Zac Hackett: Artistic Director
Zac has always had a huge passion for the arts, inclusion and everything musical! In 1999, Zac took his first professional entertainments role at Alton Towers in the Summer Spectacular Show. This kick started a successful career in the industry, which has seen him working as a Bluecoat, Entertainments Manager, Cabaret Artist and Composer.
In January 2007, Zac joined TramShed to pursue his love for Inclusive Theatre and to share his music skills with the company. He began writing the music for the Original Musical Theatre Productions and very quickly developed his script writing skills to showcase the cast. He was promoted to Arts Team Co-ordinator in 2008 and now leads a team of very experienced Arts Practitioners. Since working at TramShed Zac has gained a Sign Language qualification in BSL Level One, Two and Three and says he believes you have not experienced the theatre fully, unless you’ve experienced Inclusive Theatre.
Tina Murray: Senior Arts Practitioner
Tina graduated from University of Cumbria with a Foundation Degree in Teaching and
Learning Primary in 2010. After leaving University she took on a role as TANC (Teaching Assistant Network Co-ordinator) in the Wyre area in which she provided training opportunities and the opportunity to share good practice amongst Teaching Assistants she has also gained a qualification in BSL Level One.
Tina has worked in a number of Primary Schools for over 18 years in which she has taught in KS1 & KS2 covering PPA time and gaining a wealth of knowledge and experience with children from a varying ranges of abilities and diversities, specifically additional needs. More recently Tina has embarked on a new challenge and is working full time in a school nursery she also helps the smooth running of breakfast and afterschool extended day care. Tina is thrilled to be working as part of the TramShed Arts Practitioner Team and is enjoying working with members of all ages and abilities in an inclusive environment.
Vicky Spencer: Arts Practitioner
Vicky graduated from Buckinghamshire University in 2007 with a degree in drama and video production. During her time at university Vicky gained valuable experience working as a singer, actor and director. On her return to Blackpool, Vicky became a teaching assistant in a local primary school along side working as an entertainer, appearing in several pantomimes and performing in bands and as a cabaret singer.
In 2012 she brought all of this experience to TramShed as a volunteer and worked alongside the adult and youth companies. Volunteering at TramShed has inspired Vicky to make inclusive theatre a big part of her life and she hopes to be a part of the team for a long time, learning from and sharing its vision of inclusion. When asked about Inclusion Vicky said “We do not all have equal talents, but we should all be given an equal opportunity to develop our talents.”
Angela Murphy: Outreach Arts Practitioner
With the support of a music teacher in high school, Angela took part in all the school musical and acting productions and progressed to a Drama Foundation course at Blackpool & Fylde College obtaining her Acting Medals from LAMDA. She then went on to drama school and graduated from the Academy of Live & Recorded Arts in 1995 with an NCDT Acting Dip. Angela later worked for Clean Break Theatre Company in London, working with women with a personal experience of Prison, Probation & Mental Health. Clean Break offered Educational & Creative workshops and commissioned new female writers to develop plays which toured extensively. Upon returning to Blackpool, Angela worked for Drugline-Lancashire Ltd as the Administrator for the Befriending Scheme and whilst there volunteered for their Young Carers Project supporting the children of clients experiencing drug and alcohol related issues. This led to Angela seeking to further her experience in working with vulnerable children and she went on to work for The Council of Voluntary Services as Lancashire County Councils Young Carers Project Manager for Wyre & Fylde. Whilst at The Council for Voluntary Services Angela also sat on the funding panel for Sefton Children Network, scoring funding applications and also assisted small community and grass roots organisations with their applications to various funding bodies and the preparation of their Child Protection Policies. She also obtained her NVQ Level 3 in Youth & Community. She has performed at, Grand Theatre Blackpool, Royal Exchange Manchester, Opera House Blackpool, Lowther Pavilion Lytham, New Wimbledon Theatre London, Yellow Room Theatre London and many smaller venues. Angela has volunteered for all five groups across TramShed and is delighted to join the Arts Team. “The most important factor in my love of all things theatre has not been so much the learning of methods and techniques but more the influence and guidance of many wonderful tutors and mentors. I hope to inspire and encourage TramShed members in the same way.” Family Motto: “Never give up…..never give in”.
Natalie Duymun: Outreach Arts Practitioner
Natalie is a professional performer who has an MA in Acting from the Academy of Live and Recorded Arts (ALRA) and and a BA (Hons.) in English Literature and Drama from UCLAN. Natalie has also been awarded the LALAM Licenciate Diploma (Dist.) and two ALAM Associate Speech and Acting Diplomas (Hons.) from LAMDA and an Associate Musical Theatre Diploma (Hons.) from LCM. She has undertaken additional training with the National Youth Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company, Royal Academy of Music, Guildhall and BBC Talent Boost.
For many years, Natalie combined both teaching and performing; teaching Drama and Musical Theatre lessons at Michael Hall Theatre School and Drama at Whittaker’s Dance and Drama Centre as well as working with Lancashire’s Traveller Education Service and she was responsible for preparing hundreds of children for LAMDA exams, Arts festivals, auditions and both in-house and professional theatre productions. She has choreographed and directed many productions over the years, namely Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and the Diary of Anne Frank. Prior to training at ALRA, Natalie played the title roles in Jane Eyre (Grand Theatre, Blackpool) and Jeanne D’Arc (various Lancashire venues and Dominion Studio, London) and Eliza in My Fair Lady (Grand Theatre, Blackpool).
Since graduating in 2014, Natalie has worked as a theatre practitioner and actress on projects with the National Theatre, LeftCoast, Bolton Octagon, Fable Arts and, of course, TramShed Theatre Company which she joined as an Arts Practitioner in 2015. These days, alongside professional performance work, Natalie continues to develop her practice within Theatre by writing and creating her own performance based projects and collaborating with other artists and theatre companies. Her particular interests are Musical Theatre and Socio-Political theatre and she is especially passionate about theatre’s ability to inform and influence social change. Natalie is a trained Arts Award facilitator and delivers all Arts Award content at TramShed. Natalie is excited about being part of TramShed’s Outreach Team and is looking forward to taking TramShed’s inclusive, fun and encouraging environment out into the community where more people can enjoy being involved with the Performing Arts and creating new and beautiful theatre.
Kitty Murray: Outreach Arts Practitioner
Following her studies in performing arts at Blackpool Sixth Form, Kitty attended the University of Chester, graduating with a degree in Drama and Theatre Studies. After the three year course, Kitty chose to remain in Chester where she has begun to set up a theatre company with several friends. She plans to create new work with the group which will hopefully lead into the creation of workshops for anyone who wishes to be a part of it! Juggling this with working full time, it isn’t often that she gets to come home and join the fun at TramShed, but she’s sure to put aside the time to get stuck in with the shows every year and continues to work on outreach projects as part of TramShed, wherever possible.
Hollie Wimpenny: Outreach Arts Practitioner
Hollie started with TramShed in January 2015 and has thoroughly enjoyed being part of the team. She graduated with a MA in Applied Theatre from the University of Manchester in 2012 and is also the Co-Director of Express Arts in Warrington. Hollie also freelances for Minerva Arts and Bluestreak Arts on a regular basis. She has worked with many age groups of different abilities and finds nothing more rewarding than building people’s confidence through drama and creativity.
TramShed could not operate without the dedication of it’s Trustee Board. They support the Artistic Team and offer guidance and advice with all areas of the company, Without this support, TramShed would not be as successful as it is today. The Artistic Team would like to take this opportunity to thank the Trustees for dedicating their time to the company and giving them endless amounts of encouragement and support.
Marge Bradshaw: Chair of the Board
Marge is a well-respected cultural consultant with specialist expertise in audience development, marketing, visitor research and evaluation. A Member of the Market Research Society and Association of Qualitative Researchers, she was previously voted one of the 50 best freelancers in the UK by national marketing magazine, The Drum. Since launching her own consultancy in 2008, she has worked with numerous arts and heritage organisations across the UK and internationally on a range of research and evaluation, audience development and marketing projects. These have ranged from formative exploratory audience consultation for major grants programmes, such as the HLF-supported Silverstone Heritage Live and the Royal Exchange Theatre, through to external summative evaluation for a range of cultural organisations including London Transport Museum and Manchester Art Gallery. Marge was awarded a Distinction in her MA Arts & Heritage Management from the University of Sheffield and also holds a 2.1 BA (Hons) English Language and Art History from the University of Lancaster. She is also a Dementia Friends Champion and is a Level 3 qualified British Sign Language user.
Marge champions inclusive work in the wider cultural sector, and takes her role as Chair of the Board of Trustees extremely seriously. She says: “Being involved in TramShed is both a joy and a privilege. We have an extremely talented Arts Team, a dedicated volunteer team and a wonderful group of members who work together to make magic happen. TramShed is a very special organisation, and I feel incredibly lucky to be Chair of the Board, working with my fellow Trustees to ensure the organisation is governed creatively, effectively, strategically and sustainably.”
Toni has been the School Business Manager at Woodlands School in Blackpool for 18 years. She first met Zac and the team in 2009 when her daughter asked to join as a Youth Theatre Member. At that time Toni didn’t realise the impact the Company, its members and its ethos would make on both her daughter’s and her own life. Toni’s daughter is now a teacher in an SEN school with a passion for inclusion at all levels and has the confidence to fight for the rights of children, ensuring they are given a voice. Toni says: “I became a Trustee at TramShed to contribute my skills and experience to a cause that I truly believe in. I have seen TramShed go from strength to strength and look forward to being part of it’s journey for many years to come.”
After gaining a Level 3 qualification in Management, Luke began working within the care sector and has recently celebrated a decade in the industry. He has gained a wealth of knowledge and experience from his career. When this experience was partnered with his Music Degree, it meant he was perfectly placed to join TramShed’s Adult Volunteer Team in 2015. He was a hugely integral part of the team and this dedication was rewarded by being chosen for TramShed’s Adult Inclusive Performing Arts Shield in 2017. Luke Is currently studying for a Level 5 CIPD course in HR and hopes to apply some of his newly gained skills to his Trustee role at TramShed. “Becoming a Trustee for TramShed is truly a great honour. Having volunteered for TramShed since 2015 I am excited to be able to put more into this amazing theatre company!”
After studying at Newcastle University, Leanne relocated to the North West and joined Auto Trader in 2003. Recently celebrating 15 years within the organisation, she has worked as Principal Product Lead for the last 4, focused on market research, customer feedback and building a development roadmap. Leanne acts as a mentor for women working for charities through the Aspire Foundation and is currently planning postgraduate study. She has been actively involved with TramShed since February 2014, becoming a trustee in November 2016. Alongside her Trustee responsibilities, Leanne also runs our front of house team throughout show week. Leanne says, “Although my field of work is obviously very different, product management principles are relevant in almost every industry and I love taking on something completely removed from my day job. It’s a privilege to be involved with such an inspirational organisation which is driven forward by an incredibly dedicated team of Arts Practitioners and Volunteers, I hope I can help make a difference.”
Clancy joined Arts Council England as a Relationship Manager in 2017 and currently supports 52 libraries situated within the North of England within the Grants for the Arts. Prior to this she led Time To Read, a unique partnership of 22 Library Authorities in the North West, working together to promote reading. Clancy also co-directed Wordpool, Blackpool’s Arts and Libraries Festival of Words, during her time as Reader Development Manager for Blackpool Library Service. She has an in-depth knowledge of Blackpool arts culture following her time as the Arts Engagement Manager for Blackpool Council for almost 4 years. On becoming a Trustee Clancy says “I’m thrilled to be joining the Board of Trustees this September, this treasure of an organisation sits in the heart of my community. It’s a privilege to be able to support TramShed Theatre with their next stage of development and growth. The valuable work they do has real impact on people’s lives, using the arts in a vibrant and fun way to further enhance Blackpool’s cultural offer. I hope to learn as much from TramShed as I aim to contribute.”
After years spent working, living and training in Birmingham, Bristol, Kilkenny and Rwanda, Martha has recently returned to her native Lancashire and is currently finishing her MA in music therapy. Whilst studying classical performance and flute at Birmingham Conservatoire, Martha developed her existing passion for community work alongside her studies and now has a broad range of experience with all ages and abilities. She is keen to support inclusive services and the arts, her greatest acting role to date was a scene stealing turn in Shakespeare’s ‘Twelfth Night’ as Malvolio in a school production aged 10. Martha says “I am excited about being involved in the TramShed community and am looking forward to the shows! I hope to get to know as many people as possible and that I can be a support to TramShed in the future.”
Sandy is currently employed as a Management Accountant at Blackpool Council. She has 10 years’ experience in the role and approximately 20 years’ experience within the financial sector. Alongside her profession, she is actively involved within the local community and is the school Governor and the Link Governor for finance and audit at a large urban Primary Academy.
When asked about joining the TramShed Team, Sandy replied “I have thoroughly enjoyed watching TramShed’s performances for several years. The inclusive productions are both beautiful and breath-taking. When I saw the opportunity to become involved in a non-performing capacity, I was beyond excited. The performers are the stars of the show, but, behind the scenes, there needs to be a ‘back-office’ function, providing strategic leadership, being a critical friend and enabling the charity to realise its strategic vision. I can’t wait to get started!”
Kay is a Creative Producer, Creative Writer, Director and Production Manager at local Arts Organisation LeftCoast in Blackpool. She has a wide range of cross-disciplinary experience with the arts and culture sector and is continually producing high quality programmes of dance, performance and light productions across Blackpool and Wyre. When asked on her thoughts about TramShed Kay said “TramShed is a truly inspirational company lead by people who care about people and I commemorate them on the passionate way they strive to create theatre that is accessible to all. Being a board member for TramShed will be a great opportunity to share knowledge, experiences and skills from each of our individual backgrounds in hope to move TramShed forward and continue to teach our partnering organisations the importance of fully accessible and inclusive arts and culture experiences.”
Linda’s wealth of experience in show business has embraced hit records, international television shows, major world concert tours and appearances with the world’s most popular superstars. Whilst performing with her sisters Linda has enjoyed amazing success worldwide appearing on every major television show including The Royal Variety Show. Her pantomime credits include starring roles in Dick Whittington, Aladdin, Cinderella, Babes in the Woods, Jack & the Beanstalk and Snow White. Her television appearances have been many and varied, they include: Loose Women, GMTV, This Morning, The Weakest Link, Weekend Watchdog, Question of Pop, Never Mind The Buzzcocks, Noel’s House Party, Gayles World, The Brian Conley Show, The Word, Kelly Show and Des O’Connor. Since January 2000 Linda has been starring as Mrs Johnstone in the award winning musical Blood Brothers both on tour in the UK and in London’s West End. Download a full biography here.
Within all our groups at TramShed we have many wonderful volunteers who support our members and help to create a warm, exciting environment in which children, young people and adults can achieve in. They are a valuable asset to the company and provide endless support to the Practitioner team. If you are interested in volunteering for any of our Theatre groups at TramShed or would like to be involved back stage please download the Volunteer Application Form and return it to the address provided on the form.
TramShed Committee meet every term to provide additional support to the Artistic Team and Trustee Board. They take an active role in all events at TramShed and help to drive the organisation forward.
Co-Chair: Kathleen Paintin OBE & Anthony King
Vice Chair: Jackie Hamilton & Daniel Paintin
Treasurer: Toni Fairholm
Secretary: Berni Ashworth
Committee Members: Tina Heaney, Karen Allison, Tina Murray, Shelley Nicholson, Jack Taylor & Latrisha Humphreys.