Doppelgangster are an international performance company, currently creating work in the UK and Australia. Doppelgangster are iconoclastic, politically charged, and so entertaining that upon seeing the company’s work Medusa turned to stone. The company’s operations work to critique contemporary issues at local, national and global levels. Doppelgangster responds to urgent concerns such as climate change, forced migration, and class.
Current projects include work for unconventional spaces, using intimate face-to-face encounters, large scale spectacle, and online environments.
Doppelgangster was founded in 2015. Since then the company has presented work in Wales, England, France, USA, Singapore, Greece, Spain, and Australia. If you’ve witnessed Doppelgangster it might have been streamed online, or live in the flesh, from a shipping container, a carpark, a lane-way, a gallery, a lecture theatre, a town hall, a stage, a converted barn, a cinema, a lawn bowls club, a garage, an old school, a fetish club, on the banks of a river, a back porch, a kitchen, a concrete vault underneath London’s Waterloo station, a former WW2 fascist boot factory, and/or Paris’ Grande Palais.
Doppelgangster has received support from National Theatre Wales, Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Chapter Arts, Creative Victoria, City of Melbourne, MKA: Theatre of New Writing; company members’ inclusion in the company has been variously supported by the Australia Council of the Arts, Esmee Fairbairn Foundation; Sheffield Hallam University, and no-one in the company steals very often.
Emerging artists from Sheffield Hallam University (UK) and La Trobe University (Australia) participated in the research and development/performance phases of the project.
Maraya Ashworth is a third-year student at Sheffield Hallam University studying ‘Performance for Stage and Screen.’ She decided to finally stop procrastinating and using a global pandemic as an excuse not to be creative and throw herself into Bad Reputation. She misread the casting sheet and didn’t realise she was in every scene but used the stress of a short deadline to produce an energetic performance!
You may know Maraya from her previous performances in The Birmingham Royal Ballet or the Disney Land Paris Parade, but you probably won’t. She has taken a slight detour in her career and is now pursuing acting. Bad Reputation is her first professional piece outside of student short films, so she hopes you don’t cringe as much as she did listening to it back. Stay tuned for more from Maraya, she’s on a ‘role!’
This is George Beresford’s second performance with us. She performed in last years Choke Me and loved it so much she came back for a second year running. George is a Level 6 student on the Performance for Stage and Screen program at Sheffield Hallam University. George could not wait to get started on Bad Reputation and like last year has learnt so much from it. George is also one of the organisers setting up ‘Fresh Batch of Scratch’ Sheffield Hallam’s new scratch night. she has loved her time working with Doppelgangster and even though her time on the corse will be coming to a close at the end of this academic year, she hopes that one day she can work with us agin.
Richard is in his final year at Sheffield Hallam University studying ‘How to get that last bit of ketchup out of the bottle, you know when you can see it’s still there, but it won’t come out. Yeah, that. Jokes, of course, Richard is studying Performance for Stage and Screen.
He recently appeared in Midland players production of Frankenstein and is itching to get back to the stage, though a little known global pandemic may put the brakes on that for a while. Richard had a blast working on ‘Bad Reputation’ as there’s nothing he loves more than screaming into a microphone, pretending to be an old man.
Connie is a Sheffield based actor, who debuted as the innkeeper’s wife in Marlcliffe Primary school’s Nativity. Since then she has performed in plays at the Crucible, with N2C theatre and generally anything that will provoke an existential crisis for the audience. She still aims to create something suitable for her nan… Her biggest goal was to be taller but at 5’2 she’s played multiple fifteen year olds, most notably for Childline, the NSPCC and applied theatre in local secondary schools. During the making of this radio play she’s sprained her wrist and dropped a h or t on almost every line but it was definitely worth it. She can currently be found drinking lots of coffee, clarifying her hair colour is strawberry blonde (not ginger!!) and setting up a theatre company – so any name suggestions welcome!
Morgan-Belle Holmes-Bradshaw, despite the intimidating long name, is a bubbly bright actress who dreams of one-day going pro…as a TREX. Being 5’2, she had to give up being a professional basketballer. She still aims as high as she works to be a professional actress. She has travelled around the world performing solo and with cohorts and undertaking training in many performing disciplines. She brags of best actress nomination in Hanoi Olympia film festival and is determined for that not to be her only nomination. Driven to show many sides of her, she jumps at opportunities coming her way to further her craft.
You may know Harry Marciniak as Harry Walker, though he has recently changed to a fancier sounding stage name. The guy loves to read plays (as you can see, he likes the work of Samuel Beckett). Seemingly, Harry seems to think all rats are bastards (which they technically are; you never hear of rat marriage now do you?), so he would be a feeble worker at the lighthouse, terrified and repulsed by the rodents. But Marciniak more than makes up for it with his ability to work hard and shout into a microphone, as you can hear in the show. Harry appeared in Doppelgangster’s Choke Me (2019) and is a member of the organisation team for Sheffield Hallam University’s ‘Fresh Batch of Scratch’ event. He has also performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the National Theatre in London as part of the 2017 Connections Festival.
Claude Sarmiento has recently completed a Bachelor of Arts at LaTrobe University majoring in French and Theatre. After trying out a law degree for a hot minute and realising that he indeed does not have the capacity to live his Elle Woods fantasy, he decided to dive into the theatre in full force. Having participated in musicals throughout high school and numerous plays for LaTrobe Student Theatre, performing is his ultimate passion. He has greatly enjoyed working on this project with Doppelgangster and hopes to break into the industry as a performer. If he couldn’t be a lawyer like Ms Woods, he will one day play a lawyer on the stage or screen.
Mo Sheryar is a Melbourne-based freakshow who’s involvement in dramatic acting dates back to obligatory school performances of Shakespeare plays during his tenth grade literature classes. Early fears that he could potentially become one of the infamous “drama kids” dissuaded him from pursuing this newfound passion much further. However, after a long hiatus and a brief stint as a struggling musician, his natural curiosity in trying to inhabit complicated characters returned as he became increasingly transfixed with cinema over the COVID-19 lockdown period – when there was little else for him to occupy himself with than copious numbers of films. As he worked his way through the IMDb top 250, the extent to which he was moved and riveted by dozens of performances sparked his eagerness to engage in the craft; to create his own art, tell his own stories, and share it all with others.
MATTHEW L. SKELTON
Matthew L. Skelton is a Performance student at Hallam, who aspires to be a writer so much he started putting an initial in the middle of his name. He once wrote, produced and directed a full length show called ‘This Dream, I Keep Having’ (theatre, 2019) but forgot to tell anyone about it so it remains unseen. He can play loads of chords on the guitar but knows no songs, and his favourite pastime is believing he will get some work done soon. He aspires to produce his own content in the future through either his own theatre company or the sheer act of willing it to be.
Erica Vandenberg has grown up living theatre. From performing, to teaching, to behind the scenes work. It is basically all that consumes her time and she struggles to have any other hobbies.She has featured in numerous productions playing characters such as: Gertrude McFuzz from Seussical the Musical and Ronnette from Little Shop of Horrors. It is evident she has been typecast to play only blue or green characters and if you wish to cast her in red you’ll have to speak to her manager.She has now completed a Bachelor of Creative Arts and hopes to continue in her field passing on her love of creativity and storytelling to anyone she can!