Cast and crew
Ben Faulks – Mr Bloom/Creator/Writer
Ben grew up in Cornwall before heading north to train at Bretton Hall School of Dance & Drama. After graduating in 2001, he moved to Manchester to become an actor and writer.
Early self-penned theatre works were largely studio or site-specific performances and were supported by grants from Arts Council England. These included a left-field trilogy of one-man shows performed under the name of Johnothan Pram, The Endurance a collaboration with Scottish artist Al Seed and Come Forth… a commission for Manchester International Festival 2007. Productions of his plays toured nationally, to the Edinburgh Festival and also into Europe.
In 2007 with a view to interacting more directly with his audience, and at the same time avoiding the punishing schedule of small scale touring, Ben established Plunge Boom. This Outdoor Theatre Company was intent on delivering small-scale interactive performances. Works included Microscopic Animal Enthusiasts, Trolls’ Kitchen and Vegetable Nannies. Over the next few years these productions toured throughout the UK, Europe and even Canada.
The format of Vegetable Nannies was successively worked up into a pitch for the BBC’s pre-school television channel CBeebies. Mr Bloom’s Nursery was first transmitted in 2011, to date there have been five series! The programme has won an RTS North West Award and enjoyed numerous other BAFTA nominations. In addition the character of Mr Bloom has featured in several other CBeebies series such as CBeebies Ballet, CBeebies Mini Stargazing and CBeebies Proms. 2014 also saw the opening of CBeebies Land at Alton Towers featuring a bespoke Mr Bloom Allotment Attraction.
This year, Ben has been writing a new series of stories for publisher Bloomsbury as well as developing new ideas for stage and screen.
Ben’s Television credits include:
Mr. Bloom’s Nursery for CBeebies; Mr Bloom: Here & There for CBeebies; Mission Green Santa for C.I.T.V; Bed time Stories for CBeebies; CBeebies Proms for CBeebies; Emmerdale for ITV; Casualty for BBC; Boudica: Warrior Queen for ITV
Ben’s Theatre Credits include:
Mr Bloom in CBeebies Live: The Big Band UK Arena Tour; Dandini in Cinderella at the Sheffield Lyceum; Muddles in Snow White at the Buxton Opera House; Will in Maybe Tomorrow at the Royal Exchange Theatre; Ernest in The Endurance at the Royal Exchange Theatre; Dick Whittington in Dick Whittington at Manchester Opera House and Bristol Hippodrome for First Family Entertainment.
Eric Potts - Director
Eric has been in the world of entertainment for nearly thirty years as an actor, writer and director. Having trained at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School he has appeared and directed at venues all over the country and abroad as well as writing scripts for all genres of performance.
Directing credits include: “The Steamie” – Coliseum Theatre, Oldham, “Annie” – Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury, “National Curriculum the Musical” – National Tour, “See How They Run” – National Tour, “Pantos on Strike” – Manchester Opera House & Regent Theatre, Stoke, “Snow White on Ice” – National Tour (co-director) “The Easter Funny Show” – Opera House, Manchester & various pantomime titles in Glasgow, Manchester, Stoke, Wimbledon, Woking & Bristol.
As a writer Eric is currently working on pantomime scripts for across the country and two television projects.
Munchkin Entertainment Ltd
Munchkin Entertainment is a new production company focussing on high quality theatrical entertainment for children. Founded by Laura Taylor, Munchkin’s inaugural production will be Mr Bloom’s Nursery Live, touring the UK in 2017.
Laura has worked in the theatre industry for 20 years, and has extensive experience and knowledge of the family market. During her time Laura has worked for four of the largest theatrical producers in the UK. Beginning as Production Assistant at E&B Productions for the theatrical impresario Paul Elliott, she rose in a very short time to become Marketing Manager. When E&B was taken over by Nick Thomas, Laura headed up the Marketing Department at Qdos, responsible over the next four years for hundreds of pantomimes, summer seasons and touring musicals. Moving to Clear Channel in 2003 Laura was responsible for children’s shows and pantomimes. Since 2005 Laura has been Associate Producer and Head of Marketing for First Family Entertainment, the leading pantomime production company, renowned for its high quality productions and ground-breaking casting.
Kevin Wood - Producer
Kevin Wood is one of Britain’s leading producers. Over the last thirty years he has been responsible for literally hundreds of productions of plays, musicals, concerts and especially pantomimes. As the Chief Executive of First Family Entertainment he enjoys a position at the very forefront of this great British Christmas tradition.
Kevin Wood began his career with Alan Ayckbourn at Scarborough, and has been directing and producing plays and musicals since 1980. After a seven year acting career he became the founding Artistic Director of Channel Theatre Company, an Arts Council subsidised company serving the South East of England. He moved into commercial theatre in 1985 when the Board refused to let him produce a pantomime - too popularist! As he had already signed the contract for “Snow White” at the Gordon Craig Theatre Stevenage he had no option but to form Kevin Wood Productions, four years later he was the third largest pantomime producer in the UK, and has been a commercial impresario ever since.
Between all these Christmas shows, Kevin adapted and directed the stage version of HG Wells’ “The History of Mr Polly”. He produced the Malvern Festival Plays “Tommy Boy” by Ted Willis and Shaw’s “Pygmalion”, and national tours of “An Inspector Calls” starring Alfred Marks, the RSC version of “The Wizard of Oz” with Brian Blessed, and the Chichester Theatre production of “Peter Pan” starring Frank Finlay and Toyah Willcox. Overseas he produced at the Istanbul International Festival, “Oklahoma” at the Nice Opera House and “Annie Get Your Gun” on tour in Germany. He wrote, directed and produced “The Mystery Plays” in Canterbury Cathedral on five occasions, and produced the London Palladium Tribute to Evelyn Laye. He directed and produced Ron Moody in “Oliver”.
Recently Kevin’s pop group The Tenors of Rock played seasons in Las Vegas. He general managed “See How They Run” for his friend Warwick Davis. Produced the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebration at the Savoy Theatre. And recently celebrated ten years of record breaking pantomimes for First Family Entertainment.