Meet the Team

We are fortunate in Ilmington to count amongst our residents a host of professionals from the world of arts and entertainment. They have given much of their experience and energy to the project over the course of a year; and whilst the Heritage Lottery funding has enabled them to receive a modest remuneration, they have also donated some of their time voluntarily. The post of Project Director is entirely voluntary.

Colin Edwards | Project Director

Colin Edwards

Colin has enjoyed an extensive career first as a professional actor and then as a teacher of drama both here and in the USA. He was Director of the Riverside Shakespeare Company in New York, and initiated an oral history project on the Lower East Side. He also taught in the New School for Social Research, University of Manhattan. Colin has advised on curriculum development in the UK, taught courses in Shakespeare for the Department of Education as well as being a Theatre Studies examiner. He has worked in prisons and young offenders’ institutions and tutored in drama therapy.

Colin became Director of ITV’s Children’s Television Workshop in Birmingham in 1989, winning a special BAFTA for its contribution to Children’s television. Numerous young workshop members have gone on to achieve great success in the professional world of film, theatre and television acting.

He has commissioned a number of devised plays over the years and in instigating The Fifties, Ilmington Remembers project was able to draw on his vivid memories of the period as a schoolboy and teenager to co-write A Fifties Christmas and to work as Director with our playwright to bring the Community Play to fruition. All this as well as overseeing the other facets of this project! Colin has lived in Ilmington since 1994.

Mark Currey | Playwright

Mark Currey

Mark trained at the Central School and has worked as an actor and writer for over twenty-five years. He has appeared in numerous theatre productions across the UK, as well as in Vienna, Vancouver and in the West End. At the Royal National Theatre Mark appeared in “Betrayal”, “The Relapse” and “The Merchant of Venice”. A regular on Radio 4 Mark played DC Hollander in “The Archers” while his TV credits include “London’s Burning”, “Doc Martin”, “The Invisibles’, “People Like Us”, “Blue Murder”, “Underbelly” and “Murphy's Law”.

As a writer Mark won the Hackney poetry competition for his collection “Dried Flowers” and his one man play “Moments of Vision”, about Thomas Hardy has toured extensively. His play “The Last Country House” was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and his pantomime Dick Whittington had a successful run at New Theatre, Exeter. His adaptation of “A Christmas Carol” has been produced in Warwick and in America. Mark’s new play “Over the Purple Moor” is being developed for the Bike Shed Theatre in Exeter. For this project he has used the Oral Histories as a basis on which to craft our Community Play. He has lived in Ilmington since 2001.

Wendy Nelson | Film Director and Oral Histories

Wendy Nelson

Wendy trained as a journalist with the Daily Mirror before pursuing a broadcast career both in front and behind the TV cameras. She presented news and current affairs documentaries, was head of an ITV newsroom, and producer of the RTS award winning programme ‘Chris Tarrant, Star Lives’. She is author of ‘The Gender Trap’ and the ‘BBC Guide to Adventure Play.’

Wendy has directed and produced films and programme series for both the BBC and ITV from around the world, as well as working for Channel Four and German television. Her work on the oral history programme ‘Green and Pleasant Land’ and for several series of ITV’s ‘Heart of the Country’ led to her interest in recording social history for posterity- part of her role in this project.

As well as overseeing the directing and editing of the film record of the project, Wendy drew on her own childhood experiences to co write A Fifties Christmas and is helping to curate the Fifties Exhibition. She has lived in Ilmington for eighteen years

Simon Kemp | Musical Director

Simon KempSimon founded and ran the Dr.Teeth Big Band for ten years, playing, writing, and arranging boogie woogie and jump jive tunes which the band toured nationally and internationally. He is the founder and director of the SHOUT Rhythm and blues choir based in Stratford upon Avon which performs a wide programme of uplifting soul music.

Simon is a sought after music teacher and practitioner around the Midlands; he is currently working on Rhapsody in Blue for solo piano.

This project sees him as musical director for A Fifties Christmas, the Jubilee Dance and the Community Play. Simon is originally from Coventry and lives in Warwickshire.

Laura Taviner | Designer

Laura Taviner

Laura is a trained theatre designer and has worked professionally in theatre, film and television. She has worked for the BBC, CITV, Bridgehouse Theatre, Warwick and the Birmingham Hippodrome. Also an interior stylist by trade, Laura loves vintage fashion and interiors and the 1950’s are one of her favourite periods.

For this project she has designed sets for both A Fifties Christmas and The Jubilee Play, transforming the Village Hall back to its heyday of the 1950s; as well as bringing her artistic design skills to The Fifties, Ilmington Remembers Exhibition. Laura has lived in Warwickshire for the last 5 years.

Shirley Maybey | Choreographer

Shirley Maybey

Shirley trained with Sybil Marks Dance School of Wales and whilst achieving success in individual Ballroom competitions, she was also a member of the Welsh Formation Team which won the prestigious British Ballroom Championships.

Turning professional at the age of 21 she taught with the Victor Sylvester School of Dance. Later, as Director of Community Mental Health, Shirley introduced Dance and Movement as a therapy. This was accepted and approved by MIND and proved to be very therapeutic form of treatment.

Shirley also applied her talent in working with physically handicapped children and the Youth Service. She now helps local schools and amateur dramatic societies when needed. She moved to Ilmington thirteen years ago.

Judge the Poet | Poet in Residence

Judge the Poet

Judge The Poet has created magical memories for audiences all around the world. His unique talents have been sought and enjoyed by Nelson Mandela, Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles, Bjorn Borg and many more. He has spread his own inimitable brand of poetry at events and festivals around the UK and across Europe, America, Australasia, Asia and the Middle East.

In the UK Judge has performed his work at Buckingham Palace, St. James Palace and Kensington Palace and countless other venues.

He has also been featured on TV and Radio in many countries, including winning BBC1 The ONE Show’s “Poem Idol” competition. He has lived in Ilmington for 9 years.  Check out our poetry page for more.

Sarah Hobson | Costume Designer

Sarah Hobson

Sarah has a degree in Fashion and Textiles from De Montfort University, and worked as a fashion designer in London and then as a lecturer in Fashion and Textiles for many years. She has always been very interested in history and taught History of Costume while lecturing in fashion- a depth of knowledge which makes her a perfect fit for the role of Costume Designer.

Sarah’s parents June and Tony Hobson were both notable artists who came to live in Pear Tree Cottage, Ilmington in 1983. Sarah moved to live in what was once her father’s art studio 9 years’ ago, where she herself displays her considerable art work. To find out more see our Links Page.

Martin Seymour | Lighting Designer

Martin SeymourMartin has been involved with lighting for some 36 years, starting in amateur theatre in Manchester at the age of 10. He gained a Drama Degree from Aberystwyth University before working in Rep Theatre designing the Lighting and Sound for over 30 shows.

He then moved into touring, re-lighting productions such as Carmen Jones, both UK and Internationally, Joseph and his Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat and The Rocky Horror Show. More recently Martin has been programming moving lights for large scale events all over the world such as Proms in the Park, Car Launches, Corporate Events and Exhibitions.

For this project he has advised on new equipment purchased thanks to Heritage Lottery funding; enabled a group of interested villagers of all ages to learn the basics of a lighting rig and board, and to help light for the project productions- skills they will be able to put to good use for future village shows and events Martin came to Ilmington five years’ ago.

Maurice Ribbans | Treasurer

Martin SeymourWe are indebted to Ilmington 20:20 Vision, an organisation which aims to think collectively and creatively about ways in which we can build a resilient community in our village and also sustain it through the next decade of diminishing resources.

It also aims to inspire a range of projects which investigate the heritage and history of our parish; and topes to promote social interaction between all age groups living in our community, including children and vulnerable adults. All of which make it an ideal ‘umbrella’ organization for The Fifties, Ilmington Remembers Project.

Maurice is their Treasurer and has kindly taken on the onerous task of Treasurer for the project. We are enormously grateful for his time. The post of Project Treasurer is entirely voluntary.