Producer & Artistic Director
Tony Mercer is recognised as one of the World’s leading directors of theatre-on-ice shows. His productions over the past ten years have toured extensively throughout the United Kingdom, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Asia.
In 1983, Tony began travelling the world, lighting shows and working as a tour manager and production manager for such international artists as The Three Degrees, Dion ne Warwick, The Supremes, Elkie Brooks, Kool & The Gang, The Commodores, The Four Tops, The Temptations, Jack Jones , Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes to name just a few, before going on to manage The Dooleys.
In 1993 Tony was invited to join Wild Rose Ice Theatre as Production Executive for the company’s first tour of The Sleeping Beauty on Ice and was eventually appointed Artistic Di rector. In 1994 Tony directed his first ice show, Summer Ice Spectacular, and went on to direct Phantom Of The Opera on Ice, Barnum on Ice, Carmen on Ice, Cinderella on Ice, a second tour of Sleeping Beauty on Ice, Peter Pan on Ice, and most recently the 2003 Australasian touring production of The Nutcracker On Ice. In 2004 he created The Imperial Ice Stars and is the Artistic Director of The Sleeping Beauty on Ice and the current show, Swan Lake on Ice.
Since its founding in 1992, Lunchbox Theatrical Productions has established an unrivalled reputation for producing top quality international entertainment in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Europe, South Africa and the United Kingdom.
Originally formed by James Cundall and a group of Hong Kong businessmen, Lunchbox Theatrical Productions soon made a name for itself by presenting West End musicals in Hong Kong. From 1998 Lunchbox Theatrical Productions expanded its reach to include Singapore, bringing concert tours and boutique shows to a new audience.
Concurrent with his theatrical pursuits, James Cundall worked in the finance industry for 12 years as Director and Acting Managing Director of the Private Client Business of Global Asset Management (GAM) in London and Hong Kong, and later as Chief Executive of the Asian/Japanese business of Rothschild Asset Management, running offices in Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo.
In 1999, James temporarily put Lunchbox Theatrical Productions on the shelf and moved to Sydney to work with leading live entertainment producers IMG and, more recently, ICA, and was responsible for a vast array of theatrical productions including major musicals, concert tours, solo artists, plays and spectacular shows in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia.
Since 1992 James Cundall has produced over 70 live entertainment productions, including major musicals such as Les Miserables, Chicago, Singin’ In The Rain, Cabaret, Oliver, Miss Saigon, Fame, Cats, South Pacific, Barnum, The New Rocky Horror Show, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, Saturday Night Fever, The Full Monty and Buddy The Musical.
James has also worked with a number of international artists from the worlds of opera, light entertainment, musical theatre and rock. These include Andrea Bocelli, Dame Shirley Bassey, Bryn Terfel, Dame Kiri te Kanawa, Jose Carreras, Renee Fleming, Ricky Martin, Lulu, Michael Crawford, Michael Ball, Elaine Paige, Lesley Garrett, Anthony Warlow, David Helfgott, Clive James, Pam Ayres, Ennio Marchetto, The Hollies, The Beach Boys, The Doobie Brothers, Jamie Oliver, Englebert Humperdinck, The Seekers and The Soweto Gospel Choir.
In addition James has produced a wide range of spectacular shows – Alegria from Cirque du Soleil, Riverdance, Stomp, Tap Dogs, Slava’s Snowshow, Umoja, The Tokyo Shock Boys, The Imperial Ice Stars in The Nutcracker on Ice, The Sleeping Beauty on Ice and Swan Lake on Ice, children’s show Hi-5 and the Melbourne and Sydney Affordable Art Shows; as well as critically acclaimed plays – The Hollow Crown starring Sir Derek Jacobi and Sir Donald Sinden, Scaramouche Jones starring Pete Postlethwaite, Talking Heads starring Dame Maggie Smith, Stuff Happens by David Hare, The Blue Room, and The Complete Works of Shakespeare.
With this wealth of experience behind him, James Cundall returned to the UK in 2004 to re-establish Lunchbox Theatrical Productions, which now has subsidiaries in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore. The company continues to bring top quality live entertainment to audiences in four continents.
Eamon D’Arcy has designed for theatre, dance and musical theatre companies Australia wide. Recent projects include Sydney Music Theatre’s Night & Dreams and with Lyndon Terracini, The Mercenary and Mr BBQ, Windmill’s Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge, and The Snow Queen (Windmill/STC). Eamon was a Production Designer for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony. He was also the Production Designer for both the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games.
In 2002 Eamon was designer of the Manchester Commonwealth Games Handover Ceremony, The Man from Snowy River Arena Spectacular, the national tour of Black Chicks Talkin’ (La Boite/QPAC) and most recently Saturday Night Fever in Australia and London’s West End.
Albina Georgievna Gabueva
Albina Georgievna Gabueva has been an artist-designer for 30 years. She started as a director of workshops, producing theatrical costumes for the Drama theatre. At the same time she designed and made costumes for the theatre’s productions.
During her creative work she decorated more than one hundred productions for Moscow Opera and Ballet Theatre named after Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko. She received an invitation from the chief artist of the theatre A.F. Lushin and worked there for 20 years. She not only supervised the production of theatrical costumes for Opera and Ballet Theatre but was the author of many productions.
Together with the main work A.G. Gabueva designed costumes for a variety of theatres around this country. For over 10 years she has cooperated with Wella-Dolores (Russian national team of cosmetologists and hairdressers). She designed and sewed evening dresses for the national team of stylists for the tournaments that took place in the USA, the UK, France, Japan, South Korea and other countries.
Currently, A.G. Gabueva is a free-lance artist and producer, working for a number of Russia’s producing theatres.
Gavan Swift graduated from Australia’s National Institute for Dramatic Art (NIDA) in 1994. Since then he has been in constant demand as a lighting designer for plays, musicals and corporate events.
His musical lighting designs include The Pirates of Penzance, Hot Shoe Shuffle, Little Shop of Horrors, Sweet Charity, Fiddler on the Roof, Jolson, Buddy and Oh! What a Night. Gavan’s most recent work includes OzOpera’s production of La Boh éme, The Sydney Theatre Company’s production of Stones in His Pockets; the Ensemble Theatre’s productions of All My Sons, Noises Off, and Lush; and the Australian tour of Burn The Floor together with Saturday Night Fever in Australia and London’s West End.
Coach & Choreographer
EVGENY PLATOV is the only man ever to win two Olympic gold medals in competitive ice dance – the 1994 season and the 1998 season – with his partner Oxsana Grishuk. Evgeny’s achievements, medal list and experience go far beyond the Olympic, World and European gold medals he has garnered during his career. Evgeny is currently coaching and choreographing for a number of the world’s leading competitive skaters, and was recently part of the creative team that won a gold medal for Russia’s Tatiana Navka and Roman Kostamarov at the Winter Olympics in Turin 2006.
Maria Orlova is a former competitive skater and member of the Russian national ice skating team. She has numerous competition medals, including a bronze medal from the Junior World Championships and a gold medal from the Russian National Cup.
Maria began performing professionally in 1995, and has performed lead roles in Cinderella on Ice, Sleeping Beauty on Ice, Phantom of the Opera on Ice, Carmen on Ice, Nutcracker on Ice , Peter Pan on Ice and Swan Lake on Ice
Maria created choreography for the Imperial Ice Stars’ 2004-2006 world tour of The Sleeping Beauty on Ice and also the award winning world tour of Swan Lake on Ice and has also created choreography for the Imperial Ice Stars appearances on Russian National Television. Together with former World Champion Ilia Averbukh she has re-choreographed The Sleeping Beauty on Ice for its 2007-9 tour of Russia, France and the UK.
Maria also coached and choreographed ice dance routines for Channel One-Russia’s , Ice Age Television programme in 2007 , which was viewed by over 120million people. Maria was also invited to choreograph performances for Vladimir Putin’s birthday celebrations in St Petersburg and also the Russian Presidents Christmas Show on Red Square in 2007.
Tim A. Duncan
This is Tim A. Duncan’s twelfth consecutive year working on music for Tony Mercer, and probably the most demanding to date. Re-arranging Tchaikovsky’s music to suit ice dance yet remain faithful to the master’s original score was challenging to say the least. The Manchester Light Symphony Orchestra was created to perform the music and Tim, together with Peter Whitfield and Edward Barnwell, set about re-scoring and reorchestrating Swan Lake.
Experience gained on Tim’s original scores for Barnum on Ice and Phantom of the Opera on Ice proved crucial to the way in which the music was put together both from a recording point of view and from the practical difficulties brought about when recording in the UK whilst the show director, choreographers and dancers are rehearsing in Moscow.
Tim studied music at the Royal College of Music, London, as did Peter Whitfield. Edward Barnwell won a scholarship to the Yehudi Menuhin School of Music and completed his music training at the Royal Northern College of Music. This background in classical training together with over 15 years studio recording experience, encompassing a vast range of musical styles, rock to classical to choral to theatre, and numerous credits on many recordings both here and abroad gives Tony Mercer and the Imperial Ice Stars the music they need to complete the wonderful experience that is ice dance.