Cherie Pruden Hughes SRAT DT Drama B.A Hons

Artistic Director and Writer

Cherie studied at Exeter and Sussex Universities. She is a Lived Experience Practitioner and Theatre Specialist working within mental health including Child and Adolescent Mental Health services and Neuro-Developmental teams within education and the community for over 25 years and is a registered Mental Health First Aider and Domestic Abuse Champion. In 2017, she was given a Teaching Excellence award by the Lord Mayor of Southwark for her work with vulnerable young people. Cherie has worked as a performer with Random Acts Improvisation Company, Theatr Clywd and Leap Theatre in Education. Cherie received mentor-ship at The National Theatre working with script development and story.

Eugenie Douglas

Director of Mental Health and Creativity

Eugenie is a Therapeutic Social Worker and Child and Family Mental Health Specialist, working within many communities across London. Eugenie is a respected and established community figure, well known to families and staff working within Education, Clinical settings, GP Surgeries and Voluntary Organisations. Eugenie is passionate about the importance of creativity within mental health and has facilitated the development of creative play skills through parent and child interaction and attachment. She has also provided mental health training and consultation in the community for groups and has developed workshops around Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and mental health resiliance and self regulation. Eugenie is a strong advocate for groups that are at a social or economic disadvantage and she also consults with public services and other organisations on structured inequalities, enabling changes towards accessing supportive and inclusive services for all. We are truly delighted to welcome Eugenie to the Bespoken family. We feel that her expertise and knowledge will enable us to shape inclusive theatre and performance for everyone. Supporting us in our hope to promote the importance of the arts within mental health and the community.

Abigail Halley Drama B.A.Hons

Artistic Director Writer and Performer

Abi studied at Exeter University and Italia Conti. She has worked as an actor, improviser, storyteller and voiceover artist for 25 years. She is also highly experienced in teaching, workshop leading and live interpretation bringing many historical characters to life in museums, galleries and educational settings. Abi works closely with Kew Gardens developing children's awareness of biodiversity and natural world protection through immersive storytelling. Abi has just written her first novel and is about to embark on a second.

Gabriella Shillingford

Performer

Gabriella Shillingford was born and raised on the Caribbean island of Dominica. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Acting from East 15 Acting School. She has appeared in several theatre premieres on the London fringe circuit, actively enjoying the challenge of new work. Theatre credits include Jane Austen and the Cheltonians, Mary Seacole, The Skull and Jelly. Gabriella is also fluent in French Creole which has created opportunities to work professionally in the Voice-over/ADR industry in productions including Death in Paradise(BBC One), Hooten and the Lady(CW/Sky One), The Crown(Netflix) and Yardie. She is very much proud of her Caribbean roots and was thrilled to be chosen to take part in the research and development for the National Theatre's SMALL ISLAND - due to be revived in 2022.

Sandra Mills

Performer

Sandra studied at the University of Ulster and Desmond Jones School of Physical Theatre and has worked as a performer in UK and abroad. She studied an MA in Theatre and International Development after which she spent time in India with Jana Sanskriti using theatre to work with tribes exploring issues affecting their communities. Her case study was published in the journal Development in Practice. She led Bridge intercultural arts programme at Chichester Festival Theatre. She recently performed with Amnesty about the experiences of Afghan women and has also devised and performed with Random Acts Theatre

Chris Sattaur

Production Manager

Chris worked in the Diplomatic Service where he had many adventures in far flung countries. Chris has now focused on his love of theatre by joining Bespoken and pursuing a creative role in our team.

Gabriella Shillingford