Who We Are
Helena Thompson, Artistic Director
Helena’s ‘Open House’ play, won The List’s Edinburgh Festival Highlight Award and Time Out Critic’s Choice. For SPID she has also written Bluebeard’s Wives (ICA), The Garden (site specific/ Riverside Studios), Sixteen (site specific/ The Gate). She co created Childsplay (site specific/Riverside Studios) with Rachel Grunwald. Her feature films Affected and Happyslap, shot on Kensal House estate, have featured on BBC London and been screened by Channel 4 and in Hollywood. She was on the National Theatre’s attachment scheme. Her play ‘The Burning Times’ was commissioned by Radio 4.
Rachel Grunwald, Associate Director
Rachel has directed extensively for SPID, and together with Helena has forged the ‘wraparound’ style of theatre which is now SPID’s trademark. Her interest is in collapsing the distance between actor and audience, starting from the one element which is indisputably shared between both groups: the space. For SPID she has directed ‘Bluebeard’s Wives’, ‘Open House’, ‘Kensal Youth’,‘Superhuman’ and ‘Childsplay’. She has also helped develop shows and programmes, taught classes, mentored other company members and fundraised. Rachel trained at RADA and the National Theatre Studio, has worked throughout the industry including with the Royal Shakespeare Company and for the Tricycle Theatre on the Oliver Award-nominated production, ‘The Great Game Afghanistan’, and has won ‘Time Out Hit of the Year on the Fringe’ for her production of ‘Pins and Needles’. She is a Fellow of the Clore Leadership Programme (2013-2015). You can visit her website here.
Nnenna Samson-Abosi, Head of Youth Programmes and Outreach
Nnenna has worked with young people at SPID to write and directed 23176, Passersby and Team Spirit. She also directed Face by Benjamin Zephaniah. Nnenna has been assistant director for SPID’s Kensal Youth, Superhuman, The Garden and Remember the Name. Nnenna oversees SPID’s program of youth theatre workshops. She works as a freelance director and workshop leader and has work credits with the National Youth Theatre and Talawa Theatre. Nnenna is passionate about community theatre making.
Rosalind Laurie, Trustee
A retired teacher who was head of the English department and involved in drama classes.
Peter Kenneth Thompson, Trustee
A lawyer and legal author who runs a free legal advice centre.
Duncan Parrish, Treasurer
Duncan is an investment manager who has patented a business accounting system. He joined the board shortly after SPID received annual funding from Kensington and London Councils in 2006.
David Russell, Secretary
David works for Survivors Fund (SURF), which supports survivors of the Rwandan genocide. He also works on an array of social ventures through his organisation, The Social Enterprise.
Helen Atkins, Trustee
Helen conducts research on sexual violence and the sex industry. She has worked for numerous human rights organisations and academic institutions in London and overseas. Helen joined the board in 2006.
Geraldine Dening is a qualified architect with her own practice in London, and a senior lecturer at DeMontfort University, Leicester, where she currently teaches in the BA and MA architecture programmes.
Katie Elston is Marketing and Communications Manager at Battersea Arts Centre where she manages a team covering all of Battersea Arts Centre’s external communications.
Dean Stigwood is the Development Officer at the Tricycle Theatre, which recently began a £5m capital fundraising campaign. Before that he worked for the new writing festival HighTide.
Eva Branscome is an architectural historian and writer focussing on modern architecture. Her accomplishments have lead to the inclusion of more than 50 UK buildings on the statutory list of historic buildings. She currently teaches at University College London and Oxford Brookes University.
Professor Sally Mackey is the first female professor at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. Currently, she has a research grant for exploring how we ‘perform’ place in London, Oldham, Aberystwyth and Abergavenny.
Mamusu Komon is Resident Engagement Officer at Tenants Management Organisation, actively encouraging residents of Kensington and Chelsea to work in partnership with the TMO in order to improve the services we provide.
Anita Williams is Chair of the Residents’ Association for Kensal House estate.