Stephen Tomlin is a professional actor and producer of Demi-Paradise Productions, he now produces & performs live & recorded audio events for The Border Readers. For full acting credits & showreel please visit his Spotlight CV. Under his birth name of Stephen Allen he was the 1991 BBC Television Mastermind champion. Born and bred in the far south-west of England, Stephen trained as a specialist teacher at the Central School of Speech and Drama from 1969 – 72. After acting in London fringe he moved to Manchester, working as a secondary and special needs teacher, then for two years as a drama workshops organiser and actor for Billingham Forum’s Young Peoples Theatre. He joined the Dukes Theatre-in-Education company Lancaster in 1976 and the city subsequently became his home for the following four decades whilst working in all media nationwide. Stephen moved to Northumberland in 2017 to live with his partner, the artist & children’s picture book author, Kim Lewis (www.kimlewisart.co.uk) They married in August 2021. Stephen’s occasional country diary, This Other Eden, is published here.

Recent & Current News: Stephen’s reading of the poem Saint Valentine’s Day by Edith Nesbit was the Queen’s Hall Hexham Art Centre’s choice for their 2021 Valentine greetings. https://www.queenshall.co.uk/events/pocket-performance-st-valentines-day. Stephen also gave a live reading of Oscar Wilde’s brilliantly funny & moving tale of The Canterville Ghost to help mark World Book Day on March 4th. It was one of a series of online lectures & events from the Lit & Phil, Newcastle to replace the scheduled programme of live events, due to the health emergency.

The Border Readers are provisionally booked to present Haunted: Ghost Stories for Halloween on Saturday 30th October at Felton village’s popular community arts centre, GalleryForty5.

Stephen is a reader for North-East Bylines – the independent online magazine covering politics, economics, culture & lifestyle. You can hear him voicing ‘Covid, Mass Trauma and Regional Identity’ at https://northeastbylines.co.uk/

Artist’s Statement: My west country roots have defined certain key roles in different media during a long and varied career. Having a rural working class background and ‘default’ voice to match gave authenticity and depth to the characters I’ve played. Otherwise my normal everyday RP speech keeps me in ‘neutral’ ready to move into other voices and characters, reflecting where I have lived and worked around the UK. Being based in the north of England since 1973 has provided the other key component of my working practice. Dad was a Lancastrian – our family tree in the county goes back to the 17th Century – so I’m secure in having an understanding and pride in my northern heritage too. I was fortunate in getting a grant aided vocational training at Central; looking back on it as a kind of cultural SAS course that brought out the resourcefulness and adaptability essential to making a successful living in the arts. At age 70, engaged in a new phase of life and career, I continue to seek out and develop enjoyable creative opportunities!