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New digital project to showcase female writers and performers in the North

Tmesis Theatre in Liverpool have announced a new digital project showcasing a series of short films written and performed by women based in the North.

The project sees Indian poet, writer and activist, Jhilmil Breckenridge; spoken word artist, Toria Garbutt; Coronation Street writer, Ella Greenhil; winner of the Northern Writers Award for Poetry, Jennifer Lee Tsai; and Lizzie Nunnery, an award-winning scriptwriter, each writing about an aspect of being a woman that is close to their heart, looking at subjects such as motherhood, abuse, and ageing and re-comnnecting with our female ancestors.

Tmesis’ Artistic Director, Elinor Randle has worked with film makers First Take to create 5 short films, interspersing movement, image and words, based on the writers’ finished pieces; some filmed on the performers’ mobile phones, others on location by First Take.

The Liverpool-based theatre company has called upon a number of talented female performers including Annabel Dowler (Kirsty in The Archers), Louise McNulty (Widnes based TV & theatre actress) and dance artists Jennifer Essex and Pei Tong, to bring the writing to life on screen.

The project also sees Elinor Randle herself making her first comeback to performing since her solo show Wolf Red in 2013.

The films will be released weekly from Monday 28th September and can be seen via the Tmesis Theatre website: https://www.tmesistheatre.com/projects/digital-projects/

About the Writers

Lizzie Nunnery is an award-winning scriptwriter, working in theatre, radio, film and TV. Work includes Intemperance (Liverpool Everyman, 2007) which was shortlisted for the Meyer-Whitworth Award, and Narvik (UK Tour 2017, Norwegian tour 2019) which won Best New Play at the UK Theatre Awards. She is currently developing an original feature film script supported by BFI, and an original drama series with Tigerlily Productions and Liverpool Film Office. Lizzie is also a songwriter and singer. 

Jhilmil Breckenridge is a poet, writer and activist. She is the founder of Bhor Foundation, an Indian charity, active in mental health advocacy and the trauma informed approach. She advocates Poetry as Therapy and is working on a few initiatives, both in the UK and India, taking this into prisons and mental health institutions. Her debut poetry collection, Reclamation Song, was published in May 2018 by Red River Press, India and in November 2019 by Verve Poetry Press, UK. She has recently co-edited a collection of essays on mental health and this was published asSide Effects of Living (Women Unlimited and Speaking Tiger, 2019).

Jennifer Lee Tsai is a poet, editor and critic. She was born in Bebington and grew up in Liverpool. Jennifer is a fellow of The Complete Works, a Ledbury Poetry Critic and Contributing Editor to Ambit. Her debut poetry pamphlet is Kismet (ignitionpress). In 2019, she was awarded an AHRC scholarship to undertake doctoral research in Creative Writing at Liverpool University. She is the winner of a Northern Writers Award for Poetry 2020. 

Ella Greenhill is under commission with the BBC for a 90 minute drama and is also developing an original series with BBC studios. She is writing for Coronation street with over 50 episodes under her belt. Her play Plastic Figurines toured with Box of Tricks and is published by Methuen. Ella’s short film A Portrait of a Mother was commissioned by

Toria Garbutt is a spoken word artist from Knottingley – a former mining town in West Yorkshire. From as young as 9 she kept a diary, and wrote poetry by way of navigating an alternative path through the world. She is one of the most important voices on the spoken word scene. She has toured across Europe with her hard-hitting material and is a regular tour support for John Cooper Clarke.

About the Performers

Annabelle Dowler is originally from Formby. She has undertaken a wide range of work in Theatre, Film, Television and Radio. Her theatre work includes Tartuffe for English Touring Theatre and Liverpool Playhouse, No Wise Men, The Flint Street Nativity, The Mayor of Zalamea and Breezeblock Park at Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse, Peter Pan at the National Theatre.
TV includes the Netflix series, Sense8, Mother’s Day, Emmerdale, LewisEastenders, Silent Witness and The Six Wives of Henry VIII. Film credits include SuffragetteAnother Mother’s Son and Brexit – an Uncivil War.
Annabelle has worked extensively in Radio Drama. As well as playing Kirsty in The Archers for the last 20 years, she has been a member of the BBC Radio Drama Company and work includes Wuthering HeightsMr Lowry’s Loves &My Turn to Make the Tea.

Jennifer Essex is a choreographer, originally from Canada, now living and working in the North East of England.  She’s worked with Tmesis Theatre on That’s Amore, Happy Hour, and Beyond Belief.  She’s the Artistic Director of Fully Booked Theatre, which creates interactive dance theatre for children and families.  She has performed across North America and Europe in works by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Gary Clarke, Rosie, Kay, and Rachel Browne, among others and was a dancer in the feature films Anna Karenina and Les Miserables. 

Louise McNulty celebrates 25 years of professional acting,voice over, directing and creative project management in 2020.
Widnes based actor also is the manager of her local community venue The Studio.
Enjoying both theatre and TV, Louise has most recently appeared as a semi recurring character in Emmerdale, Her Productions Vignettes at Hope Mill in Manchester and Renny Krupinski’s one woman show, A Dangerous Woman at Edinburgh Fringe (2018).

Kel Nkondock is a young Spanish actress, based in Liverpool with passion for physical theatre and choreography. She’s trained with Innocentia Inviolata, The Lucid Body and Tmesis Theatre (Physical Fest and Wicked Women Creative Development course). This year she became a member of the National Youth Theatre. She has worked as a dancer, actress and production assistant as well as performed for many independent art projects in both France and England. Most recently she played the part of Ursula in the short film Heirlooms.

Pei Tong is Co-Founder and Co-Director of Movema, a world dance company based in Liverpool. Original from Malaysian, and of Chinese discent, Pei  travelled to UK to do pharmacy and ended up having dance as a career. Pei is also a choreographer, and  community artist and has worked nationally and internationally.

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