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ABOUT US

WE ARE ZOO CO

Zoo Co is a multi-award winning theatre company based in Croydon. We became an Arts Council NPO in Spring 2023. We make innovative, bold, electric live theatre for audiences across the UK and around the world. 

 

At our core, we set out to make theatre which responds to what is alive in us as artists, and in our communities. We use bold, playful, highly visual, ensemble-led and democratic approaches to co-create our shows with the artists and communities involved. Our creative practice includes improvisation, Open Space, devising, and new writing. 

 

We share this practice in every creative project, from our professional rehearsal rooms to our community projects. The Zoo Co Young Company is led by the Artistic Director, and co-creates ambitious studio shows alongside professional artists each year. 


We believe that theatre is better when everyone is invited. We champion creative access, working with deaf and disabled artists as leaders on every project. We create all of our shows ‘Relaxed as Standard’, and our productions strive to deliver creatively integrated access for deaf, disabled, neurodiverse and Visually Impaired audiences using integrated sign language, creative captioning, audio description and other technologies, responding to what is creatively enriching for the story, artists and audiences we are working with on each project.​

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We share our access practice through training, consultancy and advocacy in the industry, in Croydon and nationally. Most recently, we have been the Access Leads for This Is Croydon, London Borough of Culture 23/24, working across the programme to upskill and enhance the accessibility of the full creative programme. We have delivered access consultancy, provision and training for many partners, including the Barbican, StageOne, Liberty Festival, Talawa and Stanley Arts. 

Zoo Co is generously supported by Arts Council England, and became an NPO in Spring 2023. We are also proud to have received funding from Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, the Foyle Foundation, the Vogue World Fund, the National Lottery Community Fund, and the Postcode Society. 

 

‘Why can’t more theatre be like this? Open, relaxed, fun and full of love’ - Guardian

‘It is rare to find such a generous ensemble as Zoo Co’ - The Stage

Environmental Sustainability at Zoo Co

 

We continue our learning about ACE’s commitment to Environmental Sustainability; it’s one of their four key Investment Principles. Our aspiration is to address environmental issues creatively; we explore problems and how our community might work together to solve them.

 

Zoo Co employs and works with disabled people, and we aim to make our work as accessible as possible to disabled audiences. We acknowledge that disabled people are more acutely affected by the climate crisis than non-disabled people. We understand that we have a responsibility to minimise the scope and effects of climate change, so we don’t compound the inequity already experienced by disabled people. 

 

Zoo Co makes work with and for young people, and runs regular projects in schools and colleges. We acknowledge that the climate crisis is something created by our generation and the generations before us, and that we will not miss this moment to put things right in any way that we can. We must pass on a liveable planet to the next generation. 

 

Download our Environmental Sustainability Policy and Action Plan 24-25

If you need a Word version of this document for better compatibility with a screen reader, please email alannagh@wearezooco.co.uk

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Our Team

Flo O'Mahony 

Artistic Director

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Fleur Rooth

Creative Access Director

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Hannah Skaili

Assistant to the Creative Access Director

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Michelle Hudson

Interim General Manager

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Amy Smith

Executive Director   

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Tom Ryalls

Development Director

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Alannagh Cooke

Project Administrator

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Our Board

Ellie Claughton

(Chair) 

Executive Director, Improbable

Ellie is the Executive Director for Improbable Theatre (My Neighbour Totoro, Perfect Show For Rachel). She was previously Executive Director (Maternity Cover) at Boundless Theatre and Executive Producer at Paines Plough where she managed the team working on Paine's Plough's Roundabout and annual Small-Scale Touring Network. Ellie has worked at the forefront of developing award-winning, touring organisations and was Co-Director at Barrel Organ, Senior Producer for LUNG Theatre and Breach Theatre. She began her career at Headlong and trained at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts in MA Creative Producing. She is the Chair of the Board of Trustees for Zoo Co. She is also a faculty member of the CGO Institute and enjoys freelance consultancy as a side hustle.

David Bellwood

Head of Access at the National Theatre

David has worked in theatre for over 20 years, having started as a dancer in the world tour of Riverdance. He is Head of Access, where he is responsible for physical and cognitive access to theatre productions and educational work for patrons, students, volunteers and staff. David has worked in a number of theatres both directly and as a consultant, and until 2021 was Access Manager at Shakespeare's Globe.  On behalf Shakespeare’s Globe, David accepted the Leonard Cheshire award for Most Inclusive Employer. Theatres he has consulted for include the Donmar, Old Voc and the National Youth Theatre.
He was chairperson at Deafinitely Theatre, a Deaf-led ACE NPO, as well as arts lead on the Southwark Dementia Action Alliance, working on infrastructural and social changes in the community to aid those living with dementia. He is an advocate for the inclusion of performers who are deaf, disabled and neurodivergent and works with several companies to promote inclusive work. 

Grace Dickson

Freelance Producer & Co-Founder of HD General Management

Grace Dickson is a Newcastle-born producer, general manager and production accountant with a keen eye for powerful, socially relevant new writing, producing predominantly through her company Grace Dickson Productions. Grace works across the industry in roles including Associate Producer at Francesca Moody Productions, Producer for Lagahoo Productions, Accounts Assistant & Bookkeeper at Runaway Entertainment, and co-founder of HD General Management. Her recent work is supported by the Stage One Bursary for New Producers.

Jen Pearce

Marketing and Audience Specialist

Jen is a marketing and audience specialist with 15 years experience across the arts,
focusing on new work, festivals and audience development.
She has worked in marketing for Brighton Festival, VAULT Festival, Soho Theatre,
Underbelly at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and most recently as Director of
Communications for the Unicorn Theatre.
She now works as Marketing Director for RWS Global Sports, leading on the fan
experience for sporting events globally.
She is a passionate advocate for sustainability and accessibility in marketing,
particular in digital outputs, and previously worked as Head of Digital at Cog Design.

Che Ramsden 

Strategy Consultant 

Ché is a strategy consultant, and previously spent ~10 years in the charity sector. She is a school governor and a Trustee for People & Planet, and served on Unite the Union’s LGBT+ Committee. Her main interest is ensuring that people’s lived experience is at the heart of the pursuit of social justice. She has a longstanding commitment to the Arts and sings semi-professionally.

Robert Stephenson

Life Coach 

Whilst he has an incredibly rich background in theatre and performance prior to coaching, he has also been involved with different aspects of higher education institutions. He has worked on degrees at several universities; running a module in Theatre and Education at Essex University, as well as contributing work to Anglia Ruskin's Masters in Education and the Arts. Initially training as an NLP Practitioner and hypnotherapist, then went on to pass his Diploma in Transformational Coaching, before adding a number of other accredited coach training courses to his toolkit, including David Drake's Narrative Coaching, Simon Western's Analytic Network Coaching, Peter Hawkins Advanced Coaching, and Claire Dale’s Physical Intelligence program.

Nick Sweeting

Independent Producer

Nick is an independent producer who has worked with a wide range of artists and organisations over the last thirty five years.  He co-founded Improbable in 1996 and produced all their work until he left the company in June 2020. Over that period he also worked with, amongst others: Stan’s Café, The Javaad Alipoor Company, Told by an Idiot, Mark Bruce Company, dreamthinkspeak, London International Festival of Theatre, The British Council, Arts Council England, Nada Theatre (France), Mouthpeace (South Africa) and Wierzalin Theatre (Poland). He is an experienced facilitator and has hosted Open Space events throughout the UK and in Australia, USA and Turkey.

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