Stephen Tomlin is a professional actor who celebrates 50 years in the business in 2022. He currently produces live and recorded audio events for The Border Readers, having previously founded and run Demi-Paradise Productions presenting immersive promenade Shakespeare and other entertainments at Lancaster Castle. For acting credits and showreel visit his Spotlight CV. Under his birth name of Stephen Allen he was also 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 an intensive period acting, teaching and running drama workshops in inner city London, Manchester and Teesside Stephen joined the Dukes Theatre-in-Education company Lancaster in 1976. The city became his base for the following four decades, working in all media across the UK.
In 2017 he moved to the heart of rural Northumberland to live with his partner, the artist and children’s picture book author, Kim Lewis (www.kimlewisart.co.uk) and the couple married in August 2021. (See Wedding Page under ‘Other’) Stephen’s occasional country diary This Other Eden is also published here.
NEWS: During March & April Stephen – paired with fellow Border Readers Janine, Grace, Stefan, Liam, Wynne & Helen – embarked on a regional tour giving live readings of fictional crime stories by ‘Murder Squad’ authors in libraries, village halls arts centres and other community venues…See The Border Readers page for more information.
ART OF THE NORTH is an audio book collaboration with fellow readers and TWDA Creative Services (https://twda.co.uk/) Ten ghost stories by M R James, Edith Nesbit, Oscar Wilde, H G Wells and other great writers have been recorded so far. They are The Phantom Coach, The Canterville Ghost, The Judge’s House, The Tractate Middoth, The Yellow Wallpaper, The Black Cat, Man Size in Marble, A View from a Hill The Violet Car and The Magic Shop. Listen, free, to any of these classic narratives here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5L6Qqq488jAQqgwab6p3rg
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 across all media. 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!