people behind the scenes
Felix Cross MBE- Founder
Felix was born in Trinidad, moving to England at the age of one. He went to school in South London and studied at Epsom Art College. From there, his career took an unorthodox route: a guitarist in various rock and jazz bands, songwriter, stand-up comic as well as music teacher at Goldsmiths College, London. He discovered theatre at the Albany Empire and realised that he had been always been trying to write musical-theatre without knowing it.
Felix became Artistic Director of Nitro in 1996, writing, composing and directing a number of productions including Passports to the Promised Land, Slamdunk and The Wedding Dance. Other works included Mass Carib and Glory! as well as the music for over 90 theatre and radio productions. After 19 extraordinary and fulfilling years, he left Nitro and now enjoys a life of directing, composing and flying rather too much between Sydney and London.
Felix was awarded an MBE for services to musical theatre in the 2012 Queen’s Birthday’s Honours list.
Allyson Devenish - Artistic Director
Allyson is a native of Ottawa, Canada. She began her musical career at the Conservatoire de Musique du Quebec where she studied piano and violin privately. She completed her undergraduate studies at Oberlin College (Ohio, USA), receiving a B.Mus. and B.A., following which, she relocated to London to pursue postgraduate studies at the Royal Academy of Music.
Allyson is in demand as a musical director, recitalist and teacher. Her performance schedule has taken her to France, Italy, Portugal, Switzerland, Canada, the United States, Caribbean and throughout the United Kingdom. She has also recorded for the BBC, CBC, Radio France, and RTE 1 (Eire).
As a Music Director, Allyson has directed the premiere of Looking At The Sun (Battersea Arts Centre), Kismet (Arcola Theatre) and assisted on Porgy and Bess (Lisbon). As Artistic Associate and Music Director with Nitro she worked on projects such as Mass Carib (Lord Mayor’s Festival, Greenwich Festival, Hackney Empire), An Evening of Soul Food/African Cargo (Greenwich Theatre) and most recently, the successful UK tour of Desert Boy. As the creative and directive force behind NitroVoX, she continues to tell the stories of the African diaspora through words and song.
Trevor A.Toussaint - Associate Director
Trevor was born in London and has been acting for about thirty years. He was inspired to take up the profession after watching a performance by the acclaimed English actor Timothy Spall, who was a senior student at his school. Trevor remembers being amazed by Timothy’s comedic skills and fearless performance as the Cowardly Lion in a school production of the The Wizard of Oz.
Trevor has appeared in various productions on stage, television and film. His onstage performances have included: Troy Maxson in Fences, directed by Paulett Randell; Curtis Jackson in Sister Act; Macheath in Threepenny Opera; Stephen Kumalo in Lost in the Stars and Badger in Wind in the Willows. His television and film appearances have included: Isaiah in Marriage of Reason and Squalor, produced by Sky Arts; Sargent Kit Tucker in Crisis Control, produced by CBBC and the part of Ambrose in VIP, produced by Running Bear Pictures and Channel 4. He has directed and co-directed a number of productions including The Knack for the Stage 19 Theatre Company; A Non Ethnic for GrossMisconduct Productions and Walk With Me, a scratch work that is currently under development. He was also Assistant Director on
West Side Story and Our House for the Pimlico Opera Prison Project.