About Us

Rakie Ayola and Adam Smethurst are the Co-Founders of Shanty Productions.

They met at Birmingham Rep where William Shakespeare played Cupid during a six month UK tour of Hamlet and Twelfth Night in 2000. 

Rakie Ayola

Rakie is a graduate and Fellow of The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. She is equally at home on stage or screen. Leading roles at the Royal National Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company, Shakespeare’s Globe and the West End with The Curious Incident of The Dog in The Night-Time, have been complemented by a wide range of roles on television and film, including Dr Who, 3 years on Holby City playing Nurse Kyla Tyson and most recently in series 2 of No Offence playing the memorable Nora Attah, and the soon to be released Been So Long. She is currently appearing as Hermione Granger in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at The Palace Theatre, London. Rakie is a Patron of The Childhood Tumour Trust.

Adam Smethurst

Adam has been a professional actor for over 25 years since graduating from Mountview Academy of Performing Arts. Prior to that he gained his degree from the University of Manchester. As an actor he has worked on many of the leading stages across the country and internationally, and appeared on television in guest roles on numerous shows in the UK. After completing an MA in Screenwriting at the University of the Arts, London, Adam made his feature debut adapting and directing Twelfth Night.