Amanda Bailey is an Actor, Director, Producer, Voice Artist and Teacher, living in North London
Amanda will be appearing in A CHRISTMAS CAROL by Brendan Murray, on 23rd December, after continuing her Zoom work with HOG IN THE LIMELIGHT during this second lockdown, most recently by directing PAST FORWARD by Carolyn Pertwee to great acclaim. In September Amanda was delighted to return to the London stage, in Michael McManus' new play, THE TRIAL OF DONALD WOLFIT, at White Bear Theatre. 2020 also saw Amanda returning to directing and producing, for the GAY GENERATIONS Double Bill, due to have been on at The White Bear this spring, but sadly postponed due to COVID19. So instead of doing nothing, Amanda formed HOG IN THE LIMELIGHT PRODUCTIONS with writer, Michael McManus, and they have been producing a new, live show, every week on Zoom since May, to help keep theatre alive during this pandemic. So far they have produced 12 shows in 12 weeks, including MAGGIE AND TED, GAY GENERATIONS, LORD DISMISS US, THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST, THE RIVALS, THE ZOOM WHERE IT HAPPENS, AFTER YOU, TO WALK WITH KINGS, MARTYRS, MONSTERS AND MURDERERS or THE TRIAL OF DONALD WOLFIT, CHEESE AND WINE WITH CHEKHOV, and DONALD WOLFIT'S SCENES FROM SHAKESPEARE... not bad for an opening season!
Last year Amanda was back at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival with THE GOOD SCOUT, Glenn Chandler's five star show telling the true story of the exchange between Boy Scouts and Hitler Youth, just before World War 2. Amanda was delighted to be working with Glenn, the writer and creator of TAGGART, and the show transferred back to Above The Stage in London for a successful run in October and November.
2018 saw Amanda performing in Judy! at The Hippodrome, a thrill for the whole cast, since it was the last venue Judy Garland performed at in London before her untimely death in 1969. She also recorded her first audio thriller, THE SOUL-BREAKER, for Audible, working alongside Rafe Spall, plus many other voiceovers, including Mother for FAGE TOTAL SPLIT POT, and Narrator for a short film for THERAMEX.
2017 was a busy year for Amanda, with COLD CALLERS being screened at the BFI in March, the recording of several voiceovers for an online health campaign called THE FEAR OF FINDING OUT for AbbVie, and THROUGH THE MILL transferring to the West End as JUDY! She reprised her role as Ethel Gumm, Judy Garland's monstrous mother, and loved every single moment of it!
2016 was great too – she filmed COLD CALLERS in Leeds, a new TV pilot, where she played the part of Diane. In July she appeared at Southwark Playhouse as Ethel Gumm in THROUGH THE MILL, a wonderful new play with music by Ray Rackham about the life of Judy Garland, where she played her very pushy mother, which was a fantastic part for Amanda as Ethel is so cruel and nasty! The show got some lovely 5 star reviews, and they were all thrilled to be performing at such a wonderful venue. She also performed some Shakespeare at the Hampton Court Flower Show for Tales Retold in the beautiful All The World’s A Stage garden this summer, plus her voice was at The Park Theatre as a police officer in SAME DIFFERENCE by James Stone, as part of the Bites and Scratches new writing night. Then back in February/March she played Creon in an all-female version of ANTIGONE, at The Hope Theatre - a new adaptation by Brendan Murray, with hauntingly beautiful choral music by Maria Haik Escudero.
2015 was an exciting year for Amanda, with filming, touring, and the start of her Ethel Gumm journey. She appeared at St James Theatre again in LUNCHTIME FOURPLAY 3, toured England and Wales in AN INSPECTOR CALLS, and sailed around the British Isles performing murder mysteries for the POISON GARDEN CRUISE. She also filmed a commercial with Chris Moyles for his return to Radio X! But the highlight was being cast in THROUGH THE MILL, (later to become JUDY!) where she created the role of Ethel Gumm for the first time for London Theatre Workshop, in Fulham.
Amanda started her career by teaching English with Drama and Media Studies to 11 - 18 year olds, but after a couple of years got that down to just Drama. She has taught all over the country, and in all kinds of schools, from tough inner-city comprehensives to a couple of wonderfully resourced private schools. Amanda still keeps her hand in when her acting work allows, and has even taught Music in between jobs, to some lovely primary school children. This involved a lot of singing, and that's always good with her! She also founded and runs ENLIGHTEN THEATRE WORKSHOP, providing forum theatre and role play workshops to both MA/MSc and BA/BSc social work students in several UK universities.
Education and Training
Amanda trained to be an actor at The Bridge Theatre Training Company. She is also a teacher and director, with an MA in Theatre & Contemporary Practice (University of Hull), BA (Hons) in Theatre Arts & English (University of Exeter), and PGCE in English with Drama (University of Sussex). She has passed APC's Basic exams in Stage Combat for Unarmed, Rapier, Rapier with Companion Weapon, and Knife, and is a trained mezzo soprano/alto singer. She also recently completed a three day accent workshop with Yvonne Morley.
Amanda was born in Hertfordshire, and grew up in Essex, the third of four children. Her home life was fantastic but school was hard, and she was forever making up excuses not to go, or to be sent home! Nevertheless she stuck it out, and it was probably discovering theatre through helping out with the school plays that saved her. It was also a teacher who got her involved in amateur dramatics, and Amanda was performimg regularly at Harlow Playhouse from when she was 16, first for The Bush Players, and later with Harlow Theatre Company and The Netteswell Players.