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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 born.

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 technician.

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 scenes throughout.

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 (2006-2008)

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".

 
 
   

All images and text © 2006 The KOBAL Theatre Company