CutToTheChase productions – Founder and Artistic Director:
Director in Residence University of Liverpool collaborating with Dr Eleanor Lybeck, Senior Lecturer in Literature, based around adapting Virginia Woolf’s ‘Between the Acts’
Adapting History/Reflecting Society and Performing Community
Hello and welcome to our website, thanks for visiting!
As the Founder and Artistic Director of CutToTheChase Productions (CTTC) working across subsidised, commercial and community sectors’ all our work is always directed by me, and always in collaboration with others. I regularly commission other artists to create new work for the company. As well as bringing together production teams to work on theatre and film projects.
I was born in Lancashire, to a wonderful working class family and now based on the Wirral. As an award winning director I would describe myself as courageous & brave and certainly passionate – others have described me as a ‘visionary collaborator’. I am proud to say that my work has taken me regionally, nationally and internationally directing small, medium and large-scale productions.’ I’m perfectly at home in dedicated theatre spaces and I also specialise in multimedia, digital, film and site-specific theatre. I always strive to use live music within my work. As well as producing and directing I write and I sing.
Image: Sarah Hickson
Filming HEDDA at Soho Theatre, London
Collaboration is at the core of my practice. My work has always used the power of theatre to inspire, entertain and nurture positive social change. With my company I have built a reputation for conceiving and creating ground-breaking projects with an emphasis on bringing innovative ideas, culture, exceptional artists and diverse communities together. Although the CTTC line-up changes to suit the needs of each project, with a conscious effort to provide work for as many freelance artists as possible, the work is always under my artistic direction. At the heart of my work is the intention to shift perspectives, build meaningful networks and partnerships across cities and boundaries.
With a portfolio of work that has played across the globe including, Liverpool, Hull, Manchester, Dundee, London’s West End, Oporto, Lisbon, Luxembourg, Hong Kong, Serbia, Leeuwarden, Croatia, US, and Australia, I am proud to be recognised for creating unique, and inclusive productions that reflect, explore, celebrate, challenge and express our humanity in the 21st century.
Here are some examples of recent projects:
CTTC are currently working in partnership with Asma Begum, founder of Soul Sisters Empowering People Domestic abuse charity based in Rochdale, HOME, Touchstones Arts Centre and Bolton Octagon to make a new work with the women who attend the charity and professional artists entitled : Chorus of Power: Kintsugi.
We have just completed an intense development phase on CRAVE by Sarah Kane @ Shakespeare North Playhouse.
In 2021 I created, adapted and directed HEDDA (after Ibsen) bringing together iconic avantgardist David Hoyle, Jen Heyes, and composer Tom Parkinson for the making of this Cinematic Theatre production shot at London’s famous Soho Theatre. It was a nominee in the ONCOM 2023 awards and is now on tour until October 2023.
As the associate director of London Artists Projects, I developed and directed several works for the company including the hugely acclaimed live, digital, regional, national and international touring show Truth To Power Café created by Jeremy Goldstein, written and performed by Jeremy with Henry Woolf. As well as the Singapore edition of THIS IS WHO I AM commissioned by The British Council. My digital film adaptation of Jeremy’s Truth to Power Café, shot at London’s. Conway Hall, was a finalist in the ONCOM awards, 2021, Innovation category.
Image: Sarah Hickson
As AD of CTTC I have also directed, produced and created work for Opera North, Young Tate with Punchdrunk Enrichment, London Artists Projects, Culture Liverpool, Liverpool Everyman, Unity Theatre, HUB, LLT, Peta Lily, B7 Media, North West Playwrights, MDI and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, HUB, UNESCO, European City of Sport 2016.
I am very grateful to Arts Council England, Liverpool PCT, The Arts Centre, EHU, Soho Theatre, Liverpool Culture Company, PH HOLT for supporting the work of CutToTheChase productions
She is a thoughtful and sensitive director and someone who is committed to reflecting society and challenging the way it works. Jen has a clear sense of what she wants to achieve, yet remains open-minded to new ideas and challenges
I've found Jen to be an artistic visionary and an open and generous collaborator of the highest order
I’ve been aware of the excellent work of Jen Heyes since 2007, her site specific piece Wall Talks was one of my cultural highlights of the year
Jen is an extraordinary director and has produced some wonderful work for MDI