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WHO WE ARE

The Herd brings children, young people and families together in playful spaces to share exceptional experiences. We play alongside children to create shows, installations and experiences that celebrate, interrogate and nurture the joy of childhood.

We believe in the transformational power of family arts and create experiences that children and adults can share together. We recognise that some children and families face barriers to accessing the arts and we proactively explore ways of removing
these barriers.

The Herd is based in Hull and run by founders Ruby Thompson and Sam Caseley.

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PLAY

We play alongside children to create ideas for all our work, play with artists to realise these ideas, and then unlock opportunities for our audiences to play.

FAMILY

We create mutually beneficial experiences for the whole family, as enjoyable for adults as children. We understand families come in all shapes and sizes, and use the word to describe a child and their responsible grown up/s.

JOY

We exist to celebrate, interrogate and nurture the joy of childhood. We create 

exceptional moments for our audience that sit outside of the everyday.

RELEVENCE

We ensue our work is relevant, exciting and truthful to children by collaborating with them in all stages of the making. Our shows and experiences resonate with children living through the 2020s. We keep these children's futures in mind by using recycled and waste materials in our design in all of our projects. 

EQUITY

We work hard to remove barriers children and families have to accessing arts experiences, with a particular focus on barriers facing working class people and disabled people.

We're associates at Back To Ours

COME PLAY, JOIN THE HERD

And affiliated at Hull Truck

Click these to hear text read out loud

COMPANY DIRECTORS

RUBY THOMPSON

Ruby is a Theatre Director and co-runs The Herd. Ruby directs our shows and comes up with ideas for our shows and projects. Ruby is also the Designated Safeguarding Officer at The Herd. 

Other directing credits for the Kiln Theatre, The Yard Theatre, Donmar Warehouse, and Paines Plough's Roundabout. Ruby has devised and led drama workshops at Leeds Playhouse, The National Theatre, The Yard, Women in Football and Donmar Warehouse. 

Ruby is the Vice-Chair of Governors for Sidmouth Primary School Hull. 

SAM CASELEY

Sam is a writer and composer, and co-runs The Herd. Sam wrote and scored SLIME, Ducklings and How to Fly Like a Reindeer. He is currently writing The Last Dinosaur. Sam wrote the SLIME book with Shoo Rayner and co-created Wired Differently, Ten Foot Tales and Square Patties. He was project lead on Combo Collective and Wires Crossed. 

Other work includes his role as writer and performer on British Council Sierra Leone Exchange Project, Poda Poda and Project Lead on a weekly arts project for young people with Learning Disabilities for Croydon Council. Sam is a trustee of Corali Dance Company, leaders in dance created by people with a Learning Disability.

ASSOCIATE ARTISTS

RŪTA IRBĪTE

Rūta is a designer working on projects across theatre and art, often designs for unusual spaces, with a practise in sustainable design. 

 

For The Herd Rūta has designed REPLAY, made entirely our of waste and reclaimed materials, Snowmen, The Last Dinosaur, Slime and How To Fly Like A Reindeer. 

 

Other design work includes We Could all be Perfect (Sheffield Theatres), Say Yes to Tess (Leeds Playhouse) Primetime and Open Court (Royal Court Theatre), And The Rest Of Me Floats (Bush Theatre),  Hotter and  Fitter (Soho Theatre), Blink (Emergency Exit Arts).

LUA BAIRSTOW

Lua is a live artist. Lua performed as slug in SLIME and is the writer for WHALESONG. 

Lua is a Spotlight Practitioner at Edshift; an arts based core provider of domestic and sexual violence prevention and early intervention programmes for young people aged 4-18.  

 

Lua is the co-founder of Theatre with Legs, and other works include Cathy in Wuthering Heights (China Plate/ Inspector Sans) creator of The Sound Grief Project (Leeds Playhouse/ Transform) Director of Fat Girls Don't Dance and Essex Girl. 

FINLAY MCGUIGAN

Finlay is an actor, facilitator and theatre maker. Finlay performed as Caterpillar in SLIME and Casper in How to Fly Like a Reindeer.
 

Other work includes Simon in JACK AND THE BEANSTALK (Lyric Hammersmith), THE SNOW QUEEN (Polka), and THE TEMPEST (The Unicorn/ Regents Park Open Air), Joseph in BATHWATER (Vicky Foster/BBC Radio 4),  and Finlay in GREAT ADVENTURES IN STORYLAND (Hull Truck Theatre).

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YSABELLE WOMBWELL

Ysabelle is a Musician, Music Producer, Creative Producer and Consultant who has been working in the Arts for 15 years.

Born in London, now based in Hull, Ysabelle is a a multi-instrumentalist with a passion for social change, activism and creative and inclusive practise.

Ysabelle has worked with The Herd as an Access Consultant on REPLAY, Counting Sheeps, Fast Food Megaverse, and Whalesong. Ysabelle has worked as a composer and musician on Counting Sheeps and Whalesong. 

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ADMINISTRATOR

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CHRISTIE PARKIN

Christie has been working with Yorkshire-based Arts companies since 2017, supporting small-medium organisations with Project Management, Monitoring and Evaluation and volunteer management. She helps our projects to run smoothly and ensures that our funders get to hear about the work we do.

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 BOARD OF TRUSTEES

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NAQIYA EBRAHIM 
CHAIR OF TRUSTEES

Naqiya is Executive Director of Seenaryo, a theatre and play-based learning charity working in Lebanon & Jordan. Naqiya co-created the Seenaryo Playkit, an app for early years teachers.

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ANN-MARIE MERRICK

Ann-Marie works in fundraising, helping to raise money that makes lots of exciting work happen.  She’s worked in different theatres, libraries, heritage attractions and universities.

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JAMIE JACKSON 

Jamie works in Development for Gaumont a TV production company who make drama in the UK and internationally. Jamie creates shows and works with writers to get shows made. 

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KATHERINE IGOE-EWER
DESIGNATED SAFEGUARDING LEAD AT BOARD LEVEL 

Katherine is a cultural producer with a specialism in youth and community arts participation. She is currently the Head of Producing and Participation at The Yard Theatre in East London, where she has led the community engagement programme for the last seven years. Katherine is interested in the power of storytelling, play and imagination, particularly for children and families. Katherine’s family is from Hull and she is a big fan of Bob Carvers’ chips. 

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LOUISE HOLMES

Louise is a charity consultant and governance professional with a background in development and management. Over the years she’s worked with and for charities including the Hackney Empire, Room to Read, Lumos Foundation and the Quentin Blake Centre for Illustration.  

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ANDREW SHIMMIN

Andrew worked as Headteacher of Mcmillan Nursery School in North Hull, until his recent retirement. Andrew is a champion of the development of arts projects for Early Years, made in collaboration with young children. 

POLICIES 

CHILD PROTECTION - Read our Child Protection Policy here.

Ruby Thompson is The Herd's Designated Safeguarding Officer, and is accredited by the NSPCC.

EQUALITY AND DIVERSITY - Read our Equality and Diversity Policy here

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We have adopted the ANTI-RACISM RIDER as an important statement of intent and will work with colleagues from across the industry to implement this. We have made a commitment to meet the baseline actions of the rider. 

The Herd's Core Team and Associates received ANTI-RACISM Training in October 2022. 

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