Who we are
Maggie Mash, Jane Oakshott and Richard Rastall gave their first performance as Trio Literati in November 2003. Set up to do simple poetry readings, the group quickly started on the enchanting and slippery slope of hats and sound effects. We now offer a wide range of performance options, from pure poetry to full-scale dramatic works, often commissioned and scripted to fit a special occasion or place.
As performers our backgrounds are varied - television, theatre, music - but we share a passion for words and a taste for comedy. Producing many very different shows since 2003, we have gained a reputation for "energy, wit and style".
We can also be clearly heard!
Maggie Mash trained as an actress and worked in the professional theatre before starting her broadcasting career in Forces Radio. Later branching into voice-over work, Maggie now records audiobooks and provides the voice for such things as airlines’ in-flight videos and the national mental arithmetic SATS tests. Her voice is perhaps best-known through her work as continuity announcer at Yorkshire Television.
is an actor, script-writer and director, known internationally for her pageant-waggon productions of the York Mystery Plays with the Guilds of York. As a Voice and Performance coach she works with professional voice-users – from lawyers to story-tellers – and regularly teaches at Leeds University and the National Media Museum, Bradford. Jane has performed recently with Theatre of the Dales, Leeds Baroque and the Suffolk Villages Festival. She founded Trio Literati in 2003.
Jane was appointed MBE in the 2008 New Year Honours list for her work in civic and community drama.
Richard Rastall is Emeritus Professor of Historical Musicology at Leeds University, and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. His published work includes several books, many essays and articles, and editions of early music. He has always acted – often the fool and rarely his age – and for Trio Literati he occasionally takes the role of pianist.
The members of Trio Literati are often joined by other musicians and actors, including David Robertson (Director, Theatre of the Dales), Stephen Muir (tenor) and Graham Coatman (piano). We also create opportunities for young musicians such as the singers Eleanor Rastall and Philip Smith (who joined the chorus at Glyndebourne in June 2007).