The production team

Pete Talbot (Artistic Director & writer) 

Pete founded the Company in January 1997 after spending twenty-three years as a teacher & is its Artistic Director & writer. He studied English at Cardiff University where he got a First and then Language, Education & the Arts at Sussex University. He has written, mainly poetry, from his teenage years & all his adult life and has now written eighteen plays for The Rudes, including ‘The Comedy of Babi Babbett’, ‘Five Get Famous’ and his favourite, ‘Noah Babel’s Ark’.

  • The International School of Comic acting – He studied the Commedia dell’Arte at ‘The International School of Comic Acting’, Reggio Emilia, Italy, under the maestro, Antonio Fava, and the commedia has been the main influence in his work, although his love of silent movie, music hall, circus, pantomime & literature in general have all informed his writing.
  • Music & other loves – He spent over fifty years playing guitar & has composed a lot of the songs for the company but arthritis has taken its toll & made playing now very difficult. He is passionate about the importance of education & giving every child a proper start, about finding solutions to poverty and about the importance of communities where people can mark the milestones of life with others, so we can enjoy cultural things together, avoid loneliness & be fulfilled. He loves the arts in general, especially reading, all music, especially jazz & 20th Century ‘classical music’, rugby & cricket, & supports Liverpool FC. His favourite composers are Vaughan Williams, Kurt Weill & Steve Reich, favourite musicians are Miles Davis, Nina Simone, Joni Mitchell & Tom Waits & his favourite song is ‘Smile’ by Charlie Chaplin. The most influential book for him has been ‘A Passage to India’ by EM Forster. His favourite poet is TS Eliot & his most inspiring painter is Picasso. Pete is a practitioner of kaizen.  He has been married for fifty years to Sue.

Rowan Talbot (actor, composer, musical director & tour manager)

  • Artist – Rowan has been involved with the company from the beginning as an actor and still works frequently for us in that respect as well as for the National Theatre of Wales, Theatr Clwyd, the RSC & many other companies & theatres around the UK in a long career. But he is a multiple musician too & a composer and has in more recent years taken on the role of company composer & musical director, a role he also plays with Ransack Dance Co in Wales where he is based. He has composed music for play & dance productions, including for The Rudes, for films, local authority events, universities & commercially. Recently, as Pete Talbot, our Artistic Director, has got older, he has also become Tour Manager for the Company.
  • Other loves – He loves rugby & attends when he can & enjoys life with his two lovely little girls & wife, Heloise, and when he’s not making music, he’s listening to it. His favourite composer is Elgar, but loves the whole range from classical, to jazz, to pop, to show. As he says, “How can you compare?” So, a multi-talented & key asset for us and central to the development of the Company’s style since the beginning.

Kim Bishop (Costume maker & Chair of the Board)

  • Involvement with The Rudes – Kim has loved the Rudes since they burst into her life with Twelfth Night in 2001 at Lewes Castle. She’s been a secondary English teacher for 20 years and has been helping with costumes since The Musicians of Bremen in 2008, graduating from sewing on buttons and kitchen implements to creating tails, 18th Century dresses and hats made from lampshades.
  • She credits any skills she might have accrued to a childhood spent watching Blue Peter’s Valerie Singleton fashion all manner of items from sticky tape and a couple of squeezy bottles. Typically this under-estimates her excellent skills as a seamstress, her general ‘We will find a solution’ approach to everything, commitment, intelligence & kindness. She is also Chair of our Board.
  • Other loves – She likes 18th Century picaresque novels and also reads Jane Austen’s ‘Persuasion’ once a year. Her ambition is to actually finish reading ‘Ulysses’ before she dies. She likes romantic operas, folk music and pre-1950 musicals. She dislikes board games of any description and her favourite artist is Chagall. We are so lucky to have her & are constantly entertained by her comic renderings of her life’s experiences which cheer us all up.

Annette Keen (Costume-maker & Board member)

  • Involvement with The Rudes – Ex-teacher, ex-plumber’s mate (“secretary, actually…”), she studied dress design and making at college, and subsequently patchwork and quilting. Her cheerful & calm disposition has added so much to the inner workings of the Company & is never far away during crises, ready to help & find solutions. She has been so important to us since she joined our team in 2015 & has become a member of our Board.
  • Other loves – She’s been a jazz promoter/manager for over twenty years & runs a jazz club in Eastbourne, and also writes fiction – annettekeen.co.uk will find her! Her favourite UK jazz musician is her partner, the extraordinary Andy Panayi, a leading jazz musician over here who plays all the flutes & all the saxophones, and her favourite US jazz musician is Monty Alexander. She also loves Horace Silver, Thelonius Monk & Cole Porter. Wow! What a choice! She says, “And I always love to hear a good version of ‘Round Midnight’ or ‘Night and Day’.” So do I!

Anca Albani Ph.D (Designer & wig-maker)

  • What she brings to The Rudes – Anca is a Professor at the National University of the Arts, Bucharest, Romania, in the Set and Stage Design Department, teaching set & costume design, drawing, painting, sculpture and Adobe Creative Suite Photoshop, In-Design, & illustration – and has worked frequently with Bucharest National Opera. She has also worked since 2008 as a freelance practitioner in costume design & supervision, & as a makeup artist, puppet builder, set designer & wig maker.
  • Experience – She has had more than thirty international group exhibitions and more than forty shows as a set & costume designer – and has a mission as an educator teaching courses which train artists of all ages, encouraging them to apply new technologies for maximizing the impact of their arts. She is also an excellent painter. You’ll find her online – albaniancaalbani.wixsite.com/albani & www.facebook.com/albaniarts/ She works with our costume team as a freelance designer & wig-maker creating remarkable & beautiful wig-hats & designing costumes & we are delighted to have her.
  • Other loves – And when she isn’t making beautiful things for the theatre, like the traditional character that gives our studio its name, Peppe Nappa, she loves to dance.

Bogdan Ciobanu (Wig-maker)

  • Involvement with The Rudes – Bogdan is a freelance puppet and prop maker, 3D designer for theatre & an interior designer from Bucharest now based in Eastbourne. He started working with us in 2019 assisting our designer, Anca Albani, creating and maintaining our wig-hats. His highly skilled attention to details has brought a really useful set of skills to our team. We are delighted to have him.

The actors

Continue THE TOUR here & learn about our actors

The actors are our greatest resource. They are not permanent members of the Company so change from year to year. If you click on the following you will see more about our current team. Click here.