About Kent Coast Theatre
Whitstable has long been celebrated for its annual events and activities, plus a very vibrant live music scene and quirky visual arts. With the ever popular Oyster Festival, the historic Carnival, the fantastic Harbour Day and now Whit Lit, this town leads the way in Kent for creativity and culture.
Kent Coast Theatre (KCT), a contemporary theatre company, based in Whitstable, compliments and work alongside these events and adds to the unique fabric in this very eclectic town. Founded in July 2015 by Lou Fowkes and Alison Mead, KCT aims to champion new writing, challenge and re-work traditional plays and perform in interesting and non-theatre spaces. Above all, we offer local actors the chance to perform in a professional environment, working to a high level of expertise, with advice, support and guidance. We are also delighted that our Patron is Whitstable resident and acclaimed actor of theatre, film, TV and radio Raymond Coulthard.
KCT ran its first Acting Course in the Autumn of 2015 at Whitstable Castle. The ten weeks covered theatre disciplines such as performance skills, text work, improvisation, physical and vocal techniques, character building and Commedia. The group of fifteen actors then presented selected scenes from well-known plays at a Showcase Evening at The Horsebridge in front of an invited audience of friends and family. The reaction and response from the audience on the night was truly overwhelming and immensely positive. KCT continued its educational programme in 2016, in order to develop our actors’ technique in theatre performance. We also linked up with a number of schools, colleges, groups and associations in the area to engage with the local community. And of course, we will once again be running our Acting Course in the Autumn of 2017.
Our debut production ‘Animal Farm’ written by George Orwell in 1945, took place at The Horsebridge in the July of 2016. Reflecting on the events leading up to the Russian Revolution and then on into the Stalinist era of the Soviet Union, it was a challenging and thought-provoking piece of theatre that our audiences thoroughly responded to in a hugely positive way.
Our 2017 production is ‘Women of Kent’ a trilogy of new writing, exploring the lives and loves of three famous women of Kent; Anne Boleyn, Ellen Terry and Vita Sackville-West. These new plays will be performed at both the Arden Theatre in Faversham and at Whitstable Castle Tea Gardens (open air). This is a very exciting development for the theatre company and offers local audiences a very different theatrical experience. For more details on this production and how to book, click over to our ‘Productions’ page.
We’re also participating once again at Harbour Day on Saturday 5 August, with another specific children’s show, with a nautical theme, that will delight and enthral our young audiences.
KCT Aims & Objectives
- To commission and produce new and exciting theatre, that engages and involves the local communities of East Kent.
- To re-work traditional plays and identify, encourage and showcase new and emerging playwrights from the East Kent area.
- To use traditional theatre venues, non-theatre spaces and site specific venues, to encourage diverse audiences.
- To offer local actors the chance to perform in a professional environment, working to a high level of expertise, with advice, support and guidance.
- To provide acting workshops on a regular basis, covering such disciplines as performance skills, improvisation, physical and vocal techniques, text work, character building and audition training.
- To work with cultural providers, the business sector and other regional partners, to maximise the reach and impact of the KCT experience.
- To develop the KCT brand and create innovative partnerships through association with organisations in East Kent, the South East Region and where appropriate, nationwide.
- To develop theatre by and for people that encourages interaction and pride of place within the community, ensuring that productions are fully accessible to all members of the community.
- To allow each KCT Member to discover and develop new and existing talents and skills and encourage them to achieve their full potential.
- To ensure each Member is a valued and important part of the KCT Company.
The Kent Coast Theatre Team
Alison Mead is an experienced actor with credits in theatre, film and television.
Roles have included Gertrude in ‘Hamlet’, Lady Bracknell in ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’, Joyce in ‘Bone Harvest’ (tour for Eastern Angles Theatre Company) and the Female Chorus in ‘Murder in the Cathedral.’ Television and Film roles include one brief appearance in ‘Wycliffe’ and the role of Peggy Haywood in ‘Casualty’ – which entailed lying with a (fake) broken leg for a week during filming!
Alison has written and produced three of her own plays and is currently developing the fourth; ‘Politic Man’, which she hopes to present in London later in the year.
Her directing credits include ‘Macbeth’ at the Scoop on London’s South Bank, a co-production of two Pinter plays for Impulse Theatre company and ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolfe?’ at the Landor Theatre Clapham.
Alison was acting tutor at Arts Ed London and also ran classes for adults at the Churchill Theatre, Bromley. She has run workshops for Ambassadors Theatre Group on ‘The Rivals’, ‘The History Boys’, ‘Hamlet’ and ‘Sweeney Todd.’ She continues to work for colleges and schools and has recently taught Acting for Camera at Canterbury College and Accent Workshops at D and B School of Performing Arts.
Lou has worked, both in professional and non-professional arts and entertainment, for over 28 years.
Originally from Surrey, as an actress Lou has appeared as Betty Parris in ‘The Crucible’, Mrs Johnson in ‘Blood Brothers’, Sarah in ‘Liber Amoris’, Nancy Holmes in ‘When We Are Married’, Canny in ‘Conversations With A Golliwog’, Sharon in ‘Outside Edge’, lots of characters in ‘The Life & Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby’ and ‘Animal Farm.’
Musicals include Velma Kelly in ‘Chicago’, Katishsa in ‘Hot Mikado’, Ronette in ‘Little Shop of Horrors’, Sister Robert Anne in ‘Nunsense’, Lady Beaconsfield in ‘Jekyll & Hyde’, ‘The Blues Singer’ in ‘Barnum’, chorus in ‘Godspell’ and as a singing tree in ‘The Wizard of Oz.’
Lou has also sung in various R&B/jazz/blues bands over the years and ran her own band ‘Battered and Bluesed’ for twenty years, performing across the UK in pubs, clubs and private parties. Lou popped into the recording studio a couple of years back with the band to lay down 5 tracks for the album entitled ‘Just Fine.’
She has directed Alan Ayckbourn’s ‘Confusions’ and the Stephen Schwartz musical ‘The Bakers Wife.’ Lou created musical theatre reviews ‘Roundabout the West End’ and ‘Listen.’ On the educational side, Lou has run numerous workshops over the years, for both children and adults, in theatre and performance skills.
Lou’s career has taken her into London and across regional theatre, in stage management, theatre administration, box office, press relations, marketing and house management. Having settled in Whitstable five years ago, her current role as Trust Manager for the Whitstable Improvement Trust (WIT) keeps her pretty busy too!
Whitstable resident and acclaimed actor, Raymond Coulthard has worked extensively in theatre, film, TV and radio.
Having trained at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, graduating in 1991, Raymond’s film credits include Chris in ‘The Best Man’, Grigory Alexandrov in ‘Eisenstein’, Rupert Douglas in ‘The English Patient’ and Young Scrooge in ‘A Muppet Christmas Carol.’
His television appearances include Jacob Pasha in ‘Da Vinci’s Demons’ (Series 2 & 3), Miles Egerton in ‘Mr Selfridge’ (Series 2 & 3), Major Goodacre in ‘Call The Midwife’, James Schofield in ‘Hotel Babylon’ (Series 1,2,3 & 4), Matt Strong in ‘Casualty’, Mark in ‘Extras’, Archie Christie in ‘Agatha Christie: A Life In Pictures’, Ambassador in ‘Casanova’ and Frank Churchill in ‘Emma.’
Raymond has appeared on stage in the following roles: Celimare in ‘Monsieur Popular’ (Theatre Royal Bath), King George VI in ‘The King’s Speech’ (UK Tour), Hector Hushabye in ‘Heartbreak House’ (Chichester Festival), Bishop Santa Cruz in ‘The Heresy Of Love’ (RSC), Duke Vincentio in ‘Measure For Measure’ (RSC), Hippolito in ‘Women Beware Women’ (National Theatre), Carear in ‘Caligula’ (Donmar Warehouse Theatre), Prince of Arragon in ‘The Merchant Of Venice’ (National Theatre), Christian in ‘Cyrano De Bergerac’ (RSC) and as Rupert Cazalet in ‘The Cazalets’ for BBC Radio.