The Gift  
The Gift

by Janice Okoh

Directed by Landé Belo

Wednesday 8 - Saturday 18 November, 2023

At the Tower Theatre, Stoke Newington

Photography by David Sprecher

Cast List

Sarah Forbes Bonetta (Aina) : Megan Madaleine Freeman
Aggie/Sarah : Stella Betton
James Davies/James : Paulo Vieira
Mrs Schoen/Harriet : Katie Smith
Mrs Waller/Queen Victoria : Julia Blyth
Reverend Venn/Ben : Henry McMenamin


Production Team

Director : Landé Belo
Costume Design : Laura Coulton
Lighting Design : Nick Insley
Sound Design and Music : Colin Guthrie

Stage Manager : Laurence Tuerk
Deputy Stage Manager : Roanne Insley
Assistant Director : Katia Elsianli
Lighting Operator : Sandra Reveira, Katia Elsianli or Nick Insley
Sound Operator : Chris Shiel
Wardrobe Assistants : Anna Kidd, Jackie Robinson
Hair and Make-up : Laura Coulton
Fight Director : Richard Kirby
Movement Coach : Ruth Sullivan
Dialect and Accent Coach : Colin Guthrie
Set construction and Get-In : Phillip Ley, John McSpadyen, Andy Hind, Keith Syrett, Nick Insley, Rob Ellis, Angelika Michitsch, Robert Brown, Olga Walkowska, Isaac Insley, Niamh Lynch, Nate Sinnott, Alex Burton
PR and Marketing : Simi Belo

Megan Madaleine Freeman
Megan Madaleine Freeman will be appearing in her first role at the Tower Theatre. Her credits include Rite To Party (performed at the Omnibus Theatre in Clapham and the Pleasance Theatre in Caledonian Road) and Spontaneous Productions’s Red Riding Hood: The Truth! and End Of! She is a World Literature graduate from the University of Kent in Canterbury.
  Stella Betton
Originating from South East London, Stella Betton was recently seen in the Tower's production of In Hiding. A singer/songwriter, she has been a member of well-known gospel choirs and has provided backing vocals for artists such as Stevie Wonder, Max Stone (X Factor) and Fleur East (X Factor). She earned a Bachelor of Music Honours Degree in Popular Music Performance and Production from the London College of Creative Media (LCCM), trained at Identity School of Acting, and attended acting and performance workshops led by Angie Lemar. Stella has performed in theatre with appearances in Dick Whittington at the Sevenoaks Theatre, Tis The Season at the Etcetera Theatre, and she was seen as the lead character Sandra Johnson in the web series Hidden Secrets. In musical theatre she has played Deloris Van Cartier in Sister Act (Kenneth More Theatre, Ilford) and Lead Player in the revised version of a musical theatre classic Pippin.
Paulo Vieira
This is Paulo Vieira’s debut Tower performance. He joined as a member in August 2023. Paulo trained and graduated at London School of Dramatic Art. Being from Afro-Portuguese heritage, he grew up in London with a passion for acting. His credits include Roberto Zucco and The Box. He is thrilled to be joining the cast.
  Katie Smith
Since joining the Tower Theatre in 2013 Katie Smith has performed in several productions including Under The Blue Sky, An Enemy of the People, Clybourne Park, Sherlock Holmes, Sweat, Penny from Heaven (the Tower's Love [and Survival] in a Time of Covid festival), Passing the Spoon, Waiting for Grotto for the Tower's Writers' Room and most recently as Lynndie (in a fetching clown costume) in Lynndie’s Gotta Gun. Katie has assistant directed on the Tower productions of Frankenstein and Antigone.
Julia Blyth
Julia Blyth began acting at university, then forgot about the whole concept for 21 years. Since remembering in 2022, she has since been in productions at the KDC Theatre and South London Theatre, and is delighted to be in her third show at Tower, following Improbable Fiction and Play - meaning her Tower onstage persona progress so far is "squirrel" to "woman in bin" to "Queen Victoria", which she finds thrilling. Her day job is producing subtitles for live television which she assures you is not done by robots, unless that's what she's been programmed to say.
  Henry McMenamin
Henry McMenamin (Tom Bailey) first joined the Tower over 25 years ago - so long ago he can’t remember many of the productions he was involved with; Pygmalion and Mother Goose come to mind though. Tom studied at Mountview Theatre School when it was based in North London, however acting took a back seat to building a career as an Engineer and raising a family. Now with more time on his hands he has come back to his first love. The Gift is his first production since returning and he’s very excited to be part of the team.
Landé Belo
Landé Belo’s directing credits with the Tower include: Fix Up (2019); I can’t breathe: being black in a time of Covid (part of the Love [and Survival] Festival) (2021), Mules (2021) and Leave Taking (2022). During lockdown, she co-produced the Tower Theatre Podcast and directed and acted in various plays on Virtual Tower. Her acting credits with the Tower include: Francine/Lena in Clybourne Park; multiple characters in Doctor Faustus; Prudence in The House of Bernarda Alba; Pope Joan/Louise in Top Girls; Jellaby in Arcadia, Cynthia in Sweat and Queen Elizabeth in Richard III. As part of her ongoing initiative to promote black, female voices in theatre, she produced In Hiding, a critically acclaimed show which recently premièred at the Tower Theatre and sold out its entire run.