Who We Are
As a non-hierarchical organisation, Phakama is co-led by a Creative Director and a Creative Producer who deliver the artistic aims and direction of Phakama together.
I have been working in the arts sector for the past 10 years, during this time I have developed a passion and drive for making arts and culture accessible to all. Having worked as an actor, producer and facilitator, my specialism is in participatory and process-driven work and I am interested in hearing, telling and sharing stories, working with Applied Theatre techniques that give participants a voice to take ownership over projects I manage or deliver. Alongside my work at Phakama, I am a founding and active member of Pregnant Fish Theatre, a company that specialises in small-scale, intimate productions for ‘pocket money prices’. I have worked on and performed in a number of shows with Pregnant Fish, touring across the UK with intimate and authentic theatre for adults and immersive and adaptive theatre for children.
Theatre has always been a huge part of my life, from my early days as an MC and singer to my more recent years as a Writer, Composer and Musical Director. The industry has offered me a platform to create and express, and in each opportunity I was able to evolve as an artist. At Phakama, we want to offer a wide range of artistic and creative opportunities and to allow our artists and young people to explore new ideas and take risks. In addition to my role at Phakama, I continue to write and create music and sound design for theatre companies and touring shows to include Graeae Theatre, Tamasha and Theatre Royal Plymouth. I am also Artistic Director of Sufi in the City, and sit on the Music Writers Section for the Musician’s Union.
Kate has been a theatre maker and arts facilitator for over twenty years. For Phakama, she has created Empathy Gardens with young artists; facilitated and performed in Ten in a Bed, a storytelling project for 3-5 year olds and their adults; and with Caroline Gervay created Of All People, a storytelling and pinhole photography project.
Jake has taken part in many projects with Phakama including working in Brazil and Indonesia, starting as a participant and then working as a facilitator.
He is a writer, actor & director, interested in seeing everyday stories and real-life experiences make their way onto the stage.
Since graduating from Rose Bruford College, Charlie has worked mostly in collaborative projects, that share a sense of everyone's contribution being valued.
Charlie has worked as a stage performer, singer, deviser and workshop facilitator performing in many different environments outside of theatre from old bank vaults to ancient woods.
Nurull is one of the co-founders of the Award winning Mile End Community Project (MCP), established in 1995.
Nurull’s workshop based practice is methodical, intuitive, dynamic, and engaging. He helps those he engages with explore their fast changing worlds in a way that brings them into a deeper engagement with civic life in London today.
Mike is a cook and artist interested in the ways that food communicates ideas. Based in London, his work investigates the relationship between food and identity in the urban environment. Mike is a co-founder of the cooking practice Blanch & Shock, producing all manner of culinary projects including food events, research and workshops.
Django is a multimedia storyteller working in film, participatory theatre and the visual arts. His work stretches and combines artforms to explore voice and interaction.
In 2020 he was awarded Phakama's Digital Artist Bursary to develop 'Four More Walls', an online interactive theatre project using real-time visual effects in live video calls.
Phakama is supported by a talented and dedicated team of Associate Artists who collaborate and deliver with us. They bring with them a range of fantastic, creative skills that bring to life our projects and ethos.
Paul is a musician who's connection to Phakama goes back to 2003 when he facilitated on the Strange Familiars project.
Paul has a BA in Commercial Music from the University of Westminster, works in schools teaching drums. He plays in & manages the band Yaaba Funk, and also sings, writes & plays the guitar for the band Little Number.
A curious traveller of time and space, Caroline is a photographer, artist and facilitator in London, the UK and beyond. Caroline is interested in revealing stories with light. In the darkroom (for "digestion") her approach is intuitive, intimate and experimental.
Caroline has worked extensively in Australia and the UK as a designer of large and small scale theatre, installation and events, working collaboratively & on commission for companies such as the National Theatre, The Thames Festival, Phakama and the Globe Theatre.
She is committed to a collaborative approach in theatre making & to articulating narrative in a visually exciting and accessible way.
Hayley is an actor & facilitator involved in making theatre with young people and has delivered cultural exchange
workshops in Saudi Arabia and Brazil. Hayley performed her own writing in Saudi which subsequently became a piece of devised work performed at the Vaults Festival (2015).
Hayley facilitates for organisations including the Old Vic, National Youth Theatre, Tricycle, Generation Arts and of course Phakama.
Hussina Raja is a British-Kashmiri multidisciplinary artist based in London. Her work explores social-political issues surrounding notions of identity, heritage, belonging and culture through film, photography, installation, writing & performance. She is interested in the impact of diaspora migration & the emergence of subcultures in shaping politics, popular culture & social constructs to-date. Her artistic process is based on research, experimentation & collaboration with artists across disciplines, & community groups, particularly those marginalised by the mainstream. She often uses her personal experiences & encounters as a starting point for creating work.
Tom is a theatre practitioner, director and researcher focused on storytelling, political / activist theatre and intimate performance practices. The director of Pregnant Fish Theatre since 2012, Tom has directed and produced several professional London productions, two national tours and numerous interactive family shows across the UK. As Senior Lecturer in Acting, Performance and Directing at The University of East London, Tom's research concerns post-postmodern culture, emerging contemporary performance practices, the politics of theatre and the theatre of politics.
Combining art, poetry & performance. Sophie devises ways to collaborate & celebrate life's many dramas, both real & imagined. She often collects stories & memories by drawing them live with her inky brush, and likes to improvise poems with donated words & images. She has been known to encourage people to jump out of a giant pie, singing!
Connal's practice focusses on arts collaboration which has drawn him into the world of professional wrestling. The combination of drama, lighting, costume design, choreography and physical theatre offers an experience like none other.
Connal is currently managing events for financial services across the world whilst still being involved in writing and producing music, developing artists and exploring his own artistry.
Ellis got involved with Phakama when a friend included an animation he made as part of a project back in 2012. Since then Ellis has worked closely with Phakama on everything from shooting & editing videos, creating animations, illustrations & more. He has been both a participant and artist facilitator on many projects and sat on the youth board for many years. Ellis currently works as a freelance illustrator, and looks forward to being a part of the Phakama family for years to come.
Sabrina is an artist, project manager, set designer, and costume & prop maker in theatre before being spirited away into Carnival and setting up the Beats Culture performance project.
She spent time working at international festivals after which she returned to her work as an artist & facilitator and soon found herself helping to construct a giant pie on the lawn of a Care Home in Greenwich -she knew she'd found her kind of theatre.