John started his professional acting career with the legendary Seagull Theatre way back in 1985, touring ten shows a week across the UK, which led to joining one of the last touring Rep company’s, The Colin Macintyre Repertory Players, night after night in different theatres performing in range of productions from Shakespeare to Agatha Christy.
Always looking for new experiences to develop as a performer John began learning circus skills and was spotted in a show by Eva Santus, one of the Santus Circus bosses, and literally ran away to the circus and spent the next four years as the Ringmaster and circus artiste.
Returning to Manchester after years of touring John met up with dynamic young producer Ben Lumsden and together they formed Expressions Productions. Starting off in a hundred-seater space on the top floor of an old warehouse they produced theatre for children that proved so popular they soon outgrew the old space and started touring larger venues across England, eventually touring all the major Theatres across the country and several in the West End. John then branched out on his own and worked with the Savoy Theatre, London to produce his own shows, Five Buddies in a Box and The Adventures of Tom & Huck.
The opportunity arose to study at the Lincoln School of Fine and Performing Arts and John jumped at the chance to learn the theory behind the practice and came out three years later with a degree and hungry for more knowledge. After a year touring Romeo and Juliet with Whitehorse Theatre in Germany he was able to return to Lincoln to complete a Masters in theatre and Consciousness and was then invited to Join the staff as associate Drama Lecturer.
Returning to Ireland for family reasons in 2013 John has been steadily re-establishing his career and founded Wexford Studio Theatre and was then lucky enough to meet another bright young producer, Claire Malone and together they established Wexford Studio in 2019.
Claire first met John in 2015 when he established Wexford Studio Theatre – this was the beginning of a working relationship that influenced children’s drama workshops. Originally undertaking BA Hons degree in Social Care and BA Hons in Psychology – they left the social care field to undertake creative projects – initially founding Wexford People Helping People in 2015 now a registered chairity in 2022 – and going on to winning South East Radios Person of the Year Award in 2017 in acknowledgement for their contributions in the community.. With the workings of an old shed and some eager young minds – Claire and John undertook a pilot workshop over the Summer of 2019 – such a resounding success that it was – they undertook a renovation project to transform the fondly named Shedio into Wexford Studio – A Production Company. In 2021 due to the strain on individuals mental health and the lack of available services within Co. Wexford – they partnered up with another community activist and Co-Founded Help Me Through The Night Mental Health Pop-Up Cafe. They are also producer and co-host of local dynamic trio – Opinion You Didn’t Ask for Podcast with the formidable Blayne Hosey and Jamie T. Murphy. They are currently undertaking a degree in Criminal Psychology while juggling two teenagers and a toddler. Their hobbies include writing, coffee and chasing sleep.
Emma Erica Shannon became a member of her local Performing Arts at the age of 9. She achieved a bronze medal award with The London Academy of Musical and Dramatic Arts. Performing as Gertrude in Hamlet. In 2016 she got the opportunity to play Katie Poplin in John B.Keane’s – Big Maggie. It was a great experience as it was the 50th anniversary of Wexford Drama Group. She graduated from Inchicore College – Dublin with distinctions from her Theatre Studies program in 2019. To have studied Theatre Performance for 4 years by such educated and professional tutors was an eye opening experience, to get to perform in such plays as the Merchant of Venice in second year and then to take that play and go to Italy to perform it in the style of Commedia Dell’arte run by an Erasmus programme with the college was an extraordinary experience. She had the privilege to have the talented new writer and post graduate student from this same course; Lee Coffee devise a show for her class. Emma had her graduate play directed by the talented Liam Halligan and performed in Smock Alley Theatre in Dublin. When the Pandemic came and there was loss of connection for all things theatre – Emma moved back to her home town in Wexford. Where she was invited to join Wexford Studio in 2020. She is now currently directing the youth studios production of ‘Playboy’ a script written by Alanna Hammel/
Ryan has always had a passion for drama and theatre work. When he was 11 he joined the Corish Wallace Performing Arts School. Here he learnt stage performance, dance, camera work alongside countless other skills. Ryan has also completed up to level 3 lamda examinations. He is aspiring to teach other younger actors all the knowledge he has gained. He has worked alongside the National Opera House in the Wexford Opera Festival. He joined the Wexford Studio in September 2021.
Álanna Hammel’s writing has been published in several newspapers, magazines and anthologies based in Ireland as well as abroad, including ‘The Irish Times’, Trinity’s ‘Journal of Literary Translation’ and the ‘University Times’. Her debut play ‘Walking Down the Aisle’ was performed at the Gap Arts Festival in 2021. She is the host of the podcast ‘The Art of Conversation’ and the current editor of the literary anthology ‘The Wexford Bohemian’.
You can find more information on Alannah Hammel on the link below: