Antony Jay and Jonathan Lynn’s Yes Minister first aired on BBC2 in 1980 and ran until 1984. The sequel Yes, Prime Minister from 1986 until 1988.The series won 3 BAFTA awards for best Comedy, a BAFTA writers award, USA ACE award for best written Comedy series on Cable Television, Campaign of Freedom of information special award, two Pye TV writers awards and two Broadcasting Press Guild awards. The TV series has been seen in 84 countries. Lynn and Jay also wrote 3 novels, The Complete Yes Minister and Yes, Prime Minister Volumes 1 & 2 selling more than a million copies in hardback remining on the British Best Seller list for 3 years and translated into numerous languages. The Yes, Prime Minister Box set of DVD’s have sold over 200,000 copies in Australia.
Antony Jay was an editor of BBC’s legendary Tonight programme, is founder editor of the Oxford Dictionary of Political quotations and is author of Elizabeth R and two acclaimed documentaries on the royal family. He partnered John Cleese in the company Video Arts Ltd producing more than 100 award winning training films. He wrote speeches for Maggie Thatcher and produced the Queen’s annual address.
Jonathan Lynn has a distinguished career as a writer of television, film and books and as a Director of Film, Theatre and Musicals. He was Artistic Director of the Cambridge Theatre Company (1977-81) where he directed some 20 productions and produced 20 others winning two SWET awards including: Best Comedy for Three Men on a Horse and Best Musical for Songbook. For film he has directed Wild Target, The Fighting Temptations, The Whole Nine Yards, Trial and Error, Sergeant Bilko, Greedy, The Distinguished Gentleman, My Cousin Vinny and as writer/ director, Nuns On The Run and Clue. Jonathan Lynn is the Director of The West End Production of Yes, Prime Minister.
Tom Gutteridge – Director
He was Artistic Director at Black Swan Theatre Company, Perth from 2004 to 2008 where he directed 10 plays including the world premieres of Jandamarra and The Carnivores, a new version of Uncle Vanya by Reg Cribb, and an award winning production of The Crucible. He has also directed A Midsummer Nights Dream for WAAPA, staged the world premiere of For Those in Peril on the Sea by Gordon Kerry for the Western Australian Symphony Orchestra, and devised and directed The Dischord Hunter with Iain Grandage for WASO’s Echo Ensemble.
Other directing work includes the World Premiere of Birthrights by David Williamson for Melbourne Theatre Company’s mainstage and Macbeth for their Education Program,The Sound Garden for Oz Opera, Opera Queensland and West Australian Opera, Division Street and Company for VCA School of Drama and Charitable Intent by David Williamson for the 2001 Melbourne Festival (Winner: Best New Australian Play, Victorian Green Room Awards).
Tom was Artistic Associate at Queensland Theatre Company from 1996 – 2001 where he directed The Forest (starring Bille Brown and Geraldine Turner), Chilling and Killing My Annabel Lee, Vertigo & the Virginia (World Premiere), Sweet Panic and Oz Shorts for the mainstage, The Blood and Thunder Adventure on Hurricane Peak for Out Of The Box Festival, as well as several productions for QTC’s Education Unit.
Tom likes to keep his hand in as an actor and has most recently appeared in City Homicide and Winners and Losers. He is a board member of Playwriting Australia (national peak body for performance writing) and Polyglot Theatre, (interactive theatre for young audiences, Melbourne).
Tom is currently Artistic Director of Union House Theatre at theUniversity of Melbourne.
Graham McGuffie – Designer
Graham McGuffie has designed for plays, musicals and for ballet during his many years in the theatre. After stage managing and lighting for Ballet Victoria he spent over twenty years at the Alexander Theatre Monash University as the resident set and lighting designer. Each year he designed and lit dozens of production for a variety of companies.
He designed the first professional production in Australia of the “Woman in Black” for the Victorian Arts Council, which toured Australia for five months. His other notable touring productions were “down an alley filled with cats” and “Chapter Two” and the Australian premieres of “Sweeney Todd
and “Anyone Can Whistle” , both by Stephen Sondheim.
Graham has worked extensively in Children’s for over thirty years designing such productions as “Pinocchio” ,”Possum Magic”, “The tales of Peter Rabbit” ,”Wombat Stew”, “Winnie the Pooh” . His beautiful designs for Peter Rabbit were seen in Hong Kong last year.
Graham’s outstanding talents have been recognised by his peers, including a number of awards for lighting, the Monash University Vice Chancellors award for Exceptional Service and the Green Room award for Outstanding Technical Excellence.
He designed the setting for the hugely successful Australian and Asian tour of the arena version of Swan Lake for The English National Ballet and the Anzac Military Tattoo in Sydney.
Apart from theatre designs he was illustrator for the “Fish on the Yarra “for the Commonwealth Games, the interior of “Amaze N Things” at Phillip Island, and the conversion of a Puffing Billy locomotive into “Thomas the Tank Engine” and an Art Deco computer information unit at the Percy Grainger Museum.
His grandfather was an interior decorator and scenic artist, who in 1927 painted a decorative roller curtain at Saint Patricks Hall, Wangaratta. It depicted the Lakes of Killarney. Over the years it became badly damaged and was removed to be thrown away. At the last minute Graham was contacted to see if the historic work could be restored. He undertook the commission spent three weeks painting and restoring his grandfathers work which is now framed and hangs at the rear of the auditorium eighty five years after it was first hung.