Ian Baldwin held a first class honours degree in Performance Art and Media from The University of Gloucestershire and was performing in theatre and film productions for over 20 years. A talented musician, he was a horn player with “The Joliet Blues Band”, playing some of Britain’s largest festivals as well as a part-time bassist (amongst other things) for “Frankenstein's Lobster” (The World’s first ukulele rock band). He also wrote original music to a number of plays and musicals. He appeared as Wackford Squeers in an adaptation of “Nicholas Nickleby”, and was a regular voice artist for InEar Entertainment’s horror-based audio books, as well as appearing as Mr Bradshaw in their podcast sitcom – “Supermarket Matters”. This, in between improvising as part of the Offstage Theatre Company’s 'Off The Cuff' show and teaching adults the art of improvised comedy, as well as shouting ‘Great Scott!’ as Dr Watson in a series of “Sherlock Holmes” spoofs for BBC radio, and authoring a series of books for children, kept him busy with work he adored.
Ian joined The Caamora Theatre Company as a chorus member in 2013 in the first UK theatre production of Clive NoIan’s second musical, “Alchemy”. He was also cast as an understudy for the role of Milosh, which he performed at the Saturday matinee. Subsequently, Ian returned as Milosh in the main cast in the show played as part of the Performing Arts festival “Enchanted” in Stock in October the same year. In 2014 ‘Alchemy”, directed by Ian, was performed over a week at the London off-West End Jermyn Street Theatre. In his own words: “Directing 'Alchemy' was not the first time that I was part of a London show, having been lucky enough to appear on the Olivier stage at the National Theatre not only once, but twice in new plays as part of the BT National Connections initiative in the mid-nineties. However, although not my directorial debut, “Alchemy” is certainly the most high-profile show that I have undertaken in this role up to date and I have greatly enjoyed the challenge!” The off-West End appearance was followed by further “Alchemy” performances in Devizes (December 2014) and during two editions of “The Fire and the Quest” Festival at the Cheltenham Playhouse in 2015 and 2017.
In the meantime, Ian and Clive decided to revive Nolan’s first musical “She” (based on H. Rider Haggard’s novel and originally released in 2018) with the thought of performing a new theatre version as part of the first “Fire and the Quest” weekend. Ian started from scratch and his stunning directorial vision, featuring an entirely new cast, was debuted in 2015. For the sake of this show, Clive added a new character and composed new pieces of music especially for Ian. The role of Job, a faithful companion of the two main protagonists, displayed Ian’s vast comedic talent, and immediately gained accolades from the audiences. “Job’s Lament” performed by Ian was recorded at Thin Ice Studios in Surrey and released on the “Hidden Treasure” CD in 2015. Following this, the whole 2015 production of “She” was filmed and released as an official bootleg DVD. Next a full costume concert version of “She”, featuring Ian as Job, was performed in Reichenbach, Germany (November 2015) and in Zoetermeer, The Netherlands (January 2016). In September 2016 “She” once more returned in its full theatre version to the Cheltenham Playhouse.
Next step of the journey was “King’s Ransom”, Clive’s most recent musical, which sadly turned out to be the final chapter of the Nolan-Baldwin collaboration. The CD album, featuring Ian’s rendition of “Death by Misadventure” (on bonus disk), as well as his performances in various minor roles (as the Restoration Ghost and other voices), coincided with the theatre premiere. After long months of rehearsals and preparations, the most complex of the three shows debuted in front of the sold-out auditorium of the Cheltenham Playhouse as part of “The Fire and the Quest 2” in September 2017. The returning critics unequivocally pronounced “King’s Ransom” a peak of musical and directorial achievements of both the composer and the director. Once again, Ian shone on stage bringing peals of laughter in his next comedy role of Captain Fergus Maunder, the ghost summoned back to Earth to help the heroes save the country. The international audience gathered at the Playhouse paid their respect and appreciation with a long-lasting standing ovation, and the complimentary opinions of critics were expressed in press and media even after Ian’s untimely passing. Luckily, the 2017 show was also filmed and hopefully will be released in the near future.