South West Writers

About the Author

Chris is a freelance writer, director, dramaturg, arts producer, consultant and evaluator.

He has written and directed 15 plays, including commissions for New Perspectives (Firestarter, Trying to Get Back Home, Heroes, Bogus), Flax 303 (The Rain Has Voices by Shiona Morton) and Farnham Maltings (How To Build A Rocket) in partnership with Gavin Stride, with whom he is a frequent collaborator, and for whom he has written the text for Time to Remember (an outdoor event to mark the centenary of the first ever Two Minutes Silence to be held anywhere in the world), as well as developing his own productions All The Ghosts Walk With Us (with Laila Diallo and composer Phil King), Posting to Iraq (in association with the Women & War Festival, London) and Tree House (with composer Sarah Moody) to be presented and toured in 2016.

In May 2015 his second book of poetry, short fiction and essays, Northern Songs, was published by Mudlark Press, following the success of Special Relationships, his first collection, in 2012. He regularly gives readings in venues across the south west, frequently in tandem with fellow poet Chris Waters under the banner The Long & Winding Road.

He was Creative Producer for South East Dance in Brighton for 3 years, leading on their Associate Artists scheme, where he worked closely with Ben Wright, Suba Subramaniam, Lucy Cash, Charlie Morrissey, Antonia Grove and Ben Duke, as well as having previously advised Akademi and SADAA (South Asian Dance Arts Alliance) on their strategies for Artist Support & Development, supporting the work of Ankur Bahl, Anusha Subramanyam, Hetain Patel, Kali Chandrasegaram, Khavita Kaur, Seeta Patel, Shane Shambhu, Showmi Das and Urja Desai.

As part of his current portfolio he is the Creative Producer for the Bonnie Bird New Choreography Award, again supporting the work of Rosemary Lee and now Nicola Conibère, and has recently been working as a writer and dramaturg with, among others: Alexander Whitley (The Murmuring for Ballet Boyz as well as The Grit in the Oyster for Alex’s own company as part of the Sadlers Wells production of Thomas Adès: Concentric Paths – Movements in Music, subsequently presented at the Winter Lights Festival in New York), Ben Wright (about around, The Diminishing Present, This Moment Is Your Life, Spectrum); Crystal Zillwood (Ashtown Farm); Divya Kasturi (NowHere, Forgot Your Password); Laila Diallo (At-Any-Moment-Something-Else, Hold Everything Dear, Countless Yellow Chairs); Lisa May Thomas (The Touch Diaries); Lost Dog (Paradise Lost); Mean Feet (I Am Joan); Probe (Magpie, Small Talk, Running on Empty, Now You See It); Rachael Mossom (L’Uomo Ucello); Sadhana (The Shiver, Elixir, Under My Skin, The Unkindest Cut); Shobana Jeyasingh (Strange Blooms); Tavaziva Dance (When King Gogo Met The Chameleon, Africarmen); Theo Clinkard (Ordinary Courage, Of Land & Tongue); Vidya Thirunarayan (Clay Connections),Yael Flexer (The Living Room), and Yolande Yorke (Figure Ground, as well as evaluating The Cohan Collective).

Chris has more than fifteen years’ experience of arts project development and management, including the award-winning Edible Schoolyard and Timelines projects in the East Midlands, as well as running arts organisations (in Nottinghamshire, Devon and Somerset).

Between 2003 and 2009 Chris was Director of Dance & Theatre for Take Art, the arts development agency for Somerset. During that period he supported the development of 6 new dance companies based in the county, including Mark Bruce (for whom he wrote the company’s successful recent NPO application), Tom Sapsford, Pretty Good Girl, Influx, Mean Feet and Yorke Dance. He developed a range of participatory dance projects, including Alive & Kicking, the first dance project to be funded nationally by Sport England, Time to Move, a four year project for dance with older people, Step Change, creating new partnerships with both the arts and non-arts sectors, enabling communities and organisations to use dance in creative and dynamic ways to increase greater health and well-being, and Moves Afoot, a three year project for dance with people with learning disabilities, as well as leading on the Theatre Locality Plan for Somerset, which led to the biennial Made in Somerset platforms.

Recent Publications

Northern Songs , Mudlark Press , 2015
Special Relationships , Mudlark Press , 2012

Current Events/Projects

All the Ghosts Walk with Us As writer and performer, in collaboration with dancer/choreographer Laila Diallo and composer/musician Phil King.
Dawn Chorus Using the 140 word characters of Twitter as a creative constraint to document a whole year.
Clay Connections As writer on an interdisciplinary collaboration between dance and ceramics.
Tree House As writer and director

Awards and Residencies

Bonnie Bird Choreography Fund , 2012 - Present , Creative Producer

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