Category Archives: Introducing

Introducing – Paul Fraser-Smith

Paul stars as Fred Harrison in our upcoming production of Old Ground

Hi I’m Paul.

I have lived in Manchester for just over 20 years and was aware of the Moors Murders case through past TV drama’s such as ‘Longford’ and ‘See No Evil’. The story was also still current due to the recent passing away of Ian Brady earlier this year.

As soon as I was sent part of the script for audition purposes I knew that I wanted to be part of this project. I feel that the story is respectfully told and know that the writer Lee Joseph has spent considerable time researching the facts and uncovering precise details to bring this story to the stage. It does not glorify the awful crimes which were committed but amongst telling the story it shines a light on and conveys the hurt and pain felt by the mothers of the children who were sadly taken. Sadly Keith Bennett’s body has not been found and there is hope that his remains are finally found and laid to rest with his mother ‘Winnie’.

I remember meeting the cast for the first time and we held our first read through on Albion Street overlooking the old train station where Edward Evans met Ian Brady and it really affects you and adds a different dimension to the story.

This is my first production for Organised Chaos and the rehearsal process has been brilliantly led by Neil Bell. I can honestly say that whilst considering the subject matter it may seem inappropriate to say that I have laughed and cried during the rehearsal process and that is really testament to both the incredible writing, directing and quality of actors involved. I feel so grateful to be part of this story and I am really looking forward to performing on stage for the first time at the Kings Arms, Salford.


To see more information on Old Ground and book tickets for the show, visit our website –

Introducing – Elizabeth Poole

Elizabeth stars as Joan Reade in our upcoming production of Old Ground


Elizabeth Poole

Hi I’m Elizabeth

I first saw the auditions for ‘Old Ground’ on a casting call out. I immediately applied for an audition as this story resonates me with me so much especially coming from north Manchester. I was very familiar with the story having been brought up with the knowledge of the evil murders that took place. Then when Peter Topping opened the case again to find the missing people, I read, (amongst newspapers) the books: A Devil’s Disciple and Beyond Belief and was mortified about the actual facts of the crimes.

It was important to me to know the script wasn’t glorifying or sympathising in any way the heinous crimes committed by the two perpetrators and that it was in essence all about the victims and their families. Lee Joseph the writer, with his brilliant, well-researched script, didn’t fail to convince me it was the right thing to do to play the part of Joan Reade whose daughter Pauline was one of the victims. I hope I do Joan justice.

It is an ambitious, brave script that tackles a time of pure evil and agony. Something I hope we never witness again in our lifetime. I am honoured to be cast amongst very talented actors and a fantastic director, Neil Bell to bring this play to the stage.

It is my first production with Organised Chaos and I am thoroughly enjoying the rehearsal process and I’m excited for the show to have its first run at the Kings Arms.



To see more information on Old Ground and book tickets for the show, visit our website –


Introducing – Geoff Baron

Geoff stars as Harry, Guard and Officer in our upcoming production of Old Ground

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Geoff Baron

I’m Geoff and have been enjoying the thrill of the stage since getting the bug at Junior School (back in the days of slate chalkboards!) but I recently took the bold step of taking early retirement to allow me more time for me to indulge my passion for acting and directing.

I have never chosen to specialize in one genre, preferring to experience a wide range of theatre and have enjoyed pantomime, musical theatre, comedy drama and thrillers but the weighty drama has always had a stronger appeal.

When the opportunity to get involved in Old Ground came up it was just too good to miss and that’s what drove me to succeed when it came to an audition. But from the first conversation with writer Lee Joseph to meeting director Neil  and the rest of the company I felt like I have been welcomed into a very warm, supportive family making the two hour round trip to rehearsals not a chore at all!

The subject matter of the play may be on the heavy side but Lee’s intelligent and sympathetic approach to telling the story has lead to a piece that is so eminently watchable and totally engrossing.

I’m sure that the Kings’s Arms audiences are in for a theatre treat.


To see more information on Old Ground and book tickets for the show, visit our website –

Introducing – Anne Baron

Anne stars as Winnie Johnson in our upcoming production of Old Ground

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Anne Baron

Hi I’m Anne Baron and this is my first production with Organised Chaos. It is also another first for me as I’ve never written a blog before, so here goes!

I have been acting for many years in many different types of production ranging from serious drama to musicals to pantomime and now welcome the challenge of playing character roles, enjoying playing in both comedic and thoughtful drama.

As soon as I saw details of Old Ground my interest was piqued. I am of an age that I remember all too well the events of the mid 1960s and I have always had an interest in any developments regarding the subject matter addressed.  So, I felt I had to try and take the opportunity to be involved in the project. I was thrilled to be offered an audition and was delighted to secure the role of Winnie Johnson.

The read through took place several weeks later and was emotional as this was the first time the cast had all been together, and was the first time I had met our director Neil Bell! It also proved that this would indeed be a true team effort.

Rehearsals have been intense as the cast strive to develop their characters but have been very enjoyable and we are now moving swiftly to performance.

Lee has written a very informative, descriptive and touching script which is a pleasure to perform.

I can’t quite believe that I am working with such a lovely, committed cast and creative team on this, in my opinion, excellent piece of writing.

I am very excited to be part of the production and hope that the audiences at King’s Arms, Salford appreciate out telling of this piece of Manchester’s social history.

See you there!


To see more information on Old Ground and book tickets for the show, visit our website –

Introducing – Lee Joseph

Lee is the writer of our upcoming production Old Ground

Old Ground (square without title)

Attempting to bring the story of one of Manchester’s darkest legacies to the stage was not an easy decision, and one I have carefully considered for a number of years. It jars so vehemently with everything else that is normally celebrated and associated with our city (arts, music, football etc) and the culture of its’ people; many of whom still feel understandably raw and emotional about its’ uncomfortable ramifications or simply ashamed (or disinterested) about the possibilities of looking beyond what they already know; facts and clarifications often just giving-way to ignorant aversions or, worse, careless embellishments of forgotten truths. Inflammatory fictions only crudely distort the already unthinkable realities, and they should have no place in any assessments or examinations of such cautionary circumstances.

I believe there to be no such thing as ‘morbid fascination’. Rather, more an interested in the highly unlikely – a curiosity in the unexplainable, the baffling and the absolute bizarre – and should never be deemed ‘unhealthy’, or ‘shameful’. Fact is often stranger than fiction and many millions of people have contributed to internet viewing-figures; some of the highest being footage of human atrocities such as 9/11 or the holocaust for example, not to mention documentations of true crimes. It is how and why we approach such historical matters that determine what we might take from it intellectually, or emotionally, afterwards and the reasons remain entirely within the individual. The human ‘condition’ consists of many complications, and to look into the unimaginable is, sometimes, only an attempt to understand them better; though satisfactory conclusions may never be fully achieved.

To remember only the names and faces of the two perpetrators in this story is to only pick at the old, septic wounds and is, ultimately, to allow their crimes to be committed over and over again. In short, unacceptable and irresponsible.

The plight of the two mothers in this particular period of the story I have chosen to convey is my true fascination, for they prove that hope, above all else, can (and should) never be diminished – no matter how despairing and catastrophic out circumstances might be. Equally, their children deserve to be remembered by name; their tragedies should not become their significance – and their lives, though short, should be acknowledge – and with respect.

Bringing OLD GROUND to the stage depended on one thing : finding the appropriate professionals to treat, understand and execute it with great sensitivity and care, on all levels.

I found them.

I have complete faith in all members of production involved and, most importantly, I respected everybody’s individual concerns, questions and doubts before saying ‘yes’ to shouldering the responsibilities required in attempting to lift this idea off the page. Less of a ‘cast and crew’, more of a ‘fellowship’, and one in which I feel fully supported when anticipating any uncertain appeal and reactions to the story we will be presenting to our audiences.

To be on stage in not necessarily to entertain – it is to learn, connect and educate.


To see more information on Old Ground and book tickets for the show, visit our website –

Introducing – Dan Sheader

Dan stars as Dickie and Policeman1 in our upcoming production of Old Ground



Dan Sheader

Hi, I’m Dan Sheader, I am a 28-year-old graduate of ICAT (Independent Centre for Actor Training) based in Manchester. I have spent the last 5 years studying Acting and Performance and worked hard to develop my tool kit that I am overjoyed to be utilising for the first time on Old Ground.

I was attracted to this project initially having heard wonderful things about Lee Joseph’s writing and the successful growth of Organised Chaos Productions. The subject matter has always been of interest to me and Lee’s beautifully written script and my love for theatrical performance married with British history, solidified this production as a must! I had to audition!

Fast forward a few weeks and I was lucky enough to land the role of Dickie, and call myself a cast member.

The process so far has been nothing but fun, energetic and, for a graduate actor entering the professional scene, very educational. We had a wonderful cast read through to get the wheels in motion and we are now full steam ahead into our rehearsal process.

I am so excited to be working with a hugely committed cast and creative team and urge anyone to come and see this wonderfully constructed piece of theatre and cannot wait to share it with our audience at the Kings Arms, Salford.

If this isn’t one of the best things you’ll see this year, in the words of Dickie…

“I’ll show my arse in Burtons window!”


To see more information on Old Ground and book tickets for the show, visit our website –

Introducing… Taran Knight

Taran stars as Charlie in our upcoming production Lightspeed

Taran Knight

Taran Knight

I am a 27 year old Actor/Writer/Presenter, who studied Acting and Script writing at Manchester Metropolitan University.

I have been working professionally as an Actor for 3 years now, in which time I have worked in every medium ranging from Film and Theatre, to Improvisation and Voice Over. I have worked for the BBC, ITV, 24/7 festival, The national trust, as well as various theatre companies such as Organised Chaos. This will be my third time working with the company, though only the first on a full production.

I was intrigued when I heard about Light Speed. Apart from the brilliant locations the show would be on, the North West tour and the funding attached, I was attracted by the prospect of the script. The play lends itself to telling a story in an unfamiliar way- It starts at the end and works its way to the beginning. But the characters have so much depth, with there being a great opportunity to explore the relationship between the two with a non linear time frame. Also, the fact the story may appear subjective to each character and the emotional issues both face, it allows us as actors to find a hidden reality from the trauma both suffer.

Organised Chaos seem to be a company on the up. They have good solid connections across the North West, have secured Arts Funding at a time where, economically, the country isn’t at its strongest and the Arts are being heavily cut, whilst providing a platform for performers based in Manchester to showcase their ability. Hard work and commitment usually prevail, so lets hope this is the start of things to come when it comes to Organised Chaos. I will certainly be looking to work with them in the not too distant future.



To see more information on Lightspeed and book tickets for the show, visit our website –

Introducing… Mark Croasdale

Mark is the director of our upcoming production Lightspeed

Francesca Heraghty-Smith, Mark Croasdale

Francesca Heraghty-Smith, Mark Croasdale

Let’s get the usual stuff out the way – I’m Mark, budding creative artist and theatre practitioner. I’ve previously worked with Contact Theatre Manchester, New Theatre Sydney and organisations including Hercules Productions, Coalition of Mischief and Amnesty International. I came to Organised Chaos after directing four shorts plays for their annual Mid-Winter Ignition and now make my debut with them directing my first full-length production, Lightspeed. 

Wouldn’t it be nice if I could start this post with the words ‘Some years later”. Instead of writing about my nerves for opening night I could then write about the success the show achieved and all the audience feedback. I could post pictures from the tour and tell you all the funny stories knowing that I don’t need to worry because ‘some years later’ it will all have happened already. Only that’s not possible, because in real life I can’t move freely through time, i’m stuck in the present.

That’s the beauty of theatre. In theatre ‘some years later’ can come in two minutes or in the case of Lightspeed, ‘some years later’ can happen in the very first scene. A play that starts at the end and finishes at the beginning sounds like a good idea and certainly to watch as an audience it’s very engaging. However, to act or direct a ‘backwards’ play does present some odd problems – “what scene is next?”, “has Emma found what she’s looking for yet?”, “is this scene before or after the major event?”. Actually the answer is both really, In ‘play order’ it hasn’t happened yet but in chronological order it has – or sometimes vice versa. Then, as with all good plays, there are so many emotions to be dealing with too! In a typical play the actors can build on their character journeys and rise to a climax but going backwards on stage is harder, the characters climax has already happened – but then the play structure itself still needs a climax later on otherwise it falls flat! Basically it can be easy to get lost, but that’s both a problem and a blessing.

Luckily i’m working with two wonderful actors, Taran Knight and Francesca Smith, both of whom seem not to mind being lost with me. In rehearsals each of them have found themselves on stage being incredibly honest with themselves and me – getting giddy, going red from embarrassment, feeling awkward and anxious and sometimes shouting with frustration – and that’s all before we began looking at the script! This is because, as with any process, it all boils down to playing with what you have and because of it’s topsy turvy nature the script lends itself very well to it. I’m a firm believer in play, but also in shaking an actor out of their comfort zone because it’s when we feel uncomfortable we make more believable decisions and the magic happens. Sometimes this has proven difficult or seemingly unnecessary but it’s actually very important to get lost, to allow yourselves to lose all ideas of what it should be because then you can end up surprising yourself and either getting to where you wanted with more knowledge or, lots of the time, getting somewhere better! We’ve managed to create a magical, sometimes surreal, time-lapse of a relationship that i’m thoroughly enjoying.

With that in mind, combined with all the good things that come with an Organised Chaos production, this process has proven wonderfully anarchic. There’s been a bit of play and discovery and it seems that, just like watching the play, the process of creating it has always kept me guessing. Saying that, we’re on in a week so I’d better get back to making those decisions!


To see more information on Lightspeed and book tickets for the show, visit our website –

Introducing… Clem Haran

Clem is the writer of our upcoming production Lightspeed

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Promotional image

My name is Clem Haran and I am a 22 year old graduate of Middlesex university who is based in London. I studied Theatre Arts (Solo performance) graduating with a 2:1 and prior to that I studied a Btec in performing arts (acting) at Kingston College.

In my final year of uni I focused on three major projects; An Interactive installation, a Stand up comedy (musical comedy based) routine and a submission of a play. I loved the course I love technical and anything behind the scenes especially prop making. My final year allowed me to focus in the three areas I was extremely interested in script writing being one of them. Ever since my time at college I’ve been influenced by playwrights such as Martin Crimp and Simon Stephens. These both have inspired ideas and works I have created and the style I like to use.

I’ve only been out of university a year and 5 months and in that time I’ve written original music for a musical about cheese that I, along with a friend took to a local festival and together put on. I was involved in a performance art based show with a friend and also I was asked to play piano for another friend as part of a charity gig. And I currently I run a theatre workshop for ages 13/14.

What I want to get from this experience ?

I’ve always been rooted into the medium and practice of theatre which is why I chose to study the practical course in theatre arts and not creative writing. I would call myself a playwright but I’m also other things. I love theatre and I love being able to get involved with many different projects using a variety of skill-sets.

I want to work with a theatre company for the opportunity for my work to develop. It will be nice to work with new people as opposed to friends, I think it will give me a fresh non-biased opinion.

I am essentially fresh out of university and so I’m still eager to learn, to impress and to get my work out there. I’m not a one trick pony. I like to think so anyway.



To see more information on the show and book tickets for Lightspeed, visit our website –

Introducing … David Bresnahan

David plays Elliot in our upcoming production of The Distance Between Stars

David Bresnahan

David Bresnahan

Why did I get involved with the show? I saw the casting opportunity on Casting Call Pro and I had an idea of who the character resembled. As an actor I think it’s important to be able to watch people and pick up on little idiosyncrasies to uncover the small truths of their personalities. Doing this I was able to get a clear understanding as to who Elliot was in the early readings of the script. 

What I like about it is… It relates to everyone, one way or the other. I believe that each and every audience member can relate to difficult times in life and in this case it’s caused by loss – another experience most will have felt.

My main reasoning for enjoying the script is the thrusting together of two people in the face of the difficult lessons life has given them.

In some respects both Elliot and Daisy work as councillors for each other, a mutual understanding builds a strong bond between the two through the piece. I also felt that the grief isn’t solely related to the deaths of Annabel and Calum, but the loss of a life they expected to unfold in the future.

The unfortunate events are the sole cause for Elliot and Daisy to come together and this creates an opportunity for two people to be united and therefore love is able to triumph.

Why did I want to work for Organised Chaos? I knew a couple of other actors who said they’d worked for Organised Chaos and had nothing but good things to say. I also knew Gayle from a production of The Breakfast Club back in 2008 so being able to work with her again was a nice little bonus.

What has the process been like so far? It’s been strange if I’m honest. I’ve found over my time working on the fringe that each and every production is different for it’s own reasons – be it through genre, who you’re acting opposite, who has written the script or who you’re being directed by. Tony (our director) has been very open about his methods and is very keen on creating three unique shows. The idea of us going on stage and simply playing is something that really interests him. For me I almost feel a little bit naughty going on stage and doing almost anything I like. But at the same time there is an unbelievable amount of liberation to our rehearsals. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever worked with a director who’s been keen on giving us that much time and space to play in. Overall it’s been a great experience that I hope results in a fantastic production!


To see more information on the show and book tickets for The Distance Between Stars, visit our website –