The Vamos Theatre team

Core team

Rachael Savage: Artistic Director
After working nationally and internationally for fifteen years, Rachael founded Vamos Theatre in 2006. As Artistic Director of the company, her role varies from writer, director and actor, to workshop leader, drama consultant for schools, and university lecturer. Rachael trained at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. Theatre experience includes work with a wide range of UK companies, touring and regional producing theatres, including: Birmingham Rep, Coventry Belgrade Theatre, Northern Stage, Bolton Octagon, Pentabus, Red Shift, Cleveland Theatre, Dodgy Clutch/Welfare State International; 7 years with Trestle Theatre; and three international touring companies - Tour de Force, The American Drama Group, and The International Theatre Company London. Rachael steers the company's creative vision and direction, and creates all of Vamos's artistic programme from arts in health, to walkabout, to full scale touring shows.

Claire Morton: Executive Producer
New to the Vamos team in 2018, Claire has over 13 years of extensive experience and knowledge of working across performing art-forms and the cultural sector. Between 2015-2018, Claire worked independently for a range of projects, from independent artists to international touring companies (including Ballet Black, Stuff and Nonsense Theatre Company, Made by Katie Green and many more), fundraising just under £500k to support the delivery of work and new artistic programmes. Prior to this, she co-directed Morton Bates Arts Services, helping to raise over £1.3m through Arts Council England, securing over 750 performance bookings and delivering 100 projects across the portfolio between 2008-2014. Claire holds a BA in Dance & Culture with Professional Training (University of Surrey), a Masters Degree in Arts Management (City University, London) (Arts Humanities Research Council Award recipient) and is a fellow of the Clore Leadership Programme (short course).

Honor Hoskins: Creative Producer
Honor joined Vamos Theatre in 2007. She worked originally as a performer and workshop leader and was involved with many of the company’s early productions, including Storybag 1, Storybag 2, In your Face, Nursing Lives 2010, The Best of Storybag, and Much Ado About Wenlock. She has became the company's Marketing and Development Manager in 2014. Prior to joining Vamos Theatre, Honor worked for The Roses Theatre, Tewkesbury as Outreach Officer, Snap Children’s Theatre Company, Worcestershire and Herefordshire Youth Offending Service, Gloucestershire Youth Offending Service,  as well as training with TiPP (Theatre in Prison and Probation).

Kathryn Bettesford: Administrator
Kathryn graduated in 2012 from Worcester University in Drama and Performance Studies BA (Hons) with a 2:1 (only a mark off a First!). She worked with Vamos Theatre as a student throughout her university career,includes performing in Offal Tales, in which she played the truly unforgettable role of a Disco Dancing Cow , and in Godiva Awakes as a member of Vamos Young People’s Theatre. Kathryn began her adminstrative experience as a work placement during Much Ado About Wenlock, before taking on the professional role of Vamos's office Adminstrator.

Panna Parmar: Marketing Manager
Panna joined the Vamos Theatre family in January 2018. She cut her teeth in marketing for the likes of Lastminute.com, Jack Wills and Thomas Cook. Panna has over 10 years’ experience working with companies who want to build their brands digitally and develop customer loyalty. Alongside working for Vamos, Panna is also a fine artist and illustrator who has exhibited in solo and group shows around London and the Midlands.

Helen Timmins: Learning and Participation Producer
Helen brings over 20 years of experience in the field of Applied Theatre to her role, having graduated from Northumbria University in 1997 with a degree in Community Drama. She started her career working in Theatre in Education as a teacher/actor for The Playhouse, Birmingham and has since worked with numerous groups and organisations (Women & Theatre, Dramatic Solutions, Hearth, Hi8us Media) as a performer, facilitator and writer.  She was youth theatre leader at Kidderminster Roses Young People’s Theatre where she worked with young people ranging from 8-18 years of age. Helen is passionate about using drama to explore things that matter, having worked for many years at Birmingham University where she used her skills to help train healthcare professionals in communication. She continues to work in this field as a role player and trainer and has a particular interest in the vital role the arts play in healthcare and education.

Daniel Hill: Youth Theatre Director
Daniel has over 14 years’ experience in creating theatre and film productions with and for young people. Producing performances from intimate studio pieces, performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, to large scale promenade productions and family Christmas shows. As well as producing and directing, Daniel has managed and run education programmes, curated film festivals and run workshops in a huge verity of disciplines. Daniel’s passion for nurturing young talent and telling the best stories has seen him work for various organisations around the UK and as far away as Queensland, Australia.

Janie Armour: Associate Artist (Composer)
Janie has been part of the Vamos Theatre team since its beginnings in 2006. She trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and at Goldsmiths College University of London, from where she has a Masters degree with distinction in composition. She has over 40 professional theatre shows to her credit, including work for the Watermill Theatre, York Theatre Royal, Trestle Theatre, Chichester Festival Theatre, and composition for BBC2 and Radio 3. Janie has collaborated extensively with spoken word artists, composing and performing most recently with Aoife Mannix, with whom she has toured Growing up an Alien, Different Words for Snow, Misunderstood Monsters. and Radio Pirate.

Carl Davies: Associate Artist (Set and Costume Designer)
Carl first worked for Vamos on the first tour of Finding Joy in 2013. He trained at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, and was a finalist in the prestigious Linbury Biennial Prize for Stage Design 2005. He has worked in a huge variety of performance genres including opera, panto, Shakespeare, site-specific performance, and circus; and with companies as diverse as Forest Forge, Hijinx, NOFITSTATE, and Theatre Royal, Plymouth.

Richard J Fletcher: Associate Artist (Performer)
Richard trained at Rose Bruford College of Speech and Drama, and first joined Vamos for the Finding Joy 2014 tour. His previous work includes roles for Coventry Belgrade, London Bubble, Salisbury Playhouse, Northern Broadsides/West Yorkshire Playhouse, New Perspectives, and many seasons in panto at the Oldham Coliseum. Richard’s role with Vamos includes touring production performer and tour manager, workshop trainer and Walkabout performer.

James Greaves: Associate Artist (Performer)
James co-founded Trading Faces Theatre Company in 1987, specialising in physical theatre and mask work, and from 1989 worked extensively with Trestle Theatre Company taking mask performance all over the world, from Tashkent to Sydney and Tokyo to Taunton. He performed in many Trestle classics, including Top Storey, State of Bewilderment, Blood and Roses, Adventures of the Stoneheads and Beggars Belief. James first joined Vamos Theatre to perform in Finding Joy, taking on the role of Danny. Since then he’s toured throughout the UK and Europe with us, as well as leading mask workshops across the UK.

Sarah Hawkins: Associate Artist (Performer)
Sarah trained with Vamos Young People’s Theatre for five years, working in full mask, half mask, puppetry and physical theatre. She made her professional debut touring nationally in Vamos Theatre’s original Nursing Lives (2010). Since then she has appeared in a range of guises at many Walkabout Theatre events, and performed in Vamos’s Offal Tales (2012), three tours of Finding Joy (2013, 14 and 2016), Sharing Joy (2014 and 2015) and Nursing Lives (2015).

Alan Riley: Associate Artist (Performer/Director)
Alan is a performing arts graduate of Middlesex University, who has worked as a performer and director with Vamos since 2014. As a founder member of Trestle Theatre Company, he has acquired extensive devising and performance experience in mask theatre. He also co-founded ‘Theatre de Camping’ producing and touring several physical theatre comedies. Alan was employed as a performer and writer for The Tweenies, a pre-school children’s programme for BBC TV. He contributed a number of scripts and provided the ‘body’ of several characters, mainly Doodles the big red dog, but also: a sprightly old lady, a clown puppet, a robotic spaceman toy and a musical monkey that played the drums!

Penny Mayes: Creative Producer
Over a twenty two year tenure with Trestle Theatre Company, Penny played a major role in establishing it as one of Britain's leading national and international touring theatre companies.  On leaving Trestle in 2002, she set up her freelance business, Dramatic Solutions (www.dramatic-solutions.co.uk). A wide variety of jobs include capital fundraiser for artsdepot, co-produced Feeast, a major festival of Central and Eastern European Arts, setting up Free Word, the first home for literature, literacy and free expression, General Manager for Clod Ensemble, securing over half a million £s towards its Performing Medicine programme. She produced Helen Chadwick / Steven Hoggett collaboration, War Correspondents with an extensive 22 venue tour to include Durham Cathedral and Sage Gateshead. She is currently producing Lucy Steven's Kathleen Ferrier, Whattalife! and Shakespeare In Song and General Manager for The Brook Street Band. She is a regular tutor for the MA Cultural Policy course at Goldsmiths University, National Centre of Circus Arts and East 15, University of Essex. She regularly assists performing arts companies in all aspects of arts mangement and company development

Hazel Ratcliffe: Strategic Touring Project Manager
Hazel is the director and founder of Ratcliffe Training Consultancy and has worked in Social and Health Care for over thirty years. As a qualified nurse, psychotherapist and social worker, she has worked with most client groups, but more intensively with people living with dementia, those with learning disabilities and in mental health. Hazel has been an Associate Specialist in Learning and Development for the Association for Dementia Studies since 2010 at Worcester University. She is a Dementia Champion and has worked closely with communities over the past five years building awareness and reducing stigma around memory loss.  She also co - founded ‘Buddies’, a support group for people living with dementia, run by people living with dementia.

Board of CIO trustees

Sophie Atkinson: Director of Governance and Compliance, Catalyst Housing
Sophie Atkinson is a qualified solicitor, who supports Vamos on legal, governance and company secretarial issues. Sophie has a keen interest in theatre and the arts and holds a Masters degree in Shakespeare and Theatre from the University of Birmingham.

Grant Brisland: Co-Director, Corn Exchange & New Greenham Arts
Grant is a founding trustee and is currently the Chair for Vamos Theatre. Professionally he works as the director of the Newbury Corn Exchange and 101 Outdoor Arts Creation Space. Grant has worked with Vamos Theatre for a number of years, since the creation of Finding Joy in 2013, and is pleased to be supporting the company during its development as an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation. He brings expertise in finance and fundraising as well as arts education.

Jules Ford: Director, Big Blue Drum
As a registered nurse, Jules has clinical and operational management experience in a range of settings, across community, primary and secondary care. She has worked in adult services in both psychiatry and general nursing, and within children & young people’s services across health,
education and social care – this brings both a breadth and depth of experience to her practice. As an experienced clinical supervisor and trained action learning set facilitator, she is committed to supporting staff to deliver the highest quality of care and intervention possible. Alongside her nursing qualification she has a BSc in psychology, an MA in education and is currently training as a health psychologist. Through Big Blue Drum CIC, Jules works with several  NHS organisations in SW England, helping to develop commissioning processes for arts and culture. She is currently the programme lead for the Cultural Commissioning Programme in Gloucestershire, one of two national pilots in the ACE Cultural Commissioning Programme.

Jane Hytch: Director, Imagineer Productions
Jane is CEO of Imagineer Productions, a live events production company, specialising in theatre and outdoor performance, education programmes, special commissions and touring. She is also Artistic Director and founder member of Worcester Arts Workshop. Work with Imagineer includes Bridge, a new large scale outdoor commission, winner of the Ambition for Excellence Award Arts Council England, The Festival of Imagineers and The Godiva Awakes Project (Arts Council Artist Taking The Lead Award for London 2012). Jane was also Producer for the Opening Ceremony of The International Children’s Games (2005), The Coventry Mysteries (2000, 2003, 2006) and The Arts Alive Festival, all at The Belgrade Theatre, Coventry.

Michael Sheath: Principal Practitioner (Co-opted board member)
Michael worked as a probation officer for ten years before joining The Lucy Faithfull Foundation. LFF is a charity which seeks to prevent child sexual abuse by working with offenders and their families. The Foundation runs a confidential helpline, Stop it Now! for individuals concerned about their own or another's sexual thoughts and behaviours. Michael delivers training to police officers, social workers and health workers in relation to understanding sexual offending, and to schools and colleges in relation to Safer Recruitment practices. He has a special interest in men who view child abuse material, and works as a staff trainer for Europol.

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