Deborah Norris


Artistic Director  /  Choreography

Having trained at Elmhurst Ballet School, Surrey, and the Jose Limon Institute, New York, Deborah gained her MA in Dance Studies under the supervision of Ramsey Burt at De Montfort University, Leicester.  An early career researcher, Deborah is a PhD candidate at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Glasgow, researching narrative ballets choreographed by women from a feminist narratological perspective.  Faculty member of the Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance, London, Deborah is the current Programme Manager for Rambert 2 Company and supervisor for the MA programme.  Deborah is a committee member for the Society of Dance Research and trustee of the British and International Federation of Festivals.

Lucy Ward


Musical Director  /  Composer


Lucy Ward is an enchanting songwriter with a skill of getting right to the heart of a story.  As a performer, her breath taking vocal and unique ability to inhabit a song has seen her tour all over the world.  Her four studio albums to date have received widespread critical acclaim and positioned in the official chart.  Lucy was named by Mojo Magazine "Britfolk's most vibrant and forthright new talent", "impressive and original" by The Guardian newspaper and also Billy Bragg.  As well as her own music, Lucy has written for TV, theatre and radio; most notably, commissions for 14-18 NOW and the BBC.

Core Artists


Anna Esslemont

Composer  /  Musician

After training at the Royal Northern College of Music, Anna founded folk trio Uiscedwr who very quickly won widespread critical acclaim with their genre crossing fiddle-led creations.  The band won the BBC Young Folk Award then preceded to release four album, touring extensively across the UK and Europe for ten years.  Anna's also a well-known session musician and regularly writes and records violins and vocals for a broad range of artists including New Model Army, Long Walk Short Dock (Canada) and Declan Bennett.  Anna has received the PRS Foundation ATOM Award for music writing and has also collaborated with Irish traditional dancer James Devine in his show Tapeire.  Described by BBC Radio 2 as "effortlessly epic", Anna brings fiery enthusiasm and a unique heartfelt lyricism to every performance and recording.

Helga Ragnarsdottir

Composer  /  Musician

Trained in both classical and contemporary music, Helga has composed and performed music for productions ranging from folk and indie music to Shakespeare and family theatre.  Helga studied Composition at the Icelandic Academy of the Arts as well as Contemporary Music Performance in London.  Helga composed, arranged and performed the music for the original production of "Ljoti Andarunginn" (The Ugly Duckling) by Leikhopurinn Lotta Company which toured all of Iceland in 2017 and recently joined Lucy Ward in the studio for her fourth album, Pretty Warnings.

Stephen MacLachlan

Music Producer / Musician

Trained in both classical and contemporary music at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, Stephen has built his career on versatility, dedication and improvisation.  Having performed internationally with a wide variety of bands, orchestras and songwriters over the years at many prestegous venues plus with many musical theatre companies as a MD and musician; Stephen is an independent session musician and has regularly performed with Lucy Ward since 2013.  From his own recording studio SMacStudios, Stephen is a music producer, composer, arranger and educator.

Jez Ward

Designer  /  Photographer  /  Illustator

After completing a Foundation Diploma under the direction of landscape artist, Ian Murphy, Jeremy studied Illustration and Animation at the Manchester School of Art, focussing on the relationship between identity and social art from cave painting to graffiti.  A keen cyclist and photographer, Jeremy's artistic projects frequently marry both areas, exploring environment, architecture and landscape with adventure and alternative viewpoints.  His portfolio includes dance, theatre and landscape photography plus photography and marketing campaigns for education and theatre organisations (Winstanley College, Hackney Empire).  His TV / film credits include projects for Endemol Shine and The Children's Trust.  Recent photographic projects include working with BAFTA-nominated musical theatre practitioner, Benjamin Till, on his latest musical, Em.

Gabrielle Orr

Dance Artist

Gabrielle has recently graduated with a first class BA Honours degree in Dance from Edge Hill University and completed her first year at Trinity Laban Conservatoire for Music and Dance.  Studying dance from a young age, Gabrielle has been a senior associate of the Northern Ballet Theatre and Northern Cecchetti and has studied various traditional and post-modern techniques.  Gabrielle has performed with Sally Marie's Sweet Shop Revolution, Company Chameleon and Fallen Angels Theatre, working with professionals such as Risa Steinburg, Joss Arnott, Alessandra Suetin, Mathieu Geffre and the Hofesh Shechter Company.  Gabrielle is recognised as a versatile and powerful performer.

Melissa Braithwaite

Dance Artist


Dylan Springer, Shannon Platt, Rachel Hickey, Maria Mortimer, Georgia Day


Murray Smoker


Gilian Norris

Folk Dance Advisor

Sara Rose

Company Advisors

Cathy Butterworth, Chantal Guevara, Sally Marie, Clare Chandler, Rebecca Stewart


Clare Chandler