Vanguard Productions is a registered charity (no.1056902), based in Worthing, West Sussex.

The Company was originally formed by 2 actors (Nelson E Ward and Virginia Coppins) while working in Jonathan Miller's company at the Old Vic. The research and artistic content of the shows are now the responsibility of the two artistic directors -  Nelson E. Ward and Amaryllis Crooke.



To create and present professional, innovative and challenging theatre which is both accessible and entertaining in a barrier-free environment for audiences and artists to enjoy and develop artistic and cultural excellence.










Amaryllis Crooke

  Amaryllis Crooke


Nelson is a founder member of Vanguard has now been appointed by the current board as an artistic director.

He has worked in theatre throughout the U.K and abroad. This has included plays and musicals including the UK tour of JOSEPH.

West End experience includes the London Palladium in THE TWO RONNIES, 2 plays at the Apollo DANGEROUS OBSESSION, and ORPHANS (with Albert Finney).  He was in Jonathan Miller's company at the Old Vic playing in THE TEMPEST (with Max von Sydow), BUSSY D'AMBOIS and ONE WAY PENDULUM which also toured Canada.

Numerous television credits include BLAKES SEVEN, THE BILL, LOVE HURTS (with Adam Faith), CHOCKEY'S CHILDREN and A BREAK IN THE SUN.

Feature films include MAINLINE RUN playing the part of Fletcher and LEFT FOR DEAD in the part of Murphey. His latest film is the lead in the horror film  HOUSE OF SILENCE.

Musicals include Good Company's tour of the rock musical PAUL- A STRANGE KIND OF HERO, a national tour of JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING COLOURED DREAMCOAT and THE WIZARD OF OZ.

Recent work includes the lead part of Max Miller in the new play MAXIE  ( the life and time of Max Miller) which toured to Brighton and Crawley and then taken to the Edinburgh Festival at the Greenside Theatre where it played to rave reviews.

He also had a role in a new zombie film by the Ford brothers which was filmed in West Africa and called THE DEAD. He also reprised this role in the THE DEAD TWO.

 Click HERE for full resume details.



Amaryllis is also an artistic director of Vanguard which enables her to both direct and write new work.

She has worked for many years as an actress in theatre in London and throughout the U.K. Her many performances range from Gertrude in HAMLET, the title role in EMMA BOVARY, an ugly sister in CINDERELLA, her ladyship in THE DRESSER, the Nurse in an open-air production of ROMEO & JULIET to a dizzy blonde in a rock musical.

Her favourite and most demanding part to date was the lead of MACBETH in her own adaptation of Shakespeare's play entitled AMAZON MACBETH.

This innovative production was set in South America with the male roles played by females and vice-versa.

In the Summer of 2013 she played the title role of Cleopatra in an  open-air production of Anthony and Cleopatra in Worthing and London.

 She also toured with MAXIE playing Kathy Miller - a new play about the life of Max Miller. 

When the play was taken to the Edinburgh Festival she directed the play.

Click HERE for full resume details



    Virginia Coppins


             Les Hull

Les Hull











Virginia is the other founder member of Vanguard. It was while she was in Jonathan Miller's company at the Old Vic that she and Nelson laid the foundations of the company.

Virginia has also worked throughout the U.K. and the West End. Her work at the Old Vic included THE TUTOR and BUSSY D'AMBOIS.

Her current role with Vanguard is the taking of Home Front Workshops at the D-Day museum in Portsmouth, the Submarine museum in Gosport  and to primary schools.

She is no stranger to educational drama as she both produced and acted in a highly successful video aimed at tackling the problems of bullying in schools entitled MY LIFE AS A BULLY.



 Lola Marie (Rachel Ward)


Lola has become the latest addition to Vanguard bringing a youthful enthusiasm to the team.

Lola worked at Bunn Leisure holiday camp in Selsey doing a variety of entertainment and drama. She returned in time to do Vanguard's Christmas show - playing the lead in "The Runaway Christmas Pudding"

In 2010 she spent most of the year as an entertainer in Majorca, again returning for the Christmas show. 

She has just finished working as an entertainer on the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line and has toured the Caribbean Islands, Europe, New Zealand, Australia and Norway.

She is now the Front of House manager at Worthing Theatres and Museum

  Click HERE for full resume details

Les joined Vanguard as a writer and his first play THE BLACK CRUSADER was performed in his home town of Crawley at the Hawth theatre.

Since then he has staged another play STRANGE DAYS on a freelance basis at the Diorama theatre in London, which he is currently adapting for television.

Les originally trained as an actor and toured in theatre. His television credits in GRANGE HILL, BITTER CHERRY and A BREAK IN THE SUN.

Les's play MAXIE about the legendary Max Miller was premiered at the Hawth in Crawley and to the Brighton Pavilion before going to the Edinburgh festival. 





Lola graduated from Chichester College with a National Diploma in acting.

She played Jenny in Vanguard's production of MAXIE at the Pavilion theatre in Brighton. She has also toured in Pantomime.

 She also worked at Warner Hotels as an actor/singer and played the role of Elvira in BLYTHE SPIRIT.

T.I.E work includes the Firehorse Production tour with a play on "bullying"