Jimmy’. The film will be shown at the Cannes Film Festival in may. Other film and TV work includes ‘Father Ted’, ‘Coronation Street’, Rory in BBC 6 part series ‘Plotlands’ , Seamus McCracken in 26 part Series ; ‘Foreign Exchange’ RTÉ/Australia, Guy McCaul ‘The Man’s A Legend’, the Emigrant ‘Island’s Apart’, Wild John ‘Threesome’ Sky TV, Professor Frank Grints ’The Puzzle’, John Werth, Air traffic controller, ‘9/11: Voices from the Air’ National Geographic, the harbour master, ‘Silent Summer’ (Germany), Terry Dooley 'Doctors’, BBC, Ronnie ‘Casualty’ BBC, Jackson Wrekin, ‘Judge John Deed’ BBC, Bill Flynn, ‘Heartbeat’, seven different characters in ‘The Bill’, priest in ‘Arriverdeci Millwall’ BBC 2. ‘Ardeevan’ written by Peter, won the RTÉ/Cork film centre trophy and cash award for best short script at the Cork Film festival. Film was directed by Jonathan Richardson, and Broadcast by RTÉ. 

Recent stage: tour of Norway and UK ‘the Tempest’ and ‘Taming of the Shrew’. Josiah Bounderby ‘Hard Times’ Classworks Cambridge’ Davies ‘the caretaker; ‘ Classworks Cambridge, Hugh ‘Translations’ Leicester Curve, Richard Harkin ‘the Seafarer,’ Bolton Octogan, Conor Coleman ‘The Lonesome West’, and Jack ‘the Weir’ Bolton Octogan.

C.L.G./Sitting Up for Michael Double Bill is debuting in the White Bear Theatre, London from April 8-27. Tickets are on sale now from www.whitebeartheatre.co.uk

Meet the Cast and Crew: Janette McManus as Carla

Janette is originally from Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, with family from County Tyrone, so she's just 'up the road' from where the action happens. She is therefore delighted to be involved in this exciting new production and to be playing the role of Carla.



She trained at The Arden School of Theatre, Manchester, graduating with a First Class BA (Hons) in Musical Theatre in 2012.

Theatre credits include ‘Logainne Schwartzandgrubenierre’ in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (UK National Tour and Edinburgh Fringe Festival), ‘Emily Stuart’ in The Lost Dragon (Harlow Playhouse), ‘Beauty’ in Beauty and the Beast (Tour), Godspell (UK Tour and Edinburgh Fringe Festival) and ‘Shy’ in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (Waterside Theatre). She also performed an excerpt from The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and was an ensemble member in @westendproducer’s Search for a Twitter Star Live (Lyric Theatre).

C.L.G./Sitting Up for Michael Double Bill is debuting in the White Bear Theatre, London from April 8-27. Tickets are on sale now from www.whitebeartheatre.co.uk

Looks who's been in the White Bear before us! #SirIanMcKellan #MickJagger



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Pictured with The White Bear's Artistic Director, Michael Kingsbury.

C.L.G./Sitting Up for Michael Double Bill is debuting in the White Bear Theatre, London from April 8-27. Tickets are on sale now from www.whitebeartheatre.co.uk

Meet the Cast and Crew: Alex Howarth - Director

Alex Howarth is in the midst of an incredibly hectic 2014. Prior to taking the reigns on Sitting Up for Michael he was working as Assistant Director to David Thacker for his production of Twelfth Night in the Octagon Theatre in Bolton.

With his own company Patch of Blue, he will be taking a number of original devised shows to the Edinburgh festival, so it's all go with Alex! 


His full list of credits include:

Training: Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts 
Theatre includes Dear Santa (The Capitol, Horsham), The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (UK Tour), [title of show] (UK Professional Premiere, Edinburgh Festival), Medea (Guildhall), Café Nation (World Premiere, Cockpit Theatre), Beans On Toast (Karamel), Rain Man (Karamel), Godspell (Edinburgh Festival), The Last Five Years (Edinburgh Festival), Hansel and Gretel (Edinburgh Festival), A Streetcar Named Desire (The Byre), Whistle Down The Wind (The Byre). 
Assistant Director credits include Twelfth Night (Octagon Theatre, Bolton), The Complete Works Of Shakespeare-Abridged (UAE Tour), Avenue Q (Theatre Royal Windsor), Spend, Spend, Spend (Cockpit Theatre).

C.L.G./Sitting Up for Michael Double Bill is debuting in the White Bear Theatre, London from April 8-27. Tickets are on sale now from www.whitebeartheatre.co.uk

Meet the Cast & Crew: James McAnespy as Brian/Lory (also the writer!) [Edited]

Over the coming days and weeks, we will be profiling the cast and crew of the C.L.G. / Sitting up for Michael Double Bill.

Edit: Due to cast changes, James is now playing the role of Brian in Sitting Up for Michael. Stay tuned for updates on the beard he'll be donning for the role!

James McAnespy is the artistic director of King's Fool Productions, which he founded in Belfast in 2011. The company's first major project was the debut run of Sitting Up for Michael, which toured across the north of Ireland in 2012, playing to hugely appreciative audiences that averaged over 100 per night. He has not relocated himself and the company to London and will be reviving 'SUFM' with a brand new play, C.L.G., which debuts in the White Bear Theatre.
James McAnespy launching King's Fool Productions in 2011
As an actor, James has enjoyed the limelight as the lead role in a vast array of productions in Belfast. In 2010, his first major stage performance was the top billed role in the Irish premier of Arthur Miller's tense holocaust drama, Incident at Vichy. His performance attracted rave reviews, with The Virtual Methodist singling him out as "the stand-out performance."

He continued this rich vein of form through 2011, with lead roles in performances of Stumpergasse 31 (where he played a young Adolf Hitler) and Robots in Disguise, with TheatreWatch lauding "suave, spiteful little lucifer of a character [who] was horrifically believable".
He also made his screen debut in Éalú, playing the role of the true-life criminal Sean Bourke, who masterminded a communist prison break from Wormwood scrubs. Also that year, he debuted as the voice of UTV Weather's sponsors, Progressive Building Society, reaching half a million people on a nightly basis.

James McAnespy as Rory in the 2012 run of Sitting Up for Michael
In 2012, as well as acting in the hugely popular run of Sitting Up for Michael, he performed in The Odd Couple at the Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival, and was co-lead in the premier of Dave Kinghan's claustrophobic art drama, Intervention at the Pick N Mix festival at Belfast's world-class MAC.

In 2013, he established himself in London and across Britain with his recurring role as Dougal in Laughlines' Father Ted tribute show, Ted & Co, selling out months ahead of production.

C.L.G./Sitting Up for Michael Double Bill is debuting in the White Bear Theatre, London from April 8-27. Tickets are on sale now from www.whitebeartheatre.co.uk

New director for C.L.G./Sitting Up for Michael: Alex Howarth

We are delighted to announce that we have a new director on board for C.L.G./Sitting Up for Michael in the shape of Alex Howarth.

Helen Donnelly, who directed the original tour in 2012 has been given a great opportunity with The Finborough Theatre, and we wish her all the best with it. She has left the production in a great state, and Alex Howarth is more than capable of filling her shoes, and we're all looking forward ot see what he does with the piece!

Drafting away...



C.L.G./Sitting Up for Michael Double Bill is debuting in the White Bear Theatre, London from April 8-27. Tickets are on sale now from www.whitebeartheatre.co.uk

Fundraising Quizzes: The Hope Fitzrovia, Monday 17th March 2014

Once again we have organised another fundraising quiz for the C.L.G./Sitting Up for Michael Double Bill, this time taking place (Facebook Event page) in The Hope Fitzrovia on March 17th (St. Patrick's Day!)

As usual, the top prize is four tickets to the winning team (you can have more than four in a team, but you'll have to organise your own fight to the death for who gets the tickets. All that for only £3 per person (a steal!)

It's a damn shame St. Patrick's day falls on a Monday, and it would be a sacrilege not to imbibe at least one drink on the day itself, so keep it civil and head down to this quiz in the most charming pub in the West End.