Gareth Clark – Sancho Panza
Gareth was born in 1980 and attended Riverbank Special School and Woodlands High School in Cardiff. At 19 he moved on to Barry College where he had a special interest in cooking, gardening and drama.
In 1993 he took part in his first Special Olympic Games in Sheffield where he won gold and silver medals in athletics. He also represented Wales at successive UK Special Olympic Games initially at athletics but more recently at swimming and has won many medals. In 2001 Gareth competed in athletics as part of the UK Special Olympic team in the European Special Olympic Games in Holland.
In 2003 Gareth joined Hijinx’s inclusive community drama group, Odyssey, and has performed in most of their Summer and Christmas productions since then. In 2008, Gareth made his professional debut with Hijinx in Full Circle in the lead role of ‘Andy’, followed by Old Hands in 2011. Gareth is delighted to be playing the title role in The Adventures of Sancho Panza.
Gareth’s confidence has grown enormously as a result of the inclusive work with Hijinx Theatre and he really enjoys being part of the touring team.
Gaynor Lougher – Ensemble
Born and raised in Cardiff, Gaynor trained as a teacher and taught for only six months before entering the wonderful world of theatre. Over the years she has worked with many companies in Wales and England and became founder member of Hijinx Theatre with Richard Berry in 1981.
After touring as a performer with Hijinx for 11 years, Gaynor became the Artistic Director, taking the lead on shows for people with learning disabilities as well as running numerous projects and workshops and setting up Odyssey, a community drama group for people of all abilities, in 1999.
Gaynor is passionate about inclusion and has been working with inclusive casts for many years and this year has seen the creation of the Hijinx Academy, the first professional training in Wales for actors with learning disabilities. Gaynor is delighted to be returning to her acting roots, joining the cast of The Adventures of Sancho Panza.
Andrew Tadd – Ensemble
Andrew was born in Durham 1979 and has a twin sister Rebecca. At the age of 3 Andrew had major heart surgery for a congenital heart defect and has never looked back. After moving to Cardiff in 1986, Andrew attended Woodlands High School, where he was one of the first learning disabled students to attend another main stream school for one day a week. Andrew spent three years at Derwen College, Oswestry where he undertook NVQs in Retail and Fabric & Design.
Andrew has enjoyed performing from a very young age, although it’s fair to say not all of his performances have gone smoothly. In primary school, Andrew managed to break his spade in spectacular fashion as a dwarf in a production of Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs but in true style he shrugged his shoulders and carried on without it.
Over the past four years Andrew has appreciated working with Hijinx Theatre’s community drama group, Odyssey, in their Christmas shows at Wales Millennium Centre and at Hijinx’s international inclusive arts festival, Unity. Last year Andrew made his professional debut with Hijinx in Old Hands, which toured to more than 30 venues across the UK. Since working with Hijinx Andrew has made many new friends and has grown in confidence – he says it’s like one big happy family.
In January 2012 Andrew joined the new Hijinx Academy where he enjoys learning a range of performance skills and has had the opportunity to take part in Hijinx’s residency programme where he trains with some of the UK’s leading theatre companies in week-long performance workshops.
Rowan Talbot – Ensemble
Rowan lives in Cardiff and trained at Rose Bruford College.
Selected Theatre credits: Ali Baba, Beauty and The Beast (Chipping Norton), Noises Off,The Hot Mikado,Twelfth Night, Relatively Speaking (Queens Theatre). My Beautiful Launderette (RSC, Bloomsbury), Robin Hood (Theatr Clwyd), Jack and The Beanstalk (Ipswich), The Gruffalo’s Child (The Pleasance), Scooby Doo (Warner Bros), Stand By Me (Riverside) and fourteen productions for The Rude Mechanical Theatre Company, most recently The Dressing Book.
TV/Film: The Hate Commission (Channel 4), ForestPeople (BBC), Blue Peter (BBC).
Selected Composition: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Twelfth Night (Taking Flight Theatre).
Rowan plays with Grant Gordon (The Divine Comedy) and writes music commercially (Creative Connection).
Rowan is delighted to be working with Hijinx Theatre.
Gareth Wyn Griffiths – Don Quixote
Since graduating in music from Cambridge in the early 1980s Gareth has been working as an actor/musician, musical director and composer/arranger. Acting credits include various theatre roles, including ‘Earthworm’ in James & the Giant Peach, ‘Barry/Tortoise’ in Aesop’s Fables, ‘Babe’ in Babe The Sheep Pig, ‘Pod’ in The Borrowers, 'Dmitri' in The Music Box Maker, and 'Branek' in the recent Harri-Parris which featured in last year's Edinburgh Fringe. On TV he has played ‘Dave’ in The Story of Tracey Beaker, and ‘Bruce’ in Help, I’m a Teenage Outlaw, 'manservant' in Doctor Who, and 'Horace' in The History of Mr Polly. Gareth was Musical Director for the Welsh première of Sondheim's Sweeney Todd, and Into the Woods. More recently he has produced updated versions of HMS Pinafore and The Pirates of Penzance, and The Mikado. He composed the music for Terry Victor's play Fragments of Ash, which premièred at the 2011 Edinburgh Fringe.