Diverse City Team

Claire Hodgson, Joint-Artistic Director of Diverse City

Claire Hodgson

Joint Artistic Director - Dorset

Claire Hodgson, Joint-Artistic Director of Diverse City

Claire Hodgson

Joint Artistic Director - Dorset

Claire is a Theatre, Dance and Circus Director, committed to achieving social justice. Claire founded Diverse City in 2005 and is the co-founder of Extraordinary Bodies, the UK’s leading professional integrated circus company.

Claire was a Clore Fellow in 2012 and writes for The Guardian online. She is the former head of Performing Arts at London Metropolitan University and was awarded an MBE in 2016 for services to inclusion in the Performing Arts. Together with Jamie Beddard, Claire won the Clore Duffield 50th Anniversary prize, which they used to tour Extraordinary Bodies across the UK and support 10 ‘Unexpected Leaders’ who have faced barriers to entering the industry.

Claire@diversecity.org.uk
07795 247 216

Jamie smiling and looking to camera

Jamie Beddard

Joint Artistic Director - London

Jamie smiling and looking to camera

Jamie Beddard

Joint Artistic Director - London

Jamie joined Diverse city as Co-Artistic Director and is also part of the Creative Team behind Extraordinary Bodies. Jamie has Cerebral Palsy and having grown up in a time when opportunities for disabled people in the arts were limited, Jamie was lucky to be offered an acting role by the BBC that kicked off his professional career. Since then Jamie has taken the arts world by storm.

In 2011 he left his role as Diversity Officer for the Arts Council to concentrate on developing his freelance portfolio. In 2012 he directed Breathe for the opening ceremony celebrating the Olympic Sailing, and in 2013 he became a Clore Fellow. Jamie recently completed a six-month run at The National Theatre in Threepenny Opera and played the Leader in the return of Bristol Old Vic’s production of Messiah.

Jamie@diversecity.org.uk

Becky smiling to camera

Becky Chapman

Executive Director - Bristol

Becky smiling to camera

Becky Chapman

Executive Director - Bristol

Becky is a Producer, Fundraiser, Facilitator and Theatre Director. Becky joined Diverse City in 2012 for Breathe in the 2012 Olympics opening ceremony Weymouth. She has worked in the UK and internationally in theatre, performance education, engagement and diversity in regional venues, producing companies and touring theatres.

Becky has previously been Producer for The Theatre Orchard arts development charity North Somerset, Artistic Associate with the Australian Theatre for Young People and Arts Development Producer Accessible Arts Sydney Australia. Becky has a BA and PGCE in English and Drama and is a graduate of the National Fundraising School.

Becky@diversecity.org.uk
07952 619 763

Image of Caro Boss - a smiling ginger haired woman with red lipstick on.

Caro Boss

Communications Manager

Image of Caro Boss - a smiling ginger haired woman with red lipstick on.

Caro Boss

Communications Manager

Caro Boss is the Communications Manager and arrives at Diverse City after many years at Clean Break, a theatre company committed to raising the voices of women in prison. She’s excited to explore this new field and work with an exciting company like Diverse City.

Portrait of Jessie smiling, looking away from camera.

Jesse Black Mooney

Company Manager - Brighton

Portrait of Jessie smiling, looking away from camera.

Jesse Black Mooney

Company Manager - Brighton

Jesse is a creative practitioner who loves making wonderful things happen. As company manager, she helps ensure operations run smoothly and systems are in place to ensure everyone has what they need to do their best work. Prior to joining Diverse City in 2018, Jesse was a freelance cultural producer and managed the Brighton Digital Festival – as well as tackling public arts projects with Create London and working in partnership with organisations like the Barbican, the V&A and Waltham Forest Council. Outside of working with Diverse City, Jesse has an independent creative research practice focused on examining digital culture, and lectures on the Digital Media Arts MA course at the University of Brighton

Alice Chutter smiling to camera.

Alice Chutter

Children & Young People Producer - Dorset

Alice Chutter smiling to camera.

Alice Chutter

Children & Young People Producer - Dorset

Alice is a Producer and Arts Manager who has worked on a variety of performance projects for Diverse City and other arts organisations in the South West including Activate Performing Arts, Lighthouse Poole, Pavilion Dance South West and Youth Dance England. Alice obtained her BA in Performing Arts and Literature from the University of Winchester in 2005 before training in Prince2 Project Management methodology.

Alice has built up a portfolio of arts and cultural projects – many of which have a focus on working with integrated groups of young people. She brings her organisational strengths, creativity and warm personality to the company.

Alice@diversecity.org.uk

Profile of Louise Brown smiling.

Louise Brown

Training Producer - Gloucestershire

Profile of Louise Brown smiling.

Louise Brown

Training Producer - Gloucestershire

Louise Brown is an Artist, Producer and Consultant, specialising in working inclusively. Louise has worked for and with a range of organisations and artists across the UK, including Ludus Dance, GDance, Dance South West (PDSW), Candoco, Department of Health SW and most recently, Diverse City.

Louise has a Post Graduate Diploma in Education and has worked extensively as a teacher, trainer and mentor both to young practitioners and emerging companies. She is passionate about collaborative approaches and working across disciplines. Louise has a young daughter and lives in Gloucestershire.

Louise@diversecity.org.uk

Eilis smiling and looking at the camera

Eilís Bevan-Davis

Artistic Director: EBYA - Dorset

Eilis smiling and looking at the camera

Eilís Bevan-Davis

Artistic Director: EBYA - Dorset

Eilís is a facilitator, director and theatre maker. She is an inclusive movement specialist bringing together people of all abilities to participate in creative processes. Eilís graduated from the European Theatre Arts programme at Rose Bruford College in 2011. She now combines theatre with her extensive knowledge in creative support and is focused on developing theatre-training practice for young people with access needs. Eilís is the Artistic Director of Diverse City’s youth company, Extraordinary Bodies Young Artists.

Eilis@diversecity.org.uk

Claire Teasdale smiling to camera

Claire Teasdale

Extraordinary Bodies, Executive Producer - Bristol

Claire Teasdale smiling to camera

Claire Teasdale

Extraordinary Bodies, Executive Producer - Bristol

In 2017, Claire joined Extraordinary Bodies circus company as Executive Producer to steer forward the What Am I Worth? project over the next two years. She has been working in the arts for 25 years, for community theatre venues, outdoor arts and within the public sector. Claire is superb at fundraising, programming and promoting arts events. Professionally she values honesty, equality and great work with a wide appeal.

claireteasdale@extraordinarybodies.org.uk

Liz Craig smiling to camera

Liz Craig

Finance Manager - Dorset

Liz Craig smiling to camera

Liz Craig

Finance Manager - Dorset

Liz is our Finance Manager. She has been with Diverse City since 2014 after meeting Claire at a local toddler group. Liz is a Chartered Management Accountant with 20 years experience of Management Reporting and Budgeting.

Liz moved to Dorset from London and enjoys summers on the beach and winter country walks with her family. She also loves drinking prosecco and scoffing a good curry!

Liz@diversecity.org.uk

Alexa Ledecky

Content Curator - Bristol

Alexa Ledecky

Content Curator - Bristol

Alexa is a Marketing and PR practitioner and a Photographer. Before joining Diverse City as a Social Media Coordinator, she worked for multiple arts organisations, of which The Pleasance at the Edinburgh Fringe, Beltane Fire Festival and Bristol-based cultural powerhouse The Island.

Born in France to an English mother and a Czech father, Alexa grew up in a creative and multi-cultural environment. After completing her studies in Edinburgh, she travelled through South America, lived in Glasgow and most recently settled down in Bristol to become part of its thriving cultural scene. She is passionate about the transformative power of the arts and is determined to take part in promoting projects that bring us all together in our fragmented society.

alexa@diversecity.org.uk

Louise Holloway, smiling to camera

Louise Holloway

Executive Assistant - Dorset

Louise Holloway, smiling to camera

Louise Holloway

Executive Assistant - Dorset

Louise lives in Dorset with her 2 teenage children and scruffy labradoodle dog. She is fiercely proud to have worked for the NHS for the last 20 years in Administration, even with all the challenges it faces. Louise joined the Diverse City team in 2017 to support Liz, our Finance Manager and Claire, our Joint Artistic Director in Swanage. Louise finds the whole philosophy of Diverse City wonderfully refreshing.

In her spare time, Louise loves to run and also has a passion for adrenaline activities. A tandem skydive, paragliding, micro lighting, hot air ballooning, abseiling, gliding and a few flying lessons are some of the incredible things she has done!

Louise.Holloway@diversecity.org.uk

Michael Achtman

Access Consultant & Personal Assistant - London

Michael Achtman

Access Consultant & Personal Assistant - London

Michael is a filmmaker and Access Consultant who often works one-on-one providing access support for Deaf and disabled artists. As Access Manager at Graeae Theatre Company from 2006-2013, he coordinated access for artists, staff and audiences. Other key accomplishments include pioneering the model of the Creative Enabler, as well as the rollout of audio description and captioning across theatre, performance and digital arts.

Michael is an effective communicator and has designed and delivered successful workshops on access and inclusion. His prize-winning film Awake, starring two blind actors, has screened at over 30 international film festivals.

Michael@diversecity.org.uk

Flora Alwen - A woman with dark eyes and dark brown hair to her shoulders, smiling brightly to camera.

Flora Alwen

Circus Director: EBYA - Frome

Flora Alwen - A woman with dark eyes and dark brown hair to her shoulders, smiling brightly to camera.

Flora Alwen

Circus Director: EBYA - Frome

Flora worked as a Circus Performer for over 10 years, specialising in in aerial acts (silks, rope, hoop, static and swinging trapeze). Her company ‘La Seda’ provided aerial acts for events across the globe, including Royal Albert Hall London, Monte Carlo, Rome, Paris and Toronto.

She also worked for The Dream Engine as one of the Heliosphere aerialists, and for Cirque Bijou as an Aerial Choreographer. Flora is now the Subject Lead for Circus at Steiner Academy Frome and runs the youth circus programme Circus Stars Frome.

Jess, smiling to camera.

Jess Edney

Support Worker

Jess, smiling to camera.

Jess Edney

Support Worker

Richard smiling to camera

Richard Moy Thomas

Support Worker

Richard smiling to camera

Richard Moy Thomas

Support Worker

Becky smiling to camera, wearing a black tshirt with 'Diverse City' logo on the front.

Becky Rodriguez

Support Worker

Becky smiling to camera, wearing a black tshirt with 'Diverse City' logo on the front.

Becky Rodriguez

Support Worker

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Eddy Farrar

Accounts Assistant

Eddy Farrar

Accounts Assistant

Eddy left Bristol for rural Dorset 12 years ago where she lives with her family, Monty the Red Setter and Olive the Cat!

Eddy is a qualified and practising Hypnotherapist based in The Isle of Purbeck. With a firm foundation in Finance roles covering the last ten years or so, Eddy has joined us as our Accounts Assistant working closely with Liz our Finance Manager.

Walking Monty on the beach, fire pits in the warm Summer evenings with friends and family are what keep Eddy relaxed, which is important to her. Although now and again she likes to challenge herself so in 2018 she trekked to Everest Base Camp and stood on top of the World!

Board of Trustees

Mel Allwood

Mel Allwood

Mel is an Associate at Arup. Her team within the Building Engineering group in London focus on sustainability credentials of new and refurbished building designs. The role involves working with a variety of stakeholders to develop strategies to reduce energy, water and material use in buildings. Prior to joining Arup, Mel worked at Brixton Cycles Co-op between 1985 and 2004, with roles that included managing finances, developing marketing strategies and fixing bicycles. The shop has been a successful social enterprise since its creation in 1981, and continues to demonstrate how a commitment to inclusivity and collective decision making can create robust, sustainable business.

Mel completed a degree with the Open University, an MSc at UCL and has also worked for a circus, as a bookkeeper for a catering company, a columnist for several cycling magazines and taught bicycle maintenance classes for women. She has published several popular handbooks on bicycle repair.

Her other non-executive roles have included a board member for the London Cycling Campaign, Wheels for Wellbeing and Social Enterprise, Lambeth. Mel worked with founder Claire Hodgson on developing the original business plan for Diverse City, and has been involved with the company as a Director for 12 years.

Dimitrios Tourountsis smiling to camera

Dimitrios Tourountsis

Dimitrios Tourountsis smiling to camera

Dimitrios Tourountsis

Dimitrios is the Head of Impact and Learning at Brook (a charity that provides well-being and sexual health support to young people), where he helps the organisation to develop an evidence-informed practice. Before Brook, Dimitrios supported a range of public and third sector organisations to develop and implement research and evaluation strategies and systems. He has a particular interest and expertise in supporting people to improve their decision-making by using appropriate and proportionate evidence.  
 

Diye Wareibi

Diye Wareibi

Currently the CEO of DigiBridge CIC, a not for profit social enterprise based in London, Diye serves on the board of the London Community Resource Network, Diverse City and On Road Ltd. Diye was born in Liberia and schooled in England from the age of eleven. He earned both a BEng (1992) and MSc in Civil Engineering from the University of Manchester in 1996.

Diye began his professional career as a graduate engineer with the engineering consultancy firm Sir Alexander Gibbs and Partners. As a civil engineer, he worked on diverse projects ranging from the Devonport Nuclear Dockyards to the Jubilee Line Extension. In 2000, he left civil engineering to pursue a career in information technology. He attended the School of Social Entrepreneurs, in 2005, after which he setup DigiBridge CIC.

In 2011, DigiBridge CIC established the first re-use and repair service on small waste electrical and electronic equipment in London in partnership with the London Borough of Islington. In 2013, DigiBridge was recognised as finalist for 2 national awards for this initiative. Diye visited Liberia in 2011 and returned to the UK committed to transforming the failing educational system in the country. As a result, in September 2013, Diye launched the Wariebi Academy in Monrovia, Liberia, with a capacity for 1000 students, from K1 – 12th grade. Diye has been a Director of Diverse City for 12 years.

Helen Costello, smiling to camera in front of a blue wall

Helen Costello

Helen Costello, smiling to camera in front of a blue wall

Helen Costello

Helen’s ambition has always been to show that being a chartered accountant can mean having fun…and she has!

Helen trained with KPMG and then went on to take a number of interesting projects in the NHS and local government, whilst raising her four children. She ran Alex Polizzi’s five star hotel for nearly 10 years, looking after all sorts of amazing and interesting people. Wanting to get back to her financial roots, Helen looked after the finances for the UK arm of an international resort company, working between Malaga, Gleneagles and Cornwall, before joining Theatre Royal Plymouth as Head of Finance at the end of 2014.

Within a few weeks Helen had been moved into the role of Operations Director. This meant she was involved in the Agents for Change pilot project for Arts Council England…and so met Diverse City!

Shaista Aziz smiling to camera.

Shaista Aziz

Shaista Aziz smiling to camera.

Shaista Aziz

Shaista Aziz is a former BBC News, Aljazeera and CNN journalist and has worked as a communications specialist for a number of international organisations including Amnesty International, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) and Oxfam. Shaista has worked extensively across the Middle East, Pakistan, East and West Africa.

Shaista’s writing and journalism has been published in publications including The Guardian, Globe and Mail, Huffington Post and New York Times and others. She is an award-winning stand-up comedian, documentary television presenter and broadcaster, making regular guest contributions to national radio and TV panel discussions including newspaper reviews.

Shaista is the founder of the anti-racism, anti-bigotry digital platform, The Everyday Bigotry Project and is co-founder of the Women’s Advancement Hub (WAH), Pakistan.

Profile of Dave Young, in front of a blue wall.

Dave Young

Profile of Dave Young, in front of a blue wall.

Dave Young

Dave is a writer, theatre-maker, workshop facilitator and board member for Diverse City, and winner of the Alan Martin Award for his Contribution to Creative Arts, leading writing workshops at the 1Voice annual conferences for communication aid users. He is a commissioned artist who regularly performs poetry as well as designing and creating poetry inspired art installations at festivals across the south west, including Inside Out Dorset and Funky Llama Festival, Plymouth Theatre Royal. Dave is currently working as librettist for the ‘Planted Symphony’ project with Drake Music.

Dave’s first scripted theatre show ‘Grow Up and Just Love Chocolate’ received Arts Council England Funding for a team of crew, actors, set and sound design, and debuted at Salisbury Playhouse as part of Fest West 2019 and went on to a repeat performance at Lighthouse, Poole. Dave plans to return to working on the show with a producer in the near future and book further performances at venues across the UK.

Dave’s creative career began through attending The Remix, through which Dave performed in Breathe at the opening of the Olympics in Weymouth and travelled to Brazil to work with disability dance groups. Dave also performed his poetry at the opening of the Paralympic games as part of the ‘Seen but Seldom Heard’ project.

Black and white photo of Graham, talking into a microphone

Graham Devlin

Black and white photo of Graham, talking into a microphone

Graham Devlin

A creative artist, senior arts manager and cultural strategist, Graham was an opera and stage director and writer until 1999 when he became Deputy Secretary General and Acting Chief Executive of the Arts Council of England. He ran the successful new writing and music-theatre company, Major Road, for over 20 years whilst also working in dance and opera, directing and writing freelance for, amongst others, the National Theatre, Scottish Opera, Glyndebourne, Sydney Opera House and the Aldeburgh Festival. Overall, he has directed more than 90 theatre shows. He was appointed CBE in the 2010 New Year’s honours list.

He has served on numerous Arts Council and Government committees and worked for many public agencies, including all four UK Arts Councils and a number of government departments in England, Scotland and Wales and local authorities such as London, Manchester, Edinburgh and Glasgow. His international consultancy includes projects in the USA, Australia, India, Hong Kong and across Europe. Clients also include the British Council, IFACCA, ISPA, The National Theatre, the RSC, the Edinburgh Festivals, the Royal Opera House, Glyndebourne, the LSO, Tate, V&A, The Science Museum and National Theatre of Scotland. He also lectures and has authored or co-authored a number of publications.

Ayad has his back to the camera, with his arm raised and finger pointing.

Ayad Al-Ani Mosab

Ayad has his back to the camera, with his arm raised and finger pointing.

Ayad Al-Ani Mosab

Ayad was an asylum seeker who was granted refugee status in June 2016. His background was in corporate governance and administration as an auditor in his past life in Iran. Ayad does not have an arts background, although since coming to the UK has become involved in various projects that have made him aware of the positive impact the arts can have on both individuals and communities.

Ayad was a major contributor to the ‘Leads’ networking events held during the Extraordinary Bodies tour of Weighting in Stoke-on-Trent in 2015. He became an important gatekeeper for sections of the Stoke community, discussing and promoting Weighting within his networks and then gathering substantial feedback from those communities and translating it for our use. Ayad returned to work with the events team again, as the Extraordinary Bodies tour finished in Bristol as part of Doing Things Differently 2016.

In 2017, Ayad was invited to become a member of the Diverse City Board of Trustees.

Alex: A white woman with short brown bob, smiling to camera.

Alex Dabek

Alex: A white woman with short brown bob, smiling to camera.

Alex Dabek

Alex is a senior solicitor at Bolt Burdon Kemp London working in the Spinal Injuries team with a caseload including general clinical negligence, catastrophic brain injury, gynaecological, orthopaedic and fatal claims. Alex is experienced in risk assessment as well as formulating and implementing claims strategies.

Originally trained in Poland, Alex graduated from the University of Westminster receiving a distinction from the College of Law in 2006. Alex joined the Diverse City Board of Trustees in 2017.

Amna Abdullatif

Amna Abdullatif

Amna is a community psychologist currently working as the national lead on Children and Young People for Women’s Aid. She leads the Safer Futures project working across England to deliver prevention work in schools focusing on domestic violence.

Amna has worked and volunteered in the third sector for over 10 years in various charities and social enterprises, including The Challenge Network, InspirEngage and Community on Solid Ground. This has included working on youth and gender issues, dealing with health, employment and training.

She has an honours degree in English Language and Literature, and has also completed a masters in Community Psychology. Amna is active politically in her home city of Manchester, and sits on the executive committee for the Greater Manchester Fabians, running events that explore issues in the area, such as devolution, the mayoral campaign and Brexit. Amna joined the Diverse City Board of Trustees in 2017.

Associate Artists

Milton - a mixed race man with shoulder length dreadlocks, sitting on the floor, smiling to camera. His black tshirt says 'I SAW PEARL JAM'

Milton Lopes

Actor, Circus Artist

Milton - a mixed race man with shoulder length dreadlocks, sitting on the floor, smiling to camera. His black tshirt says 'I SAW PEARL JAM'

Milton Lopes

Actor, Circus Artist

Milton Lopes was born in Cape Verde and grew up in Portugal, where he worked as an actor in various TV Shows, Theatre and Films. He won the Best Actor Award playing Domingos in the film O Delfim. Speaker of four languages, Milton has worked in Portugal, France, Angola, Mexico and the UK. As an aerialist he performed in the 2012 Paralympic Opening Ceremony and Extraordinary Bodies’s show Weighting. He works regularly with Graeae Theatre Company having played the lead role Macheath in Bertolt Brecht’s The Threepenny Opera, a co-production by Graeae, New Wolsey Theatre, Nottingham Playhouse, West Yorkshire Playhouse and Birmingham Rep.

Milton has also worked in Early Days Of Better Nation, by Coney directed by Annete Mees. He played Peter in Bonobo a feature film by Matthew Hammet Knott. In 2016 he portrayed John The Savage in Brave New World for BBC Radio 4, directed by David Hunter; worked as an Aerialist in Calling Tree, Arts Admin production, directed by Rosemary Lee and Simon Whitehead; participated in the smash hit Portuguese Telenovela A Unica Mulher produced by Plural Entertainment for TVI.

In 2017 Milton toured Wales playing Areal in The Tempest by Taking Flight. In 2018 He played The Australian Aboriginal in Our Country’s Good, a Ramps On The Moon Production, played Athos in The Three Musketeers (The Dukes Park Show) directed By Sarah Punshon. He is in Death Of A Salesman, directed by Sarah Punshon at Royal Exchange in Manchester, playing Stanley The Waiter.

Milton is currently developing his own show,Elephant, with a cast of D/deaf and disabled performers, using aerial circus, theatre and live music.

 

A young woman with Down syndrome poses for a portrait photo, her light blonde hair tied back. She has light blue eyes and wears a dark blue tank top.

Helen Cherry

Dancer & Performer

A young woman with Down syndrome poses for a portrait photo, her light blonde hair tied back. She has light blue eyes and wears a dark blue tank top.

Helen Cherry

Dancer & Performer

Helen is a Dancer and a Performer. She plays Flo, the main character Extraordinary Bodies’ multi-sensory show Splash!. She is also Dance Leader with Lancashire based DanceSyndrome and works regularly with DaDaFest. Over the past years, she has performed as lead role in “Lit aDrift” at the 2018 Edinburgh Fringe and been a TV extra for the BBC, Channel 4 and ITV, including 15 episodes on Coronation Street.

When Helen isn’t on stage or under the spotlights, she is studying for her Level 3 British Sign Language Certificate, swimming or learning to play the violin.

 

Photo © Reel Monkey Productions

Karina Jones, a woman with long blonde-white hair and bright blue eyes, smiling to camera.

Karina Jones

Actor, Artist - Wales

Karina Jones, a woman with long blonde-white hair and bright blue eyes, smiling to camera.

Karina Jones

Actor, Artist - Wales

Karina Jones is an actor and aerial artist. At age 13 Karina became disabled through a degenerative sight condition, but she didn’t let that discourage her. Karina studied Acting at university, followed by an MA in Voice Studies from Central. In 2012, she answered a call out for disabled artists to perform at the Paralympic Opening Ceremonies. She took part in an intensive training course for circus and aerial work at Circus Centre London, where her passion for circus was realised. From here Karina continued her training at the Green Top Circus in Sheffield, and joined the Extraordinary Bodies team for the premiere of Weighting in 2013. She described the elation and freedom of swinging on an aerial hoop high in the air as one of her biggest achievements.

John Kelly, a white man with dark hair and blue eyes, wearing a colourful blue stripe shirt - looks into the camera with a stern look - his quiff fringe falling over his forehead and a padlock chain sitting round his neck.

John Kelly

Musician, singer, songwriter

John Kelly, a white man with dark hair and blue eyes, wearing a colourful blue stripe shirt - looks into the camera with a stern look - his quiff fringe falling over his forehead and a padlock chain sitting round his neck.

John Kelly

Musician, singer, songwriter

John is a self taught musician and singer / songwriter. He has performed all over the world from Brazil to Estonia, playing for audiences of thousands. Most memorably he performed for 200,000 as part of an anti-austerity protest in Parliament Square, and for 80,000 in the Olympic Stadium as part of the Paralympic Opening Ceremony. John has played rock n roll in Memphis and Nashville, and has sang with the Blockheads, but his favourite gigs have been in the smallest of pubs back home in Ireland ‘with close family, friends, a packet of Taytos and a pint of the black stuff!’

John is proud to be a Disability and Human Rights Campaigner and has been most fighting for rights to Independent Living. On top of all that he is also a youth worker and a qualified facilitator who works with many different organisations to develop creative & inclusive practice.

 

Rowan, smiling to camera

Rowan Fae

Rowan, smiling to camera

Rowan Fae

Daryl smiling to camera

Daryl Beeton

Daryl smiling to camera

Daryl Beeton

Daryl has worked extensively within the Theatre, Disability and young people’s arts sector for over 20 years. He is a recognised cultural leader as well as a high-profile advocate for disabled artists. The core of all of Daryl’s work has been a belief that arts can enrich our lives and those of the communities we inhabit. Working in this way has required Daryl to try a variety of ambitious, imaginative and unorthodox approaches, to creating relevant and playful theatre that removes barriers and ensures the engagement for all and across all art forms.
In 2010 Daryl was selected as one of 15 Cultural Leaders creating and producing work in the outdoor arts sector by the Independent Streets Arts Network (ISAN) and in 2013 he was recognised with an Action for Children’s Arts Members Award for his commitment to enriching children’s lives through the Arts. In 2018 he set up his new company Daryl Beeton Productions providing a platform for artists, companies and people to collaborate.
David smiling to camera.

David Ellington

Dancer, Actor and Film Producer - Bristol

David smiling to camera.

David Ellington

Dancer, Actor and Film Producer - Bristol

Dancer, Actor and Film Producer David Ellington is recognisable across the country for his multiple television appearances, including his ground-breaking in-vision signer role for the Channel 4 Rio 2016 Paralympic Games trailer. He has performed in multiple productions with Graeae, won best actor for his performance in DEF at the ‘Deaf Oscars’ Award Ceremony, and was also part of the London 2012 Paralympic Opening Ceremony. David is profoundly Deaf and a British Sign language user, who since being in Extraordinary Bodies has developed aerial circus skills to add to his bag of tricks.

Profile of Dave Young, in front of a blue wall.

Dave Young

Profile of Dave Young, in front of a blue wall.

Dave Young

Dave is a writer, theatre-maker, workshop facilitator and board member for Diverse City, and winner of the Alan Martin Award for his Contribution to Creative Arts, leading writing workshops at the 1Voice annual conferences for communication aid users. He is a commissioned artist who regularly performs poetry as well as designing and creating poetry inspired art installations at festivals across the south west, including Inside Out Dorset and Funky Llama Festival, Plymouth Theatre Royal. Dave is currently working as librettist for the ‘Planted Symphony’ project with Drake Music.

Dave’s first scripted theatre show ‘Grow Up and Just Love Chocolate’ received Arts Council England Funding for a team of crew, actors, set and sound design, and debuted at Salisbury Playhouse as part of Fest West 2019 and went on to a repeat performance at Lighthouse, Poole. Dave plans to return to working on the show with a producer in the near future and book further performances at venues across the UK.

Dave’s creative career began through attending The Remix, through which Dave performed in Breathe at the opening of the Olympics in Weymouth and travelled to Brazil to work with disability dance groups. Dave also performed his poetry at the opening of the Paralympic games as part of the ‘Seen but Seldom Heard’ project.

Flora Alwen - A woman with dark eyes and dark brown hair to her shoulders, smiling brightly to camera.

Flora Alwen

Circus Director: EBYA - Frome

Flora Alwen - A woman with dark eyes and dark brown hair to her shoulders, smiling brightly to camera.

Flora Alwen

Circus Director: EBYA - Frome

Flora worked as a Circus Performer for over 10 years, specialising in in aerial acts (silks, rope, hoop, static and swinging trapeze). Her company ‘La Seda’ provided aerial acts for events across the globe, including Royal Albert Hall London, Monte Carlo, Rome, Paris and Toronto.

She also worked for The Dream Engine as one of the Heliosphere aerialists, and for Cirque Bijou as an Aerial Choreographer. Flora is now the Subject Lead for Circus at Steiner Academy Frome and runs the youth circus programme Circus Stars Frome.