The Management – A Rough Guide
From its inception in 2001 KOBAL Theatre Company was run by the
founders, however as preparations for “Beer!” at Contact
began in 2006 it became apparent to Distin & Lowe that their
most ambitious project to date would need more experience, expertise
and man-power than they had. That being the case Distin & Lowe
contacted Marcus McMillan and Matt Lever – much like Hannibal
and BA called up Templeton “The Face” Peck and broke
Howlin’ Mad Murdock out of the nuthouse – to aid in
the plan that was hastily coming together.
The writers and management guided the company through four productions
between March 2006 and May 2008 before Marcus set off to concentrate
on other projects, leaving Messrs. Distin, Lowe and Lever to stumble
forth with preparations for 24:7 Theatre Festival.
With the applause from the final 24:7 performance still ringing
in their ears the trio felt the time was right to approach the person
they felt was perfect to help them push KOBAL onwards and upwards.
That person was Catherine Manford and the time was right because
she was a little tipsy and therefore more likely to agree. Luckily
for everyone involved Catherine’s answer stayed the same after
she sobered up and lo-and-behold the current Management team was
Matt Lever – Technical Manager (since 2006)
Born and raised in Whitefield, Matt longed for the time when he
could do the things he wanted instead of what his teachers told
him to. He finally came across The Oldham College which offered
an “Entertainment Technology” course and enrolled without
much hesitation. Matt graduated with a HND in Sound and Lighting
Design, since which time he has kept himself busy working at many
of the theatres in and around Manchester, specialising as a lighting
It’s in this role that he’s been spotted at the Royal
Northern College of Music, Contact and Library Theatre; finally
settling at the Royal Exchange Theatre, which he is loving. When
not grafting at Manchester’s most prestigious theatres Matt
has his hands full with KOBAL, as technical production manager on
both versions of “Beer!”, lighting designer on “The
Man with the Incredibly Strong Lips” and “An Evening
with Gary Lineker” and more.
Catherine Manford – Creative Manager (since 2008)
Catherine has been with Kobal since 2006 and swiftly proved herself
indispensable, having performed in “Beer!”, “Little
Tin Rock God” and “Dave & Jeff Versus the Crazed
Corpse-loving Consultant” and offering assistance behind the
Believe it or not Catherine’s original choice of career was
that of a doctor; or a nurse depending on which uniform she looked
better in. Her father soon put paid to that though after he pointed
out that being in the medical profession meant dealing with blood
and other yucky substances. Lucky for us then that the Centre Stage
Theatre School beckoned otherwise there’d be a blank space
where this biography is. It’s especially lucky for us that
she kept the nurse’s uniform.
Committed and passionate about the arts, the 27 year-old Derbyshire
lass has recently been working with Momoyama on a short film project.
She has also been furthering her training in stage & screen
acting, singing and music here in Manchester, as well as getting
married in October ‘07 and she has just performed in The Elephant
Man at Catford's Broadway Theatre! So if nothing else no-one can
accuse her of resting on her (many) laurels!
Marcus McMillan – Creative Manager
Marcus hails from the village of Littleborough. Having earned a
HND in Performing Arts from The Oldham College Marcus gained a wealth
of experience by working with some of the country’s largest
theatre companies. Between 2001 and 2004 Marcus worked as an actor,
director and project manager for CragRats Ltd. on a variety of projects
aimed at young people. Since that time Marcus put his numerous talents
to good use with ImpAct, Black Cat Theatre Company, Screen Yorkshire
for the film “The Reading Room” and in various commercials
for television as an actor and voice over artist.
Most recently he directed the “half pint” edition of
Distin & Lowe’s “Beer!” for Buxton Fringe
Festival and portrayed a troubled rock star in “Little Tin
Rock God” at the “Wordsmith ‘08” and “Blue
5” festivals before getting back in front of the cameras in
the lead role of Jack in TV pilot "Friends Like These".