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Truelove Tours

Tina Gooding graduated from Colchester Institute with a Graduate Diploma in Music specialising in Composing and teaching. Her composition tutors included Alan Bullard and Alan Parsons.

Her works include Sea Variations for string orchestra and her Spring song cycle. She studied flute and opera singing throughout her diploma and has sung in many local choirs. She regards herself as a composer rather than a performer and will only reluctantly perform in public!
She currently works as Chief Operations Officer for a retail outlet.
'As I remember Thrigby' was her first full film score. She also composed and recorded the incidental music for Truelove Tours first straight stage production “The Cabinet of Leopold Thorn”  in addition to composing and performing the Title Theme and incidental music for I Hear Voices Theatre Company’s original series of “The Adventures of Bentley Strangetrousers” She is currently working on scoring for the full  Leopold Thorn “Storybook” Cycle.

Matthew attended Colchester Royal Grammar School, before qualifying in hotel management. He then became a Casualty Editor for Lloyd’s Marine Intelligence; all of this provided excellent grounding for film making!

Matthew has previously assisted with the Manly Truelove stage productions, and brought a number of fine qualities to this project, chief among them being enthusiasm, commitment and a driving license. He is also a qualified Electrician and PAT Tester.

Having worked with Manly Truelove, Matthew says that not much scares him any more.

He has recently turned his hand to producing live Foley sound effects for I Hear Voices Theatre Company’s productions of “The Adventures of Bentley Strangetrousers”.

After graduating from Middlesex University with a BA Honours in Performance Arts, Darren won a scholarship to Mountview Theatre School. Since then he has acted on stage and television and performed his drama and comedy in various locations, including Downstairs at the King’s Head, London’s Cambridge Theatre, and at the Edinburgh Festival. He has also written sketches for Radio 4’s “Weekending” & “The News Huddlines”.

His plays include: “Ghostwriter” (1990, Colchester Arts Centre), “Galilea” (1994, Soho Theatre Co. at the Unity Theatre, Liverpool), “Late Night Showing” (1995, Readings at Mercury Theatre, Colchester & Finborough Theatre, London), “Paint” (1997, Baron’s Court Theatre), “Consultants” (2000, Mercury Theatre, performed by The Mercury’s group DIS:PLAY), and “Manly Truelove’s Theatrical Anecdotes” (2001, Predictable Pig Theatre Co.)

In 2004 he founded Truelove Tours to continue the adventures of Manly Truelove in “Remembering Dame Hermione” (2004-2005). Darren has appeared in various TV programs from “Jonathan Creek” to “The Basil Brush Show”. His eclectic selection of day jobs have included freelancing as an Arts Correspondent and Theatre Reviewer, bespoke tailoring and working in an independent bookshop. In 2009 he began taking on freelance technical theatre work after helping out backstage with The Mercury Theatre’s epic site-specific production “Depot”; which was performed in Colchester’s vast, disused tram sheds.

In 2009 he also wrote and directed his first film: “As I Remember Thrigby”. In 2010 he compered The Whitby Gothic Weekend’s Prom: where he discovered a wonderful community of eccentric, idiosyncratic  individuals even more extravagantly dressed than himself.

In 2011 writing “The Cabinet of Leopold Thorn” awakened in Darren a long dormant fascination with stage illusion, which subsequently led to him forming “Nothing Up Our Sleeves” with Dean Allen Jones, Harvey Kennett and Steve Ward. 2012 Darren wrote and directed the Magicians of Nothing UP Our Sleeves in “Inventions of the Impossible” - a Steampunk Stage Magic Show, in addition to Writing and Directing his Second film “Magic: The Hidden Horror”.

He is a regular writer / performer with I Hear Voices Theatre Company, where he co-writes “The Adventures of Bentley Strangetrousers” with Damien Bell.  

In 2013 Darren was commissioned to write and produced the opening event for the Colchester Comedy Festival - “Civic Ceremonial - An Audience with A Mayor of Colchester” Shortly afterwards he acted in Emanuele Gabbi’s short film comedy “Streetfighter”, playing ironically enough The Magician!

Darren is currently producing a new cycle of Leopold Thorn plays collectively title “The Storybook of Leopold Thorn”

Perhaps his most extreme theatrical experience involved acting in the 24 hour epic “The Warp”, under the direction of the late great Ken Campbell.

The Staff  Room

Born in Swansea in South Wales Dean did not immediately embrace his destiny as an Illusionist and part time fashion designer. As with most children of the 80's his dream job was astronaut, closely followed by nuclear physicist. After leaving school He studied Chemistry and sub atomic particle theory as well as working as a bouncer, chef, double glazing salesman, mental health worker and gnome maker, all leading to the question “Is there anything this man can't be fired from”. Whilst during the early  90's he adopted the black t-shirt and black jeans uniform of the Goth tribe he began recalling his childhood in waistcoats. Apparently he was given one to wear for a wedding and refused to give it back until he was supplied with a wardrobe of them. As he reached the age of 24 years and the weight of 24 stone he re-embraced the waistcoat, or as others began to call it, the stealth corset. Now a waif like 19 stone and falling, his love of creating waistcoats means he has a constant supply of 'the good stuff'. He soon attracted  the attentions of other neo-dandies and so a fledgling fashion empire was born. Dean's love of film and theatre took an equally convoluted route. He was ideally suited to become a trivia obsessed nerd; the weekly fix in the 80's would be a healthy diet of Buck Rogers, Six Million Dollar Man and re-runs of Star Trek. The Star Trek episodes opened his mind to not only the alluring appeal of green ladies but also of the plots of each episodes.  After seeing them all many times he began researching the plots and made what to him at least was a startling discovery, they are almost all based on the works of William Shakespeare. Suddenly the dull and boring plays on the telly on wet afternoons took on a whole new life as he mentally replaced the spears and swords with phasers and the ruffs and togas with incredibly short red dresses. This whole new world opened up for him and he embraced it fully, mainly because there was nothing else better on the television.. Since then he has began unifying his love of the stage, of science fiction and of fashion into unique one-off creations.

He co-produced the burlesque Fetish Prom at the April 2010 Whitby Gothic Weekend for Green Light Red Promotions, then in the October of that year co-compered Lulu Sapphire’s Retro Burlesque at Colchester’s River Lodge, in the guise of dodgy spiv and dangerously knowledgeable burlesque aficionado; Paisley Kane.

Since 2011 Dean began to turn his other great love; that of conjuring and stage illusion, into a career as a close up magician.

In 2012 he co-founded magical collective “Nothing Up Our Sleeves” with Darren Gooding, Harvey Kennett and Steve Ward. In addition to working as a professional illusionist Dean is also the Magic Consultant on Truelove Tours’ current stage productions “The Cabinet of Leopold Thorn”, “Inventions of the Impossible” and “The Storybook of Leopold Thorn”