Stephen Tomlin is a professional actor who also produces live & recorded audio events for The Border Readers. He previously ran Demi-Paradise Productions presenting Shakespeare and other entertainments at Lancaster Castle. For full acting credits and showreel please visit his Spotlight CV. Under his birth name of Stephen Allen he was the 1991 BBC Television Mastermind champion. More on the Mastermind page.

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, teaching secondary & special needs pupils, followed by two years as a drama workshops organiser and actor for Billingham Forum’s Young Peoples Theatre, Teesside. Stephen joined the Dukes Theatre-in-Education company Lancaster in 1976. The city became his base for the following four decades, working as a performer in all media across the UK. He moved to rural Northumberland in 2017 to live with his partner, the artist and children’s picture book author, Kim Lewis (www.kimlewisart.co.uk). The couple married in August 2021. (See Wedding Page under ‘Other’) Stephen’s occasional country diary This Other Eden is also published here.


Stephen can be heard reading the classic ghost story The Phantom Coach by Amelia B. Edwards (1864) here:

Three of The Border Readers – Stephen , Grace Kirby and Janine Birkett – successfully presented Haunted: Ghost Stories for Halloween at two community venues: Humshaugh Village Hall last October at Felton’s GalleryForty5. Visit The Border Readers page for more about the readers, writers and three stories in the line up.

Stephen is a reader for North-East Bylines – the free to view independent regional online news magazine covering politics, economics, culture and lifestyle. 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!

Ian Blower. It is with great regret I hear about the death last week of my friend and colleague. I have posted an appreciation of Ian and his contribution as both actor and director to the early success of the Demi-paradise Productions on the company’s Facebook page.