Abdul Shayek, Artistic Director
Artistic Director of Fio (which he founded in 2005) and recently directed Fio’s productions of Swarm and The Mountaintop. He is former Creative Associate for National Theatre Wales and has worked with a range of organisations including Contact Theatre, Theatre Royal Stratford East, The Almeida, RSC and The National. He is a visiting lecturer at University of East London and has guest lectured at various other institutions. He is also a National Advisor to Arts Council Wales and is Vice Chair of Youth Arts Network Cymru. Abdul is a Clore Cultural Leadership Fellow (2013-14) and has sat on the steering group of the National Alliance for Arts in the Criminal Justice System.
Alan Humphreys, Associate Producer
Alan Humphreys is a performer and creative producer, and began working with Fio as a producer in March 2016. He produced our performance of Swarm at the Butetown History and Arts Centre in August 2016, and supported the initial producing of the 'The Mountaintop at The Other Room Theatre in October 2016.
Shane Nickels, Associate Producer
Shane Nickels is a Freelance Creative working within Wales. At Fio he works as a Producer and recently produced The Mountaintop alongside Alan Humphreys. Shane has worked with companies such as yello brick, NTW, Welsh National Opera, Greenman Festival and was 1st AD on Bafta award winning short film Dancing in Circles. Alongside his freelance career Shane is a freelance lecturer at University of Wales Trinity Saint David.
Christina Dembenezi, Projects Associate
Christina has worked and participated in the community and the production strands of Fio. She was one of the participants from YOCA's (Fio) 2nd ever project. Her involvement with Fio continued over the years. She went on to take part in the facilitation training program in partnership with UEL in 2015. In the same year Christina completed her actor training and started working as a professional actor. In 2016 she was cast as Alma in Fio's first production of Swarm in Cardiff. In Autumn of 2016 Christina worked as an assistant director on the Welsh premier of Katori Hall's award winning play The Mountaintop by Fio. Alongside her role as assistant director Christina co-facilitated youth theatre workshops at the WMC. She is now working as a project associate developing Fio projects in London.
Chantal Erraoui, Projects Associate
Chantal Erraoui trained in Wales and gained a First class degree in Acting. Shortly after she did Fio's facilitator training course. This enabled her to work with a range of groups and companies. Chantal has worked on a number of Fio's projects, she and one of our freelance practitioners (Jade Lewis-Roe) set up and delivered Fusion, our girls only project. As a theatre maker Chantal is developing a devised show with the Birmingham Rep, she has worked with National Theatre Wales, Mess up the Mess, Hijinx and Taking Flight on various projects. Chantal received a Waleslab in 2015 for her 1 woman show. She has performed within comedy and went to Edinburgh to take part in the National finals of the Sitcom Trials.
Our extended family of freelancers
Originally from Essex, one of six children, but has lived in Wales most of his life, mainly West Wales. For the last 17 years worked in the prison service, always therapeutically and written several interventions. He firmly believes that all people can change. He is currently Equalities manager in HMP Parc where his role is to engage with protected minority groups. Previously he was a teacher in a Steiner school for 15 years. He studied at what was Dyfed School of Art for three years and has painted all his life. He enjoys writing and has had several books published. Also writes under the pen name Adrian Rudesind. His website is http://www.philforderart.co.uk
Jason has been involved in various forms of entertainment for over 17 years. After securing a record deal with East/West records his band toured extensively around the UK and Ireland releasing a few singles along the way. Jason decided to take the knowledge he had gained from his experience in the music industry and began facilitating lyric writing and music production workshops for young people around the UK. He did this for many years before revisiting one of his former passions – theatre and has acted in theatre and TV since. Add to this his time spent as a club DJ/ promoter and presenting ‘Mixing It’ his own weekly World Music radio show on BBC Radio Wales, and presenting with TV channel ‘Made in Cardiff’. Jason is now the Creative Learning Officer at the Wales Millennium Centre.
Deborah Holland now works as a property developer, however prior to this used to run branding and design agency SmithHolland Creative which she set up with her partner in 2010. The agency worked with small business owners and marketing professionals who believe in the value of good design and marketing to build authentic relationships with their customers.
Deborah has had a varied and creative career. She has been a marketing professional since 2001 and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing. She came to marketing via fundraising and has considerable knowledge of the third sector and charitable organisations. She set up a dedicated marketing function at homelessness charity Llamau, and prior to that worked in the Fundraising Office at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama, and at Cardiff and Vale NHS Trust Charity.
Her early ambition was to be a star of stage and screen, and she spent eight years as a jobbing actress. She studied for a Drama degree at the University of Cape Town and regularly performed improvised theatre. Other career choices have involved pub management. It was short-lived, but at least she can pull a good pint.
Edward Wood (Chair)
Edward has worked in the House of Commons in a variety of roles, starting out as a researcher in the House of Commons Library before managing a research team.
Since then he has held senior posts in a number of areas, including information management and public engagement. In 2009 he was Sir Thomas Legg’s deputy during the review of MPs’ allowances following the expenses scandal. From January 2014 – January 2015 he was Secretary to the Digital Democracy Commission, leading the small team supporting the Speaker and other members of the Commission in the preparation of the ground-breaking report.