The Village Idiots Company Members

Coffin Up - Touring Cast/Crew

Ben Jakes
Ben is a co-founder of the village idiots and has co-written and performed all five shows to date.  Having appeared in all eight Harry Potter films, he has recently wrapped filming on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I & II, in which he played Michael Corner. He is currently touring mask show, ‘Devil in the Detail,’ with MetaMorpho, directed by Toby Wilsher (Co-founder of Trestle.) He is often found to be an unusual shade of green, but swears this bears no relation to his 4 litre a day Diet Coke habit.

Jonathan Davenport
Jonathan is a co-founder of the village idiots and trained at Rose Bruford College. As well as having performed in every idiots show to date, in 2009 Jonathan joined Pants on Fire Theatre Company, winning the 2010 Carol Tambor Best of Edinburgh Award, and the Whatsonstage Editor's Choice Award. Theatre Credits include: Ovid's Metamorphoses (Off-Broadway & UK tour), The Cherry Orchard & The Love of the Nightingale.

Michelle Baxter
A stint in a drying-out clinic (touring as a stage manager with comedy duo, Plested and Brown) led Michelle to re-evaluate her life and bring her extended 9-year gap year to an end. She consequently went on to train at Middlesex University graduating in Theatre Arts and Performance. She has been a member of the village idiots for 4 years and has co-written and appeared in 3 shows to date. She is also currently touring, ‘Devil in the Detail’ with MetaMorpho.

Daniel Quirke
In 2009 Jack found Daniel wandering the sets of Harry Potter, in which he played Skinny Ministry Wizard 1. As the village idiots were in need of a long-limbed, clumsy actor, they invited him to tour Screwloose in 2010. Dan has appeared in numerous shows, including Romeo and Juliet, Corvind in Volpone and Herr Flick in ‘Allo, ‘Allo. Dan is the baby of the group, adding not only youth but also an actor above 5ft 8in.

Amanda Wilsher – Director
Amanda is co-founder of the village idiots and has co-written and directed all shows to date. Amanda started out as an actress, performing Shakespeare in her parents back garden and panto in the local village hall.  After graduating from Middlesex Poly in Performing Arts, she toured the country, set up a youth theatre, worked with magicians in Germany, ran workshops in Israel and then became Education and Outreach officer for Trestle Theatre Company. She delivered over 1000 workshops and then joined forces with comedy duo - Plested and Brown. She co-wrote and directed all seven of their shows, which toured both UK and abroad. And not a mask in sight. She is one of the country’s leading arts-based trainers for the business sector. She is an associate at the Kings Fund, delivering training for NHS Leaders, Consultants and Clinicians. At 45 Amanda realised she had forgotten to have children, so grabbed a passing theatre technician who cheerfully obliged. They have one precocious - sorry - precious - son, and live in the Witterings. How appropriate.

David Clarke – Technical Director & Designer 
Went to school (purgatory.) Found youth theatre (fun.) Got into backstage stuff (more fun.) Studied ‘old school’ stage management (yawn.) Found Fringe theatre (Hurrah.) Worked as a technician, stage manager, technical manager (including 12 years at Venue 40 – The Quaker Meeting House,) lighting/sound/set designer both in the UK and in Hong Kong for fringe/international/folk/youth festivals, international tours, venues, TV and corporate gigs. (Repeat for 14 years.) Passed Amanda (moved in.) Became co-founder of the village idiots (fool.) Now doing the usual stuff with Ono Theatre, MetaMorpho and of course, the village idiots.