Theatre Biography

I studied French and Italian at Bristol University (1978-1982) including modules on Molière, Goldoni and Gozzi. During my year abroad I undertook the first year course of physical theatre at L'Ecole Jacques Lecoq in Paris. Here I met Philip Radice and the Italian actor Franco Cardellino who would later invite me to work with his company Teatro Movimento in Turin.

On returning from Paris, I set up the Bristol Mime Company which performed the successful mask show "Gone with the Swamp" at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 1982. Following on from this, I was readmitted to the second year of l'Ecole Jacques Lecoq.
After finishing my studies at Lecoq I moved to Turin to teach at the Punto Fisso school of Mime and Physical Theatre underneath the Cathedral of Turin run by Franco Cardellino.

With Franco I performed in a larvar mask show "Birra Facile Ma Non Qui" and in the cartoon mime "Hitchcock" before returning to England for a back operation in 1984.
After a year of convalescence during which I taught English in Turin at the British Churchill School, in 1986 I formed the Dizziacs Theatre Company in Turin with Philip Radice, Catherine Otey and Stewart Arnold. A group of Anglo/Americans performing in Turin was unusual to say the least and these were exciting years.

We were helped greatly by the late great actor Eugenio Allegri who organised theatre courses for a local council. We estimated that we taught courses to approximately 10,000 adults!
From 1990-1998 I worked between Italy and English as a drama teacher, teaching physical theatre and commedia dell'arte to drama schools and theatre companies in both countries as well as undertaking some English teaching theatre courses in Secondary Schools in Italy.

From 1998-2003 I ran a physical theatre school in Via Carmagnola 12 which is now the base for the Atelier Teatro Fisico Philip Radice and the Performing Arts University Torino- one of Europe's leading physical theatre schools.

Action Theatre in English was founded in 2003 to teach English through fun.
From 2004-2005 together with Francesco Mancino, Diane Atkins and Elisabetta Rosati I wrote Mr. English - a series of five text books with songs for the Italian Primary School published by Raffaello Editrice.
From 2004-2006 I wrote 20 episodes for Italian TV (RAI Divertinglese) of the whacky TV SITCOM for young English learners Tracy and Polpetta written in Italian and English with a cast of Italian actors. You can see some of my episodes on You Tube.
"Tutti in video" episode
Other titles written by me:
Il bello addormentato, Una famiglia spaziale, Il piccolo ospite, Squeaky Honky il Clown, Amore ecologico, Ave avo, A scuola con la supplente, L’orologio a cucù, Tutti pazzi per la batteria, La talpa invisibile, Dolcetto o scherzetto, Che bello il ballo, Il vestito non fa il pirata, Bidoni in amore, La gara della frittella, Computer per tutti, Polpetta e la mangiatona, La casa stregata, Aspettando Babbo Natale
In 2021 together with Giorgia Nordio and Lisa Pugliese, Learning English Through Fun SRL was founded to continue the work of Action Theatre and to promote our English teaching materials online.
Learning English Through Fun
Parents: John Raison (1931-2020) and Jennifer Sutcliffe (1933-2017)
Siblings and I: Rupert (b.1959) Jeremy (b.1961) and Vanessa (b.1963)
Spouse: Emanuela Currao (m. 2013), Luisella Cocco (m. 1988 - 2006)
Thomas (b.1993)
Anna (b.1996)
Caterina (b.2011)
Tennis, ski, canoe, ping pong, piano, current affairs, magic, mask and Commedia dell'Arte.

List of Plays

( * not for ETT)


Gone with the swamp


Birra Facile Ma Non Qui*
(Cardellino, Raison) with Franco Cardellino larvar mask show


(Cardellino, Raison) with Franco Cardellino a spoof cartoon mime


Afro and The Dizziacs*
Il Nome del Gladiolo*
with the Dizziacs Theatre Company (Raison,Radice, Otey and Arnold)


A Magician, A Musician And A Whole Lot Of Trouble*


The Rupert Raison show


The Western*
(Raison, Otey, Arnold)


Better Get a Move on*
Le Olimpiadi*


Me And My Chicken


Hello Hello Hello
Bear Hunt




La Pantera*
Here comes the Train


Evil Joe
Festivity Planet


Franky Goes To Hollywood
with Francesco Giorda


Adventure In The British Museum
Magical English Teacher
The Girl Next Door


Loch Ness Mystery
The Monster
with Benjamin Delmas


Brother & Sister Act
The Queen & Mr.B*


English TV
with Raul Gomiero
Trick Or Treat
with Greg Chapman


Jennifer's Dragons


Horrible Stories
In The Web
in collaboration with the Selah Theatre Company UK
Little Red Riding Hood
Remember Remember


New York Mystery
Action English Game Show
School Trip


Dinosaur Detective
Haunted House
The New School


Robin Hood
English Party
with Oliver Millingham


with Oliver Millingham
Get Smart
Mrs. Angel's Holiday (now Miss English's Holiday)


Cyber Games
The Italians in England*


Best Friends Forever