Core company members
Lorraine studied at South Bank University and obtained a 2:1 in Theatre Practice: Creative Producing.
Before joining Improbable, she previously worked as an Assistant Producer for Literally Alive Theatre in New York City, and was a Producing Intern with Blind Summit.
A keen writer, she has written, produced and directed her own work, 'A Mothers Work is Never Done' a poetry based play, performed as part of her final year showcase in 2009.
As she continues with her writing she is also developing other skills, recently obtaining her Level 1 in British Sign Language, with the view of continuing into Level 2.
Lorraine has also been known to occasionally moonlight as an actress in a few short films, as well as providing voice overs for various projects.
Matilda Leyser studied English Literature at King’s College London. She then trained at Ecole de Phillipe Gaulier, at Circomedia, the physical theatre and circus arts school in Bristol, where she specialized in aerial, and at The Drama Centre, London.
Over the past 15 years she has collaborated with theatre, dance and circus companies on diverse productions including: Mamaloucos' The Birds at the National Theatre; Bernhard’s Destination, and Romeo and Juliet with Volcano Theatre; Elemental, Rope and An Evening with Dracula with Company F/Z; Sister Sister with Boilerhouse; The Miserly Knight for Glyndebourne Opera; Pericles at Shakespeare’s Globe; Egg Dances, Passage and Ascending Fields with Rosemary Lee; Panic with Improbable.
Matilda has also devised and performed her own work as a solo artist: her full-length solo show, Line, Point, Plane, was commissioned by the London International Mime Festival and The Royal Opera House, and premiered in ’06 before touring nationally and internationally during ’06-‘07. Her collaborators on this included: Bryony Lavery, Michele Weaver, Annie Castledine, Annabel Arden and Rosemary Lee.
Since 2008 she has been very inspired by and involved in Improbable’s Open Space D&D work and how the company have started to use this to influence their creative practice as well as to run events for the theatre community.
Alongside her performance work she has recently started an MFA in creative writing, and is working on a collection of short fantastical stories.
For Improbable Lucy has worked as the assistant director on Theatre of Blood, a co-production between Improbable and The National Theatre, and The Wolves in the Walls, a collaboration with the National Theatre of Scotland. She has also been involved in the setting up and running of Improbable’s Cooking Chaos workshops, Devoted and Disgruntled events and the Mentoring Resource and Fête.
Other assistant directing work includes Jason and the Argonauts for Beggars Belief, and several productions at The Bush Theatre. Lucy runs her own theatre company, Jumbled, which she founded in 2003. For Jumbled Lucy has directed and devised 22 Death Scenes as part of the Enterprise festival at The Space and at The Blue Elephant Theatre, Love-Knot and Party Piece, both at The Chelsea Theatre, Crossed Wire at the Burton-Taylor Theatre, and Inside at The Lyric Hammersmith studio, as part of the NYT Shorts season 2004. For Jumbled she also produces Jumble It Up, nights of work in progress performances and feedback cafes, at the Oxford Playhouse Studio. Previous work includes Crave by Sarah Kane, which won the Bush Directing Award and the Judges’ Individual Award at the National Student Drama Festival 2002. Lucy also works as a youth theatre tutor and workshop leader.
Phelim has been directing and performing since 1984. He co-founded dereck dereck Productions with Julia Bardsley and productions include Cupboard Man, as solo performer (Fringe First), Gaudete (Time Out Director's Award and The Sweet Shop Owner. Other directing includes Dr Faustus, Improbable Tales and A Midsummer Night’s Dream for the English Shakespeare Company in 1996/97 (TMA Award for Best Touring Production).
He co-wrote with Lee Simpson and appeared in Get Off My Foot. He directed Shockheaded Peter in London and at the Little Schubert Theatre, Off Broadway, with Julian Crouch; a junk opera collaboration with The Tiger Lilies for Cultural Industry (Olivier Award for Best Entertainment, TMA Best Director Award and Critics Society Best Designer Award). Productions with Improbable include the multi award-winning 70 Hill Lane, Lifegame, Animo, Coma, Spirit, Sticky, Cinderella, The Hanging Man and Theatre of Blood, a collaboration with The National Theatre.
Phelim McDermott has also worked as an actor in radio, film, TV and theatre. In 2003, he was awarded a NESTA fellowship to research new ways of rehearsing and creating theatre using Improvisation and Process Oriented Conflict Facilitation Techniques. As part of this work, he recently facilitated the fifth Open Space Technology event called ‘Devoted and Disgruntled: What are we going to do about theatre?’ for the theatre community.
Lee grew up in Great Yarmouth by the sea, where he found gainful employment cooking burgers in a Wimpy, as a croupier in a casino, and as a cinema projectionist.
Unable to get a proper showbiz job, he became an improviser. The money was bad but there was precious little hard work involved, and the people seemed nice. Since then, apart from his work with Improbable, he's become a member of the Comedy Store Players; he’s written plays; appeared in some sit-coms; acted in some proper telly drama and some films; performed a very poor poodle act at the London Palladium and spent six months as a Breakfast Show DJ.
It is this obvious lack of direction that he feels is the real essence of his work. His real name is Len.
Since starting a freelance career with a short spell at The Chicago International Theatre Festival, Nick has worked with a broad range of national and international clients, including The David Glass Ensemble, Phoenix Dance, Lip Service, Wierzalin Theatre (Poland), Nada Theatre (France) and Mouthpeace (South Africa).
In the mid 1990s he was a co-founder of both Told by an Idiot and Improbable. Over the last few years he has concentrated more and more on his work with Improbable, as they tour more widely, working in collaboration with a series of key presenting partners in Europe and North America.
Sarah-Jane has been General Manager of Improbable since April 2007 and went part time in December 2008 in order to be able to pursue other projects and interests. She worked with the No Idea team early on in the development of the piece and at the beginning of this year produced the STORM festival at the Lyric Hammersmith. She has previously worked as a Theatre Officer at the Arts Council, London office where she was one of the officers responsible for contemporary performance, working with Complicite, LIFT, BAC, Ridiculusmus, Shunt and many others. Prior to that she worked at the Lyric Hammersmith and the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, managing their education programmes.