The Director of this production is Ruben Sanchez-Garcia
Ruben joined Maskers in 2010 and has since appeared at Hamptworth as a pirate in Treasure Island, Oberon in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and, last year, as Passepartout in Around the World in 80 Days. Other acting credits include Soldier in Chair, Peter in Zoo Story and Andrey in Afterplay. Ruben directed Phyllis Nagy’s Butterfly Kiss at Maskers Studio Theatre in 2013. He is looking forward to directing his first open-air show and bringing this 17th century Spanish tale of love and delusion alive to our Hamptworth audience.
The Cast (In order of appearance)
Don Quixote de la Mancha played by Neil Quinlan
Don Quixote marks Neil’s first production with the Maskers and he is looking forward to the challenge of the role. Quixote is a complex mixture of sanity and madness, with lashings of comedic personality and energetic movement. Neil started out in performance many years ago with Southern Theatre Productions, playing minor roles in many well-known musicals such as The Sound of Music, Carousel, and My Fair Lady. The past twenty-three years has seen him cast in many diverse roles with RAODS, such as Captain Oates (Terra Nova), Antonio (Much Ado About Nothing), Sergeant Troy (Far From The Madding Crowd), and Widow Twanky (Aladdin).
Sancho Panza played by Colin Russell
Over the years Colin has appeared in several open-air shows with other companies, including Canterbury Tales, Jack The Ripper, Cheshire Cats and Twelfth Night, but the setting at Hamptworth Lodge is obviously one of the most impressive. This is Colin’s second Maskers’ show, having last been on stage at The Berry Theatre in Wyrd Sisters. Bringing such a classic story to life has been an experience, and he knows you will enjoy the result.
Housekeeper played by Jenni Watson
At the age of three, Jenni was bitten by the acting bug when she first performed in her local church nativity play! Over the years she has performed for Maskers, as well as other local groups, in a variety of settings. Her favourite roles include Vladimir (Waiting for Godot), Lady Booby (Joseph Andrews), Ellie Dunn (Heartbreak House), Lady Capulet (Romeo and Juliet), Paulina (Winters Tale), Red Queen (Alice), Nancy (Sitting Pretty), Mrs Pearce (Pygmalion), the Contessa (An Italian Straw Hat) and Angela (Vicars). Jenni is very much looking forward to playing the Housekeeper and many other parts in Don Quixote!
Curate played by Alan Watson
Alan has been a Masker for forty years and has played in eighteen Open Air productions at Hamptworth and, previously, at Mottisfont. He is looking forward to a fortnight here in Spain with Don Quixote; saves the hassle of Gatwick!
Barber played by Jez Minns
Jez is very happy to be coming back to Hamptworth this year - despite the terrible weather last year! He can’t think of anything to say that is witty and scintillating, but he has shaved his head for this show and grown a grey beard so, if you’re right at the back, you should still be able to spot him! Enjoy the rain, you crazy English!!!!
Niece played by Millie Grundy
Millie’s first show at Hamptworth was Treasure Island when she played ‘Minnie Captain Flint’, aged just 7. Since then she has played a monkey and a wolf in The Jungle Book and the ill-fated Wally in Our Town. She is now looking forward to playing Don Quixote’s niece, among other roles, in this epic Spanish Play.
Landlord played by Paul Baker
Don Quixote will be Paul’s 23rd open air show for Maskers. During that time he has played a variety of roles, including Weasel Norman in Wind In The Willows and Thomas Cromwell in Anne Boleyn. In last year’s Around The World in Eighty Days he played four parts; if you count puppets and impersonating a knight, he plays even more parts this time. Rumours that 2019’s show will be his one man show persist.
Landlord's Wife played by Sue Dashper
Sue has been a regular in the Hamptworth cast playing various maids, monkeys, fairies and a selection of characters in last year’s Around the World in 80 Days. She was nominated for a Curtain Call Award 2016 for best supporting actress for her role as Mrs Samsa in Metamorphosis. This year, she is again playing multiple roles of both sexes!
Maritornes played by Angela Stansbridge
Angie has been a member of Maskers since 1973 and has enjoyed playing a wide range of parts, most recently in Room at the Inn, Ten Times Table and, at Hamptworth, Comedy of Errors, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Treasure Island and The Importance of Being Earnest. She is often to be found working on the finishing touches of set dressing and helping with wardrobe and props. As a member of the hardworking marketing team she is rarely seen without a bundle of publicity flyers and posters!! She is enjoying playing multiple parts in Don Quixote.
Martinez played by Brian Stansbridge
Brian has been a member of Maskers for far longer than he cares to remember and has been involved in many shows, both as an actor and a director. Recent acting credits include the Station Master in our 2016 Christmas production, Mistletoe Junction, Long John Silver in Treasure Island, plus taking over a major part in Ten Times Table at the Nuffield Theatre, at nine hours’ notice, when the actor playing the part was stricken with laryngitis. Recent directing credits include Mistletoe Junction, Room at the Inn, The Importance of Being Earnest, The Servant of Two Masters and The Comedy of Errors.
Don Diego played by Adam Taussik
Since joining Maskers 15 years ago, Adam (a committed pacifist) has played a few officers and servants (usually of the lower ranks), ending up as Colonel Stamp Proctor in last year’s Around the World in 80 Days. For this show, Adam will also be renewing the international character of the last few years and channelling the spirit of globalisation into the myriad Spaniards seen here (but don't expect the Spanish Inquisition). When not in the 17th Century, he has another life in Student Services at the University of Southampton.
Duchess played by Hazel Burrows
Hazel is delighted to be returning to the beautiful grounds of Hamptworth Lodge with Don Quixote. As the play has developed in rehearsal, she has been interested to learn its history and that some of Shakespeare’s ideas may have been taken from Cervantes. Hazel has been a member of Maskers for many years; her special interests have drawn her to directing, set design and, of course, performance. Hazel plays several roles in this production, chiefly the Duchess, which gives her an opportunity to wear a pretty dress. This is a pleasant change from her last role as a bearded Welshman in Wyrd Sisters!
Duke played by Roland Dauncey
Roland has been with Maskers for just about 18 months. He is coming back to acting after over 30 years and was last seen as Basil Fawlty in Fawlty Towers in his earlier Surrey roots. Roland is very much looking forward to being in this summer’s production of Don Quixote as The Duke, a character who shares a similar wicked sense of humour.
Clerk played by Heather Callaway
Heather has only recently joined Maskers and is thrilled to be involved in the summer production at Hamptworth. She has been happily retired for several years, pursuing her interests in music and travel, but fulfilled a latent yearning for the stage when she became part of the community company of migrants in The Grapes of Wrath at the Nuffield. 'One of the grapes', as she says, with pride!
Musician played by Carolina Dopico
Carolina joined The Maskers last year. She recently enjoyed appearing in a Nuffield show, The Shadow Factory, as a member of the chorus. Now in Don Quixote, she has only one line to say, despite being the only Spanish person in the cast! However, she is enjoying playing the Spanish songs. She hopes you all have a great time!
Teresa Panza played by Kate Grundy-Garcia
Kate has been a Masker for over 25 years and has acted in the open air on a number of occasions. She recently played Ismene in Antigone but is now enjoying being part of a family show with her daughters, Millie and Isla, and husband, Ruben.
All other characters played by the company
...and what a bunch of 'actors' they are!