Meet the #tuneup line-up
Meet the artists who are sharing their time and expertise for #tuneup.
Tillie has been acting since she was 7 years old and has fortunately enjoyed a successful run so far. She has always been involved in the arts and it started after attending a local drama group she got the bug. She knows just how important the arts are for confidence building and performing gives you life long skills to carry throughout life regardless if you decide to continue in a professional capacity. Tillie is also a leader in helping kids to love themselves and have the confidence to just be you. She prides herself in breaking the misconceptions around social media and the pressure on young minds. You might know Tillie from David Walliams' TV adaptation of Ratburger for Sky 1 playing Tina Trotts, and the kids will know her for playing Chloe in CBBC’s Almost Never. She also does a lot of presenting, starting off on CITV at 9 then more recently for CBBC HQ.
Alexandra is a Live Music Promoter at one of the UK's leading gig promoters, Metropolis Music, part of the conglomerate of live music giants, Live Nation Entertainment. A Business Management and Leadership graduate she also heads up Diversity Employee Resource Group, starting EMBRACE Nation at Live Nation UK - a cultural hub striving towards racial equality in and outside the work place becoming a learning hub for ALL Live Nation Entertainment employees . Alexandra also works across The End Festival, Somerset House, The F List (director), Black Music Coalition and UNICEF Music Group.
Harry trained at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts and graduated in 2004. Harry has been an actor on both stage and screen for 17 years and his credits have included: Twelfth Night, Hamlet, King Lear, Richard II, Henry V, Betrayal, A Day in the Death of Joe Egg (West End), The Duchess of Malfi, The Crucible (The Old Vic), The Skriker, Frankenstein (Manchester Royal Exchange), Hamlet, King Lear (Broadway). Film: Testament of Youth, Maleficent, Breathe. Television: The Night Manager.
Martin Barrass is an English film, television and theatre actor as well as being a DJ on local radio. He is best known for his role as Ron Frost in the television series Angels, Mike Conrad in Emmerdale and for appearing alongside Berwick Kaler in the annual York Theatre Royal Pantomime every year from 1984 onwards.
Craig Bradley aka That Poetry Bloke is a children's performance poet and musician. He used to be a stand up comedian and uses all the skills he learned doing that to engage, inspire and entertain the young poets he meets in schools. You can watch him perform A Walk in the Woods by clicking here.
Costume Constructor and Supervisor
Immy is a graduate from The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and now specialises in
Costume Construction and Costume Supervision. She is just at the start of her career but has already
been involved in projects such as Birmingham Royal Ballet’s The Nutcracker at the Royal Albert
Hall (Dresser), Boudica at the Leicester Curve (CSSD Tour, Costume Supervisor) and Pah - La at
the Royal Court (Costume Assistant).
Katy was part of the first intake of the theatre practice course at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and shortly after graduating secured her first job at The Lion King. Katy has also worked alongside Michael Grandage as production administrator at the Donmar Warehouse. From there she went to the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane as deputy company manager of Oliver! with responsibility for 150 child actors. Other big shows include production manager for Miss Saigon, Disney’s Aladdin and Hamilton.
DAME DARCEY BUSSELL DBE
Darcey Bussell is a former Principal with The Royal Ballet and the most famous British ballerina of her generation. Darcey trained at The Royal Ballet School and joined the Company in 1988. She was one of the youngest artists to serve as principal dancer after being promoted to Principal in 1989, aged just 20, after the premiere of Kenneth MacMillan’s The Prince of the Pagodas, in which she had created the lead role. Darcey retired from the Company in June 2007 with a performance of MacMillan’s Song of the Earth, broadcast live on BBC2. She came out of retirement to dance the Spirit of the Flame at the 2012 London Olympics closing ceremony.
Darcey’s extensive broadcast work includes being a former judge on Strictly Come Dancing, many documentaries for the BBC and she has presented The Royal Ballet’s worldwide cinema relays since 2014. She remains a Guest principal coach at The Royal Ballet and is Artist Laureate of the Royal Ballet School. Amongst her many patronages, Darcey is President of the Royal Academy of Dance and in 2015 she founded DDMIX (diverse dance mix), a dance fitness charity, aimed at getting dance fitness to be part of PE in state schools.
Dancer & Choreographer
John was selected as the first English dancer to be a part of Riverdance. John turned down a place at Oxford University to study chemistry as he was chosen to be Michael Flatley’s understudy in Lord of the Dance and went on to perform the lead role for two years also creating some of the choreography for Feet of Flames.
Georgina is a London based actress and singer. Her musical theatre credits include Doralee in 9 to 5 (Savoy), Sophie in Mamma Mia! (Novello Theatre) and Lisa Houseman in Dirty Dancing (UK tour). Workshops include: The Wall: Pink Floyd Musical and Beaches. Television includes: Doctors (BBC) and New Tricks (BBC).
Georgina offers Private Performance Workshops and 1-1 Acting & Singing coaching. Get in touch with her on Instagram - @georginaecastle for more information.
Wigs Assistant and Make-up Artist
Jade studied at Vidal Sassoon Hairdressing School and then went on to get a foundation degree in Specialist Makeup. She was successful in obtaining a place on a trainee scheme within film and television, which included working on productions such as Secret Diary of a Call Girl, Glorious 39 and The Armstrong and Miller Show. Theatre experience includes: Sister Act The Musical, Shrek The Musical, Miss Saigon, We Will Rock You, An American in Paris, Billy Elliot, South Pacific, Les Miserables, and School of Rock.
RACHEL ELIZABETH COLEMAN
Director, Artist & Environmental Activist
Rachel (she/her) is an artist-activist based between the East Midlands, London and West Scotland. Her work moves through intersections of climate, ecology and folklore, maneuvering fields of performance, dance, teaching, textiles, podcasting and writing. Rachel inhabits various other landscapes, including her work as General Manager of Orange Skies, her climate activist work, and as a facilitator and educator. Her works to date includes Nw== (2018), goatfell (2019), the caretakers (2020) and SWEAT IT (2020). She has performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Peckham 24, Camden People’s Theatre, and the Royal And Derngate Northampton. She is a recent Performance Art graduate from The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.
Senior Graphic Designer
Ruth is a Senior Graphic Designer currently working for The Bicester Village Shopping Collection. She previously freelanced under her own limited company, Kuiper Graphic Design, completing work for brands such as O2, Sony, The British Fashion Council and Macmillan as well as working as a digital illustrator. Prior to this she worked for around a decade in the Dance Music industry alongside a number of international artists, exploring a range of roles including design, marketing and artist management. She went to King Edward VI High School for Girls, before undertaking an undergraduate degree in Cardiff University and a postgraduate degree at UCL Bristol.
Comedian & Actor
Greg is best known for his roles as Greg in We Are Klang, Mr. Gilbert in The Inbetweeners, Ken Thompson in Cuckoo, the Taskmaster in Taskmaster, and Dan Davies in Man Down, as well as for guest appearances on Mock the Week, Would I Lie to You?, and Fast and Loose. He has also performed on the Live at the Apollo series. For his performance in Cuckoo, Davies was nominated for the BAFTA Television Award for Best Male Comedy performance in 2013. Prior to embarking on a career in comedy, he taught secondary school Drama and English for 13 years.
Script & Story Consultant
After a false start at vetinary school, Lily trained as a stage manager and now works in film and television in the set decoration department. As a freelance worker her job takes her all over the country on different and exciting projects, where she gets to research, buy and dress beautiful pieces into amazing sets.
SELEENA LAVERNE DAYE
Seleena Laverne Daye is a textile artist making works primarily out of felt and using traditional techniques such as embroidery and cross stitch. Seleena has also been making zines since the age of 15. She is a self-taught artist. Bradford born in 1984, Manchester raised, her work features topics relating to race, class, sexuality and gender whilst being heavily inspired by '90s popular culture.
Theatre Designer & Lecturer
Recent career highlights have been designing the stage set for Miss Saigon for Cameron Mackintosh for the West End and Broadway. Winner of Best Stage Designer at the 'What’s On Stage' Awards, with productions also in Australia, Sao Paulo, Utrecht, Japan, Korean, and the US with a production coming in Vienna 2020. Totie has also designed a touring production of Oliver! again for Cameron Mackintosh.
Section Leader Horn, CBSO
Elspeth studied at Guildhall School of Music and Drama where she studied with Richard Bissill, Hugh Seenan and Jeff Bryant. She was on trial for 1st horn at RLPO at the same time as her trial with CBSO during her last term at GSMD. She says “these trials were my first professional work along with a concert with the LSO playing offstage for about 6 bars!” As Section leader horn Elspeth’s highlights to-date include playing Ein Heldenleben at the Lucerne Festival with Simon Rattle as part of her trial – “a pretty special concert”.
Poet and spoken word artist
Spoz is an award winning performance poet, singer/songwriter, film maker, playwright and was the poet-in-residence at Birmingham City FC. He has been seen on BBC and Central Television, has written for and been heard on BBC Radio Four, Radio Five Live, Radio West Midlands, Radio Coventry & Warwickshire and Capital Gold. He has performed at the Glastonbury Festival, Shambala Festival, Larmer Tree Festival, Cheltenham Literature Festival
Actor & Facilitator, Loudmouth
Matt is an actor and facilitator at Loudmouth Education and Training. Loudmouth is a highly respected and innovative theatre in education company. The company has been delivering Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) since 1994 and has reached over 750,000 children, young people, professionals and parents.
Holly trained at Mountview Theatre School in London achieving a diploma in Stage Management, Technical Theatre and Design. She worked at Norwich Theatre Royal, Theatr-Y-Werin in Aberystwyth, the Arts Theatre Cambridge and BBC Radio Nottingham before spending many years working in Production at York Theatre Royal. Holly returned to education as a mature student, undertaking her BA and MA in English Literature. As well as working in theatre, Holly has utilised the important skills she gained from the arts in roles in advocacy and community health where she now supports patients with their health and wellbeing using a person-centred approach.
Theatre Critic & Journalist
Mark is a freelance theatre critic and feature writer based in Edinburgh and has written about theatre since the late-1980s. He is a theatre critic for The Guardian, a former editor of The List magazine and a contributor to publications all over the world. He is the co-editor of the play anthology Made in Scotland (1995), and the author of The Edinburgh Fringe Survival Guide (2012) and How to Write About Theatre (2015) – all Bloomsbury Methuen Drama. He is also editor of The XTC Bumper Book of Fun for Boys and Girls (2017) and What Do You Call That Noise? An XTC Discovery Book (2019), both Mark Fisher Ltd.
Matthew is an award-winning actor, writer and producer and has appeared in numerous stage productions in the UK and the US. Matthew studied acting at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, graduating in 2005 - prior to that he studied Politics at Durham University. He has appeared in a variety of roles on screen, and has written and produced for both theatre and film. He is currently working on a new sitcom.
Artistic Director, Splendid Productions
Kerry is the Artistic Director at Splendid Productions. Kerry trained at Bretton Hall and has worked as an actor, deviser and musician for the last 14 years. Credits include: A Change of Mind (Sadlers Wells), The Orchard Skins (Lakeside Theatre), Paradise (Moray House Theatre), Midsummer Night’s Dream (Cambridge Arts Theatre).
Simon is an independent theatre producer and general manager. Previously he has been Producer for Theatre Royal Bath, originating the theatre’s commercial productions from 2011-2015, and worked for Triumph Entertainment (Duncan Weldon & Paul Elliott) and Bill Kenwright Ltd. Past productions include: Jules Verne’s Around the World in 80 Days adapted by Laura Eason (St James Theatre); The Father by Florian Zeller, translated by Christopher Hampton (Wyndham’s Theatre & Duke of York’s Theatre); Bad Jews by Joshua Harmon (Arts Theatre); The Mother by Florian Zeller, translated by Christopher Hampton and Speed-the-Plow by David Mamet (Playhouse Theatre) and The Life of Pi at the Sheffield Crucible. Simon is a member of the Society of London Theatre and was named in The Stage 100 most influential people in British theatre.
Playwright & Writer for Film & Television
Robin is an award-winning playwright and screenwriter. His first play, Bear Hug, won the Royal Court Young Writer's Festival and was produced at the Royal Court, where it earned an extended run. Subsequent productions include Gilbert is Dead (Hoxton Hall), The Red Helicopter (Almeida), Heather Gardner (Birmingham Rep), The Get Out (The Royal Court), Musical Differences (National Theatre Connections), Crooked Dances (RSC), and Rebel Music (Birmingham Rep).
Alongside his friend Kieron Quirke, Robin also co-created and wrote five series of the hit BBC sitcom Cuckoo, starring Greg Davies, Andy Samberg, Taylor Lautner and Andi MacDowell. Cuckoo was BBC3's biggest rating comedy launch and garnered nominations both at BAFTA and the British Comedy Awards.
Jasmine Gardosi is a multiple slam champion, Birmingham Poet Laureate finalist and recent winner of the Out-Spoken Prize for Poetry. Jasmine uses audience participation, beatboxing and manipulation of voice and body in order to explore LGBTQ+ issues, sex education and mental health. Her work has appeared on Button Poetry, at the Tate Modern, Glastonbury Festival, and across BBC Radio, including BBC Radio 3's The Verb, Radio 4 and BBC Asian Network.
Dame Evelyn Glennie is the world’s premier solo percussionist, performing worldwide with the greatest orchestras, conductors and artists. Her solo recordings exceed 40 CDs and are as diverse as her career on-stage. A double GRAMMY award winner and BAFTA nominee, Evelyn is also a composer for film, theatre and television. Evelyn was awarded an OBE in 1993 and has over 100 international awards to date, including the Polar Music Prize and the Companion of Honour. Evelyn is currently forming The Evelyn Glennie Collection with a vision to open a centre that embodies her mission to Teach the World to Listen.
Actor, Comedienne & Writer
As well as touring widely as a stand-up comic, Gemma has worked extensively on the stage, most notably as Cardinal of Lorraine in Doctor Faustus (Royal Shakespeare Company), Teresa Panza in Don Quixote (Royal Shakespeare Company), Maria in Twelfth Night (Shakespeare Live, Royal Shakespeare Company), Miss Smith in Son of Rambow (Nuffield Theatres & The Other Palace), The Preacher, The Book of Man, The Miniaturists, (Arcola Theatre). Gemma’s work in feature film includes The Young Victoria and Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging.
James Graham OBE FRSL is a British playwright and screenwriter. James graduated from The University of Hull in 2003, where he took his first play Coal not Dole to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and received critical acclaim. James's work includes the HBO and Channel 4 drama Brexit starring Benedict Cumberbatch. He had two plays running concurrently in London's West End: Labour of Love, which won Best New Comedy at the Olivier Awards 2018, alongside INK nominated for Best Play the same year. Other theatre work includes This House at the National Theatre and West End, 2016. Privacy transferred from Donmar Warehouse to The Public Theater in 2016. The Vote was broadcast live on the UK election night in 2015 and nominated for a BAFTA. James wrote the book for the Broadway musical Finding Neverland. His screenwriting includes the political drama Coalition (Channel 4) winner of the Royal Television Society award for Best Single Drama, and the recent Drama Quiz (ITV) based on his play of the same name. His work has been staged throughout the UK and internationally, at theatres including the Bush, Soho Theatre, Clwyd Theatre Cymru and the National Theatre.
Musician & Professor
Janice Graham is currently the Leader and Artistic Director of English Sinfonia. Previous Leader of the ENO orchestra, Leader of BBC National Orchestra of Wales and Assistant Leader of the London Symphony Orchestra. Janice has recorded the sound tracks for many films and TV and studied at the Purcell School and the GSMD where she is currently a professor.
Here you can watch Janice perform on Strictly Come Dancing (BBC), playing for Vincent and Flavia as they dance a Tango Waltz
Michael Grandage is Artistic Director of the Michael Grandage Company (MGC) where he has directed numerous productions in the West End and on Broadway including Aidan Turner in The Lieutenant of Inishmore, Nicole Kidman in Photograph 51, Jude Law in Henry V, Daniel Radcliffe in The Cripple of Inishmaan and Judi Dench & Ben Whishaw in Peter and Alice. He has also directed the feature film Genius with Colin Firth for MGC. He is President of the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. He was appointed CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honors 2011. His book, A Decade At The Donmar, was published by Constable & Robins in 2012. His charity, set up to help young theatre makers, can be found at www.mgcfutures.com.
Ted Green is a British artist who now lives and works in Vienna. His current body of work is based on repetition and variation – it describes a painterly approach to the visualization of rhythms. In these paintings and drawings, biomorphic marks are repeated and organized as patterns or rows.
Sam is a senior promoter at Live Nation Entertainment in the Cuffe & Taylor touring division. As a senior promoter Sam works across all Cuffe and Taylor's UK theatre tours as well as London dates for major artists and international tours. Artists & Productions include: Lea Salonga, John Barrowman, A Question of Sport Live, Sarah Brightman, Marisha Wallace and KIDZ BOP.
Cait graduated from The University of Wolverhampton, with a first class honours degree in music and in 2018, she has gained ‘Outstanding’ teacher status through The Sutton Park Alliance. She is a classically trained singer which came from being a girl chorister at Lichfield Cathedral School, which is where she now works as a teacher of Music and Drama. She also enjoys organising and leading massed charity concerts and loves working at the global theatre company, Stagecoach and has done so since 2013. Cait loves teaching and is passionate about passing her love for music and passing this onto the students she teaches.
Performer, Artist & Make-Up Artist
Loretta Hope’s diverse work incorporates a range of artistic and physical disciplines. She trained in musical theatre before branching out into other forms of expression and entertainment. This includes chapters in circus theatre, protest art, social/political performance and more!
Actor & Writer
Martha Howe-Douglas is an actor and a writer who was born in Birmingham. Martha has worked extensively on screen and trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA), graduating in 2004. Her credits include The Office Christmas Special (BBC), Doctors (BBC), Doctor Foster (BBC) and The Bill (ITV) and most notably she has played various roles in the award winning Horrible Histories series on CBBC. Martha now works with the Horrible Histories team and they have created the show Yonderland (SkyTV) and Ghosts (BBC), where she plays the character Lady Button.
At the age of 11, Kate attended the Sylvia Young Theatre School in Marylebone, London. She left her family farm in Mid Wales to follow her dream! After attending Sylvia Young for five years she then went on to the Arts Educational School in London and then studied for her degree at the Guildford School of Acting. After Drama School, Kate became an Agent for children and young adults at the Ravenscourt Theatre School in London. During her time as an Agent, Kate represented high profile performers helping to secure roles within West End productions, television and touring theatre. She did this whilst working as an actor too. In 2004 Kate decided to move back to her home in Mid Wales and retrain for a year to be able to teach Drama and Theatre Studies. She is currently Head of Drama at Moreton Hall School in Shropshire.
Singer, Songwriter & Producer
Mr Hudson is a British musician from Birmingham. First rose to prominence in 2006 with the band Mr Hudson and the Library, which toured with Amy Winehouse on the Back To Black tour, played on Jools Holland and opened for The Police. Hudson embarked on a solo career in 2008, when he signed a record deal with Kanye West's GOOD Music. He worked on West's 808s & Heartbreak (2008) and appeared on Jay-Z’s Young Forever, from The Blueprint 3 (2009). He would find more solo success on his 2009 album Straight No Chaser, which spawned the hit single Supernova. Since 2010 Hudson has been writing and producing for many artists, including Miley Cyrus, Idris Elba, Duran Duran, Future, DJ Snake, JP Cooper, Jake Shears and most recently in 2020, John Legend with the song Never Break which features on Legend's latest album Bigger Love.
Dead Human is a graphic artist, illustrator, glitched gif maker & digital provocateur. With roots as a DJ & graffiti artist, he has maintained a position at the epicentre of the music industry, using his talent to create visual identities and artwork for bands, promoters, clubs, venues & festivals in the UK, Europe & US. His client list includes; Tom Shorterz (Rinse FM) 02:31 brand at The Rainbow Venues in Birmingham; Leftfoot, who’s events include Young Fathers, Gilles Peterson, Quantic, Andrew Weatherall and many other heavy weight artists both in the UK and in Europe; and This Is Tmrw who cater for indie live acts such as The Black Lips, Ghostpoet, HMLTD and Joe Goddard (Hot Chip) to name a few. Dead Human designed the visual identity, brand and album covers for DJ Cut La Roc and various acts signed to RocStar Recordings and he is currently working on a clothing range under the RocStar Threadz offshoot. He has a growing number of album cover designs produced for Mediagroove in New York and he recently provided several personal artworks for the exhibition, PROFILE at Ma-Wah Gallery, London.
Here is the link to Dead Human's website:
Actor & Drama Teacher
Michael is a teacher of Drama and professional actor. He obtained a BA (Hons) in Music and Theatre from UCLan and studied Education at Glyndwr University. His credits as an actor include: The Greatest Show (UK Tour), West End Story (UK Tour), The Last Five Years (UK Tour), Into The Wild (Old Joint Stock, Birmingham), Captain Hook in Peter Pan (Epstein, Liverpool), West End On Tour (Birmingham Old Rep), Aladdin, Jack and the Beanstalk, Snow White, and Cinderella (The Stiwt Theatre), Spring Awakening (St Peters), Parade (St Peters), Beauty and the Beast (RNCM), The Tempest (Sherman Theatre), Broadway - Welsh Musical Theatre Orchestra (Congress Theatre). Michael is also no stranger to television, his credits include: Home Fires (ITV), Macbeth (GSP Productions), Choir of the Year (BBC 2011), The Big I Am (Cinematic Productions).
RICHARD G JONES
With over 30 years’ experience, lighting designs have included West End, Broadway, UK & International tours, Repertory and site-specific work. Productions have included musical theatre, Shakespeare, contemporary writing and pantomimes, and as well as theatre work have included designs for arena shows, concerts and corporate events.
Rosie Kay BA (Hons) FRSA was born in Scotland, trained at London Contemporary Dance School (graduating in 1998) and, after a career performing internationally, formed Rosie Kay Dance Company in 2004. Kay has created award-winning theatre works that include; Motel (2016) in collaboration and inspired by visual artists Huntley Muir, Sluts of Possession (2013) in collaboration with the Pitt Rivers Museum, There is Hope (2012) exploring religion, 5 SOLDIERS: The Body Is The Frontline (2010), based on extensive research with military which continues to tour in the UK and Internationally, 10 SOLDIERS and Double Points: K (2008) in collaboration with Emio Greco | PC. Outdoor and site-specific works include Modern Warrior (2017), Haining Dreaming (2013), The Great Train Dance (2011) on the Severn Valley Railway and Ballet on the Buses (2007) in collaboration with Birmingham Royal Ballet.
Fiona Keddie-Ord studied Theatre and Music at the University of Glasgow before going on to the London School of Musical Theatre. After 10 years of mainly actor/musician productions, Fiona quickly realised that agenting was where she wanted to be…and so came Keddie Scott Associates.
Music director, arranger, & composer
Alex Lacamoire is an award-winning music director, arranger, and composer. He is best known for his work on Broadway's critically-acclaimed shows Hamilton, Dear Evan Hansen, and In The Heights. Altogether, he has won three Tonys for Best Orchestrations, three Grammys for Best Musical Theater Album, an additional Grammy for producing The Greatest Showman soundtrack, 3 Olivier Awards for his orchestrations and most recently, an Emmy for Outstanding Music Direction for his work in FX’s mini-series Fosse/Verdon.He was also the recipient of a first-of-its-kind Kennedy Center Honors for his contribution to Hamilton. Lacamoire and the Hamilton creative team were honored as the “trailblazing creators of a transformative work that defies category” — a distinction never before awarded by the arts institution.
Trainee Art Therapist
Rachel is a trainee art therapist also known as an art psychotherapist! She is originally from Hull but moved to London about 4 years ago. Rachel absolutely LOVES visiting the Tate Modern, the Hayward Gallery and many more. Additionally, she is lucky enough to sing in a choir which is a nice break from studying and working!
Choreographer & Dance Teacher
Louise began her training at the age of seven at the Grand Theatre School of Dance in Swansea and at sixteen, was awarded a three year scholarship by Laine Theatre Arts in Epsom, Surrey, to train with them professionally. She went on to successfully graduate with her teaching qualifications and a Diploma in Musical Theatre. Theatre credits include Starlight Express (Germany), Fame (Victoria Palace, London & UK tour), West Side Story (UK tour), Grease (UK tour) and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
LYNNEBEC are a performance company based in Birmingham. It is made up of creative duo
Jessica Barber (she/her) and Catherine Butler (she/her). LYNNEBEC makes work that is highly visual, energetic and draws on their shared interests in pop-culture, contemporary circus/dance, site-responsive performance, and live/visual arts. It's characterised by themes of connection, queerness, identity, movement, humour, and
most importantly, JOY.
Drummer, The Stranglers
As the live drummer for legendary UK punk/new wave band The Stranglers, Jim has played on multiple tours and live recordings all over the world including major festivals, radio sessions and live and pre-recorded TV appearances. The band recently celebrated their 40th anniversary and will be touring extensively around the world in 2016/17.
Marcus started life editing and publishing inflight magazines. In his mid 20s he attended LAMDA and trained as an actor. In 2000, Marcus started Dynamis Ltd with his brother Andrew, an online publisher in the B2B sector. He has had two plays produced, including Ordinary Dreams; Or How to Survive a Meltdown with Flair at the Trafalgar Studios in 2009 and Age-Sex-Location at the Riverside Studios.
He was a member of Fluxx Improvisation theatre company in London between 2004 and 2010. He made a short film The Last Temptation of Chris in 2010 before completing Papadopoulos & Sons in 2012 – a film that he wrote, directed, produced and self-distributed in the UK in April 2013, achieving the second highest screen average of any film in its opening weekend. In 2014 he was nominated by the London Critics Circle Awards in the Breakthrough British Filmmaker category.
His short film Two Strangers Who Meet Five Times was screened at over 60 film festivals world-wide, winning 'Best Short' at over 17 of them. His latest award winning short film Office Song is currently doing the festival circuit and has appeared at over 40 film festivals around the world.
Annie is an electroacoustic composer, sound artist and performer. Her output encompasses electronic music composition from acousmatic music to free improvisation. As a collaborator, Annie Mahtani has worked extensively with dance and theatre, and on site-specific installations. With a strong interest in field recording, her work often explores the inherent sonic nature and identity of environmental sound, amplifying sonic characteristics that are not normally audible to the naked ear. Her music explores abstract and recognizable sound worlds and all the spaces in between. Her music has been recognized and performed extensively in concerts and festivals internationally and she was the recipient of a mention at the 35th Bourges international Electroacoustic Music and Sound Art Competition (France, 2008). She has received a number of notable commissions including those from Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, Jazzlines, Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Birmingham Hippodrome, and Rosie Kay Dance Company (for which she is the Company composer). Annie Mahtani is a Lecturer in Music at the University of Birmingham. She is co-director of SOUNDkitchen, a Birmingham-based collective of curators, producers and performers of live electronic music and sound art.
Tom has acted as an Associate Sound Designer on over thirty shows in the UK and Europe, including
The Bodyguard, Gypsy, and Warhorse to name a few. Prior to this he worked as No.1 (Head of Sound),
opening and mixing numerous large West End shows over the past two decades. Sound Design credits include: White Christmas (Dominion Theatre), The Boy in the Dress (RSC), My Beautiful Laundrette (UK Tour), The Colour Purple (Curve and Birmingham Hippodrome).
Director and Applied Theatre Practitioner
Florrie is a director and applied theatre practitioner who has recently graduated from The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. Her theatre company Jack The Lass has recently received a commission for Queering Camden, a project to tell stories and uplift queer voices in Camden. Other recent projects include Kiss Her (director) and London Bubble Young Theatre Makers Programme (project assistant) and an international project in New York working with hard to reach young people.
Soloist, Birmingham Royal Ballet
Lachlan is a soloist with Birmingham Royal Ballet. He was born in Sydney, Australia and trained at the Royal Ballet School. Lachlan first joined Birmingham Royal Ballet in 2012 and is best known for playing Neptune in The Tempest and Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet.
Melody is a music therapist working in the Midlands. As part of her job, she works in lots of different schools with children and teenagers. Melody play's the flute and the piano and is also a singer. She has a Masters degree in music therapy from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London and a Bachelor of Music from the University of Birmingham.
Alastair trained at the Manchester School of Theatre and continues in further training with the Impulse Theatre Company. He is best known for his role as Lee Banks in the BBC’s hit drama, Line of Duty. Other television credits include: Casualty, Hollyoaks, Coronation Street, Machines That Built American, Basil Brush and The Marchioness Disaster. Theatre credits include: The Merchant of Venice (Stafford Shakespeare Festival), Standing At The Sky’s Edge (Crucible Theatre).
Actor, Voice Actor & Movement Practitioner
Sam is an actor, voice actor & movement practitioner from Brum. He's played Christopher Boone in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, devised a show with Frantic Assembly, lent his voice to various audiobooks and appeared in BBC shows Casualty and Doctors.
Costume FX Modeller and Drapesman
Over the last 7 years, Sidonie has worked her way up to both assistant and fully-fledged roles in the costume FX and drapes departments on a number of film productions. These include: Edge Of Tomorrow, Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them, The Star Wars franchise and Academy-nominated 1917, to name only a few. She is currently working on Warner Bros. production The Batman.
Dancer & Artistic Director at O'Driscoll Collective
Jamaal has been a part of the dance community since 2010, practising a variety of dance styles, and developing a strong technique within the hip-hop style of breaking. In 2019, Jamaal created O’Driscoll Collective to give back to the community, facilitating conversation through movement, continuing to teach and deliver performances in a variety of settings. With passion and experience in outreach, Jamaal is currently the Participation Producer for DanceXchange & Birmingham International Dance Festival.
Devika is a Junior Doctor specialising in Psychiatry, from Birmingham. Having always been interested in the arts and being creative, pursuing a career in Psychiatry has allowed her to merge her passion for science and art!
"Art and creativity is essential to everyone - not just Artists."
Vidya Patel is a Birmingham based Dance Artist with training background in Kathak learning from Guru Sujata Banerjee. After graduating from the South Asian Strand at Centre of Advanced Training Dance programme, Vidya represented the South Asian Category in the Grand Finals of the inaugural BBC Young Dancer 2015 at Sadler’s Wells.
Director of Drama & Puppeteer
Hannah trained at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and spent the first few years of her career as a television puppeteer, working on shows such as Fab Lab (CITV), Words & Pictures and Playhouse Disney. During this time she was also an apprentice puppet maker under the guidance of Neil Sterenberg (Dark Crystal, Star Wars), assisting on puppets for many BBC & CITV productions. Her career then took a different turn completely when she ran a fashion label Jukes & Proops, putting her costume design training to good use, making upcycled clothing and accessories winning a concession in Topshop. In 2006 she began teaching and is now Director of Drama at King Edward VI High School for Girls, Birmingham.
Musician & music director
As a multi-genre chamber musician, orchestral pianist and music director, Yshani has performed at venues including Wigmore Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Barbican Theatre and various West End Theatres. She has performed at events including the Oxford Lieder Festival, Kammer Klang and Live at the London Palladium and with such varied artists as City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Mahogany Opera and Nina Conti. She is pianist of the Del Mar Piano Trio and Carismático Tango Band.
Writer for Film & Television
Quirke wrote television for many years with Robin French. Their early output included work on children's drama I Dream, and the comedy sketch show, Man Stroke Woman. Quirke and French created Roommates, a new sitcom which premiered on ABC Family. Their eight-part drama Trinity appeared on British television in 2009. They were nominated amongst the Hot Shot Writers of 2008 by Broadcast magazine. In 2012 the sitcom Cuckoo, created and written by Quirke and French, aired on BBC Three. It ran to five series on BBC3 and BBC1. Kieron created and wrote the BBC TV sitcom, Defending the Guilty, which premiered in 2019. A second series has been commissioned.
Rankin is a British photographer, publisher and film director. With a portfolio ranging from portraiture to documentary, he has shot The Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Kate Moss, Kendall Jenner and The Queen to name only a few. Fearless behind the lens, his imagery has become engrained in contemporary iconography.
He began his career co-founding the seminal magazine Dazed & Confused with Jefferson Hack, tapping into the consciousness of the 90s and 00s with his intimate approach and playful sense of humour. He has since remained a prevalent force in publishing with AnOther Magazine, the bi-annual Hunger Magazine and over 42 books to his name. A film fanatic, Rankin soon turned his hand to directing moving image. As both a photographer and director, he has created landmark editorial and advertising campaigns for some of the biggest and most celebrated publications, brands and charities including L’Oreal, Dove, Pantene, Diageo, Women’s Aid, Comic Relief and Oxfam, alongside music videos for the likes of Miley Cyrus, Rita Ora and Kelis. In 2002, he co-directed his debut feature film, The Lives of Saints, written by Toni Grisoni (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas). Under the eponymous banner of Rankin Film, Rankin reps a roster of the hottest directing talent working today, creating outstanding work for the worlds of advertising, fashion and music videos. His affiliation with charities has seen Rankin travel the world, creating powerful campaigns both as a photographer and a director. Having worked with Comic Relief in 2015, he returned in 2017 to create the t-shirts and merchandise for a record-breaking Red Nose Day. His 2017 campaign with Macmillan Cancer Support went viral as people were encouraged to Brave the Shave.
Actor & Comedian
Adil Ray OBE is best known as the star and creator of the hit BBC1 sitcom Citizen Khan. In 2017, as well as writing new projects Adil ventured into drama acting and appeared as Sadiq Nawaz in Channel 4's groundbreaking drama Ackley Bridge.Television and radio presenting has remained a staple throughout Adil's career. Adil has presented across all the major BBC networks, winning the award for Best Radio Show at the Asian Music Awards and is best known for his work on BBC Radio 5Live.Adil has co-presented BBC flagship entertainment show 'The One Show' and 'Have I Got News For You'. In 2016 Adil was honoured in the Queens Birthday List and awarded Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for services to Media and Broadcasting.
Artistic Director, Wise Children
Emma Rice is the proud Artistic Director of her company, Wise Children, and an internationally-respected theatre-maker and director. For Wise Children Emma has adapted and directed the productions, Angela Carter’s Wise Children, Enid Blyton’s Malory Towers and Romantics Anonymous. As Artistic Director of Shakespeare’s Globe (2016/18), she directed Twelfth Night, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Little Matchgirl (and Other Happier Tales). For the previous 20 years, she worked for Kneehigh as an actor, director and Artistic Director and created critically acclaimed productions including The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk, Tristan & Yseult, 946: The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips, The Wild Bride, The Red Shoes, and The Wooden Frock.
Ben Sadler is a Birmingham-based artist. He has been making artwork collaboratively with his friend Philip Duckworth for nearly twenty years, under the name Juneau Projects. Juneau Projects make art in a variety of media, often working with a wide range of groups of people to design and produce the final works. Much of their work is made for public and outdoor spaces. They have exhibited at venues including Tate Britain (UK), PS1 (New York) and Frankfurter Kunstverein (Germany). Alongside Juneau Projects, Ben also paints, draws and makes videos, often with a quirky and humorous theme. More of Ben’s works can be seen at or on Instagram (@bend_laser)
Andy Savours trained under Alan Moulder and Flood at Assault & Battery Studios for 7 years, which put him in the engineering hot seat early on with projects including SIGUR ROS, THE HORRORS, THE ARCTIC MONKEYS and THE KILLERS. After branching out on his own he engineered MY BLOODY VALENTINE’s long awaited follow up to ‘Loveless’, ‘mbv’ the ‘see my friends‘ album for RAY DAVIES plus added programming on GOLDFRAPP’S Silver Eye Album. He established himself as a mixer with clients such as ROISIN MURPHY, PNAU and THE KILLS and went on to produce records for THE PAINS OF BEING PURE AT HEART, CLOUD BOAT, MR HUDSON, OUR GIRL and THE MAGIC GANG. Recently Andy produced, engineered and mixed the critically lauded debut record for BLACK COUNTRY, NEW ROAD, ‘For the first time’. His new electronic project FRERE recently released their ‘Big Hug’ EP. He is also one half of the electronic folk duo MALPAS, who released their debut album, ‘Rain River Sea’, on Killing Moon Records, and YEBO Records in the US.
Musician, Actor & Director
‘Virtuoso of the arts' (The Times), Matthew Sharp, has performed worldwide as solo cellist, baritone, actor and director: solo appearances with the RPO, LPO, RLPO, CBSO; singing principal roles for the Royal Opera House and Opera North; acting principal roles at the Young Vic and National Theatre Studio; directing for the BBC and Opera North. From Glastonbury to Glyndebourne, the Sydney Opera House to Ronnie Scott’s, he has worked with an extraordinary spectrum of leading artists from Sir John Tavener to Marta Eggert to Dave McKean to Caryl Churchill. His own music and theatre works have toured to major festivals globally. He has given over sixty world premieres and recorded for Sony, EMI, Decca, Naxos, Somm, NMC, Avie and Whirlwind.
Illustrator, Designer & Educator
Rich Sheehan is an Illustrator, Designer and Educator living and working in Tokyo, Japan.
He left KES Birmingham in 2006 having studied Art, Geography and Maths. He studied Fine Art at Central St. Martins, and returned briefly to KES as a basketball coach whilst interning at design companies and freelancing. He went on to study Graphic & Media Design at London College of Communication, University of the Arts London. During this time he had his work first published and exhibited, and he was able to experience working in many different fields from live art, fashion, music, gaming, apps, graphics, animation, web and print. He worked freelance, in-house and with agencies as a designer in London for a few years before moving to Japan. His 'Toy Terror' project has enabled him to collaborate internationally and has seen his custom artwork exhibited worldwide. An opportunity to help with the set design for a KES/KEHS performance of "Little Shop of Horrors" in the sixth form was a defining experience that sparked the beginnings of a varied and fulfilling career (so far!) in the arts.
Set & Costume Designer
Gabriella received an Off-West End Award for Best Costume Design plus Olivier Award and WhatsOnStage Award nominations for Best Costume Design in 2019 for Six, and an Off-West End Award Nomination for Best Costume Design in 2015 for In The Heights. She was a JMK Award finalist in 2014, an RSC Trainee Designer finalist in 2013 & 2014 and was shortlisted for The Linbury Prize for Stage Design in 2013. Gabriella studied Theatre Design at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.
Actor & Screenwriter
Birmingham born Maya Sondhi is probably best known for her roles as PC Maneet Bindra in award winning BBC drama Line of Duty and as Shazia Khan in BBC1 sitcom Citizen Khan. Her screenwriting credits include Mount Pleasant and The Kumars for Sky One, Ackley Bridge for Channel 4, and Eastenders and The Break for the BBC.
Head of Drama at KHVIII School, Coventry
Gracey Spring has been Head of Drama at KHVIII School, Coventry, for nearly ten years, having gone straight into the Head of Department role in her Newly Qualified Teacher year. She has a first-class degree in English Literature and Theatre Studies from Warwick University, where she went on to study a PGCE in Drama with English. She is heavily involved in the development of performing arts nationally and locally and is an active member of CCEP (Coventry Cultural Education Partnership) and NISDA (National Independent Schools' Drama Association). She also trained as a performer with Watford Palace Youth Theatre, the National Youth Theatre and British Youth Music Theatre and worked front of house at Watford Palace Theatre for several years. She is an avid theatregoer and performer, having played a number of roles such as Elle in 'Legally Blonde' (shocking the students by coming back to school after Christmas with blonde hair); The Wicked Queen in 'Snow White' and Eliza Doolittle in 'My Fair Lady'. She also plays Disney princesses and superheroes for professional children's party events with DBA Theatre Party Packages. She is also the acting teacher for Elevate Theatre Coventry, offering performing arts training to 6-19 year olds.
Puppeteer & Puppet Maker
For over twenty five years Neil has been producing puppets and puppetry for the UK television, commercial and film industry. His work includes many well loved characters and shows. As a puppet maker Neil has made and performed characters for CBeebies’ Get Well Soon, Mr Bloom’s Nursery, Hacker & Dodger, Andy’s Wild Adventures and The Furchester Hotel to name but a few. In feature film Neil has worked on Disney’s Muppets Most Wanted, The Force Awaken’s, The Last Jedi and Solo, A Starwars Story and most recently the character of Rian in The Dark Crystal Age of Resistance for The Jim Henson Company/ Netflix.
Paul Stringer is an award winning documentary filmmaker and photographer based in Birmingham, UK. Paul has worked with a variety clients both nationally and internationally in film production, photography and workshop facilitation, including The British Council, University of Birmingham, TEDx, Beatfreeks among many others. Alongside commercial work, he is currently working on his first feature documentary film Hidden Philosophers documenting the open mic poetry scene in the UK and its impact on society.
Managing Director, Method In Motion
After a decade at the BBC there isn’t much Leanne doesn’t know about video production. She’s worked across most genres of programming, from daytime television to current affairs, and has produced flagship shows and award-winning documentaries for BBC 2 and BBC 4. Leanne is now the Managing Director of Method in Motion, a production company that produces bespoke digital content for brands, organisations and agencies. Leanne oversees pre-production and project manages all of Method’s output.
Theatre credits include: ROSMERSHOLM at the Duke of York’s Theatre, HAMILTON at the Victoria Palace Theatre (Winner, Best Actor in a Muscial 2018 Olivier Awards) , The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui at the Donmar Warehouse, The Merchant of Venice at the Globe Theatre and international tour, Pure Imagination at the St James Theatre, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom at the National Theatre, King John at the Globe Theatre and UK Tour, The Book OF Mormon at the Prince of Wales Theatre, The Tempest for Trevor Nunn at the Theatre Royal Haymarket. Hamlet and also Death & The Kings Horseman at the National Theatre, Don’t You Leave Me Here at the West Yorkshire Playhouse. Playing Christopher Molomo in the Abbey Theatre Dublin’s production of Playboy of the Western World. Gary Coleman in Avenue Q at the Noel Coward Theatre, playing Sammy Davis Junior in The Rat Pack at The Strand Theatre, Quickly Robinson in Jailhouse Rock at The Piccadilly Theatre and Theatre Royal Plymouth, Luther in 125th Street at the Shaftesbury Theatre and Mr Jefferson in Rent at the Prince of Wales Theatre. You Don’t Kiss at Stratford Circus, Up On The Roof at the Chichester Festival Theatre, Ariel in the world tour of The Tempest with the RSC, Six Degrees of Separation at the Sheffield Crucible, Generations of the dead at the Young Vic, Bill Shakespeare’s Italian Job at the Gilded Balloon and the Playbox Theatre Warwick, Demon Headmaster and The Animals of Farthing Wood at the Pleasance Theatre. Other National Theatre credits include, The Hour We Knew Nothing of Each Other, Troilus and Cressida, Candide, Honk! and Darker Face of the Earth. Film and TV appearances include; Maxx, Flack, The Current War directed by Alfonso Gomez Rejon, London Boulevard directed by William Monahan. Horrible Histories and Doctors for the BBC.
Teacher & Actor
Mrs T. is a Teaching Artist who began her professional career as a T.I.E actress performing in theatres, schools, arts centres and country houses, in a range of diverse roles spanning from a Gingerbread Man and Tortoise, to a Wartime Headmistress and Queen Elizabeth the First. She then branched into presenting; working in radio, TV and also live for companies such as Chessington World of Adventures, Park holidays and abroad with First Choice. Mrs T. has spent the last 10 years inspiring young people through teaching and leading workshops (in person and virtually), directing, coaching, writing scripts and also creating and recording drama videos.
Stage Manager, Show Caller & Gallery Producer
Heather trained at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and is a very experienced stage manager and show caller, having worked on shows such as Kinky Boots and Hamilton. Heather has also been the show caller on the What’s On Stage Awards, the Evening Standard Theatre Awards and the Olivier Awards.
Costume Designer & Supervisor
Peter is a London based costume designer and supervisor creating costume designs across theatre, dance, ballet and opera. Upcoming projects include costume designs for The Fix for Hofesh Schechter Dance Company, costume designs for The Waiting Game by Mthuthuzeli November for Ballet Black, and costume supervision for Daddy at the Almeida Theatre.
Actor & writer
Joanna grew up in Scotland. She trained at The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. It was here she was 'spotted' by casting director Emma Style, which led to her first professional role as Cathy in The Runaway (2010) together with Keith Allen, Ken Stott, Alan Cumming and Jack O'Connell . The excellent range of her subtle performances includes notable TV and film works such as Stephen Poliakoff's Dancing on the Edge (2013), The Paradise (2012), Banished (2015), One of Us (2016), What Maisie Knew (2012) and Warrior (2019). Her superb stage work as a brilliant theatre artist also includes her exquisite interpretations as Lika in Aleksei Arbuzov's The Promise (London's Donmar Warehouse, 2012) and Milly in Richard Greenberg's The Dazzle (Soho Theatre, 2015-16) alongside Andrew Scott and David Dawson, as well as her remarkable Shakespearean performances as Desdemona in Royal Shakespeare Company: Othello (2015) and as Lady Anne in Richard III (2016) (Almeida Theatre) with Hugh Quarshie and Ralph Fiennes in the title roles respectively.
Screenwriter & Novelist
Stephen is a Welsh screenwriter and novelist who specializes in the horror genre. He wrote the screenplays for numerous horror films, including Ken Russell's Gothic (1986), The Kiss (1988), and William Friedkin's The Guardian (1990). In 1992, Volk wrote the teleplay for the BBC mockumentary Ghostwatch. Other screenwriting credits include Octane (2003) and The Awakening (2011).
Adele trained at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts and worked as an improvisational comedian for SWANK Street Theatre for many years, alongside tours of educational theatres to Secondary Schools, performing arts venues and pupil referral units. In 2007, Adele found her calling and started her teaching career. Adele is passionate about arts education and has completed an MA Education where her dissertation research involved exploring the power of the arts to empower and educate in varying contexts.
Environmentalist & Campaigner
Daniel is the founder and director of Everyday Plastic. He launched and developed Everyday Plastic in 2017, taking the project from his spare room to become an important part of the conversation around plastic waste. As part of this project, Daniel used art as a tool to inspire change. He has worked closely with Surfers Against Sewage, Hubbub, City to Sea and Friends of the Earth, and delivers talks for schools, businesses and events including the British Library, Bestival, Deloitte, the Guardian and TK Maxx. His latest project – The Everyday Plastic Survey – encourages people across the UK to discover their own personal plastic footprint.
Head of Lighting, Birmingham Royal Ballet
Johnny Westall-Eyre started his theatrical career in 1988 at Buxton Opera House and has worked in various areas of the technical theatrical world, including as Chief Electrician with Northern Ballet from 1992 to 1996, touring as a Production Electrician with Matthew Bourne from 1994 to 2001, and with Birmingham Royal Ballet from 2005 to the present day; Head of Lighting from 2009. Johnny also worked at the Edinburgh International Festival from 1990 through until 2013, being Head of Lighting for the Festival for ten years. He regularly adapts existing lighting designs and creates original designs for the Company's midscale tours and choreographic projects.
Musical Supervisor, Musical Director, Arranger & Orchestrator
Theatre credits as Musical Supervisor, Arranger, Orchestrator or Musical Director include: Hairspray (London Coliseum); The Boy in the Dress (Royal Shakespeare Company); Evita (Open Air Theatre, Regent’s Park); Big Fish (The Other Palace); Disney’s Aladdin (Prince Edward Theatre); Funny Girl (Menier Chocolate Factory, Savoy Theatre, UK Tour & Cinema broadcast); A Damsel in Distress (Chichester Festival Theatre); Assassins (Menier Chocolate Factory); Urinetown (St James Theatre & Apollo Theatre); The Commitments (Palace Theatre & UK Tour); A Chorus Line (London Palladium); Shrek (Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, UK tour & Australia); The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee & Passion (Donmar Warehouse); Monty Python’s Spamalot (Palace Theatre); Eric’s (Liverpool Everyman); Little Shop of Horrors (West Yorkshire Playhouse).