RICHARD POYNTON - Drama and Senior Tutor
Richard has a BA in English with Theatre and Performance from the University of Plymouth and an MA in Drama and Performance from the University of Wolverhampton. He had never studied drama whilst in secondary school (as it wasn’t offered as an option) however he has been involved in theatre from a young age by taking part in local youth theatre companies and school productions.
Since graduating, Richard has worked as a freelance theatre director for various theatre companies, in venues across the country, and has extensive experience of creating performances with young people. He spent seven years as a Youth Theatre Leader at Stafford Gatehouse Youth Theatre and across those years he created and directed over 25 productions with them, including taking a production to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2012. Most recently, he worked as writer and director for Buffalo Boy at Epic Arts Centre in Cambodia.
Richard joined the team at Ingestre in 2006 and works with the students to devise and develop an original piece of theatre, to be performed at the end of their visit. He firmly believes that the greatest classroom resources are the brains and personalities of his students, and he loves utilising young people’s imaginations to generate ideas to be brought to life on stage. Richard views himself as the facilitator that develops and shapes the children’s ideas and work, rather than creating it for them, as this gives the participants ownership of their work, which in turns helps to develop a sense of confidence in themselves and their creative potential.
HEATHER HIGGINS - Visual Art Tutor
Heather studied for her B. Ed (Hons) in the middle of Yorkshire Sculpture Park at Bretton Hall (Leeds Uni) and eventually moved back to the Midlands to become a teacher.
After teaching for 22 years, Heather feels that her most-loved subjects of Art and Literature are inextricably linked - she loves to use stories as a stimulus for her artwork, often with texts playing a large role. Heather finds introducing new media to children exciting and loves to share her skills.
Feeling that every child has the potential to be creative and produce artwork they are proud of, it is Heather’s aim to give them ‘top tips’ for success and methods which assist them to achieve simple and effective pieces of art to treasure.
Outside working at Ingestre, Heather produces signage and artwork for brides and interior designers - having lovely handwriting has its advantages! Her dream is to have a “she-shed” workshop in her garden where she can close the door on the mess and pretend it doesn’t exist...
OLLIE CASH - Music Tutor
After achieving a 2:1 BA (hons) degree in Music Production at Leeds College of Music, Ollie has gone on to freelance for multiple international companies, bands and artists as well as working with Newave Education and Ingestre Arts.
Ollie first became interested in music from a very young age, playing classical guitar for multiple guitar ensembles within the Birmingham area. Ollie also played guitar and bass in other bands which allowed him to play at venues such as the Nation Exhibition Centre (NEC), Birmingham's O2 Academy, Symphony Hall and many more. However, it was when Ollie first started recording in studios that he found a love for music production and sound engineering.
Ollie is very passionate about music and technology and always loves to integrate technological wizardry into his workshops to show young people that there is more to music than notes and sound. Calling himself a Music Producer showcases Ollie as an individual that works with students to create and develop their own musical sound and style and strives for student led work.
However, Ollie’s most important workshop rule is to have fun. As a day without laughter, is a day wasted!
TARA POOLE - Dance Tutor
Tara has a BA in Drama and Theatre Studies with Dance Foundation and an MA by Research in Performance and Philosophy. After graduating from University Tara had ideas about writing academic books and teaching University students. Instead, Tara found her path working as a dancer for various choreographers and began teaching Performing Arts at a local college. Whilst working in Further Education, Tara gained her teaching degree, managed a large department and directed and choreographed over 80 student performances; including a production for Shell Connections National Youth Theatre, which was performed at the regional finals of the competition.
Since having children of her own, Tara has become more interested in children's education and performance. She worked in Children's Centres with pre-school children and their parents, encouraging literacy skills through creative activity. Tara has also been involved in the development of five productions aimed at young children and has designed education and outreach programmes to work alongside these performances. Tara feels incredibly privileged to work at Ingestre Hall and especially enjoys helping every child to realise their own creative potential in dance and physical performance work.
In her spare time Tara sometimes works for an exam board marking students in dance, she enjoys crafts and face painting but mostly works as a taxi service for her own children, who are both keen dancers.
FELIX PEPLER - Head of Centre
As Head of Centre at Ingestre Hall, Felix is committed to ensuring Children & young People have access to the high quality residential learning, working closely with his team of professional artist educators and centre support staff to ensure all visitors engage in ‘meaningful, unique and exciting arts activities and experiences that provide lifelong and transformational creative learning outcomes’.
Felix believes passionately that arts education delivers transformational change at all levels of society and has committed over 30 years to making this a reality within the creative and community education sectors.
Before becoming Head of Centre in 2013, Felix held several positions that have promoted, influenced and contributed to the social and political discourse and development of Arts and Community Education. This includes:
Cabinet Office ‘Community Organisers’ programme: shaped the guiding principles and delivery methodology for the Government sponsored social action programme and facilitated the training of Organisers across the UK
Creative Education Advisor for schools and non-statutory arts and education groups throughout the UK and commissioned to devise and deliver ‘The Future of Education’ at South Bank’s Festival of Britain 2011, an interactive exhibition celebrating exemplar creative education practice within UK schools
RE:generate: Arts Director for social action charity manging creative programmes for young people and communities throughout the UK
Felix holds a Degree in Creative Arts (Nottingham Trent University) and a Master’s Degree in Cross-Sectoral and Community Arts (Goldsmiths University, London) is an accomplished musician and an advocate and Fellow of the RSA.
JOHN PERCIVAL - Music Tutor/Producer
John is the Founding Director of Newave Music & Arts and has worked in the arts and education sector for 15 years. As a music specialists and guitarist of 27 years, John often leads thematic arts experiences in primary and secondary schools as well as advices and supports schools to embed creativity into the heart their curriculum.
John has a passion for all things music, having produced and performed for a range of different musicians and institutions. A local Staffordshire lad contributing back into the community, John is an accomplished musician with a vision to provide quality music education workshops for children everywhere. With 12 years of Ingestre teaching under his belt John knows how to nurture the talents of groups and individuals alike - really getting the best out of students through having them writing, recording and performing themselves.
ROBERT BRITTLE - Film/Animation Tutor
Robert is a Freelance Photographer and Tutor, having graduated from the University of Derby with a 1st class Commercial Photography Degree and MA in Film and Photography. Specialising in the Landscape imagery, people interacting in it, around it, above and below using both digital and film mediums, the larger the format the better. Robert is currently working on preparing a PHD application based around how the natural world recovers from humanities misuse of the landscape and its documentation using both still and moving imagery. Facilitating young and old to use imagery creatively, be it a photograph, film or animation, since 2019 Robert has been a member of the teaching team here at Ingestre, showing students how to photograph the stunning parkland landscape, creating films on themes as varied as School values to Gothic Horror and creating short animated films making plasticine models come to life. Robert is inspired by how people use their visual ideas to tell stories and hopefully how they can be inspired to become practitioners in their own right.
KATE TAYLOR-MARSHALL - Performing Arts Tutor
Kate Taylor-Marshall is a professional Actor, Writer and Theatre Maker. Kate trained as a Dancer for over 15 years and is skilled in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Contemporary, Musical Theatre, Physical Theatre and Mask. She has worked extensively on stage, ranging from Shakespeare to Pantomime and has featured in several advertising campaigns for brands such as Volkswagen, Alton Towers Resorts, Severn Trent Water and a Wolverhampton Wonderers Football Club Christmas advert alongside musician, Robert Plant.
Kate is Co-Director of creative company, Sneaky Beast. They have created original works for both stage and screen, including a commission from The Royal Shakespeare Company for their original family play, Miranda's Beach, which they were thrilled to perform at the RSC Theatre, Stratford-Upon-Avon.
AMY TAYLOR - Drama/Dance Tutor
Amy is a professional Actor and Dancer, as well as being a qualified teacher. Having graduated from Bird College Conservatoire for Dance and Musical Theatre, she has since worked nationally and internationally on both stage and screen. As a qualified teacher, she has over ten years of experience delivering dance (ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary and commercial), drama, musical theatre and physical theatre to a broad range of ages and abilities. She is also Co-Director of performance company, Sneaky Beast, with whom she has received commissions from the RSC.