Each year Manchester Day Producers Walk the Plank pair artists with successful applicant groups and individuals to help realise participants’ ambitious creative ideas. 

Find out more about the artists we are working with in 2017:


Manchester Day 2017 Artists

Alice Castanho

I’m Alice Castanho, I’m 20 years old and I’m from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. I was selected to participate of the Elevate Program, which will offer to me the opportunity to have a cultural exchange and also the experience of working in a great event in another country, the Manchester Day, with other forms of work. I graduated from FAETEC and I graduated as Technical in cultural production and events in 2013. I studied at Spectaculu in 2015, and I graduated as a “prop hands” assistant and dressing room. Last year I participated in the Backstage to the Future program, which offered to me a general theatrical training. I worked as a production assistant and prop hands in several theatrical shows and productions. I assisted in the production of a work exhibited at the House of Denmark during the Rio 2016 Olympics. I also participated in the production and props assistance of the show Graeae’s, The Garden, which performed at Praça Mauá during the Rio 2016 Paralympics. Currently, I’m doing the Bachelors in Cinema and Audiovisual at the Fluminense Federal University and whenever I can, I act in cultural productions.

Alison Duddle

Alison is a puppet and mask maker and director based in West Yorkshire. She worked for many years with Horse + Bamboo theatre as joint artistic director, and now is making puppets for TV, creating little collage puppet shows for people’s living rooms and giant pigeons for parades. She doesn’t have a website, yet!

Amy Hegarty

Amy is an artist based in Dublin, who has always had a passion for street theatre. She has a degree in costume design from IADT, and has experience in costume for film and theatre, puppetry and parades. She owes many of her skills and interests to the artists she’s met through Walk the Plank in the past few years. This is her fourth year working on Manchester Day.

Andy Benfield

Andy Benfield is an outdoor artist, maker and producer who creates work that make people smile, wonder and marvel. His wide variety of previous experience includes the design of light sculptures and interactive artwork, producing community festivals, documentary making and stiltwalking! For Manchester Day 2017, his feet will be firmly on the ground as an assistant to the Parade’s Creative Director, a role that excites and inspires him. Andy is looking forward to helping community groups to make spellbinding and enchanting works for Abracadabra, whilst learning from the best in the business about how to make the marvel that is Manchester Day. You can see more of Andy’s work at www.travellinglightcircus.com

Austin Hewitt

Details to follow

Becky Bryson

I have worked as a freelance Community Artist for the last 9 years. This has involved facilitating arts and crafts workshops with children, young people and adults in a plethora of settings. I have developed and delivered numerous projects in a wide variety of art and craft areas. I began my journey into Community Arts after attaining a first class degree in fine art, and discovering a deep passion for working with all sectors of society, particularly children. I have a passion for working with recycled materials – items that would otherwise be headed for landfill – as well as other sustainable materials. This can be seen reflected in much of my work.

Brian D Hanlon

Brian is a Performance Designer and has worked in a range of settings, from local community arts to international theatre festivals. His work includes design and production for spectacular processions of dance, rhythm and music through the streets, incorporating colourful parades, stilt walkers, performance promenade and site-specific sculpture. This is his 8th year running on Manchester Day, where he’s now worked with 40 difference community groups, helping them bring their ideas to life.

Bryan Tweddle

Bryan Tweddle has worked professionally as an Artist for most of his life and is engaged developing, designing and creating a wide range of concepts and outcomes in the UK and internationally. In Sowerby Bridge, as a co-instigator of Winterlight, he has been involved as Artistic Director of the festival for the past six years. He is currently working as Artistic Consultant for Nuit des Lampion festival in Luxembourg, which he designed and established in 2007, initially to celebrate the cross border horticultural element in Luxembourg’s year as European Capital of Culture.

No Eyed Theatre

Chris Anderson is a digital media, theatrical and carnival artist who creates large scale puppets, costumes, props and set pieces through his company No Eyed Theatre. Chris has taken part in many high-profile and community events which have enabled him to learn and develop new techniques in the field of street theatre, carnival and outdoor performance. To learn more about his work please visit www.noeyedtheatre.com

Carmen Arquelladas

Carmen Arquelladas is an international artist and performer with a Bachelors in Fine Arts from the University of Granada Spain, and a year of focused study in fashion in Florence. As well as having studied with renown clown and bouffon teacher, Philippe Gaulier in France, Carmen is full of creative knowledge and an extremely versatile designer. For over 10 years she has been working in the theatre world, developing a unique and precise eye for imagery on the stage. Currently based in the UK, she works in collaborating with international artists on art projects ranging from theatre, youth projects, cabaret and outdoor events. Starting out with El Laborotorio (SP) she designed set, props, costumes and makeup as well as played a key role in devising and performing in a variety of their shows. Since then, Carmen has worked on a number of projects, including making costumes for the West End “Potted Panto”, designing costumes and props for The ship of fools project in London with Inca UK, Farucchio Peru is Extrodinaire, Viva!!! and Viset with The Lemon Collective. She is the co-founder and designer of Teatro Pomodoro which has created Cabaret from the Shadows, among others. For more info www.carmenarquelladas.com

Claire Stringer

Claire is a Visual Artist, with a background in Drawing & Painting. Her work is varied, and includes going to conferences and taking Visual Minutes: a live illustration capturing what is being discussed. For this she works as part of a team, who also work together to make animations. Much of her work is 3D and she enjoys playing with different styles and making large-scale carnival pieces. Responding to each work creatively fusing different materials and techniques, always with colour at the heart of it. www.clairestringer.com/

David Mason

David Mason is an artist and theatre professional. Trained and experienced in both visual and performing arts, David has been involved in many different outdoor theatre and carnival productions. David’s main art forms are puppetry, mask making and processional images also costume, prop and set design. He has worked on all Manchester Days representing Manchester School of Samba. In 2017 he is working with Carl Gabriel as part of the ELEVATE project. www.sambaman.org.uk

Debbie Cunliffe

I have been working with fabric for over 20 years making clothing, costume and all manner of stuff! – ranging from costumes for performers, wedding dresses, large scale objects such as inflatables, drapery etc. I have been working with Jo Foley and Fiona Smith on Manchester Day since the beginning. I also collaborate with many other artists including Pif Paf Theatre, Space Cadets and have worked on Clore Gallery exhibitions at Manchester City Art Gallery for several years….if it can be made in fabric I’m your woman.

Emma Martin

Details to follow

Enya Koster

Enya Koster is a Freelance Artist based in Warrington. She is a regular to Manchester Day and will be working with the Manchester Edo Community this year, creating a vibrant performance piece. As a multi-media artist, Enya works with various materials in many different ways. She is an illustrator, puppet maker, costume maker, performer and painter. Currently she is part of Sisters Strange, a travelling theatre show consisting of herself and her colleague Rosa Vaughan. They are the queens of masking tape and paper mache makers, working with found materials and original concepts, breathing life into the surreal.

Fran Heap

Details to follow

Hamemade Parade

Handmade Parade is a collection of artists and event organisers based in and around Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire. Through their annual events, the Hebden Bridge Handmade Parade (25 June 2017) and Todmorden Lamplighter Festival (25 November 2017) and bespoke events throughout the north of England and beyond, Handmade Parade brings artists into communities to create parades, festivals and stunning celebrations. This year’s Handmade Parade artists will be Jonny Quick on structure and Rebecca Cartwright on costumes. www.handmadeparade.co.uk 

Hannah Bold

Encouraging participation and inspiring creativity. Creating work with people is what I’m passionate about. From carnival costumes and parade objects to large scale painting, pavement chalking and more. Engaging people in participation and creativity through arts workshop sessions and projects. Stimulating thinking, learning and sharing of skills and experiences to bring out our inner creativity.

Hannah Wadle

Hannah grew up in South Germany with the annual rite of carnival parades and costume making. As a Social Anthropologist and Artist, Hannah has extensive experience in collaborating with communities and helping them to explore their cultural identities. She has lived, researched, and created in Poland, France, Italy, and the UK. Her work for the parade focuses on bringing different Central and Eastern Europeans in Manchester together and fostering a sense of belonging, community, and pride. This means getting people involved and using materials of cultural significance. It implies listening to people and tapping into regional traditions, popular culture, and national discourses. Her artistic work includes collaborative pieces of community art, community drama, paper cutting, poetry and photography. She holds a PhD in Social Anthropology from the University of Manchester, where she has also taught the subject.

Hannelora Johansson

Hannelora is a sculptor, blacksmith and outdoor events artist working in metal. Her inspirations come primarily from nature, organic forms, and the beauty and character of the materials often illustrated through fire. Learning welding in 2002 by constructing sculptures from scrap metal, led her to study at Hereford College receiving a distinction in Blacksmithing and metal work. She designs and creates sculptural forms using repoussé extensively. In 2008 she started freelancing for Salford based outdoor art events company Walk the Plank, and has enjoyed being involved in their many projects both at home and internationally.

Helen Davies

Details to follow

Ian Broscomb

Ian is a Sculptural Engineer based in North Yorkshire. He specialises in making kinetic structures for Street Theatre, Carnival and Festivals. Last year he made a stylised Orrery with designer Naomi Parker. Their collaboration continues this year on a magical moving image for the front of the parade.

Jeanefer Jean-Charles

Jeanefer Jean-Charles is a Mass Movement Director, Choreographer and Creative Consultant with over 20 years’ experience of devising, creating, facilitating and directing dance and movement for performance. Jeanefer’s work is celebratory, powerful and exciting to watch. Her unique creative process and approach to large scale performance draws together and brings to life the talents, strengths and shared stories of local communities, young people and artists in inspiring and unforgettable ways. As a Creative Consultant with a passion for nurturing and developing talent, Jeanefer has led training and mentoring for artists and producers across the UK and supported arts organisations with strategic planning to develop work in schools and with local communities.

Jo Foley and Fiona Smith

Jo Foley and Fiona Smith have worked with Walk the Plank on all the Manchester Day celebrations. They have over 15 years’ experience of devising and delivering art based projects in schools and community workshops throughout Manchester and the UK. Working with diverse client groups and age ranges, in both educational and community settings they create beautiful shows, events, and parades, site specific artwork and installations. This year they will be working with Debbie Cunliffe, Venture Arts and Oswald Road School to create beautiful costumes based on the Japanese myth of the Kitsune a magical fox and its control of the elements.

John Brooking

John has a wide range of theatre successes to his name including his nine years at Alton Towers as show designer, creating parades, magic shows and ice shows, including Peter Rabbit on Ice. John has a wide range of theatre successes to his name including his nine years at Alton Towers as show designer, creating parades, magic shows and ice shows, including Peter Rabbit on Ice.John a has a wide portfolio of productions to his credit, the most recent being for the Lichfield Garrick Studio where he has designed Ladies Day, The Entertainer , The Blue Room and Haunting Julia, Educating Rita and September in the Rain. Haunting Julia subsequently transferred to the Riverside Studios in Hammersmith and a national tour. John has designed costume and set for Lichfield Garricks acclaimed productions of A Christmas Carol, Alice in Wonderland, Snow White and the Magic Mirror and Cinderella and Jack and the Beanstalk at the Lichfield Garrick Theatre. He is now designing for Wolverthampton’s Grand Theatre. John has exhibited at the V&A as part of the British Theatre Designer Associations exhibit www.johnbrooking.co.uk

Jonny Quick

Details to follow


Julian Taylor

Details to follow

Lynne Duric

Lynne Duric – Visual Artist/Designer. My practice is diverse,from painting ‘en plein air’watercolour landscapes’to graphic design and designer-making for arts projects and outdoor theatre with a back catalogue of commissions and exhibitions.Pleased to be comitting again to the creative and collaborative process of Manchester Day. See plein air painting: Twitter.com/mywatercolours

Manchester School of Samba

Manchester School of Samba is Anthony Watt (Tony Watt) trading as “Manchester School of Samba”, an organisation he founded in March 1995, and which depends on the input of other artists (David Mason, Hannah Bold and Danny Henry amongst others) as well as the membership! From their humble beginnings in Sankey’s Soap through being the centre of 1,800 performers in the year 2000 in Castlefield Manchester, playing for the Commonwealth Games, locally during the London and Rio Olympics and last year making costume for Haribo and playing in an Aldi advert, Manchester School of Samba (MSS) have been entertaining crowds in stadiums, on parades, in clubs, hotels and pop up venues, both locally and further afield, as well as occasionally on National TV and Radio using dance and percussion, since March 1995. More information about us plus some videos on our web site at www.sambaman.org.uk

Michael Pavelka

Michael trained at Wimbledon School of Art and now leads the design course at Shakespeare’s Globe for Rutgers University (NJ, USA) students. His theatre work among over a hundred and sixty productions includes: two plays for legendary director Lindsey Anderson: The Fishing Trip and Holiday (Old Vic Theatre). He is a founder of the Propeller Theatre company and designed all their many world-touring ensemble Shakespeare productions. Michael’s many West End productions include, most recently, Funny Girl tarring Sheridan Smith that opened its current tour in Manchester this year and The Go-Between starring Michael Crawford. His designs for the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford and at the Barbican include: The Odyssey, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Henry V and Julius Caesar, and for the National Theatre in the Olivier, Edmond starring Kenneth Branagh. See more at www.michaelpavelka.com

Molly Hawkins

Molly Hawkins is a Liverpool based artist. She studied at The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, graduating with BA (Hons) in theatre and performance design in 2013. Molly specialises in theatre design, puppetry, mural painting and running children’s art workshops. She works as a freelance artist running community projects around the world, and has collaborated with various creative companies including; Theatre Clwyd, Brouhaha International, Metal, Z-Arts, The Liverpool Lantern Company and many more varied arts organisations.

Naomi Parker

Naomi Parker is a Costume Designer and Maker based in Leeds. She has been involved in every Manchester Day so far.This year she is making costumes and mobile structures with Simply Cycling and collaborating again with artist Ian Broscomb on a magical image for the front of the parade. Examples of her work can be found via the following link: https://www.flickr.com/photos/39417128@N04/albums

Owen Gaynor

Details to follow

Paressha Webster

Pareesha is a freelance costume designer and recently began her own project, Artistic Achievers, which is the beginning of her dream to share skills and talent with other young people in the community. Over the time she has been active, she’s created four big costumes on various themes, two of which are award-winning carnival costumes for Leeds West Indian Carnival. She is only just starting her journey but, from recently working alongside some of the most inspirational carnival artists, will bloom into something amazing!

Rebecca Moore

My name is Rebecca Moore, I am 28 and a graduated in 2016 from Edge Hill university with a first class honours in theatre design. My passions are immersive art and performance and art installation. Since university I have mainly concentrated on my fine art skills and therefore I am looking to branch out, work with established artists and enhance my skills in performance making. Website: https://becmoore9.wixsite.com/rebeccamoorearts I also post most of my art on Instagram @starryeyedkiss

Rory Lynch

Details to follow

Rose Miller

Rose Miller is a visual artist. Working predominantly in the medium of free hand machine embroidery, her work draws from the natural world from inspiration.Originally from Brighton, she now lives in Manchester and is currently working freelance in prop making, puppetry, carnival and community arts. rosemillermakes.com

Ruta Stasevicute

Ruta graduated from Theatre and Performance Design (BA) course at Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA) in 2011 with an award for Creative and Technical Excellence. During her studies she fell in love with puppetry as well as stage design. Since graduating she has worked on numerous projects with Lantern Company making and performing illuminated giant puppets; taking some of them to as far as Hong Kong. Ruta has also worked as an artist/ maker on Manchester Day with Walk the Plank, and has made puppets and props for Just So, Festival No.6 and Fire in the Mountain festivals; as well as theatre shows and short films. She had her puppets exhibited in Vilnius Puppet Theatre, Lithuania. Her work as set and costume designer includes “Blue Stockings”, “Arabian Nights”, “Mater and Margarita”, “Inspector Norse” and “Romeo and Juliet”.

Ruth Jones

I am first and foremost a contemporary dance artist. I specialise in Outdoor, Sited and Site-Specific dance work – this work is created, and tours, under the project company name of Axial Dance. Axial Dance outdoor work has been booked and performed at many of the major festivals including Greenwich and Docklands, Mintfest, Isle Of Wight Festival and Festival No 6. Former Axial Dance commissions have come from Lakes Alive, Waiblingen Festival of Light, Germany and Urban Moves International Festival. I have created a wealth of outdoor and parade choreographic work (often including delivery of Master classes) eg working on Manchester Day and choreographing several sections each year since inception. I choreograph for theatre and deliver movement for actors. I have choreographed over 50 professional theatre productions at theatres such as York Theatre Royal and Sheffield Crucible.I teach and facilitate dance and movement in educational settings eg currently at University of Manchester Theatre Department and delivering on an MA in Music Therapy at The Royal Northern College Of Music. https://twitter.com/choreoruth In addition to the above, I am engaged in dance and arts project management.

Sarah Oxley

Sarah has been a designer, scenic artist and prop maker for 15 years, creating sets, costumes and all manner of weird and wonderful things for theatre, television and film. Sarah has designed many youth and community productions and her work has taken her all over the country. This is Sarah’s fifth Manchester Day and she’s very excited and ready and raring to go! www.sarahoxley.com

Sarah Dicks

Sarah Dicks is a versatile Set and Costume Designer for Theatre. She also likes to dabble in Puppetry, Education and visiting all the piers the UK coastline has to offer.She graduated with Distinction from her Master of Arts in Costume for which she designed award-winning costumes for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Sailing Events in Weymouth. She regularly designs for Cirque Bijou, Angel Exit Theatre, Tessa Bide Productions and specialises in Circus, Physical Theatre, Outdoor Events, Children’s Theatre, Dance and Devised Theatre. Sarah also loves to share her passion for creation by running workshops in a variety of art and craft activities in a wide range of settings including schools, youth groups, charity events and hen parties.Sarah worked with Walk the Plank in 2015 designing processional costumes for Ar Waith Ar Daith, the 10th anniversary celebrations for the Wales Millennium Centre and is very excited to be involved with Manchester Day again after designing for Dance Manchester’s Stellarium and the Wythenshawe section in 2016’s parade. www.sarahdicks.com

Sophie Tyrrell

I am Sophie Tyrrell, and for my design and performance work I now work under the name ‘The Strange Train Company’. Sophie Tyrrell’s expertise in theatre design, prop building, scenic painting, costume designing, story telling, clowning, and a stint as early years dinosaur expert at Manchester Museum more than explains why she now chooses to parade loudly beneath fantastic giant structures in public places. As the driver of The Strange Train Company she has engineered many successful outside art events in collaboration with other talented Manchester based creatives, including, for Manchester Day, The Circus House CIC. https://www.strangetraincompany.com

Stella Cecil

Stella designs and creates, costumes and sets for theatre, film, and carnival. Her collaborative approach means that she has worked with The Big House Theatre, Only Connect, Street Wise Opera, and Synergy Theatre. All of which work with outsider communities, which has fed her love of collecting stories from people who often do not get heard and bringing them to life. This was furthered by her MA in Theatre Design taught by Michael Pavelka who encouraged her to pursue a personal journey talking to members of the local community in Soho (London) including politicians, sex workers and market stall holders. www.stellacecil.com

Steve Gumbley

Steve Gumbley makes intriguing art installations, museum exhibits, theatre shows, carnival sculptures and kinetic art. He was a core member of Welfare State, and co- founder of I.O.U. Theatre, and Inztant Theatre.

Thea Luckcock

I’m Thea Luckcock, I will be working on the Parks of Manchester section. As an emerging artist funded by the Elevate scheme, I will be learning first-hand from several established carnival artists. Hopefully they’ll have a few tricks up their wizard sleeves to share with me! This opportunity will be a perfect chance to flex the creative muscles I built up during my Theatre Design degree at Nottingham Trent, where I graduated from last year. www.theal5.wixsite.com/thealuckcock, performative art collective: www.instagram.com/manchesterwildwuns

Thingumajig Theatre

Thingumajig Theatre is visual theatre company based in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire which specialises in innovative puppet plays and interactive giant puppets. Thingumajig Theatre artists Kathy and Andrew Kim have created and performed giant parade puppets for every Manchester Day www.thingumajig.info.

Tony Cairn

Details to follow

Tsubi Du

Tsubi is an Australian artist now living in the UK. Her previous work includes Designer for the Adelaide Fringe opening night parade and Head Lantern Maker for the Ozasia Moon Lantern Parade. Previous incarnations have also seen her perform as a freelance circus performer. This will be her third time working on the Manchester Day.

Vicky Richards

Having graduated last year from the Costume with Textiles degree at the University of Huddersfield, Vicky has been working as a freelance costume maker, designer and embroiderer ever since. She is also part of Global Grooves Future Leaders programme, which is helping her to focus her skills into the exciting world of carnival arts. This is her fourth year working on the parade, and the first time she’s been able to work on a section from start to finish.

Wendy Meadley

Wendy Meadley is a Cheshire-based freelance designer/maker for all theatrical occasions. One of her areas of expertise is flags and banners. Wendy has been using flags and banners to effect temporary space transformations for nearly 30 years and has been lead artist on projects making flags with a wide range of people. She has also created several large scale flag installations. Wendy is responsible for the site decor in the four squares for Manchester Day. www.flickr.com/workingwiththewind

Venture Arts

Venture Arts specialises in visual arts, running hundreds of inclusive arts workshops every year which support learning disabled people to play a valued role within the contemporary arts world. Our professional arts studio in Manchester provides a bright, lively and welcoming environment for people to produce quality artwork. http://www.venturearts.org/