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The Vamos Theatre team

Core Team

Artistic Director: Rachael Savage
Creative Producer/Youth Theatre Director: Honor Hoskins
Executive Producer: Ellie Turner
Head of Comms: Janie Armour
Health Connector: Hazel Ratcliffe
Marketing Officer: Abbie Payton
Office Administrator: Rhiannon Malbas
Operations Manager: Sarah Hawkins
Vamos Central Lead: Rebecca Harrison
Vamos Central Assistant: Aadil Din
Deaf Ambassador: Mary-Jayne Russell

Associate Artists:
Janie Armour (Composer)
Carl Davies (Set and Costume Designer)
James Greaves (Performer)
Sarah Hawkins (Performer)
Alan Riley (Performer)

Trustees:
Claire Birch
Alison Blank
Grant Brisland
Nathalie Clément
Charlotte Hall
John Plant
Jalesh Sanchania

About the team

Artistic Director: Rachael Savage
After working nationally and internationally for fifteen years, Rachael founded Vamos Theatre in 2006. As Artistic Director, her roles include writer, director, actor, and consultant for change in the care sector; she is a member of the Prime Minister’s Focus Group on Dementia. Rachael trained at Glasgow’s RSAMD, after which she performed with a range of major theatre companies including Birmingham Rep, Northern Stage, Coventry Belgrade, Trestle Theatre and with three international theatre companies. With Vamos Theatre, she has pioneered work with the education and health sectors, led residences in South Africa and China, been Mask Director at The RSC, led mask training at London Business School, created Vamos Theatre apprenticeships and driven the company's artistic and strategic vision, leading to it becoming a regularly funded Arts Council NPO. Since creating Finding Joy in 2013, Vamos Theatre’s award-winning show about dementia, Rachael has continued to create connections with the health and social care sectors to promote the arts as a powerful tool for change. Rachael’s work in the field emphasises non-verbal communication, empathy, listening, trust and truthful connections. 

Creative Producer/Youth Theatre Director: Honor Hoskins
Honor joined Vamos Theatre in 2007 and has worked as part of the Core Team as a performer, practitioner, Tour Manager and Marketing and Development Manager. As Creative Producer, Honor oversees the company’s Learning and Participation programme, as well as regularly delivering workshops, training and residencies. Prior to joining Vamos Theatre, Honor worked for The Roses Theatre, Tewkesbury as Outreach Officer. She has also delivered and managed projects with The Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham; Snap Children’s Theatre Company; and three County Youth Offending Services; she also trained with TiPP (Theatre in Prison and Probation).

Head of Communications/Associate Artist (Composer): Janie Armour
Janie has been part of the Vamos Theatre  team since its beginnings in 2006, composing the music for all of Vamos Theatre's shows. In 2014 she also took on the role of Head of Communications, where her responsibilities include overseeing the company brand, website and messaging strategies,

Health Connector: Hazel Ratcliffe
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.

Marketing Officer: Abbie Payton
Abbie started her career in travel and went to many lovely places around the world, after which she studied at Chichester University and graduated with a 2:1 degree in contemporary dance and business studies. After leaving university, she worked in marketing for an outdoor activity centre in Birmingham for 11 years, alongside teaching dance classes and workshops to children. She currently teaches wedding couples' first dances in her spare time.

Office Administrator: Rhiannon Malbas
Rhiannon started her career in the Civil Service, working as a Diary Manager to a succession of senior government ministers. She then moved into the charity sector, working as an Executive Assistant at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home and Birmingham Children's Hospital. After a long stint in London, she decided home was calling and moved back to Worcester to start a family. In her spare time Rhiannon runs around after her two young children, enjoys cooking, walking and works as a freelance bridal florist.

Operations Manager: Sarah Hawkins
Sarah made her first professional appearance with Vamos Theatre in Nursing Lives (2010), having trained in Vamos Young People’s Theatre for 3 years. Since then she has performed in Offal Tales (2012), three tours of Finding Joy (2013, 14 and 2016), Sharing Joy (2014, 2015 and 2017), Nursing Lives (2015) and The Best Thing (2015). The call of home comforts led to stage management roles, while the arrival of babies no.1 and 2 now sees Sarah working as Vamos Theatre's Operations Manager. When she’s not at her desk, Sarah is also a trained horticulturalist and loves nothing better than working in the garden.

Vamos Central Lead: Rebecca Harrison
Rebecca has been working as a physical theatre artist for over twenty years and worked with various theatre companies during that time. She obtained her degree in performing arts from London Metropolitan University and with three friends, set up a theatre company after graduating. The company launched with a tour to Sarawak, Malaysia in 2004 and continued in the UK on return. After running a few educational workshops in her early career, she identified a passion for teaching and qualified as a performing arts teacher in 2006. Since then she has taught mainly in further education and for two years in Southern Thailand on a ‘learning English through drama’ programme. Rebecca joined the Vamos Theatre team in 2019 and now splits her time between teaching, leading mask workshops, walkabout and running Vamos Central.

Vamos Central Assistant: Aadil Din
Joining the Vamos Theatre team in 2023, Aadil is in his final year of his masters degree in Touring Theatre at University of Worcester. His introduction to the arts was through the Hippodrome Education Network at Birmingham Hippodrome and he has previously performed in Highly Sprung Theatre Company’s Taking Flight, as well as Birmingham Hippodrome’s West Side Story and To the Streets!, in collaboration with China Plate Theatre. He has recently workshoped new musicals such as Reality Bites at the Birmingham Rep and has toured his own work around Worcestershire including Iceberg (Holly Jolly Sauce at Huntingdon Hall, 2022; Worcester Fringe Festival, 2023), and Refuge (tour to secondary schools, 2021). Aadil thoroughly enjoys working in the field of Theatre with Learning Disabilities and aspires to be a Drama and Movement Therapist in the near future.

Associate Artists:
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.

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.

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!

Board of CIO trustees

Alison Blank
Alison is a former occupational therapist and retired university lecturer. Her forty-year career was spent working mainly in community mental health services, and in teaching and research. Throughout her career she was a keen advocate of anti-stigma in mental health services, educating and supporting practitioners to understand mental illness from a mental distress perspective. Alison has always been keen to work with stakeholders, be they service users and family members, students, or colleagues. Her postgraduate research focused on partnership in mental health, the meaning of work for people living with severe and enduring mental health problems, and sense of belonging for people with substance misuse difficulties.

Claire Birch
Claire has over 15 years' experience as a theatre producer working across small to large scale and across the UK. She is currently a Producer for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Cultural Programme.  Prior to this she was a Producer for the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) delivering work across all three houses and on tour. This includes the flagship production A Midsummer Night’s Dream a Play for the Nation in 2016. She reopened The Other Place and produced each season of radical new work there. She led on artist development and R&D. Prior to the RSC, she was Associate Producer at English Touring Theatre and a freelance producer. She has worked for the Rifco, Royal Court Theatre, Jackson’s Lane and The Albany, Deptford.

Grant Brisland
Grant is an experienced venue leader having worked in building-based arts and cultural organisations for more than 20 years. He is particularly passionate about artists and communities and the deep impact the arts can have on society. Grant’s philosophy is to operate with a growth mindset and entrepreneurial spirit, that ensures the sustainability of the sector and the organisations he supports. Grant makes a return to the Board, having been the inaugural Chair of Vamos Theatre CIO.

Sarah-Jane Morgan (Co-opted Trustee/Observer)
Sarah-Jane is Chief Executive Officer & Artistic Director at Worcester Theatres, the charity that runs the Swan Theatre where Vamos Theatre is the Resident Theatre Company. She first encountered Vamos Theatre in their infancy years when working at Malvern Theatres and now enjoys working in unison with their team at the Swan Theatre sharing in the day-to-day highs and lows that all cultural organisations face. With a career in arts venues management (Worcester Theatres, Malvern Theatres and Nuffield Theatre) and touring theatre (Middle Ground Theatre Company) she is an advocate for true community theatre, financial and physically accessible performances and theatre that responds to and challenges their audiences. Sarah-Jane is delighted to be working with such an incredible organisation and looks forward to continuing to see Vamos Theatre thrive in the future.

John Plant
In 1981, John completed a degree in Theatre Studies and English. He then spent eighteen years  travelling the length and breadth of the country working with performance arts organisations and touring theatre companies in every conceivable community context. His roles included performing, writing, directing, managing, designing, fire breathing, stilt walking and driving the bus. During this time he founded MAD – a theatre in education company whose aim was to work anywhere except in theatres. He also wrote for stage and radio and went back to education in 1994 to complete a Masters Degree in English and Creative Writing.  In 1996, he completed a PGCE and took up post as a drama teacher in a school in Tyne & Wear. He stayed in education for the next twenty-five years, working in schools in Scotland and the north and south of England, taking up various roles including Head of Drama, Head of Performing Arts and Assistant Head Teacher.  Throughout his teaching career he passionately promoted arts in education with an unswerving belief in freedom of expression for young people. Part of this was to develop a long standing relationship with Vamos Theatre which has continued into retirement and beyond!

 I have never seen any theatre like this before and so impressed