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Engine Room 2021 news image
28 June 2021

Engine Room 2021 will celebrate a culture of new and original work in the South West. After a turbulent year for the arts, Engine Room 2021 aims to kick-start a period of fresh and innovative ideas from emerging and established artists across different art forms. The programme consists of five selected artists who will join Wiltshire Creative this summer to develop their projects through bespoke R&D periods, working across a wide range of practices such as visual arts, dance, theatre, and multidisciplinary work. This year’s Engine Room artists are Brendan Murray & Kim Tatum, Florence Espeut-Nickless, Kinnari Saraiya, Ling Tan, and Linzy Na Nakorn.

Wiltshire Creative in collaboration with Bath Spa University also announces Engine Room Film Festival, featuring two nights of work from both student and professional filmmakers. Taking place 7-8 July, the Engine Room Film Festival will showcase emerging and established filmmakers from the South West, celebrating local talent on the main stage of Salisbury Playhouse.

Wiltshire Creative’s Engine Room 2021 Shortlisting Panel consisted of: Amanda Bruce (Associate Producer), Dave Orme (Associate Director), Hazel Lam (Freelance Dance/Circus Artist) and Mirka Golden-Hann (Resident Artist & Head of Visual Arts).

Associate Director, Dave Orme said: “Engine Room is part of Wiltshire Creative’s commitment to supporting and nurturing the extraordinary talent in the South West. We have worked with a panel including freelance artists to assemble a dynamic and exciting programme of creatives from across different platforms whose work is timely, urgent and innovative. We are excited to begin working relationships with these brilliant artists and to bring their work to our audiences.” 

The Production Exchange is supported by Comic Relief's LGBTQ+ COVID-19 Recovery Fund, in partnership with METRO Charity and NAZ, & in association with Everyman Theatre Cheltenham, Jersey Arts Centre, Northcott Theatre, Exeter and Wiltshire Creative.


How Sweet The Sound  

by Brendan Murray & Kim Tatum 

Who was that man you were talking to?
It was my mother… 

Co-devised by actress, singer & trans advocate Kim Tatum (aka Mzz Kimberley) and playwright Brendan Murray, How Sweet The Sound is a major new play set at the interface of trans lives and gender-critical politics. Deliberately accessible but never simplistic, How Sweet The Sound puts the diversity, complexity and – above all - humanity of trans stories front and centre and argues for a world not that tolerates - or even accepts – but truly celebrates every way of being human. 

Brendan Murray is a playwright, theatre director, teacher and actor. Described by The Guardian as “one of the country’s most compassionate dramatists”, Murray’s plays – often for, with and about marginalized people – have been produced world-wide. His previous writing credits include Up Down Man, (The Tobacco Factory), Antigone (The Hope Theatre), Seeing the Lights (Theatre by the Lake), Entertaining Angels, The Falling Sky (New Perspectives) and Missing in Action (Proteus Theatre).

Kim Tatum, A.K.A. Mzz Kimberley, is an actress, singer and trans activist. She studied musical theatre at the City Lit Institute in London and acting at the New York Academy of Theatre Arts under the direction of Philip Nolan. She will be appearing in Straight White Men at the Southwark Playhouse this Autumn. Her previous theatre roles include The Maids (Russian tour), The Las Vegas Story, In the Flesh (US/Australia tour), The Vampires of Sodom (Off-Broadway), Summer in London (Theatre Royal Stratford East), Dead and Breathing (Albany Theatre/Unity Theatre) and Closet’s (Hope Mill Theatre).  Her television credits include Wave Lengths, Cold Feet, Spectrum East and The Finellis; and for film, Killer Tongue and Preaching to the Perverted.


Blinded By Your Grace

by Florence Espeut-Nickless

What happens when tragedy pierces through a community? When a child is lost so needlessly? How do we carry on? Grieve? Are we allowed to even? Or should we just keep calm and carry on? Wait. For the next one. The next headline.

Florence Espeut-Nickless will work with participants from Wiltshire Creative’s Stage 65 Youth Theatre to R&D her new epic ensemble community theatre show, Blinded By Your Grace. Made with, by and for young people in the South West, it celebrates the power of community, of coming together, uniting in a time of trauma. 

Inspired by the youthful faces that cover our newspapers in recent times, the children they were, the adults they would have become, the loved ones they’ve left behind. Full of music, energy, celebration and dance, but also pain, heartache and loss. The audience and performers will come together to celebrate life, grieve and begin to heal collectively at a time when we’re all experiencing loss on some level.

Florence Espeut-Nickless is a writer, performer and facilitator from Chippenham. She writes for both stage and screen about and with working class communities in the South West in the hope to make the arts more accessible to everyone regardless of background and geographical location. She is the 2021 Writer in Residence at Pentabus Theatre, an Open Session Writer at the Bristol Old Vic and an associate artist at Strike a Light, as part of the Let Artists Be Artists programme. Her debut play DESTINY will tour the UK from June 2021. 

Kinnari Saraiya was born in Bombay, India and addresses contemporary discourses of the imperial past; her art practice, inspired by the stories engrained in her being, narrates the silences in history. She brings architectural structures drenched in historical violence to the fore and allows them to present their historical struggle. It voices a counterculture of stories which depicts the dysfunctions of the world and forces a new type of meaning to be created through her work.  She has exhibited nationally and internationally in various locations across the United Kingdom, Venice, India and the United States. 



by Ling Tan

During Engine Room 2021, Ling Tan will continue to develop her work SUPERMOMENTS with a group of Wiltshire Creative’s Further Education students. SUPERMOMENTS is an interactive outdoor procession that uses technology to explore our personal agency, empathy and collective actions towards our city. It combines wearable technology and geolocated audio storytelling to create an immersive aural, haptic and visual journey where the audience explores and acts out their relationship with each other, with their environment, and their collective actions. 

Ling Tan is a UK-based multidisciplinary artist, maker and software developer working within the field of social engagement, technology, citizen participation and politics. Originally trained as an architect, her work explores citizens’ interaction with the built environment and our collective agency and responsibility in tackling complex issues surrounding our cities. She works with different communities to help them make sense of their environment, express opinions in a playful and performative way, and collectively address issues such as public safety, air quality, climate change, gender, demographics and race.  


Political Movement

by Linzy Na Nakorn

Dance as action: for who, and how?

Linzy Na Nakorn will invite dancers, writers, journalists, musicians, designers, activists, and members of the South West community to explore through a set of workshops the question 'What are we dancing for?' We will move, dance, play, shout and listen to investigate what moves us, what asks us to move and why we must. 

This week of research, inclusive of its workshops, contributes towards a body of work under the title Political Movement (working title) and the development of a touring participatory performance work and accompanying workshop series that stands to explore how movement/dance can be used to reclaim and ‘re-common’ public spaces, as an act of resistance, resilience or otherwise.  

Linzy Na Nakorn is a freelance dance artist, maker and community facilitator. Interested in participatory performance and collaborative practice, she aims to make work for non-conventional performance spaces often working in collaboration with under-represented voices to advocate for, empower and challenge preconceived societal notions. As a performer and facilitator, Linzy is an artistic lead for immersive multi-sensory company Bittersuite's outreach strand and a practitioner for Frantic Assembly. She is a member of Bristol based artists collective INTERVAL. 


Engine Room Film Festival 2021: Student and Professional Filmmakers' Showcase

In collaboration with Bath Spa University, Wiltshire Creative presents Engine Room Film Festival 2021 on the main stage of Salisbury Playhouse. On 7 July, emerging filmmakers based in the South West will showcase their work in the Engine Room Student Filmmakers’ Showcase. This will be followed by the Engine Room Professional Filmmakers’ Showcase on 8 July, showcasing work by established filmmakers.

Wiltshire Creative’s Engine Room Film Festival 2021 Shortlisting Panel consisted of: Amanda Bruce (Associate Producer), Dave Orme (Associate Director), Neil Ramjee (Creator of FilmSeekers) and Patrick Bliss (Freelance Film Programmer).


Engine Room Student Film Festival

Wednesday 7 July at 7.30pm


by The SpiderLight Ensemble

LIQUID is an experimental film, an enquiry into personal expression. The deconstructive nature of this piece exposes the traditional gender binary, and explores the possibilities which can be found outside of it. LIQUID is where oppression and conformity meet freedom and celebration. A revelation, isn’t it?

The SpiderLight Ensemble is a new theatre company founded by four Bath Spa Acting students. With a liking for devising, postmodernism, and queer theory, they experiment with film and theatre to find new ways of exploring and relating to the world around them.


The Tragedy of Laertes 

by Harry Jackson

Harry Jackson has always wanted to give the character of Laetrtes from Hamlet by William Shakespeare a spin off. But, when a personified human version of his self-doubt judges Harry can successfully make the piece, Harry calls in some familiar faces from Hamlet to face off against his doubt. This short comedy is a treat for actors in training and Shakespeare fans with easter eggs sprinkled within. This show is recommended for audiences 16+.  

Harry Jackson recently just graduated from Bath Spa University with a BA Acting. His credits while training include As You Like It (Bath Spa Live/Bath Spa University).


Me ‘Ansum 

by Blonde Boss Theatre Company

“What if we’re not reading it wrong, we’re just queer?” 

Meet Saff and Bella – two university students thrown into a boring project together. We can see that there is some sort of chemistry – a smile here, a giggle there – but with only one of these women being open about their queerness, how can you really tell if she’s flirting with you or just being friendly? 

Using the real stories of LGBTQ+ women in Somerset and East Anglia, the Blonde Boss team has created a piece of theatre that celebrates the queer journey and discovering your own queer identity as well as highlighting some of the discrimination that can exist within the community. Besides, what if we’re not reading it wrong – we’re just queer. 

Blonde Boss Theatre Co. is an all-female queer collective formed of Lydia Webb, Leonie Barnes-Wake and Georgi Bessey that is eager to educate others about LGBTQ+ issues and telling women’s stories.



by Bethany Ackerley

Tacit is experimental dance film that explores touch and how this sense can be communicated through the medium of film. The technique of haptic cinema is used, where images are used to evoke close engagement with surface detail or texture to allow for contemplation of the image. In a year where touch has been deprived this film will allow you to immerse yourself into the felt sensation of touch. Allow your eyes and ears to become your skin... 

Bethany Ackerley graduated from Bath Spa University this year with a BA (hons) in Dance. As an artist she is particularly interested in screendance and how it can create a different experience for the viewer compared to a live performance.  



by Alyson Minkley 

Datafield is a participatory performance video artwork exploring the re-personalisation of abstract data & the paradoxical relationship between freedom of information & our didactic secondary education system. Created in collaboration with sociology, mathematics, visual & performing arts staff, PhD & undergraduate students from Bath Spa & University of Bath. Costumes were devised in response to data analysis from a survey about confidence in different areas of life, completed by all participants & the statistics transposed to colour percentages across the matrix. Performative actions & reactions were co-created with participants to animate the field & a semantic score was created post-production. Datafield was shortlisted for the Visons of Science Artprize.

Alyson Minkley is a socially engaged and experiential artist, recently graduated from Bath Spa MA Fine Art, who works cross-discipline with dialogue and embodiments as enduring methodologies. Themes of investigation include living in paradox with didactic systems in an age of information, political & social manipulation through media & education, challenging social constructs of age, gender & neuro-normality & cataloguing embodied social anthropology.


Engine Room Professional Film Festival

Thursday 8 July at 7.30pm


by Thomas Mellors 

When Chris' schizophrenic father claims to have killed a man, he must consider if he’s willing to become a criminal to protect his family.

Wode is a suspense film that seeks to subvert the genre it sits within. 

Tom Mellors is a writer and director based in Wiltshire and a graduate of London Film School's MA in Screenwriting. He recently finished shooting his second short film, a collaboration with his brother Victor, and has written a TV pilot which was shortlisted for the BBC's 2021 Script Room. 



by Bridget O’Driscoll

Gaspard, 17 years old, records everyday sounds in the hope of waking up his mother who is in a deep coma. But will his obsessional determination pay off?

Bridget O’Driscoll trained as a musician, before embarking on a career in feature films and television as a sound editor. In 2014 she directed her 1st short no-budget film, The Paris Hunt in 2014. Her 2nd short film, Session N° 78, shot in 2018, has won several prizes and been selected in 40 festivals around the world. Fascinated by the world of sound and movement in cinema, she wrote and directed her most recent film, Replay, in 2020. She shares her time between France and the UK and is currently writing her first feature film screenplay.  



by Trudie Shutler

Innocence is an experimental film using old cine footage to tell the story of a missing dog. Or is it?

Trudie Shutler is an award-winning filmmaker, screenwriter and playwright from Romsey, Hampshire. Her short films have been supported by Creative England, Screen South and City Eye although she has never made a film that cost more than £20. Her plays have been performed at the Nuffield Theatre Southampton, Bristol Old Vic, Arts Theatre London, and Salisbury Playhouse.  


Tulips for Polly 

by Katie Serridge

Performed and co-created by Polly Constance; with music by Nick Zammuto

Tulips for Polly is a digitised gift to a dear friend. Created in April 2020, Tulips for Polly returns to the self, to the small moments, to the beauty of being in a worldly-spoken need to stay still for a moment. As spring emerged so did the delight and potential of flowers; Tulips for Polly delicately considers the body as petals, stunning and unapologetically being. 

Katie Serridge is emerging contemporary dance artist and choreographer. She is passionate about the power of storytelling to validate the lived experiences of those 'othered' by societal norms. She wishes to bring attention to the quiet, the introverted and use our inherent soft power as a catalyst for change. 



by Becky Burchell 

Directed by Sophie Austin and Beth Flintoff

Rise Up is a series of short stories inspired by environmentalist Jonathon Porritt’s ideas on the future. Set over the next 5 years, each story follows a different character as they journey out of the chaos of 2020 and discover their voice, passions and activism. These films are a hope-filled call to action for anyone who believes we are not inexorably doomed and can imagine a better future.

Becky Burchell is the Executive Producer and is a Futures Producer, working at the intersection of the arts and the environment. She specialises in 'Hopeism' - sharing stories of hope through the arts to inspire positive change in addressing our environmental and climate crisis.  

Sophie Austin directs. She is a theatre and film director based in London. Her work is currently focused on telling essential and hope filled stories that bond us to the environment and allow us to embrace our connections to the natural world.  

Beth Flintoff writes. She is an award winning a playwright, theatre director, teacher and community theatre maker. She is passionate about using the arts to bring people together and create vibrant, sustainable communities.                                                         







Salisbury Playhouse, Wiltshire Creative
Malthouse Lane, Salisbury, SP2 7RA

Ticket Sales 01722 320333

Tickets from £12


Engine Room Student Film Festival
Wednesday 7 July at 7.30pm

Liquid by Spider Light Ensemble
The Tragedy of Laertes by Harry Jackson
Me ‘Ansum by Georgi Bessey (Blonde Boss Theatre Company)
Tacit by Bethany Ackerley
Datafield by Alyson Minkley


Engine Room Professional Film Festival
Thursday 8 July at 7.30pm

Wode by Tom Mellors (London Film School)
Replay by Bridget O’Driscoll
Innocence by Trudie Shutler
Tulips for Polly by Katie Serridge
Rise Up by Becky Burchell

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