MEET THE CAST
Prior to his recent retirement, Geoffrey Botterill was best known locally as the award-winning proprietor of the island’s elegant Country House Hotel. However, in a previous life, teaching in Saudi Arabia, Geoffrey was a core player with the BACstage Club in Dharan, taking on demanding roles ranging from Sir Thomas More in Robert Bolt’s 'A Man for All Seasons' to the Singing Policeman in Ellen Wood’s Victorian melodrama 'East Lynne'.
Whether cast in a musical comedy or a Shakespearean classic, Geoffrey always prepares thoroughly and hones his performance to delight the audience, so we’re looking forward to his oleaginous role as Gilbert Toffe-Royal - the Westminster government permanent secretary - in UNCOWED.
Geoffrey Botterill as Gilbert Toffe-Royal
Permanent Secretary, Westminster
Stuart Gough's first part was in ‘East Lynne’ at the age of 33 while attending as a mature student at teacher training college. On moving to Arran, and with the formation of the Arran Gilbert & Sullivan Society, he performed every year over a twenty year period, playing various lead parts in both G & S and other well-known musicals such as ‘Showboat’, ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ etc. He also appeared in ‘Dear Brutus’, ‘The Crucible’, and ‘Jamie the Saxt’ as well as several short one-act plays.
As an obsessive collector of old Arran postcards, giver of talks about The Goatfell Murder, and volunteer in charge of the Archives at the Arran Heritage Museum, Stuart was labelled “local historian” by Paul Murton when he appeared in one of his ‘Grand Tours of Scotland’ on BBC1.
Stuart Gough as Doug Shaw
Retired Assassin & Grandfather
Lewis Stevenson as Andy Shaw
Lewis Stevenson was born with a love of dancing and has been a member of the UK Theatre School since the age of 5. Last year he attended the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland to study musical theatre. This year he joined Scottish Ballet.
On stage he has performed with David Hasselhoff, Michelle McManus & The Krankies ('Peter Pan', 2015, SECC, Glasgow) Jason Manford, Phil Jupitus & Clare Sweeney ('Chitty Chitty Bang Bang the Musical', 2016, Festival Theatre, Edinburgh & King’s Theatre, Glasgow).
Lewis has appeared in several television commercials, including a campaign for the National Trust for Scotland. His first big screen role was in 2012, as the son of a B&B owner in the German film, 'Ein Sommer in Schottland'.
A young film aficionado, Lewis has contributed ideas to the screenplay for UNCOWED.
In between his stagecraft commitments, Lewis enjoys drawing, swimming and playing football. He recently gained his black belt in Taekwondo and now coaches other young people. Lewis is learning to play the saxophone, guitar and piano.
Playing the lead role of Andy in UNCOWED, Lewis hopes to encourage other young people to stand up to bullying, as he has had to do.
Having previously played parts as diverse as an egg and a woman, James Smith is well equipped for his role as the irrepressible ne’er-do-well Fraser Farrar in our film.
James discovered his love of drama at primary school, where he was encouraged to take to the stage. Although still at school on Arran, James can already claim impressive acting accolades: Drama Festival winner for ‘Jump Off’, 2015, Best Actor and Best Junior Drama trophies for ‘The Little Foundling’, 2017.
Taking up the trumpet very early, James now plays in the island’s brass band. He is also a member of Arran’s Soul Choir and is mastering the guitar, under the tutelage of Steve Agnew, our Musical Director for UNCOWED.
James Smith as Fraser Farrar
Andy McNamara plays the comic part of Scott McKinnon in our film, an impulsive entrepreneur.
“I enjoy comedic parts and think that there are enough bad things happening in the world not to make up any more. That is not to say that I do not think there should be important messages in art, it's just that I want people, after coming to see a production I have been in, to go home happier.”
When his eldest daughter got involved with drama four years ago, instead of simply dropping her off, Andy decided to stay and join in. In his first panto part he had a total of three words, which he managed to ad-lib to four, but his talent was obvious and last year his performance in David Neale’s comedy thriller 'Poison' won him universal acclaim.
For 21 years Andy has been an outdoor instructor, encouraging young people to overcome limiting self-beliefs and achieve their full potential.
Andy McNamara as Scott McKinnon
David Simpkin is a man of few words, but he makes every one of them count. His deliciously dark performance as the arch villain Dennis in David Neale’s comedy thriller ‘Poison’ rightly won him the accolade Best Actor at last year’s Arran drama festival.
Among his many talents, David is a singer/songwriter/scriptwriter, Taiji player and tempeh maker. A father and grandfather, he is a vegan, meditator, slow cyclist and Taoist, born in the year of the pig.
Needless to say, we are delighted to have David as the baddie in our film.
David Simpkin as MI5 Clive
Sheila Gilmore is Arran born and bred, as she says – ‘like a prize heifer', and will perform ‘at the opening of a fridge’! She has received both acting and production accolades at local and national levels. Sheila played the female lead of Queen Margaret in Borderline’s pro-am production of 'Jamie the Saxt', and has spoken and performed at events as far afield as Chicago, and as close as her own wee hoose – the latter being much messier to clean up after!
Sheila has always been involved in various island committees, and in in her current role as the Executive Director of VisitArran, often gives talks and presentations on tourism – which she says is easy, when the product she’s selling is the beautiful Isle of Arran.
Executive Director, VisitArran
Val Waite joined East Kilbride Repertory Theatre at the age of 8, working her way from the pantomime chorus to leading roles in 'Steel Magnolias', 'The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie' and 'Stepping Out'. However, Val claims it was playing Mr Hoskins - a dead man in 'Arsenic & Old Lace' - that really tested her acting skills!
Relocating to Arran, Val immediately joined Whiting Bay Drama & Music Club, where she has played major parts in numerous productions, including Theresa in 'Curtain Up' and Marion in 'A Nice Cup of Tea'.
Val enjoys singing, both in the folk band 'The Shale Coots' and as a member of The Arran Soul Choir. She volunteers with the island’s recycling initiative Eco Savvy yet still finds time to meditate and practise Tai Chi and Reiki.
Val Waite as the Bartender
Charles Currie has been stage-struck since a boy, writing, producing, stage managing and even filming school productions, including his award-winning play, ‘Boy Meets Girl’. Since then, Charles has won many more drama festival accolades, both as a performer and producer.
In 1967 he and a pal set up Glasgow’s first mobile disco, the forerunner of Arran’s fondly remembered Shiski Diski, which Charles ran for over twenty years.
For a whole decade, Charles wrote, directed and presented his own weekly programme on West Sound Radio.
In his spare time, Charles managed the family farm at Drumadoon, became the Isle of Arran’s Tourism Manager, then a Tourism Marketing Director, when he introduced shopping centre Highland Games, tossing rubber cabers! Prior to retiring, he fitted in seven years' service as a Postman on the island.
Natasha Nelson may look friendly, but don't be fooled; in UNCOWED she is horrible!
Natasha is often involved with school productions and has just appeared in Lamlash Junior Drama Club's production of 'Platform Party'.
Natasha Nelson as the Bully
Ilsa Blair has been writing, directing and producing stage plays for many years, her inventive dialogue bringing characters to life on the page.
We first encountered Isla at a writing class on Arran some twenty years ago, where she had everyone in stitches each week.
"I have been acting up for most of my life!" she says. "I fell off the stage when I finished my song in 'The Steamie’... great drama, and I’m famous for it now!"
Isla Blair as the Bar Manager
Marvin Elliott is known internationally for his distinctive carvings and sculptures. It was therefore with some trepidation that we approached him with the idea of having him destroy one of his works of art in our film. We need not have worried ~ he agreed immediately ~ even identifying the sacrificial piece!
In UNCOWED, Marvin is the only person on the island aware of Doug's dark past ~ a secret he has kept for many years.
Marvin has performed on camera for us previously, explaining how he created a replica of Arran's 5,000-year-old inhabitant for our island's heritage museum.
Mark Nelson is an engineer, lifeboat volunteer and a father of two. Having appeared in several pantomimes in recent years, he is now keen to spread his wings into film. He may live to regret this because in UNCOWED he spends most of his time incarcerated!