the harlequin team 

 

alan rook

 

Alan is the creative director and conceiver of the harlequin game. He is an award winning producer and presenter who, in television, in radio and online, has led international, national and regional broadcast teams for some of the UK's biggest media organisations.

Over the last two decades he's worked across Factual Entertainment and Documentaries and taken charge of large production teams in News and in Daytime and Lifestyle programming.

He says: 'the harlequin game is about escapism and about challenge. We have brought the worlds of theatre and broadcast together as never before. Every experience reflects that -  bespoke to the player or players. 

'What we're about is making everyone's time with the harlequin something they will remember all of their lives - whether they play the group game, or choose harlequin diamond and an individual experience that lasts a whole month.

'Our staff team in London and our associates across the UK and internationally are expert producers and professional actors. There's a collective sense of mischief and a shared fondness for surprises and for lateral thinking.

'Our production meetings are both the most fun and most challenging of my entire career. We all wanted to create an experience that is truly extraordinary and that's what we've done.'

Alan loves big trees and big views... He's also partial to Irish whiskey, curried lobster and The Godfather - I, II and even III.

 

mick kellie

 

Mick is the technical director. He is a lighting cameraman and sound engineer. He has a passion for technical excellence that spans 25 years' in broadcasting and the stage too with his music career.

'I love the harlequin work because even after all those years on the road, it genuinely tests me,' Mick says.

'Capturing - often secretly - the pictures and sound required, in a 'Big Brother' style is exciting. We have high production values and every DVD souvenir we produce is a challenge. No two games are ever the same, there's so much to it.

'Add to that the technical trickery we need to use to enhance the first person experience for the player, or players and my crews are often left with situations that take a very long think to sort out, but we haven't been beaten yet.'

Mick cycles over mountains - routinely. He plays electric guitar - superbly.

 

 

lee rook

 

Lee is the harlequin game's chief theatrical consultant. He's worked in the theatre for more than 20 years and is currently technical manager, touring internationally with the Royal New Zealand Ballet, based in Wellington. He's a former technical manager at the UK's Northern Ballet in Leeds and was deputy stage manager at London's Richmond Theatre.

Lee is well used to the international touring circuit. He's successfully tackled significant challenges in transporting major productions into territories as diverse as China, north Africa, Turkey and Thailand.

In the UK, he's also been deputy stage manager at theatres in Bradford and worked at Canterbury's Marlowe Theatre and the Royal Opera House in London.

A natural leader and an innovative problem solver his theatre craft nous and extensive contacts network worldwide in theatre is a major factor in uniting the broadcast and performing arts personnel that make the harlequin game such a unique offer.

Lee said: ‘The desire to entertain and to do that by combining skills from both the theatre and television disciplines is what makes the harlequin game what it is - and that is genuinely unique. Everyone involved stands for the highest production values.

‘In developing the many ideas and concepts that make up each of our games, we've worked together to make sure that the best people are involved.

‘It's been a long time in the planning and the buzz about this idea is building fast too - at home and internationally. It's great to be part of it. Exciting times.’

Lee is a blues man - a mouth harp player with a taste for tequila and good times.

 

 

 

 

Each and every time the harlequin game is played it is created by a group of professionals who have, for many years, earned their living in broadcasting and the performing arts.

Between them our team have worked for ITV, the BBC, The Royal Opera House, National Geographic, ABC, The Royal New Zealand Ballet, Sony TV, Discovery, Sky Living,  Al Jazeera, Associated Press, The Northern Ballet, Bravo and the British Forces Broadcasting Service.

That international television and performing arts mix includes numerous major touring theatre productions as well as a long list of network TV documentaries and programmes such as This Morning, Daybreak, Bad Girls, Haunted Homes, ITV News, Lorraine and British Forces News.

 

 

gavin hill

 

Gavin is our lead producer. A much-travelled creative force. An ITV News trained broadcast journalist, he has extensive international experience in TV  programme-making. A producer, director and cameraman, Gavin covered big breaking news stories worldwide for the TV division of the Associated Press news agency and he has worked in more than 50 countries, for the BBC, ITV and US networks.

Based in Singapore and Los Angeles, his assignments ranged from the Afghanistan and Iraq wars and interviewing Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi in Burma, to quizzing movie stars Nicholas Cage and Keanu Reeves in Hollywood and covering the Sultan of Brunei's lavish 50th birthday party, which included a concert performed by Michael Jackson.

Gavin's credits range from news and current affairs series to documentaries and travel shows. One of his many skills is forensic research and he believes that is the harlequin's beating heart: ‘Everyone involved in every game is first required to answer a pretty searching questionnaire.

‘The more honestly they do that the better. Our harlequin producers use that information and collaborate with friends, family and colleagues to make these games all about the player.

‘At the end of it all we want people to say the harlequin game was more than just an adrenalin rush that made them think a bit. We want it to be something they have to tell their grandchildren about.’

Gavin journeyed far and wide to encounter the bizarre and far out for 'Ripley's Believe It Or Not'. He is also something of a star maker - among his many claims to fame, he's credited with a hand in launching the chat show career of Paul O'Grady with his ITV1 prime-time series 'Paul O'Grady's Orient' which he produced in 2000.

Gavin holds a UK private pilot's licence and likes nothing better than taking to blue skies on a warm and sunny day before touching back down on a grassy strip. Heaven.

 


   sarah stanton


 

Sarah is the casting supervisor. She is Head Teacher of the Black Hole Academy of Acting in Canterbury. Sarah grew up in Kent and has been performing on stage since she was five years old.

She has been involved in a number of community projects over the last decade with the aim of helping young people prepare for a career in the performing arts.

Her contacts base, across theatre and television drama, is wide and her skill in picking the right people for the right roles is key to the success of the harlequin game and harlequin diamond.

Sarah says: 'I found the harlequin game an exciting prospect right from the start. It was something I really wanted to get involved with. God knows we all need a bit of light relief in life. What this idea offers is much more than that though.

'It's a thoroughly immersive experience where you're not always sure who you're dealing with. Sometimes it's my actors, sometimes it's not. You have to think on your feet. It's a real test for players, but there are plenty of laughs too. Laughs and surprises!

'I hope people will take the time here on the website to click on the video interviews with some of our actors and also to hear the testimonials from people who've actually been through the harlequin game.'

Sarah loves working hard and playing hard. She's all about nurturing talent she is...

 

 

 

jon parker

 

As creative consultant advising the harlequin game, Jon is a multi-award winning communicator and senior journalist with a strong track record in print, in broadcast journalism and public sector communication spanning 25 years.

A former News Editor and documentary maker at ITV Meridian, Jon also worked as a Media Services Manager and Head of Corporate Communications for two UK police forces before setting up his own media and public relations agency thorent.

Jon says: 'My role in the harlequin game is about making sure word of this unique experience spreads across the full range of communication platforms, specifically social and digital media, offline media and through word of mouth recommendation.

'Since our launch in the Spring of 2012 we've received a great deal of interest from the media, as well as from potential clients. The challenge, of course, is that the detail of each version of the game needs to be kept from the players before it begins. That's vital.

'What I'm communicating then, is more like a rumour, a level of excitement about a few days, or perhaps an entire month when everything is certainly not what it might seem. A time when players can, for those few days, or for many moments across that whole month, forget the real world and immerse themselves in the harlequin's world.

'That's a job that is proving an absolute pleasure. It is about using creative ways to drive people's curiosity without giving the game away. the harlequin game is about fun, that's the bottom line. The red and the black will play. Game on!'

Jon likes rock music, real ales, fast Skodas and having a good laugh, though not necessarily in that order. 

the harlequin anthem - end of play.mp3

© The Harlequin Game Limited 2012