Sue began her career as co-founder of the Perrier award-winning busking band Pookiesnackenburger, who were signed to Stiff records and later went on to have their own TV series and sell-out shows at the Edinburgh Festival. She then joined internationally acclaimed circus-theatre act RaRa Zoo before forming her own company ‘Ostrich’, who also toured internationally. Following this she worked as Head of Expressive Arts at a large secondary school before joining Creativity, Culture, Education (CCE) to provide leadership for the delivery of England’s flagship creative learning programme, Creative Partnerships (CP), where she had overall responsibility for the strategic planning, implementation and development of a range of creative learning programmes in her area, linking with the strategic objectives of 4 local authorities. She managed a budget of £1.3 m annually and oversaw the individual programmes for 80 arts, community & educational settings.
Sue has taken the Clore Leadership course at Ashridge business school and trained at the Leadership Training Centre in Ross on Wye where she studied Governance and the Legal Environment, Culture and Public Policy, Future Trends and Strategic Planning, team building, future scenario planning and Project Management. She also completed the Common Purpose ‘Matrix’ programme, attended the National Arts Fundraising School, is an accredited ‘Excite!’ trainer in creativity, innovation and management of change, an Arts Award adviser and an accredited Action Learning Facilitator. She is a TEDx speaker, a yoga teacher and a certified Eating Psychology Coach, providing training for NHS staff. Sue has an M.A (Ed) specialising in Multiple Intelligences and Learning Styles.
A storyteller, comedian and Blues singer, performer and interactive trainer. Sameena lived in England until the age of seven. Over the next 20 years, she lived mainly in India where she learned to speak 3 Indian languages fluently and completed her education, including a BA (Hons.) in Psychology, and an MA in Literature. She also started her career as an actor, writer and director working both in the conventional setting of theatre and out among people standing or sitting, watching, talking and joining in with the acting out of stories relating to various issues such as the death penalty, marital rape and sexuality. Her first love has always been live performance and she has worked at the RSC and the National Theatre, amongst others. Her preference has been for working on new work, being part of the team that creates the first ever performance of a script.
In 2011, Sameena wrote and performed her first solo show at the Edinburgh Fringe. The show has since toured at the Adelaide and Brighton Fringes and she will be taking her show back up to Edinburgh in 2012. She is currently writing her new solo show. Sameena has also worked with the Trust for the Study of Adolescence, facilitating and directing young adults suffering the effects of alcohol abuse and, with them, producing a piece of theatre for a world conference on mental health. She has been involved with Southall Black Sisters, working with women who have survived domestic violence and helping them find voice and expression through writing and theatre workshops. In 2008, she volunteered at the Rainbow Centre in Peru, running theatre workshops with children and young adults with severe learning difficulties. In 2010, she spent a month in Kashmir, running theatre and music workshops with children orphaned by the civil unrest there.
Stephanie is experienced in general business management & marketing. She studied Business Studies at the University of Plymouth and now runs a successful communications & technology company in Oxford. She has worked in a number of different commercial sectors including fashion, sports retail, software, Internet, & media production. She led the marketing strategy for Telelogic, a global software company, designed and developed award-winning multimedia for Macmillan Publishing, and launched one of the first internet provision companies in the UK. Stephanie is a trustee of the Jericho Wharf Trust & the Jericho Living Heritage Trust, both charities are based in Oxford. She is also a singer & musician & leads a community choir based in Jericho.
Anisha Charania is a counsellor, role-play and education consultant. She has a degree in English and Drama and has trained as an actress. Since 1994 she has worked predominantly in community theatre and has a strong background in theatre-in-education and theatre-in-training. Before setting up Chinwag Theatre in 2001 with Ben Priest, her theatre-in-education experience included sexual health work; drugs awareness work; anti-bullying projects and work with excluded pupils and young offenders. Interactive training programmes for the public sector have included in-house and external interviewing skills, management skills, customer service skills, managing challenging behaviour and diversity training. All these programmes have involved hot-seating; forum theatre; facilitation and role-playing between the actors and audience/ participants.
Artistic Director and Founder
Roy Hutchins is a writer, director, performer and theatre producer. Hutchins’ early career consisted of the creation and performance of a number of self-penned one-man shows; Variations on a Headache, Crap Games, Guide to Mental Fitness, Roy Hutchins on Manhood (which was chosen as Pick of the Fringe in 1986 and ran at The Donmar Warehouse), Spacehoppers Clackers and Really Big Fish. At the same time as this, Hutchins worked the London cabaret scene – resulting with him being the first comic to have his own solo show at London’s Comedy Store.
Following this Roy began working began a longstanding collaboration with the poet Heathcote Williams in 1986, often narrating his poems. The first of these, Whale Nation, premiered at Glasgow’s Mayfest at The Third Eye Centre and went on to tour internationally, it received the Charrington Best One Person Show Award and was also selected as Pick of the Fringe for a run at The Donmar Warehouse. Hutchins also presented BBC’s Omnibus version of Whale Nation – which won the Royal Television Society’s Best Documentary Award in 1989. More Williams/Hutchins collaborations followed: Falling for a Dolphin (Fringe First Winner 1989) and Autogeddon (also winner of an Edinburgh Fringe first 1990).
In 2011 Roy Hutchins launched a show of Heathcote’s newer poems entitled Zanzibar Cats (later renamed Darwin’s Nose), which was described in The Theatre Guide by reviewer Michael Coveney: “These wonderful poems seize on political absurdity, planetary destruction and social injustice with relish and delight, as well as great erudition and verbal dexterity.” It toured the UK and had a run at Edinburgh Fringe where Hutchins picked up the prestigious Herald Archangel Award on William’s behalf. Following this collaborative success; Hutchins and Williams founded Brainfruit (a registered educational charity) which became a platform from which a new ensemble performed work; their recent work includes Fiery Tongues (Winner of the Best Ensemble Piece 2017 at The Wellington Fringe). The Big Song – Brighton Festival 2018 (a history of song performed alongside a 100 person choir).
Following Williams’ death in 2017 Hutchins devised ‘Bear North’, a collection of folk songs, poems and dances set in the wilderness of Canada’s Northern Territories celebrating animal life and nature. Hutchins has also worked extensively as a director in the late 1980’s early 90’s where he directed three shows by Ra Ra Zoo Circus theatre, including the 13-person ensemble piece, ‘Fabulous Beasts’ and also directed the late Pete McCarthy’s one-person show ‘On Being British’ and Graham Duff’s version of ‘Diary of a Madman’. Roy has written two plays for BBC Radio 4 ‘Why Did the Comedian Wear a Funny Jacket?’ (1992’) and ‘Spacehoppers Clackers and Really Big Fish (1991) He also had his own 12-part series on BBC Radio 5 ‘First Time Tales’ (1991) As well as being the recipient for a number of major awards Roy received nominations for Time Out Performer of the Year and two Perrier Awards Nominations for ‘Roy Hutchins on Manhood’ and ‘Spacehoppers Clackers and Really Big Fish’ (1986 & 1988).