Jon Sowden
(Hot Mikado - 2004)

Jon's first professional job, after completing his training at the Guildford School of Acting, was as assistant Stage Manager at the Pier Theatre, Bournemouth where he worked with Terry Scott and June Whitfield.

He went on to appear in Aladdin at the Congress Theatre, Eastbourne with Terry before embarking on a national tour of The Aspern Papers with Gerald Harper.  Subsequent years saw Jon touring as a Company and Stage Manager with many theatrical productions including the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical "Song and Dance" starring Wayne Sleep and Marti Webb.  It was whilst working in the West End with Song and Dance that Jon was asked to be production manager for the Gala Performance to celebrate the Queen Mothers' 90th Birthday at the London Palladium.  Jon returned to the West End in 1993 with his own production of "Alfie" starring Adam Faith at the Queen's Theatre.

Jon has stage managed and appeared in several musical productions at the Theatre Royal, Plymouth.  Many of these subsequently transferred to other venues and included "A Dead Secret" starring Edward Woodward which enjoyed a successful run at the Richmond Theatre.  An Equity member for over 25 years, Jon is on it's list of Theatre Directors.

Hot Mikado is the third musical this year that Jon has directed having started the year with a successful production of Brigadoon for the Tiverton Amateur Operatic Society and, in the meantime, directed Return to the Forbidden Planet at Tiverton High School.  He is proud of his long association with local theatre groups and has worked at one time or another with all four current members of the Theatre Guild.  For the Tiverton Dramatic Society he has staged Run for your Wife and an award winning production of A Bedfull of Foreigners.  As artistic director for the Willow Tree Theatre Company he has been responsible for productions of Bye Bye Birdie, Alice in Wonderland, Annie, Oliver, Kiss Me Kate and Guys and Dolls.  He also wrote and directed the pantomimes Sleeping Beauty and Babes in the Wood.  Jon's production of Scrooge in 2001 won the NODA regional award for excellence.