As part of our 'Blue Sky' season, we are working with two emerging Welsh companies. First up, it's brand new, all-female, all-brilliant otherMother, who will be presenting their debut production, 'Blud' by Kelly Jones, from the 1st to the 18th of September. You can get your tickets for that production here.
Anyway, we thought it would be a good idea to introduce you to the faces behind the scenes, and show you some (slightly impressionistic) pictures that they drew of each other. Here they are; otherMother!
Anna Poole / Director
Anna is otherMother's Director and a founding member of the company. Anna is originally from the West-Midlands and as a child she would often be found creating highly sophisticated biblical musicals to the sound track of the Spice Girls' first album. These musicals starred anyone under the age of 13 within a 1/4 mile radius. After this inspirational and influential period in her life, she moved to Cardiff for University where she studied Drama (Theatre and Media). The Spice Girls featured significantly less during this time.
In 2012 Anna joined National Theatre Wales as TEAM Assistant. TEAM is a community engagement programme which allowed Anna to meet some incredible people from across Wales, and has inspired the work she makes today. Anna was also an emerging director on NTW's Bordergame in 2014. She has assisted on other productions such as Parallel Lines (Dirty Protest), Last Christmas (Dirty Protest), and Crazy Gary's Mobile Disco (Waking Exploits). Anna was a Foundry Artist on The Birmingham Rep Artist Development programme in 2014. Her directing credits include The Drowned Girl (by Kelly Jones), The Yard, Lady Lust (by Sarah Hamilton Baker), The Birmingham Rep, and Sherman Swingers (2013 at Sherman Cymru).
Tell us something no one else knows: I was scared of Roger Rabbit until I was 15 - there is nothing scarier than cartoons in real life.
Kelly Jones / Writer
Kelly Jones is otherMother's Writer and a founding member of the company. As well as working with Poole & Harris, Kelly is a freelance writer and performer. Born in Dagenham, Kelly later decided to move to Swansea where she trained as a performer at Swansea Institute in 2006. This was only for her third year though, her first two were in Southend.
After graduating she tried to pursue a career in acting but knew she didn't really want to be an actor, so instead trained as a hairdresser and wigs mistress whilst gaining a qualification in stage makeup (NVQ 2&3). While doing this she started to write and found her real passion; telling stories that are influenced by her upbringing in Dagenham and relocation to Wales, and showing characters that you don't see often on stage but you know exist within everyday life.
Even though Kelly never believed she was 'clever enough' to be a writer, she pursued it anyway and was fortunate enough to win the Wales Drama Award in 2014 (supported by BBC Writersroom and National Theatre Wales).
Tell us something no one else knows: I don't really understand Back to the Future
Olivia Harris / Producer
Olivia is otherMother's Producer and a founding member of the company. Alongside her role with otherMother she is also Associate Producer at Theatr Iolo and Cwmni Pluen Company. A Cardiff girl born and bred, Olivia left the fair city at the tender age of 18 for the bright lights of Manchester. A few marvellous (and hazy) years later she felt the pull of Wales calling her back and after a brief (and unsuccessful) career in retail she realised Wales (and the arts) was where her heart was.
Since returning, one rainy July evening in 2007 (Rihanna's 'Umbrella' was number one at the time), Olivia has worked for Welsh Independent Dance, Arts Council of Wales and Earthfall Dance in a broad range of arts administration and development roles. Previous producing credits include Invisible Ink Theatre, Gerald Tyler, National Theatre Wales, Kitsch & Sync Collective, Likely Story Theatre and Made in Roath Festival.
She has recently graduated from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama with a Masters in Arts Management where she was awarded the inaugural University Business Schools Bursary from the Cardiff Business Club.
Tell us something no-one else knows: 50% of the time, I'm actually really good at ten pin bowling.