Creative Team

Tony Cucchiara

Original Book and Concept

Cucchiara started his activity as singer-songwriter in the 60s.

After having debuted as a playwright in 1970 with the musical Cassandra 2000, in 1972 Cucchiara got a large national and even international audience and critical success with the musical Caino e Abele (“Cain and Abel”), then Cucchiara focused his activity on stage, as author of other successful plays such as Storie di Periferia (1975), Pipino il Breve (1978), La baronessa di Carini (1980),  La fanciulla che campava di vento (1985), Stracci (1986), Don Chisciotto di Girgenti (1990) L’Altra Ceneretola (2001) and Troglostory (2011) and he is also working as as television writer for Mattina in Famiglia (RAIUNO).

Giovanna Romagnoli


Giovanna was born in Milan. Later she was ideally “adopted” by Rome and Genoa, where she grew spiritually and artistically mature. Ever since she was very young she made some extraordinary professional and creative experiences. In the cinema she has been holding important positions in Italian and international groups, such as Titanus (as Vice-President), Canal Plus, Fininvest, Columbia Home Video, RAI (in the implementation of some projects). She has been awarded several prizes, among which the 1989 Oscar for the best foreign film Nuovo Cinema Paradiso, as co-producer and distributor with Titanus. In the theatre she has been a sponsor of the Compagnia Glauco Mauri for several seasons, following them in many tournées; she co-produced Dance, Pinocchio by Pooh and Lennon&John. In the fi eld of culture she produced and promoted the I guerrieri di Xian (Terracotta Army) exhibition in Rome (Galleria Colonna, 1994); she made a video to raise funds to rebuild a portion of the Basilica of Assisi, destroyed by an earthquake in 1997. Since 2009 she has been co-producer of the rock band Mercutio (, together with her friend Gianluca Cucchiara for Diverge Records. In these milieus, bubbling with ideas, Giovanna begins to test and explore her artistic vein. But only her encounter with painting will give her the perception of a non pre-established way to express her artistic instinct.  In 2009, together with her husband Madhu and under the pseudonym L’Uomo delle Fiabe (The Fairy-Tale Man), she gives life to Il libro della fiaba del cuore (The Book of Your Heart’s Tale) – she draws and makes each cover, binding it by hand and making each book a unique work. In 2012, together with Madhu, she writes Il viaggio: dall’iniziale del nome al numero del destino (The Journey: from a Name’s Initial to the Number of Destiny). (

Gianluca Cucchiara

Music and Orchestrations

Gianluca Cucchiara is an Award Winning Composer and he works as a musician since 1989.

He has composed music for TV shows, theatre, movies and several musicals.

A few of his musicals are: “Mac Gregor”, presented in New York, directed by Baayork Lee with W. D. Brohn’s music supervision; “Dance” directed by Saverio Marconi, with Ted Sperling’s music supervision; “Le Notti di Cabiria” for the “Compagnia della Rancia”, L”altra Cenerentola”.

Recent work includes the soundtrack for the movie “Irrefutable Proof” – Golden Palm at 2016 Beverly Hills Film Festival as Best Movie in all categories”. Directed by Ziad H. Hamzeh with Sheena Colette. The soundtrack for the short movie musical “The Secret of Joy” directed by M.Bartoli (Los Angeles 2016) winner Best Original Song award at Los Anngeles Iternational Film Festival 2016. He is also the main composer for the rock band Mercutio,  the album produced  by Giovanna Romagnoli includes collaborations with names such as Andy Wright and Alan Moulder.

Andrew James Whelan


Andrew is a lyricist, writer & composer for theatre, TV & radio. LYRIC & LIBRETTO: About Face (Royal Opera House) A Little Patch of Ground (Questors Theatre) Leo, Holly Billy and the Big Bad Bug. (Guildford) Dishonourable Ladies (Honor Blackman) A Christmas Carol, News Revue, Big Girls Don’t Cry (Canal Café Theatre) Vortigern (Bridewell Theatre) FILM The Secret Of Joy (Cinema Release USA with Gianluca Cucchiara  – winner of Best Original Song LAIFFA) TV: Alasdair McGowan’s Big Impression (BBC1) RADIO: The Treatment (BBC Radio 2) Mad Science, (Writers Guild Award entry 1997), Flantastic (Granada TV – BAFTA Nominated) SCORE & LYRICS Robin Hood, Stormy Weather, The Big Squeeze, (Common Players) the Ugly Duckling, Beauty and the Beast (Mac – Birmingham). Nothing But The Ruth (Edinburgh Festival, Kings Head Islington, Greenwich Theatre) MacGregor, (Bridewell Theatre, with Gianluca Cucchiara) The Snow Queen Trail (Rose Theatre, Kingston) Meat & Two Veg (with Reece Shearsmith) Out Of Order (Tour) SCORES: Henry V, Macbeth, Much Ado about Nothing and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Arundel Festival) The Blue Room; (Number One Tour), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (ECSU & off Broadway) The Mysteries and Maria Marten (ECSU One Knight Only (Comedy Theatre, London for Helen Mirren, Judi Dench, Dianna Rigg, Eileen Atkins & Maggie Smith)). My Sainted Aunt, (Hampstead Theatre). Plays: Business, Dracula – Fangs of Destiny (Questors Theatre) Will Tucket’s: Timecode: (Royal Opera House)

Michael Conley

Book Writer

Michael is a musical theatre lyricist and librettist living in London. With Luke Bateman he has written THE SORROWS OF SATAN, PERSONALITY: A DARK STORY OF LIGHT ENTERTAINMENT (based on the novel by Andrew O’Hagan) and THE LITTLE BEASTS (WHAT HAPPENS TO NAUGHTY CHILDREN) which is being developed by Perfect Pitch and will open at The Other Palace later this year. With Richy Hughes and Joseph Finlay he has written THE SUPERHERO: A ONE DAD MUSICAL.


In New York Michael starred in HELLO, BOYS! (which he wrote with Matthew Loren Cohen) and hosted the award-winning GAY & LESBIAN COMEDY FEST at Don’t Tell Mama.


Michael adapted Julien Salvia and Ludovic-Alexandre Vidal’s Marius Award winning musical THE PRINCE AND THE PAUPER and their Molière Award nominated musical MATCHES into English.  Michael is a founding member of the BOOK Music & Lyrics professional development workshop (for which he also sits on the board).

Eleesha Drennan

Choreorapher & Co Director

Eleesha Drennan is an award winning British/Canadian choreographer, performer and educator. She completed her training at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance and McMahon School of Ballet in Leeds. Eleesha was an integral member of National Dance Company Wales between 2004-2013 and became House Choreographer in 2011 where her artistic vision took hold. Her work has been enriched and influenced by collaborations with composers, designers, visual artists and technologists, notably Channel Rose performed to live music featuring a new composition by Mark Bowden (British Composer Award 2016). Eleesha is an inaugural FreeSpace Artist at Studio Wayne McGregor and is sponsored by Sky Arts.

Eleesha was awarded first prize for ‘Whiskers’ at the International Solo Dance Theatre Festival Stuttgart 2012 and received the Sky Academy Arts Scholarship in 2014 for the creation of Channel Rose. She has received valuable mentorship from Wayne McGregor and Kerry Nicholls.

Eleesha’s artistic voice has developed throughout a varied performance career working with an eclectic range of international choreographers including Ohad Naharin, Christopher Bruce, Itzik Galili, Nigel Charnock, Stephen Petronio, Stephen Shropshire, Angelin Preljocaj, Andonis Foniadakis and Stijn Celis.

Eleesha performed in ‘Betrayal: A polyphonic crime drama by I Fagiolini produced by The Barbican. She has worked with Gwyn Emberton Dance and Kerry Nicholls Dance as part of her Performance Mentoring Programme 2015. Eleesha has been commissioned to make new work by The Place, Studio Wayne McGregor and London College of Fashion, EDge (London Contemporary Dance School), Intoto (London Studio Centre), Fertile Ground, Maiden Voyage Dance, National Youth Dance Wales 2016, RDC Youth, Bold Tendencies (Sarah Hardie) and Mathew Herbert, choreography for A Nude as part of Ron Arad’s Curtain Call at The Roundhouse, London.

‘Drennan’s aesthetic is very much her own. Her imagery is strong and original and elicits excellent performances from the dancers’ – Judith Mackrell, The Guardian on Channel Rose

Adam Lenson

Dramaturge and Co Director

Adam is a theatre director  and dramaturge specialising in new musicals and plays.

Directing includes: Superhero (Southwark Playhouse), 35mm (The Other Palace), Whisper House (The Other Palace), Songs For A New World (St James Theatre, 20th Anniversary Production), The Sorrows of Satan (Tristan Bates Theatre), Disgraced (English Theatre Frankfurt), Dark Tourism (Park Theatre), Ghost : The Musical (GSA), See What I Wanna See (Jermyn Street Theatre), Reel Life (Ustinov Theatre Bath and St James Studio), The Goodbye Girl (Upstairs at the Gatehouse), West End Recast (Duke of York’s Theatre, Phoenix Theatre), Ordinary Days (Trafalgar Studios), Little Fish and Saturn Returns (Finborough Theatre), Come Fly With Me (Salisbury Playhouse), The Dead Guy (English Theatre Frankfurt) and The Family (Old Vic US/UK Exchange, Public Theater, NY).

Associate and Assistant directing includes: work with Terry Johnson, John Doyle, Victoria Wood, Stephen Daldry, Nancy Meckler, Roxana Silbert, Maria Friedman, David Grindley and Lindsay Posner at venues including Hampstead Theatre, The Royal Shakespeare Company, The Menier Chocolate Factory and in the West End.

In 2016, he was the recipient of a Kevin Spacey Artist of Choice Award for which he is currently developing Wasted, a new rock musical based on the Brontës which had a workshop production at West Yorkshire Playhouse in October

Adam produces and hosts the podcast Dischord (@DishordTheatre) that debates and discusses new musical theatre.

He is a co-founder of the New Musical Development Collective (NMDC). A company conceived to develop new British musical theatre writing.

Ted Sperling

Creative Advisor

Ted has maintained an active and successful career in the theater and concert worlds for over thirty years. A multi-faceted artist, he is a director, music director, conductor, orchestrator, singer, pianist, violinist and violist. He is the Artistic Director of MasterVoices (formerly the Collegiate Chorale,) and Principal Conductor of the Westchester Philharmonic.

Mr. Sperling won the 2005 Tony and Drama Desk Awards for his orchestrations of The Light in the Piazza, for which he was also music director. Other Broadway credits as music director/conductor/pianist include the rapturously received revivals of Fiddler on the Roof, The King and I and South Pacific; Guys and Dolls, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, The Full Monty, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Angels in America, My Favorite Year, Falsettos, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Les Misérables, Roza, and Sunday in the Park with George. Mr. Sperling received the 2006 Ted Shen Family Foundation Award for leadership in the musical theater, is a consultant to the Public Theater, and is Creative Director of the 24-Hour Musicals.

Annalisa Cucchiara

Creative Consultant (Italian Version)

Singer and actress, Annalisa, played the role of Tonah in the Italian workshop of Vanara
and acted as the creative consultant for the Italian version of the show.
Her theatre credits include many new musicals and Italian adaptations of international musicals including: “Pipino il breve”, “Stracci”, “Caino e Abele”, “La Baronessa di Carini”,
“My Fair Lady” (Elisa Doolittle) , “Dracula”, “Blood Brothers” by Willy Russel (Linda), “L’altra Cenerentola” , “No, No Nanette” by V. Youmans, “Hello Dolly!” (Irene Molloy),
“Vanara” Italian workshop.
Annalisa also teaches and co-runs a Musical Performance School in Rome, Accademia Internazionale del Musical.

Mathieu Geffré

Assistant Choreographer

Trained at the Paris Conservatoire, Mathieu Geffré has danced accross Europe for the past 10 years. As a full member of companies such as Dansgroep Amsterdam and National Dance Company Wales he collaborated with number of internationally recognised choreographers : Itzik Galili, Johan Inger Mark Baldwin, Angelin Preljocaj and Caroline Finn among others. Now based in London, Mathieu is involved in projects with Didy Veldman, Theo Clinkard, and Eleesha Drennan. Awarded 3rd Prize Choreography during the Copenhagen International Choreography Competition in 2016 Mathieu has also been commissionned as a choreographer by Nationaltheatre Mannheim, Monmouthshire Youth Dance Company and National Dance Company Wales.

Roberta Veutro

Producer's Assistant May 2018

Roberta was born in Milan, where she is currently lives. Her work revolves around the world of fashion, with focus on sales and commercial relations with Italian and international clients whilst working in close contact with fashion agencies and magazines.

She has handled PR with major clients including Rome Gigli, Daniel Hector, Laura Biagiotti and ErreUno. S

Roberta started working as a freelancer in 2008 and she is now the International Sales Manager for Vera Wang’s bridal collection.

Buy Tickets Crowdfunding