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Thursday, 28 July 2022

A Bittersweet Farewell

We’re finally saying goodbye to our ‘intern who stayed’, Sam Turner, who’s been with the company almost as long as I have! We’ve been so grateful for Sam’s Little Miss Sunshine presence in our office and on our screens through what has been a VERY unusual 3 years, and we’re really excited for her new adventures as she moves on from the team. So over to Sam, for her final post. 

Laura Holmes, Exec Director

Throwback to March 2019 - I had just started Third Angel’s Administration and Production Assistant Internship. I was pretty much fresh out of The University of Sheffield, stage managing productions and spending most of my time at Theatre Deli across the road from Third Angel HQ.

A mug with Little Miss Sunshine, by Roger Hargreaves

My favourite mug in the Third Angel office

The internship appealed to me to develop my skills across many areas integral to working in the arts:

Co-ordinating creative projects
Collaborating with artists
Working with venues
Working closely with a small team

Posters for the play The Department of Distractions, four office workers with serious expressions

The Department of Distractions tour - ARC (in Stockton) in early 2020

My highlight was managing the Future Makers ’20 programme (free creative workshops for young people in Sheffield), when I had the opportunity to apply most of the above and more. The team gave me ownership of the project, trusted and advised me when needed and it was a great success until the Covid-19 pandemic hit in early 2020 (I couldn’t write a blog post about the last few years without mentioning it…)

A young man in silhouette

Future Makers ‘20 programme - Cinematography Workshop (Theatre Deli in Sheffield - photo taken by Smart Banda)

The arts sector, like many others, has faced immense challenges over the last few years. The team stayed strong through:

Cancelled projects
National lockdowns
Working from home
Hours on Zoom
Outdoor meetings
Periods of uncertainty
Sudden change
Lots of rethinking
And repeat…

The pandemic presented a new opportunity to work on a (thoroughly risk-assessed) film shoot to create The Distraction Agents (an interactive puzzle game for audiences to enjoy from home) and I developed professionally and personally during each lockdown through coaching, reading, walking, listening and thinking (and baking).

My role with the team has evolved to now (July 2022) as my time with Third Angel draws to an end as their Production & Marketing Administrator.

A camera setup in an empty warehouse

A very chilly The Distraction Agents Film Shoot (Kollider in Sheffield) - December 2020

The company is back in full swing! Alex has just taken The Desire Paths down to Plymouth, our Future Makers S7 programme is running in Nether Edge (my neighbourhood) and the company is growing and thriving as I hand over my responsibilities and top tips to Jon - the new Projects & Communications Co-ordinator.

I’ve developed confidence
Learnt about myself
Exceeded my own expectations of myself
Made lifelong friends
Excelled in surprising areas
Discovered the things I enjoy (and the things I don’t)
Had many laughs and some tears along the way
Created space to reflect and grow

Above all else, over the last few years I’ve learnt to be resilient and consider my values. Nothing feels more important to me than looking after myself, feeling good, feeling strong and doing the things I enjoy. With this in mind, last year I made the exciting (and slightly scary) decision to pursue another of my passions in becoming a Personal Trainer - to help others to do the same.

Fear not, Sheffield’s vibrant arts scene hasn’t seen the last of me yet… you’ll see me covered in glitter with Andro & Eve at the iconic The Leadmill at the end of July and working behind the scenes to set up Theatre Deli’s new Sheffield space before I travel across the world to Bali (Indonesia) with my partner for a few months in September.

A table covered in teal green cups and saucers

Partus cups - work experience with Third Angel in 2016 (Sheffield Theatres Studio)

My time in Sheffield is coming to a bittersweet end to move (back) down South later in the year to be closer to family and friends. I’m feeling ready to move on and very excited to see what my future holds in the arts world and beyond.

I’ve developed skills for life in my roles with Third Angel to apply to whatever I decide to do next. I’ll always treasure my time with the team.

A small potted plant on a windowsill, with the inscription "Thank you for helping me grow"

Thank you for helping me grow


For those who don’t yet know me, my name is Rob (you can read more about who I am and what I do here). In essence, I am a ‘resident scholar’ with Third Angel, but more like a house-mouse than a permanent lodger… I dip in and out of Third Angel’s archive, shadow the team at events and meetings, as well as having had the privilege of ‘sitting in’ on rehearsals and mentoring sessions.

My research explores if, when and how longevity in contemporary arts practice is achievable, and the challenges, risks and values attached to this. In mid-late 2021, in a world of vaccine passes and mask-wearing, I had the amazing opportunity to represent both Third Angel and my University overseas. My scholarship is funded by the White Rose College (WRoCAH) who made this possible: I spent 3 months working with the National Cultural Fund of Bulgaria in their base in the capital city, Sofia. While there I wrote a series of diary/blog posts that, I think, are useful to share here as a document of a moment-in-time, of an (international) arts ecology recovering from a unique and shared crisis. I would like to share them with you here, followed by a short reflection: 

Despatch #1 (sometime in early September ’21)

In an office above the Socialist Art Museum, Bulgaria’s ‘National Cultural Fund’ is never too far from reminders of its history. A country that is still working to decentralise its cultural sector as a post-communist Republic, Bulgaria is redefining itself both as part of a Western European capitalist tradition, and simultaneously working to protect and promote its cultural heritage as uniquely ‘Balkan’ (still very much reconnecting with its pre-Ottoman heritage, for those that know your history). Now in receipt of vast amounts of European Covid-relief funding, Bulgaria’s Cultural Fund is navigating its own domestic function as an ‘arm’s length’ support structure (operating as a democratic buffer between the state and its cultural sector), and is looking dubiously ahead to a time when these levels of funding will, inevitably, become unsustainable…

My three-month project involves researching and writing a comparative study of the Bulgarian arts funding situation, with ‘best-practice’ recommendations from British, Central and Northern European contexts. I have been living and working here in the capital, Sofia, for a few weeks now and highly recommend it as a place to visit!

Photo Rob Fellman

Despatch #2 (sometime in early October ‘21)

A few weeks on from the last despatch and I find myself further embroiled in the complexities of an Arts Sector that varies greatly from what I know of my own… It turns out (perhaps unsurprisingly) that making a comparative study between national approaches to cultural policy (across Europe) is VERY complex: it is near-impossible to make any useful comparison without first considering the history of each nation and/or region… I have been thrust into a world of research that I couldn’t have even imagined before starting this project, and I am really enjoying the process of seeing where it will take me next!

I have also just begun a series of interviews with local artists and grassroots theatre-makers, and every conversation opens up a whole array of new questions (and not to mention meeting some fantastic people and making new personal connections). 

Despatch #3 (sometime in early November ‘21)

My time with Bulgaria’s ‘National Cultural Fund’ is soon coming to an end. As I am pulling together the final details for my report I wonder what impact it might make? Just yesterday I was looking through an Arts Council England document from 2018 in which arts organisations voted ‘natural disaster’ as only 12% ‘risky’ on a ‘level-of-risk-to-the-sector’ scale, compared to ‘financial risk’ at 90%… No-one could have seen what was coming, even back then when words like ‘resilience’ and ‘sustainability’ were already the hot topics across the UK arts sector. As financial stability becomes intrinsically linked to our ability to survive natural crises like Covid-19 perhaps now is the perfect time for cultural sectors around Europe to rethink their current practices, to seize the moment of change and harness it for the better…

From speaking with a cross-section of art-makers in Bulgaria, there is a sense of positivity, despite the horrors that the pandemic has brought with it. As I finalise my report to the NCF, I struggle to say everything that (I believe) needs to be said. I am wrestling with the scope that I have set for myself and, despite my line-manager’s encouragements, I’m struggling to narrow my focus. What I realise, and commit to on paper here as advice, is that one report can’t change everything. This is easy to say, but harder to acknowledge in practice! What my report can do, however, is to capture the energies and emotions of the sector, to present data in a way that tells a story…

Ivan Vazov National Theatre, Sofia

In Summary

I think what this process (and reading the posts back now in June of ‘22) brings to light is the shared experience that a global crisis can instil. Even as I write this and our friends in Ukraine are at the forefront of another crisis that has united much of Europe and its allies (100 days in at the time of writing). Certainly, it changes the weight of words like ‘sustainability’, or ‘resilience’. Thinking now about the positive energies I witnessed (and felt) among the grassroots contemporary theatre-makers in Bulgaria last year has made me a little sad back on ‘home turf’ – only a week or so ago minister Rees-Mogg proposed cuts that would all-but-remove any ‘arm’s length’ structure of arts support in the UK. Where Bulgaria’s NCF are looking to learn from the systems around Europe, the UK is furthering a trajectory that will see instead a dismantling of ideals we have, perhaps, taken for granted. As Covid and Ukraine have shown, it is through networks of support that longevity may be possible; important to consider now as a whole arts ecology, how an already-precarious sector can continue to thrive despite collective and increasingly globalised crises.

As we move towards the warmer months, I plan to spend some time once again in Third Angel’s archive, as I attempt to draw more links between their past and present, their ability to ‘weather the storm’ of different crises, and for inspiration that might help us understand this term, longevity, a little better. I plan to keep you updated on this blog with some of my findings! If you are interested in keeping a closer eye on what I am up to, you can find me on Twitter @Rob_Fellman so please do feel free to connect with me on there.

As Third Angel’s work changes over time, so does the team needed to deliver it. At the beginning of this year, in the midst of imagining all the things we want to do next, we realised we were going to need to create a different role within the team to make it all happen. And so the Projects & Communications Co-ordinator was born! It’s going to be a busy time. 

We’re delighted to introduce you to the person who’s going to bring it to life. Jonathan Fry has joined us at Third Angel HQ, where he’ll be working to support planning and delivery of all of our creative and participation work. So without further ado, over to Jon to say hello.

A young man in his 20's sits on stage holding a toy keyboard.

Photo by Ivan Paniotov

Like a lot of people in the arts I’ve walked a pretty weird, meandering path to get to this job! I’ve designed and published games, contributed to a UN report, given music lessons, and washed a lot of dishes…

In 2018 I finished work on a Masters in “Applied Human Rights” at the University of York, with a focus on the ins-and-outs of charity work and a dissertation looking at zero-hour contracts. I knew I wanted to do work that was thought-provoking, participatory and empowering. The hard bit was finding where to start!

A man in his 20's sits in a cafe, smiling to camera

After graduating I moved to Berlin with, in hindsight, stunningly little in the way of a plan. After a few big reality-checks on the usefulness of a Masters Degree for finding work, I eventually settled into a rhythm as a freelance music teacher. Alongside paid lessons I volunteered with some local creative initiatives, which led to a paid position as Project Manager at the Berlin Open Music School, a community project that runs free, volunteer-powered music lessons. It was a real pleasure to work with a load of lovely people to dismantle barriers to music education, and there’s a kind of hypnotic brilliance to the sounds of a dozen beginner guitarists all hitting the same chord over and over.

I decided to move back to the UK earlier this year to move in with my long-distance partner after many months of travel-restricted separation. This “Projects & Comms” role at Third Angel struck me as an opportunity to do the kind of work I had enjoyed before but on a slightly bigger scale. In all honesty I was pleasantly surprised to get an offer, I had been dealing with the stress of interviews by prioritising enjoying myself as much as seeming professional. It’s great to be working somewhere that values personality and playfulness as well as a CV!

A man in his 20's wearing colourful costume, sitting a camping chair

Photo by John Franglen

“We’re super proud to introduce some of the new trustees who have joined our team over recent months, bringing a wealth of skills and experience, including HR, social entrepreneurship, artistic leadership, and diversity and inclusion work. 
Naomi, Edenamiuki and Sophie will also be joined by Tommi Bryson from our next meeting in September (more details then!). We’re also really pleased to have Liliya Filippova as our Trainee Trustee, following on from her Kickstart placement earlier this year - she’ll be shadowing the Board and learning all about the work of charity trustees over the next year.” 

- Laura Holmes (Executive Director)

Edenamiuki Aiguobasinmwin 

A smartly-dressed man stands outside a building, smiling to camera

Edenamiuki Aiguobasinmwin (also known as Namiuki) is an artist and Executive Director of multiple leading initiatives focused on design and implementation of sustainable approaches to supporting artists, entrepreneurs and leaders through The Break Dance Manchester, Young Creative Leaders and Elevate Young Minds.

Edenamiuki is Nigerian born, he grew up within the UK’s Hip Hop Dance scene as a performer and presenter and is a creative practitioner with a Master’s degree in Choreography from Leeds Beckett University. Edenamiuki is also a Lead Dance researcher at Manchester Hip Hop Archive, making him the first Hip Hop dance archiver in Greater Manchester and beyond.

“Over the last 5 years I have had the opportunity to be commissioned to develop and perform works such as ‘Reformation’ and ‘Exploring the Man’, which were performed at a variety of local and international platforms such as The Civic Theatre in Dublin, York Theatre Royal, Ludus Dance, Stadler’s Well in London and Temple in Lisbon in Portugal.”

Edenamiuki has received recognition from the United Nations (winning multiple awards at Plural+ 2018), the Commonwealth, Future Team Russia, the Sri Lankan, Cameroon Government and more. Edenamiuki is also part of the first cohort of the Arts Council England’s Area Council Development Programme.

Sophie Hunter

A woman stands smiling against a leafy backdrop

“I’m really delighted to have a place on Third Angel’s board, to be able to support them in any way I can to keep being the brilliant, eclectic, thoughtful company that they are. I am particularly inspired by their commitment to creativity in everything and to the next generation of artists and creatives.”

Sophie is a freelance creative producer, facilitator and evaluator, working to encourage change through reflective practice and the development of learning communities, often but not exclusively working within the field of arts education.  She brings together her experience in holding space for people’s learning with her ability to co-create large-scale strategic projects. She grows people, places and projects.

Sophie came to the city in 1997 to work for the Crucible Youth Theatre. She stayed at Sheffield Theatres until 2004, worked for Creative Partnerships for 8 years, and then co-founded Growtheatre in 2012. Most recently she has spent 6 years at the helm of Create Sheffield, the Cultural Education Partnership for the city, developing learning networks, and supporting artists and educators to improve arts access for children and young people.

Naomi Cosgrove

A woman smiling against a white background 

“From a young age I have loved theatre and I grew up as a member of the Crucible Youth Theatre which I remember as some of the happiest days of my childhood. I believe taking theatre out to the audience is so important in connecting with those who might not realise how much being creative can change their lives and Third Angel does that beautifully.

As a HR professional I feel grateful to help support Third Angel in its mission to diversify as an organisation and to be a guiding voice in recruitment and organisational development.”

Sunday, 3 July 2022

The Desire Paths Plymouth Day 2

We might have been undaunted at the end of Day 1, but the rain had other ideas. As we arrived at The Piazza (now Phoenix Way), the previous day’s map making was gradually dissolving in the sea mist drizzle and rain.

We re-drew the grid in the rain, and hoped it would be worth it.

It was. By midday the rain had stopped and the names of most Day 1’s streets were at least locatable. We got to work.

Fenna who is 5 years old renamed Freeman’s Wharf as PARAMEDIC ROAD as when she goes up she wants to be a Paramedic, the grown up who was with her told me that Fennas mum had been in Derriford Hospital for the last two weeks and since then she had found hospitals and Doctors and Nurses fascinating.

John had a few pints one evening a couple of years ago and as he was leaving the pub he slipped up, proper comedy style, injuring his elbow. To remember that, he wanted to rename East Take Ope as ‘I Fell Down Here Street’ but it’s a very short street, so he settled on TUMBLE STREET.

Sam and Tammy arrived together with other friends. Tammy renamed Mutley Plain TREVI ROAD, in recognition of the work Trevi do protecting vulnerable women. She and Sam are fundraising for them right now, so Sam renamed Ford Park Road SKYDIVE AVENUE, because although they’ve never been in a plane before, they’re going to jump out of one to support Trevi.

Kym & Sean moved to Plymouth to study. They met in a Geology lecture drawing Gastropods (!) and decided to stay when they graduated. 

They renamed Southern Terrace as GASTROPOD WAY.

A couple renamed the DBS building near High Street NEW BEGINNINGS after their children’s success of starting new endeavours with their studies.

Here’s a few more street names from Day 2:

Now let’s see if the weather has been kinder overnight…

Friday, 1 July 2022

The Desire Paths: Plymouth Day 1

The Desire Paths: Plymouth
Day 1
Stories from the team: Alex, Bee, Callum, Gill, Laura & Nisha:

Before we had even started drawing the grid, Phoenix approached us asking us what we were doing after observing us and prepping the space.

Phoenix renamed Armada Way (The Piazza) as PHOENIX WAY. They had told us they had changed their name after seeing and encountering a series of repeated synchronicities of the ‘phoenix’ in the past week. Marking how they had risen from the ashes and risen from certain challenges they had been facing. It was apt that this should be our first renaming of streets in Plymouth.

Jason & Juliet renamed Rusty Anchor on the West Hoe as OUR LITTLE COVE, as this is where they often go for nice romantic evenings by the sea side to watch the world go by and they are hoping to find the time to do it more often.

Kyra and Tyler renamed Wolseley Road as KYLER BOULEVARD, because they are cousins and also best friends, and they hope that is always true.

Peter renamed Notte Street DREAMER WAY, as he’s just moved down to Plymouth from the North for his partner’s work. He used to perform a lot and is now working as a social worker, but always holds theatre in his heart. He thought of “Dreamer Way” because you always have to ‘dream away’.

Chris & Charlie renamed The Box as PANDA BOX because they met there in January and have been dating ever since and Pandas are the national animal of China, where they’re both from. It was the first time Chris had ever been to Plymouth so they met on her very first trip here!

Abbott renamed Devils Point as ABBOTT’S WAY. It’s his birthday today and he has an interview at Plymouth College of Art tomorrow so he’s hoping that taking part in Desire Paths will give him good luck and help make his dreams come true.

The forecast is for rain overnight… but we are undaunted.

Bedford Desire Paths Team
Photo: Chiara Mac Call, Desire Paths Bedford 2021 with The Place Bedford

In partnership with Plymouth Culture, as part of the Heritage Active Zone Cultural programme HAZ, we’re very excited to be making a brand new version of our participatory, story-swapping, map-making performance for public spaces The Desire Paths in Plymouth this summer, and we’re looking for performers or artists who are based in, or have strong connections to Plymouth to be part of our team. 

The Desire Paths is a conversational, durational performance that involves drawing a street map on the floor with chalk, talking to the public and inviting them to rename a street after a hope or dream for the future. It also involves listening to any stories they tell you about themselves and/or the town, and maybe telling those stories back at the end of the project. You can see photos and video of indoor and outdoor versions of the show here.

We always research the history of street names in our new location, but we know from experience that it helps to have some people on the team who are already familiar with the city and its history. 

SO we are looking for 3 performers experienced or interested in engaging with the public, gathering stories (so listening and telling), drawing/writing in performance. You might be an actor or performer who wants to try some task-based work, a visual artist interested in installation and performance, a presenter, or anything else that uses those skills.

Credit: Chiara Mac Call. The Desire Paths Bedford, 2021

You’ll need to be available for at least one remote pre-production meeting in June, and then to work in person from Thursday 30 June to Sunday 3 July inclusive for rehearsal and performance, plus a little time on Monday 4 July to tidy up, collate and send over write-ups of the stories you’ve collected. We pay £130/day for 4 days minimum, 5 days maximum. Rehearsal and performance days are usually 6 1/2 hours plus breaks.

Interested? We would love to meet up and have a chat! We’d particularly like to hear from artists who have global majority heritage, d/Deaf or disabled artists and those from marginalised communities.

Our Co-artistic Director Alex Kelly will be in Plymouth on 25th of May for a site visit and to talk to interested performers. To book in for a conversation, please click here.

And if you have questions about the project in advance, drop him an email here

Recruitment is now closed for this post. Thank you for your interest! 

We’re creating the new, full-time permanent role of Projects & Communications Co-ordinator. Could that be you..?
The Desire Paths: York (2021). Image: Kirkpatrick Photography.
The Projects & Communications Co-ordinator will be key to the successful delivery of Third Angel’s plans over the coming years, updating our project management processes to keep everything on track, and turn our Communications Strategy into a deliverable plan. We’re looking for an enthusiastic team member with experience of successful project management and marketing and communications approaches.
You’ll be skilled at scheduling and co-ordination, a great communicator, and confident using social media for professional purposes. Your experience could be gained through employment, voluntary work or through hobbies or passion projects. We believe that diverse teams make the best decisions and are always looking for opportunities to bring new ideas, perspectives and life experiences into our team.

Inherited Cities (2018). Photo: Joseph Priestley.
We’d particularly love to hear from applicants who have global majority heritage and from those who are d/Deaf or disabled. We’re striving to be an inclusive and supportive employer, and would welcome any conversations about how we can make our workplace accessible to you.
The role is full-time (35hrs / week) and annual salary is £22,000 per year (equivalent to £2,050 per month before tax).
The closing date for applications is 9:00am on Monday 16th May and interviews on Thursday 26th May 2022. 
Unfortunately, we’re unable to be flexible on the interview date so please ensure you would be able to attend on that date.
You can download the Information Pack HERE [link now disabled]
If you have any questions please email us on or if it would be helpful to have an informal chat you can call us on 0114 274 4974 and ask for Laura Holmes (our Executive Director)

There's lots more information about making and touring Third Angel projects 2008-2017 on our original blog, and 2017-2023 on the blog on this site.