Born on the Isle of Wight, where he still lives, he was a reporter, then joined the R.A.F and later did various part-time jobs, including dish-washing, while attempting to become a full-time writer.
After twelve years of rejection, and being told by a script reader that he had no sense of humour or talent, he was working as a cinema cleaner when he broke into television by writing comedy material for Frankie Howerd and Dave Allen.
Then Raymond had an idea for a comedy series about a couple called Frank and Betty Spencer. It was offered first to Norman Wisdom, who didn’t see any humour in it and having seen a complete script said he supposed Raymond put the funny bits in later! Ronnie Barker also turned it down, as did everyone else. Then a young actor called Michael Crawford, who’d previously starred in the Hollywood musical “Hello Dolly,” saw the script. He liked it, and so with Michele Dotrice as Betty, “Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em!” finally came to television. It ran for 22 episodes and was the B.B.C comedy entry in the Golden Rose of Montreux Festival in Switzerland. At its peak it reached an audience of 25 million and has now been shown in over 6O countries.
He has also written short stories for radio, a novel, comedy sketches for the B.B.C and ITV, and his first stage play, “One Of Our Howls Is Missing!” starring Christopher Beeny, was presented at the Haymarket Theatre, Leicester, in 1979, followed by a national tour.
In 2016, after an absence of 38 years, Frank Spencer returned to television in a fifteen minute special for B.B.C Sport Relief which Raymond co-wrote with the Dawson Brothers.
Directing Biography: Director of Julius Caesar (Fort Canning Park, Singapore); Of Mice and Men (UK Tour); Hand To God (Singapore Repertory Theatre); Yes, Prime Minister (Theatr Clwyd) Cinderella & Snow White (Manchester Opera House); Moving Stories (Haymarket, West End & Houses of Parliament); The Food of Love (Royal Festival Hall & Cadogan Hall); A Whirligig of Time (Royal Shakespeare Company); Cool Rider (Lyric & Duchess, West End); The Collector, Death and the Maiden (English Theatre Frankfurt); Cinderella (Nottingham Theatre Royal); A Night with Bonnie Langford (London Hippodrome & Richmond Theatre); Farragut North (Southwark Playhouse); Sweet Smell of Success, Company (Arts Ed); Marguerite (Tabard); Fresher the Musical (Pleasance, Islington and Edinburgh); Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me (Cockpit); Play-in-a-Day Series (London Bridge Tunnels); Metamorphosis (British American Drama Academy); The Bear Who Paints (Pleasance Edinburgh); Proof (NSDF Finals). Other titles: Legally Blonde, Made in Dagenham, Billy, The Ghost Train, Into the Woods, Humble Boy, Disco Pigs, Company, The Good Person of Sichuan, Merrily We Roll Along, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Lucky Stiff, and The Laramie Project. Pantomimes include Cinderella (Chelmsford Civic Theatre), Sleeping Beauty (Beck Theatre, Hayes, and The White Rock, Hastings), Jack and the Beanstalk and Snow White and the Seven Dwarves (Swindon Wyvern).
Other credits include: Associate Director on Much Ado About Nothing & Love's Labour's Lost (Royal Shakespeare Theatre and West End); Associate on Spamalot (West End & UK Tour); Producer of The 70th Birthday celebrations for His Royal Highness Prince Charles (Buckingham Palace); Associate Director of The 90th Birthday celebrations for Her Majesty the Queen (Windsor Castle); Associate on Travels With My Aunt (Menier Chocolate Factory); Resident on Dandy Dick (UK Tour), Creative Associate on Megan Mullally and Supreme Music Program (West End); Assistant on The Beggar’s Opera (Regent’s Park), Tick, tick...BOOM! (Duchess, West End), Oleanna (Octagon).
Simon’s current, most recent and forthcoming designs include Big (West End), The Argument with Felicity Kendall and Song at Twilight (Theatre Royal Bath), Falstaff (Grange Festival), The Magic Flute (Scottish Opera), The Wizard of Oz (Leeds Playhouse), The Butterfly Lion (Chichester Festival Theatre) and The Price with David Suchet (West End).
Other recent designs include Twelfth Night (Royal Shakespeare Company), An Ideal Husband with Freddie Fox and Frances Barber (West End), The Chalk Garden with Penelope Keith and The Norman Conquests (Chichester), Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em (UK tour), Much Ado About Nothing and Love’s Labour’s Lost (Theatre Royal Haymarket, RSC Stratford and Chichester), Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (West Yorkshire Playhouse and UK tour), Saturday Night Fever (Denmark), and Hobson’s Choice with Martin Shaw (West End).
Previous highlights: Blithe Spirit with Angela Lansbury (West End and USA), Singin’ In The Rain (West End, Chichester and world tour), Present Laughter and She Stoops To Conquer (Bath), Derren Brown’s Infamous and Miracle (West End) The Importance of Being Ernest and Mrs Warren’s Profession (Washington D.C) The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, Yes Prime Minister, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, When We Are Married, The Rivals, Man and Boy, Hay Fever, Of Mice and Men, Amy’s View (all West End), Enemies, Whistling Psyche and The Earthly Paradise (Almeida), The Accidental Death Of An Anarchist (Donmar), The Force Of Change (Royal Court), The Merry Wives of Windsor (Stockholm), Haunted (NYC/Brits Off Broadway), Pygmalion (Old Vic), Singer, A Russian In The Woods and Thomas More (Royal Shakespeare Company) and numerous designs at Chichester Festival Theatre including Stevie with Zoe Wanamaker (also Hampstead) and Amadeus with Rupert Everett.
Simon designs for opera worldwide and is the recipient of the Manchester Theatre Award for Best Design (Wonderful Town), two TMA Best Design Awards (Elizabeth Rex and Three Sisters) and Helen Hayes Best Design Award (Lady Windermere’s Fan) (USA).
Matt is London based and works internationally on theatre, opera, site specific and concert projects. He lit the Royal Opera House world premiere of Coraline and the award winning West End production of Peter Pan Goes Wrong. As an associate designer Matt has memorable experiences working on the acclaimed Complicite production of The Master & Margarita. A career highlight was lighting the icon, Grace Jones in Concert, at the Royal Albert Hall.
Theatre: Wilderness, The Strange Death of John Doe, No One Will Tell Me How to Start a Revolution, Kiss Me (all Hampstead Downstairs), Cost of Living, I and You (all Hampstead Theatre); Games for Lovers (The Vault Theatre); Hobson’s Choice (Royal Exchange); The Picture of Dorian Gray (UK Tour); The Lovely
Bones (Birmingham Rep); Great Apes (Arcola); Nina: A Story About Me and Nina Simone (Young Vic/ Unity Theatre/Riksteatern Stockholm); Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em (UK Tour); Till We Meet In England (Peckham Safehouse); Roundelay (Southwark Playhouse); Truth and Reconciliation (Royal Court); Crocodiles (Royal Exchange).
Opera: Romeo and Juliet, Der fliegende Hollander (Estonian National Opera); Wuthering Heights (Opera National Lorraine); A Quiet Place (Opera Zuid); The Snowmaiden; Hansel & Gretel; La Cenerentola, La Traviata, Don Giovanni, Turn of the Screw and Cautionary Tales (Opera North); The Commission/Cafe Kafka, Glare, The Virtues of Things (ROH); Sukanya (Festival Hall); Anna Bolena, Maria Stuarda and Roberto Devereux (Welsh National Opera); Albert Herring (Maggio Musicale, Florence).
Ian is an accomplished sound designer and audio consultant with a portfolio of international projects to his name including West End Theatre, corporate events and television.
Ian began his career touring with bands and solo artists, playing many festivals and venues around the UK and Europe. This led to an involvement with the BBC where he was responsible for the live sound for many of the BBC recorded concerts. In 1990 Ian turned his attentions to the world of theatre where he has worked on a diverse blend of plays and musicals including Joseph, West End and national tour; Macbeth, national tour; Blood Brothers, West End and national tour.
Following on from this theatrical background Ian now mainly works on large scale events and this corporate and music work has led him to recently work with Nile Rodgers, Ellie Goulding, Craig David, Paloma Faith and Elton John to name but a few.
Ian’s very varied background in the world of sound design allows a unique perspective and style when it comes to creative, technological solutions for production design.