Guy Masterson is an Olivier Award winning producer, actor, director and writer. An entertainer for 30 years, he has worked on over 150 shows. He is one of the most highly awarded independent presenters at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival over twenty seasons. As a theatre director, he is responsible for several of its biggest ever hits. As an actor, he is globally renowned for his solo performances. He is also a succesful director of corporate events, a playwright, dramaturg and acting, voice and corporate coach.
Born Guy Mastroianni to a Welsh mother and Italian/American father, he was educated at Christ's Hospital School, Sussex and then at University of Wales, Cardiff where aged 20, he graduated BSc Joint Hons in Biochemistry & Chemistry. In 1982 he emigrated to the USA and worked in hotel restaurant management until 1984 when he became a carpenter to support acting tuition at UCLA.
Between 1985-89 he performed in over twenty plays in Los Angeles including 'The Caretaker' (Mick), 'City Gents', 'The Elephant Man' (Ross), 'Othello' (Iago), 'Hamlet' (Title), 'The Taming Of The Shrew' (Petruchio), 'Henry V' (Title), and 'Romeo and Juliet' (Mercutio). He - regrettably - 'anglicised' his name to "Masterson" in 1986.
In 1989 he returned to the UK to attend LAMDA where he obtained a Postgraduate Diploma in Theatre. In 1991 he formed "Boy's Own Productions" (later Guy Masterson Productions and then Theatre Tours International Ltd) to present Peter Flannery's 'The Boy's Own Story' on tour throughout the UK until 1993. Also, in late 1992 he appeared in Cyrano De Bergerac (Bellerose/Ligniere) with Robert Lindsay at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket, West End which ran for 9 months.
'Under Milk Wood' - "the show that changed everything" - a solo version of Dylan Thomas' masterpiece, opened to huge aclaim at teh Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh in Feburary 1994 and was then invited to the Assembly Rooms for the subsequent Edinburgh Fringe. Both 'Under Milk Wood' and his directorial debut, 'Playing Burton' - a solo play about his Great Uncle, Richard Burton starring Josh Richards, sold out their runs prior to opening and led to extensive UK tours. Guy then followed this with the first ever solo adapatation of George Orwell's Animal Farm, again opening at the Traverse Theatre and then returning for the Edinburgh Festival. This show was also a huge critical and box office success and this launched Guy's career as an international solo performer.
Thereafter, and for the next 19 years, Guy pursued his career on four fronts - Actor/Performer, Director, Producer/Presenter and Writer, working with like-minded professionals from all over the world. His company, Theatre Tours International has since become the most highly awarded and nominated independent theatre company presenting at the Edinburgh Festival.
Guy's first International tours were to festivals in Macedonia, Thessalonika, Wellington & Taranaki (NZ) and Jerusalem.
In 1996, Guy presented his two solo hits, 'Under Milk Wood and Animal Farm in repertory at the Edinburgh Fringe while also directing Norman Lock's 'The House Of Correction' for which Beth Fitzgerald was awarded the coveted Stage Best Actress Award. Guy then embarked on a 6 week, 17 city tour of India with both 'Animal Farm' and 'Under Milk Wood', during which he contracted Amoebi Dysenty!
1997 was a another year of international touring to New Zealand, Philipines and the West Indies, and a West End run with 'Animal Farm' and 'Under Milk Wood' at the Arts Theatre. In Edinburgh Guy presented only 3 shows; 'Playing Burton' with Josh Richards, 'Bye By Blackbird' with Beth Fitzgerald and 'The Ballad Of Jimmy Costello' with NZ actor Tim Balme. All three shows sold out, and both Balme and Fitzgerald won nominations for the Stage Award. Guy also appeared as Dad in Steve Martin's 'Wasp' featuring Adele Anderson (Fascinating Aida) and directed by Gerrard Murphy.
1998 saw Guy present 4 more shows at Edinburgh, winning his first Fringe First Award for 'Skin Tight' by Gary Henderson and a Stage Award nomination for his performance in 'A Soldier's Song' and a nomination for Gareth Armstrong in 'Shylock'.
The early part of 1999 was taken up with Guy getting married and spending his honeymoon on a three month working tour of New Zealand including a 5 week run in Aukland. At the subsequent Edinburgh Fringe, Guy presented 'Adolf', 'Berkoff's Women' & Krishnan's Dairy which won Stage nominations for Pip Utton, Linda Marlowe and Jacob Rajan respectively. Krishan's Dairy also received a Scotsman Fringe First.
2000 saw the changing of the company name from Guy Masterson Productions to Theatre Tours International and a huge increase in ambition. Guy teamed up with John Clancy and David Calvitto to present Americana Absurdum at the Edinburgh Fringe. This won a Fringe First Award and a nomination for Best Ensemble from the Stage. His productinon of 'All Words For Sex' starring Jules Leyser won a Stage Award Nomination for Best Actress as did Madelaidne Sami's 'Number Two' which also won a Fringe First.
In 2001 'Fern Hill & Other Dylan Thomas' premiered at Edinburgh 2001 and won Guy the coveted Stage Award for Best Actor. Guy's production of 'Resoultion' starring Pip Utton also gained a Stage Best Actor Award nomination Soon afterwards, he took the part of the Narrator in Theatr Clwyd's full cast production of 'Under Milk Wood', directed by Terry Hands, for their Centenary Celebration season.
In 2002 he produced and performed in an eight month 100+ performance tour of Oleanna co-starring Beth Firtzgerald, which opened at the Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh. He also presented ten additional productions that year two Fringe First Awards, a Stage Best Actor Award for David Calvitto in 'Horse Country' together with a Fringe First Award, a further Stage nomination for Nancy Walsh in 'Cincinnati' together with another Fringe First Award and the Jack Tinker Memorial 'Spirit Of The Fringe' Award. Guy also co-wrote & directed 'Goering's Defence' starring Ross-Gurney-Randall and adapted 'Intimacy' by Hanif Kureishi.
In 2003, Guy worked with composer (and Rolling Stones collaborator) Matt Clifford to add music & soundscape to his acclaimed production of 'Under Milk Wood' for the Edinburgh Festival that year and then embarked on a major national tour to mark the 50th Anniversary of Dylan Thomas' death. His production of '12 Angry Men' (farmously starring 12 comeidans) also became the biggest grossing drama of all time at the Edinburgh Fringe 2003. In recognition of this and of his outstanding contribution to the Fringe over 10 years, he was awarded The Jack Tinker Memorial, 'Spirit Of The Fringe' Award. He also received a third nomination for Best Actor from the Stage for his revamped 'Under Milk Wood'.
In February 2004, '12 Angry Men UK' toured to International Festivals in Perth, Adelaide and New Zealand to huge acclaim and box office success. And for the Edinburgh Festival he originated the West End smash hit 'One flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest' with Mackenzie Crook and Christian Slater. He also directed 'Borge Again!' with Rainer Hersch - another sell out success at Edinburgh, Winnipeg and Montreal. Guy returned to Australia in September of the same year to direct an all-star Australian company - '12 Angry Men OZ' - which played Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, again broke box office records and eventually won 3 prestigious Melbourne Greenroom Awards including Best Production and Best Direction and was nomintated for 3 Sydney Helpmann Awards.
Edinburgh 2005 saw Guy direct 'The Odd Couple' with Bill Bailey and Alan Davies and his company of comedians which this time smashed his own Edinburgh Fringe box office record. He also directed Swift - a monodrama about Jonathan 'Swift' with Jeffrey Mayhew.
In 2006 he presented 'Under Milk Wood' at the Adelaide Fringe and then directed with comedian Rich Hall in his first play 'Levelland' at the Melbourne Comedy Festival thence Edinburgh 2006 for which he also directed 'Cooking With Puccini' again with Jeffrey Mayhew.
2007 was equally busy. Extensive UK touring was followed by a return trip to the Adelaide Fringe with 'Fern Hill' and 'Under Milk Wood' and 'Animal Farm'. Later, for Edinburgh, he presented 7 shows; He directed 'Follow Me' with Ross Gurney-Randall and Beth Fitzgerald - which won a Herald Angel Award, an Argus Angel, and a nomination for The Stage Best Actress - and Arnold Wesker's 'The Mistress'. He also wrote/performed in 'American Poodle - Snowball'. Later, he directed the hugely successful 'The Eagle Dances', starring the acclaimed Native American ventriloquist Buddy Big Mountain and Ian Shaw for Theatr Mwydan in Cardigan which toured throughout Wales.
2008 saw another return to the Adelaide Fringe with Guy presenting 5 shows including his new solo show 'American Poodle' - together with his acclaimed productions of 'Playing Burton', 'Goering's Defence', 'Follow Me' and of course 'Under Milk Wood' - the latter which went on to the Gold Coast for two very popular performances. For Edinburgh he presented 3 World Premiere's and two European Premiere, directing 'Reasonable Doubt' with Australian star Peter Phelps and 'Scaramouche Jones' with Justin Butcher. During the Autumn, he embarked on a major national tour of 'Oleanna', this time opposite Australain actress Joanne Hartstone.
2009: yet another return to the Adelaide Fringe with Guy presenting just 2 shows; 'Oleanna' and his solo 'Animal Farm' to great acclaim. His subsequent Edinburgh season consisted of 6 shows with 3 world premieres including 'Morecambe' by Tim Whitnall and 'Austen's Women' with Rebecca Vaughan - both of which Guy directed. Both became sell-out hits with 'Morecambe' picking up a Fringe First Award and Best Solo Performance nomination. Guy also played in 'The Sociable Plover' also by Tim Whitnall. An excerpt of 'Morecambe' played at the Royal Variety Performance for the Queen before opening at the Duchess Theatre in London's West End over the Christmas period.
2010: 'Morecambe' triumphed in London, winning the Olivier Award for Best Entertainment and also being nominated for Best Actor in a Musical or Entertainment. Guy also set up CIT - The Centre For International Theatre - presenting 8 shows to critical acclaim at the 2010 Adelaide Fringe Festival and winning nominations for 3 Adelaide Fringe Awards, winning for Best Performance (David Calvitto in 'The Event'). Edinburgh 2010 was critically successful presenting 6 shows and garnering two more Stage Awards for Best Solo Performance (Ansuya Nathan in 'Long Live The King' which Guy Directed, and Kristen Thomson in 'I, Claudia'. Guy Also directed Rebecca Vaughan in I, Elizabeth to great acclaim. 'Morecambe' continued to tour the UK with over 220 performances through the year.
In 2011 Guy took on Gareth Armstrong's 'Shylock', opening at the Adelaide Fringe along with 'Adolf', I, Elizabeth and Goering's Defence. He also directed 'The Diaries of Adam and Eve' for Edinburgh and played 'Shylock' which garnered him a further nomination for Best Solo Performer from The Stage. Guy also celebrated his 50th birthday during the Edinburgh Fringe.
2012: Guy's new work, 'The Half' by Richard Dormer, premiered to universally good reviews at the Adelaide Fringe alongside 'Imperial Fizz' which Guy directed. 'The Half' then played in Edinburgh along with a remount of 'A Soldier's Song', starring the writer/ex-soldier Ken Lukowiak himself, and Rebecca Vaughan in 'Female Gothic', both of which Guy directed. In the Autumn, Guy directed and played the role of Oscar in a major production of 'The Odd Couple' in Belfast.
2013: Guy embarked on global return tour of 'Animal Farm' and a highly successful tour of the US with 'Shylock'. He also remounted his acclaimed Belfast production of 'The Odd Couple' at The Hawthorne Theatre, Welwyn Garden City prior to his 20th Edinburgh Fringe season - which consited only of a single performance 'Shylock' at the prestigous Assembly Hall. He also played John Kemble in the late Adrian Bunting's award winning play 'Kemble's Riot' - which won "Most Outstanding Production" Award at the NYC International Fringe Festival. Soon afterwards, he show-directed 'Samsung Unpacked 2013 Episode 2' at the Berlin Tempodrom which was broadcast live to 15 million people online. In December he wrote, directed and played Dame Dotty la Douche in his debut panto, 'Beauty And The Beast' at the Hawthorne Theatre.
2014: In addition to touring with his various works, Guy adapted his solo 'Animal Farm' for 25 actors and directed it for Tumanishvili Film Actor's Theatre of Tbilisi in Georgia which then travelled to the Edinburgh Festival and won The Stage Award for Best Ensemble. He also co-wrote and directed 'Bill Clinton Hercules' with Rachel Mariner and premiered his latest solo work, 'Anthem for a Doomed Youth' at the Edinburgh Festival in August. Most recently, he directed 'Sleeping Beauty' for the Hawthorne Theatre, Welwyn Garden City.
As a freelance critic and feature writer he has been published in The Herald, The Guardian, The Scotsman and The Stage, The Adelaide Advertiser, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Dominion (NZ), The Times of India, and The South China Morning Post (Hong Kong).
He is married to Brigitta and father to Indigo and Tallulah.
See also: THEATRE TOURS INTERNATIONAL COMPANY HISTORY