Break A Leg welcomes a magnificent group of Patrons, exceedingly grateful to these wonderful individuals who are all such amazing supporters. Huge thanks and love goes out to them all.
Jeffrey is probably best known for his portrayal of Spike in BBC TV’s Hi-De-Hi!, also the stuffy footman James Twelvetrees in the hugely successful You Rang M’Lord? And more recently as Mr. Parkin the Stationmaster in Oh, Dr. Beeching!
Born in Walsall, West Midlands, he trained in Birmingham and began his career with four and a half years in repertory at the Belgrade Theatre, Coventry where he eventually finished up as leading character man.
Jeff especially enjoys the Christmas period as he gets to don his frocks as one of Britain’s leading “Dames”. His pantomime work has seen him in well over 40 seasons and he has worked at most major theatres all over the U.K.
Jeff says: Delighted to be involved with “Break A Leg” as patron! Helen has such energy and is a true lover of theatre. She and her husband, Garry are always welcome at any of our first nights and we know that whatever she reports, it will always be fair comment. Bring it on!
Judy trained at the Rose Bruford College and started her acting career in repertory in Chesterfield. She has since worked extensively in both theatre and television.
She made her debut with the Royal Shakespeare Company as Iphigenia in John Barton’s acclaimed production of The Greeks at the Aldwych and then went on to play Juliet in Romeo and Juliet at Stratford-upon-Avon. Whilst there she also played Jessica in The Merchant of Venice, the Sweet Girl in La Ronde and principal boy in the RSC’s pantomime The Swansdown Gloves. She has worked at the Vienna English Theatre in Harold Pinter’s The Lover which transferred to the Young Vic. She also toured the Far and Middle East in several different plays for Derek Nimmo’s Dinner Theatre.
Her many televisions include By The Sword Divided, Lovejoy, Bergerac, Blake’s Seven, Diary of a Nobody, Rising Damp, Next of Kin and three series as Dennis Waterman’s wife Ruth in On The Up.
Judy says: I am thrilled to be one of the Patrons of “Break A Leg”. Helen’s enthusiasm and love of the arts is second to none and as well as being a talented writer she and her family are a delight to know!
Lorraine Cheshire is an actress, known for Trollied, In The Club, Having It Off, Waterloo Road, Early Doors and Titty Titty Bang Bang, among many other television credits.
On stage she has performed in The Rise and Fall Of Little Voice, playing the role of Sadie. Steaming and House and Garden, both directed by Hannah Chiswick. She also appeared in Ladies’ Day playing the role of Jan.
Lorraine says: I have been in the business of acting for nearly 20 years and still love the job and the wonderful people I have met along the way. I am really proud of being asked to be one of the Patrons of the “Break A Leg” Website run by the brilliant reviewer Helen McWilliams and I had the pleasure of being interviewed by this lovely lady who is full of warmth and is incredibly interested in actors and the work they do.
Lorraine supports: http://www.britishlegion.org.uk
Phyllis Logan is best known for her TV roles as Mrs Hughes in Downton Abbey and Lady Jane Felsham in Lovejoy.
She graduated from the Royal Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow with the James Bridie Gold Medal in 1977. After graduation she joined the Dundee Rep Theatre Company. She then went on to work in Scottish television and in 1983 she was cast in the lead role of Janie in Another Time Another Place for which she won several awards including the Evening Standard Award for Best Actress in 1983 and the BAFTA Award for Most Outstanding Newcomer to Film in 1984.
Before her recent success in Downton Abbey, she played Lady Jane Felsham in Lovejoy, with Ian McShane, for eight years. She also had a part in the 1996 film Secrets & Lies directed by Mike Leigh.
The cast of Downton Abbey has won the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series on three occasions in 2012, 2014 and 2015.
Phyllis says: I’m delighted to have been asked by Helen to be a Patron of her website, I told her to aim big and that is what she’s doing. I wish her every success with her venture.
Carol trained at Central then went to Harrogate Rep which was followed by two stints at the RSC playing Ophelia in Hamlet for John Barton, (London Drama Critics Award), Cressida in Troilus and Cressida, Princess of France in Love’s Labour’s Lost, for Terry Hands, and Mrs Arbuthnot in A Woman of No Importance for Philip Prowse. Other theatre includes Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Regents Park, Kate in Pinter’s Old Times, May in Fay Weldon’s The Four Alice Bakers for Bill Alexander at the Birmingham Rep. Extensive work for Bill Kenwright at Windsor, touring and the west end, including Lady Chiltern in Ideal Husband and Linda in Last of the Duty Free.
Carol has done many tv series including The Cedar Tree, The Outsider,Oxbridge Blues, Ladies in Charge, Life Without George, Dennis Potter’s Blackeyes, the most recent Crossroads, a semi-reg in Heartbeat, a semi-reg in Doctors, and a semi-reg in Casualty.
Films include: The Greek Tycoon, Tuxedo Warrior and Miss In Her Teens.
Carol says: I’m very pleased and honoured to be a Paton of Helen McWilliams’ site “Break A Leg”. I have never met anyone as pro-active and busy as she is; it’s hard to imagine how she ever gets a wink of sleep! All of us who are associated with her are welcomed into her family and what a smashing family it is.
Catherine Shipton is best known as Duffy, an original character in BBC’s Casualty. Her career also includes touring the UK with the Royal National Theatre, The Agatha Christie Company and being nominated at the Edinburgh Festival for best solo performance in 2012 in Sarah Daniel’s Soldiers’ Wives.
Catherine says: I am delighted to have been asked to be a patron of “Break A Leg”. Helen McWilliams works tirelessly spreading her passion for theatre, film and TV. She is dedicated to helping us enrich our cultural understanding and bringing the arts into everyone’s lives with warmth and joy.
Award winning actress, Lucy Williamson trained at Laine Theatre Arts graduating with Honours. Credits include: Violet Chandler in The Fix, Mr Strassen Presents, requested soloist, Sunday at The Musicals requested soloist, Soloist on Warburtons Radio Advert, Queen Sadista in Snow White with Cannon and Ball and Joe McElderry (Hull New Theatre) White Christmas (West Yorkshie Playhouse), Judy Garland in Judy and Liza (National Tour), Judy Garland (alternate to Tracie Bennett) in End of the Rainbow at Trafalgar Studios, Joanne in Company (Union Theatre), Original company of Marguerite, World Premiere (cover Annette and Chanteuse) at The Theatre Royal, Haymarket London, Carmen Diaz in Fame! (National Tour and Victoria Palace Theatre), Fantine in Les Miserables (National Tour).
Television Credits include: The Royal Variety Performance, This Morning, Children in Need, Songs of Praise, 5’s Company. Feature Film Credits include: Cindy Saunders in Julie and the Cadillacs, Hecate in Macbeth, Hermia in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Lucy says: What an honour to be a patron of this wonderful website! As an actress with 20 years experience I’m thrilled to have been asked to support “Break A Leg”, which I support fully.