Artistic Director: Darren Bolton

Darren is an award winning writer and director in theatre and film, who has toured and distributed his work all over the world. Since forming Shooting Fish in 2002, Darren wrote and directed their first UK touring piece, Rat Race in the Autumn of 2003. Since then Darren has written and directed numerous productions, as well moving into film, making short films through the emerging talent scheme with the UK Film Council, culminating in the completion of his first feature film, Vigilante in 2015.

Artistic Director: Emily Bignell

Emily has been working in film and theatre for the past nine years, in this time she has developed as a highly skilled freelance producer, director and practitioner working on wide variety of projects across Yorkshire and the East Midlands. As an independent producer of film she has worked on award winning shorts and has recently completed her first feature length project Vigilante. As one of two Artistic Directors of Shooting Fish Theatre Company she has lead on a host of projects funded by organisations including Arts Council England, the Wellcome Trust and Heritage Lottery, supporting the organisation to produce high quality new writing work which has toured nationally. Emily has established herself as a drama specialist within primary, secondary, further and higher education settings. For the past 5 years she has been a visiting tutor at Bishop Grosseteste University as well as delivering guest lectures at The University of Lincoln, The University of Birmingham and the Guildhall School of Drama.

Board of Directors

David Brook:

After studying Media Production at the University of Lincoln, David went on to more specialist training, shooting and editing TV news in Grimsby.  It was there that he met Darren and joined the Blueprint team after spending a couple of years doing freelance work.  Blueprint’s close relationship with Shooting Fish Theatre Company meant that David was frequently working with the organisation so decided to get more closely involved by becoming a committee member.  He’s worked on a vast array of projects with Blueprint and Shooting Fish over the last 8 years as a camera operator and editor, from short films and documentaries to radio plays and multimedia apps.

Leanne Taylor:

Leanne has worked in Arts Development for over 20 years. She runs a street theatre company and produces theatre work across Lincolnshire. As a producer for Shooting Fish, she has worked on a variety of funded projects including the development of the Literacy Project and Reconnecting Lincolnshire a Theatre in Education programme working with the Lincoln Diocese Board of Education. She is always wearing a different hat!

Michael Hatfield:

Michael Hatfield is an educator of many years experience, and has been a Head of English and Expressive Arts, Assistant Head, Vice Principal in mainstream schools, and Headteacher of an alternative provision, amongst other roles.  He has a lifelong commitment to the Arts, and has been a director of the Trinity Arts Centre, co-founder of Kismet Theatre Company, Producer/writer of Gainsborough Youth Theatre for five years, and has written over 20 performed stage plays, including the award winning Christ Mass, the RSPB commissioned Marshsongs, and The Village That Killed a Man, an adaptation of Lope de Vega’s Fuenteovejuna.  He is proud to be associated with Shooting Fish, because he believes that encouraging creativity is the key to unlocking the potential in everyone, and for young people, and particularly disadvantaged and vulnerable young people , the Arts can be the gateway to their best future. He loves David Lynch, Grant Morrison, Frasier, King Crimson, ee cummings and Lars Von Trier in equal proportions.

Bethany Harvey Crysell:

Bethany has recently graduated from Bishop Grosseteste University with First Class Honours in Applied Drama. She has always been interested in working within communities using drama and the arts in order to produce collaborative performances and exhibitions. Her most recent project within Lincoln was with McCarthy and Stone Retirement Residents to produce a ‘Fashion Through the Ages’ exhibition.  The Exhibition and project featured within Lincoln Fashion Week. She is currently apart of the Usher Gallery as a Creative Collective Young Associate and has very recently joined our board!  She is very excited to be a part of the board and says ‘I have always admired Shootings Fish’s work within Lincolnshire’.

Charles Patrick

Charles is a family man and Nettleham resident, with a wealth of experience in the accountancy sector. More recently he has set up his own accountancy practice and he strives to deliver a personal and proactive service to his clients. He joins our board as treasurer and is looking forward to taking up an active role, as we develop and grow. He is a keen supporter of Nettleham Cricket Club and plays whenever he can, body and mind permitting! He is married to Jane and has two daughters. His youngest daughter is currently performing in the Christmas panto Cinderalla at the Drill Hall, whilst his eldest daughter is a Chantress in the Cathedral Choir. He therefore fully appreciates how transformative music and theatre arts can be on a young person, thus reinforcing his decision to join us.

Associate Artists

Shooting Fish work with a range of associate artists responding to the needs of each project. We have worked with artists from a number of disciplines including drama facilitators, writers, actors, theatre designers, film makers, puppeteers, sound designers, musicians and visual artists. We enjoy collaborating with new people as well as developing our existing relationships. In the last year we have worked with over 30 freelance artists and practitioners including:

Laura Cordery:

Set and costume designer Laura Cordery has a first class degree in Art from Warwick University and a post graduate diploma in theatre set and costume design form the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. Laura has been working with Shooting Fish since 2010 and has designed sets for Laminated tour to Covent Garden and the 2012 Bonfire stage design based on Roald Dahl’s BFG. She has also transformed spaces on board the Queen Mary Cruise ship for Shakespeare’s classics including Hamlet and Much Ado About Nothing.

Doug Nicholson:

External Combustion was set up in the late 1980’s by artists and performers with an irresistible passion for spectacle. Artistic director Doug Nicholson sets out to establish fresh and imaginative ways of creating grand fireworks displays, outdoor theatrical spectacle, machine performance and collaborative performance pieces. Doug has been supplying pyrotechnic wonders to our Goole Bonfire Event since 2011, incorporating petrol bombs, fire machines and of course beautifully designed finale fireworks

Neil Edwards:

Neil has a broad background in many cultural and artistic fields, but in recent years has been developing his career as a writer and scriptwriter. He has written for theatre, radio and film, moving effortlessly from comedy and satire to drama. Neil also writes short-stories, flash-fiction and reviews, drawing from a sharply developed worldview. He holds a BA in Video and Film Production and an MA (distinction) in Writing for Stage and Broadcast Media form the Central School of Speech and Drama. Neil has collaborated with us on both our Gainsborough Literacy Projects, co-writing fours plays which previewed at the Trinity Arts Centre in 2014 and 2015.

Georgina Weller:

Georgina is one of our Drama Facilitators and is also a creative producer based in the East Midlands. Her work is rooted in the community using theatre to educate and bring people together. Current work includes: associate artist/actor for a number of theatre companies around Lincolnshire including Stand By Theatre, resident Artist for Paradigm Arts: running story-telling and immersive workshops in homes of looked after children and is also a bursary Producer for Coventry based, Imagineer Productions on their project Bridge.

Ben Glover:

Ben is a drama facilitator, with a 1st Class degree in Drama in the Community from Bishop Grosseteste University. He is passionate about using drama and creativity to enrich the lives of people from all walks of life. In addition to his work as a drama facilitator, Ben’s creative practice sees him travelling up and down the UK wearing many hats, including street theatre performer, clown, puppeteer and storyteller.  He first volunteered with Shooting Fish as a student in 2014 and has continued to work with them on numerous projects ever since.

Dan Nicholls:

Dan is an enthusiastic collaborator drawing on a wealth of experience in music and sound production. As an accomplished musician and performer, Dan’s passion for creating and manipulating sound grew out of his early days touring and recording as frontman with a ska-punk septet. He has since developed a career as an independent sound designer and composer, and is very much in his element working with creators of visual media and theatre.

David Lane:

David worked with us and a number of Lincolnshire schools to develop and write the schools touring play Our Place in 2019, as part of the RE:Connecting Lincolnshire project. He has been making new work as a playwright and dramaturg since 2002 and is currently under commission from Papatango and the Minack Theatre in Cornwall, alongside developing a new play for production at Bristol Old Vic in 2020 and a rural stories exhibition for Forest Forge in Hampshire. His plays include multiple commissions for teenage work at Half Moon and Theatre Royal Plymouth, commissions for Chichester Festival Theatre, Forest Forge, Cheltenham Everyman, Blue Brook Productions/Tobacco Factory Theatres, PECo and Travelling Light, residency attachments with the British School of Beijing, Bristol Old Vic, Bristol University and the egg Theatre Royal Bath and digital audio drama for Beaford in North Devon. He has worked as dramaturg with award-winning devising companies including Fine Chisel, Dirty Market, multistory, Theatre Rush and Scratchworks. He has contributed to writer development programmes at Soho Theatre, New Writing South, Ustinov Bath, Hull Truck, Tobacco Factory Theatres and the Bristol Old Vic, is an Associate Lecturer on Goldsmiths College’s MA Writing for Performance and the author of Contemporary British Drama (EUP, 2010).

Rob Johnston:

Rob is a Manchester-based writer and theatre-maker who has teamed up with us as the literacy writer for the 2021 RE:Connecting Lincolnshire project. He has written more than thirty plays, including Dark Satanic, Winner of Best Drama at the 2017 Greater Manchester Fringe; and Einstein’s Daughter, Winner of the 2011 Kings Cross Award for New Writing. The Riot Act, depicting the shooting dead of four nineteenth-century cotton-workers on the streets of Preston, toured theatres, museums, libraries, and festivals in 2019, including sold-out shows at the Peterloo 200 Festival in Manchester. Rob was commissioned by the Singapore Repertory Theatre to write and direct Catalysts, a play for young people staged in a promenade production around the Singapore Science Centre in Sept 2019. Just Like a Woman, a surreal comedy about three women who get fed-up of working in a factory making things for men, toured the UK and to Edinburgh Fringe 2019, where it was a huge success. Rob’s one-woman play Sylvia vs. the Fascists, exploring the life and work of suffragette and socialist Sylvia Pankhurst will tour from autumn 2021, delayed from spring 2020. Rob is currently developing A Gunpowder Plot for 2022, funded by Arts Council England.