Who are the London Toasties?
Here you can sit back and read more about the London Toast Theatre and the people who make it all work!
Vivienne McKee tells:
"London Toasties" is the nickname for anyone who has ever worked for the theatre company and the number must, after almost 40 years, reach over hundreds - including actors, theatre technicians, designers and directors.
When I started the company in 1982 I had to invite actors over from England to appear in our English-speaking productions , but nowadays many of those same actors have fallen in love with Denmark (and its attractive inhabitants) and have moved here, so I am lucky enough to have a pool of talented, professional actors right on my doorstep.
Among them are:
The London Toast Theatre company could not exist without him! He is the man who pays our salaries, sorts out our taxes, butters up the critics, fuels our publicity machine, organises the Box Office, produces our Press Releases, cooks the "hygge" dinners, feeds the dog and the child , and generally looks after all of us, particularly me – his wife!
Ulla is the oldest and yet one of the youngest members of the London Toast Theatre.! Although a mere Dane, (!) she has worked with us "crazy Brits" since she was a teenager. First as a Stage Manager, then – thanks to her comedy talent and excellent English – as an actress in no less than eleven Crazy Christmas Cabarets. A few years ago, she gave up the thespian life and is now the smiling voice at the end of the London Toast telephone and our indispensable office manager. She decided (wisely!) to exchange one set of unruly children (the actors!) - for her own!
Kirsten has been the set and costume designer of every Crazy Christmas Cabaret since 1987 - so she knows a lot about blood ,sweat and tears! She has also lent her talents to other LTT shows including Shakespeare's "Macbeth". Her work for Danish theatres is extensive and includes Aarhus Teater, Aalborg Teater, Odense Teater, Tivoli Revyen. Pallesen-Pilmark show and the Royal Theatre's "Nutcracker Suite" at Tivoli's Concert Hall.
David has been our leading man for many years in many of my theatre shows. And, whether it is playing a serial killer in "Dead Serious" or a nerd in "Intimate Exchanges" - his all-round talent and versatility as an actor is nothing short of remarkable . Thanks to his striking good looks (in spite of his follicly–challenged head!) - his fan club grows daily. His performances as James Bondage and particularly Tarzan , when he bared his muscular body to the delight of the female members of the audience, them queuing up for his autograph at the Stage Door . (He would, however, often walk right past them, totally unrecognised without his wig on!)
Andrew trained at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre and graduated in 1991. Since leaving, Andrew has appeared in London's West End and on tour; fi. on a national tour of "Joseph and his Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat", playing the roles of Jacob and Potiphar. TV appearances include Eastenders, Crimewatch (BBC) and The Bill. He has been starring in the hit show "Mardi Gras" in Ibiza. Andrew has appeared in many Crazy Xmas Cabarets and always has to shave off his beard! Last year he was Mrs. Babara Anne Winklebottom in "Below the Equatorial Belt" and is now delighted to be back as Mrs. Marnie McGuffin.
Barry is often described as a barrel of energy! ( Some say just a barrel! ) He has been living in Denmark now for many years and I have to admit that it is all my fault! He first came over to appear in the Crazy Christmas Cabaret in 1985 and we haven’t been able to get rid of him since....I mean , he stayed .
He is a dedicated (and very popular) Theatre School teacher and completely shatters the myth that "those who can’t act– teach!" Apart from his straight roles (if that is the right expression in his case!) - he can still manage to reduce David and I to tears of laughter when the three of us perform our touring show, " "Shakin’ Up Shakespeare".
Katrine trained at The Royal Academy of Music in London and lived the wild life there for 3 years, before she moved back to good old Daneland where she has appeared in many musicals, shows and cabarets and is also a voiceover artist in cartoons , commercials, and computer games. Following the birth of her baby girl last year, she was inspired to make the CD “Sov godt lille skat” which comes out this year. Katrine has been in 7 Crazy Christmas shows -so far! www.katrinefalkenberg.dk
Helen was saved from the undead this year by working as Assistant Director on The Mysteries 2003 a co-production between The Belgrade and Ireland_s street theatre company Macnas, a devised physical play involving 7 proffessional actors and 70 community actors. Her blood has been invigorated by playing Orlando in Orlando, squashing cherries in an advert and beating up cabbages in her solo show. She has also toured France with a contemporary dance company, played Shakespeare in prisons, and taught mime in the Australian outback. Other Viking entertainment includes Educating Rita and Game Set and Match for London Toast Theatre. Helen is happy to be back checking out the blood donors for her sixth Crazy Christmas Cabaret!
Elliot first appeared with the L.T.T. in 1999, in "Never say Bondage is Not Enough" and returned the following year playing Luke No-Hans and Captain Arachno in " Spaced Out" _ since then he has toured extensively with The English Shakespeare Company playing diverse roles including Romeo, Bottom, and Malvolio. He also teaches and directs internationally; last year his production of "The Merry Wives of Windsor" headed up The Connecticut Shakespeare Festival.
Hara - (pronounced “Hurra!”) born in Britain of Greek parents , graduated from the Royal Academy of Music in 2003.She's played Katy Ketchup in 2004 “Who Shot The Sheriff?”and Anne Banner conception in 2005 "LOOK NO HANS!". "Other appearances include Anne in “A Little Night Music”,Viola in Shakespeare's “Twelfth Night”,Amy in “Company” and “The Cole Porter Review”.Hara recently recorded the lead role of Persephone in “Atlantis” for Krizik’s Fountain,Prague.
Peter Düring, Tom Højlund Olsen og Søren B. Petersen
As a child Peter played in Tivoli’s Music Corps,then he graduated from the Royal Music Conservatory and the Rhythmic Music Conservatory.He plays,composes and produces pop bands including Alex,the Techno Group,Infernal,and Hit of the Year winners - Nik & Jay (www.peterduring.dk) Søren (also known as Bom Bom) has played drums and created fantastic sound effects for the London Toast Theatre since 1993. He also played for Denmarks’ most successful Children’s theatre “Eventyrteatret” and has his own band “Søren’s Orkester” (www.sorensorkester.dk) Tom has a diploma-degree in classical percussion from The Royal Academy of Music. He has played in many musicals including: Miss Saigon,Cyrano de Bergerac, H.C.Andersen, The Black Raider. He plays at The Royal Theatre,The Royal Danish Guard and he has played in all of the Copenhagen Symphony Orchestra.
And many more....
Adam Wide, Jonathan Ash, Peter Bensted, Michael Simpson, Eric Reiss, Barry McKenna, Linford Brown, Elliot Head, Helen Tennison, Hara Yannas, David McCusker, Jens Krøyer, Peter Düring, Rikke Hvidbjerg, Farshad Kholghi, Tina Robinson, Henrik Lund, Pamela Collins, Laura Kamis Wrang, Noah Lazarus, Søren Frandsen and Jens Blegaa are just a few of the names of actors who worked regulary for London Toast Theatre over the years.
Other actors have come to "hygge" with us for just a few months a year amongst them Arthur Smith, Jane Wymark, Leo Andrew, Nicoline Siff Møller, Sebastian Harris, Niclas Bendixen and Julie Steincke – there are way too many to mention, but my audiences can never overlook the outstanding comedy of the "one and only " David Bluestone ("Dolly" to his friends!) - who has played "the dame" in the Crazy Christmas Cabarets for thirteen years. Whether he - (or rather she!) - flirts with that pain in the neck, Count Dracula, as Nurse Nellie Nightcap, or dodges the guillotine as Madame Babette Bidet in "the Scarlet Fingernail" - the audience simply cannot help howling with laughter at David’s inventive comic talent, his rubber face and that hour-glass figure (pity all the sand fell to the bottom!)
Dr. Bent van Helsingør from Elsinore
No LTT people page would be complete without –
Dr. van Helsingør from Elsinore !
"Goddag, goddag, mit navn is Dr. van Helsingør fra Elsinore but you can call me Bent!" - "You’re bent!" – "Thanks shall you have!"
Dr. Bent van Helsingør first appeared in 1986 as a vampire-killer in "Dracula" and has, since then, appeared in every Crazy Christmas Cabaret – except one! In 1997, I thought that I needed a break from playing this odd Danish doctor – and that the audience needed a rest from him too. However that year I received so many letters of protest from members of the audience – "it isn’t a Crazy Xmas without van Helsingør!" that he was forced into making a triumphant return in "Tarzan, King of the Swingers" - as the man who teaches Tarzan to speak English!! Poor Tarzan – no wonder he had problems adjusting to civilisation!
It is a true measure of the Danes’ sense of humour that they love a character who essentially makes fun of them and their life-style. Dr. van Helsingør, with his halting English, his Holmes hat, his over-sized Ecco shoes and bottle of Gammel Dansk - must be the most "hyggelige" Dane of all!
He is a very popular doctor and has his own Facebook site: https://www.facebook.com/drvanhelsingor
HYGGE happy hour!
"Hygge" is addictive and although now we must scrape back our chairs and stand up, (bashing our heads painfully on the PH lamp) blow out the candles and get ready to leave this Site, we hope you’ll return soon for another "Hygge happy hour"
There is lots more to tell about the London Toast Theatre and I hope you’ll drop in again soon. Don’t hesitate to mail us if you have any questions.
As we say in Danish - "tak for nu" - vi ses snart igen!"
PS: If you want to find out more about me - here is the place to go www.londontoast.dk/vivienne-mckee.html
PPS: Watch the exclusive interview between Vivienne McKee & Dr. Bent van Helsingør from Elsinore about Crazy julehygge.