Free Word is run by a small, dedicated staff led by Director Rose Fenton.
Rose Fenton, Director
Rose is a co-founder of LIFT (London International Festival of Theatre) and was its co-Director for 25 years until 2005. After leaving LIFT she worked as a producer and arts policy advisor developing and facilitating projects across Europe and beyond, including in Iran and the Far East. She co-authored the Arts, Culture and Creativity Strategy for the London Olympic Park post-2012; and was part of the team developing the shortlisted bid for Lublin, Poland to become European Capital of Culture 2016. Rose is a Mentor for the Clore Leadership Programme and sits on the board of Aerowaves, and on the Advisory Board of Tipping Point. She has received an Honorary Doctorate from De Montford University and an Honorary Fellowship from Dartington College of Arts. With Lucy Neal she co-wrote The Turning World: Stories from the London International Festival of Theatre (The Gulbenkian Foundation, 2005). In 2005 Rose was awarded an OBE for Services to Drama.
Lora Christy, Marketing and Communications Assistant
Lora graduated from the University of Kent in 2015 with a degree in English and American Literature. She has volunteered with Apples and Snakes since 2012, promoting events, writing blogs and working at spoken word nights, and was previously an intern at Wise Words Festival in Canterbury, Kent, where she still helps out as a volunteer. She enjoys spoken word and folk music, and is particularly interested in the environment and sustainability.
Katya Evans, Head of Development
Katya has worked in arts fundraising for over twelve years. Following graduating with an MA in Arts Administration and Cultural Policy from Goldsmiths College, University of London, her first fundraising role was as part of a team raising £14 million to build the first purpose designed theatre for children in London, Unicorn Theatre. She went on to work on revenue fundraising at the Design Museum, as Deputy Director of Development at the Almeida Theatre and, most recently, Head of Development at contemporary dance company, Hofesh Shechter Company.
Tim Fletcher, Building Manager
Tim graduated from the University of Hertfordshire with an English Literature with Drama degree in 2006. He then began work for Trestle Theatre Company at their Arts Base in St Albans. Most recently he has worked at Jacksons Lane for two years as Operations Manager before joining the Free Word team in May 2012. He loves reading a good book, attending theatre and live music and drinking copious amounts of tea.
Angharad Guy, Marketing and Communications Manager
Angharad spent six years working in the literary arts sector in the United States, before returning to the UK in 2013. During her time in America she worked as programme manager for The Big Read, a national literature programme that supports innovative community reading projects across the US. After returning to the UK, Angharad joined FilmAid International and was responsible for operations and development before becoming deputy director. She has served on the board of directors for two arts organisations and as a panellist for arts grants in Minnesota.
Sophie Kembrey, Administrator
Sophie graduated from the University of York in 2014 with a degree in English and Related Literature. After working in in the North West, in an archive and for the National Trust, she has now relocated to London. She loves visiting museums and arts festivals, and, when not reading post-colonial literature, she is trying her hand at calligraphy, or on the look-out for new cultural events and yoga classes.
Alex Moran, Front of House and Operations Co-ordinator
Alex studied Screenwriting at the London Film Academy and graduated in 2013. Since then, he has worked as a freelance writer and reader, alongside working in a museum, gallery and theatre space in Liverpool. He loves film, music, the arts, and making bad puns.
Ceri Ellen Payne, Front of House and Operations Co-ordinator
Ceri trained at Rose Bruford College in Stage Management and works part time as a freelance stage & production manager.
She has worked in Arts administration and Theatre management for the best part of 10 years. Other job roles she has undertaken whilst doing this include mail sorter, rail complaints taker and novelty wig washer. She enjoys writing bad poetry and listening to very loud music.
Bryan Savery, Executive Director
Bryan was most recently Executive Director for Rifco and Executive Producer for The Red Room Theatre and Film Company. He is a Fellow of the RSA and in 2012 was made a Freeman of the City of London. His recent roles and clients as a freelance Arts Consultant include; Projects Producer for Somerset House on Dreamthinkspeak and Global Opera, Cultural Policy Project “What Next?”, London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG), Arts Council England, reviewing the National Arts Funding System with Baroness McIntosh, The Young Vic, Soho Theatre, Punchdrunk, Ballet Boyz, Nitro, Theatre is…, Peshkar, Society of London Theatre, Box Clever and Theatre Royal Stratford East.
His previous professional positions over the last 15 years include Executive Director at Tamasha, Executive Director at Hampstead Theatre, General Manager at Almeida Theatre, including Almeida Opera, and Administrator at Caught in the Act Young Peoples Theatre Company (1999 – 2004).
Bryan held the position of Vice Chair of the ITC (Independent Theatre Council) for 6 years and as part of this role was appointed to the Steering Board of Theatre 2005, and was a Trustee of the Queen’s Theatre Trust, The Unicorn Theatre and Secretariat for @Work Project (pan EU Cultural Organisations body).
He has a degree in Theatre and Arts Management from Dartington College of Arts.
Kayla Simpson-George, Programme Intern
Kayla graduated from the University of Bedfordshire in 2014 with a degree in Journalism. She has always enjoyed writing, both journalistically and creatively, and was Features Editor of her university magazine; she was also involved in the singing and performance society. After university, Kayla was chosen for an Editorial Assistant internship along with work experience in content marketing. Being interested in the creative arts, Kayla regularly goes to theatre performances, and has a keen interest in museums and exhibitions.
Alex Solo, Building Assistant
Alex joined Free Word in October 2015, coming from a rather diverse employment background. Alex has worked as a scenic artist and crew at the Dukes Theatre in Lancaster, a self-employed decorator, as well as in customer service and hospitality. An English graduate from Manchester Metropolitan University, he is currently studying for his MA in ‘Issues in Modern Culture’ at UCL. He has put on live music events across both London and Manchester since 2008. In his spare time, Alex enjoys writing, dystopian/utopian narratives and reconnecting with his Greek culture.
Natasha Sutton-Williams, Duty Manager
Natasha is a playwright, singer and journalist. Her plays have been performed on the London stage at the Arcola, Southwark Playhouse, and Pleasance Theatre. She recently wrote, composed and performed her one-woman show Freud The Musical. She is a member of Soho Theatre’s Young Writers’ Alumni scheme and has been twice shortlisted for their Soho Young Writers’ Award. She received mentorship on the Inspires programme produced by Writers’ Centre Norwich and Ideastap. She is also a freelance arts journalist for londoncalling.com.
Sophie Wardell, Programme Producer
Sophie graduated in English Literature from Exeter University and began work as box office manager of a major Edinburgh Fringe Festival theatre venue. She moved to the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) in Bristol in the ‘Knowledge Transfer’ team and worked on projects to take humanities research outside of University contexts into business and the creative industries. In 2010 Sophie began work in the Literature team at the British Council, and worked to deliver an international programme of literature activities, author events, workshops, seminars, residencies and spoken word programmes. Sophie worked on partnerships and programmes across EU Europe, Wider Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean, and managed a number of key projects including literature activity around the 2014 Commonwealth Games and the current World War One literature centenary programme. Sophie became Programme Producer for Free Word in April 2015.