Roaring Girl Productions (RGP) is a creative media company working in film, audio, text and performance.
We combine high quality creative work with practical activism.
Who are we?
Roaring Girl Productions (RGP) is a creative media company working in performance, film, audio and text. We combine high quality creative work with practical activism. RGP was founded in 1999 by artist-activist Liz Crow, who continues as creative director, and is based in Bristol, UK.
A primary theme in our work is the representation of hidden, marginalised and misrepresented stories, sometimes historical, often contemporary. Our productions range from the pictorial to the confrontational. Woven through are themes of identity, resistance, survival and hope. We create counter-narratives and communicate new meanings in order to move audiences to recognise the need for social change and to discover their own role in contributing to it. Underpinning all our projects are questions of what it is to be human, what kind of society do we want to be a part of, and how do we act collectively to bring that about. Working in this way, we take audiences beyond spectatorship to become a part of creating sustained and sustainable change.
What have we produced?
Our award-winning work has been presented to audiences around the world. Highlights include:
- Bedding Out, Liz Crow’s live durational performance, which has toured the UK raising awareness of the on-going welfare benefit reforms.
- The four combined Resistance projects, including an interactive installation, currently touring, and Liz Crow’s controversial and celebrated appearance on Antony Gormley’s Fourth Plinth.
- Nectar, which won prizes across the board at Milan’s International Cinema and Video Festival of the Deaf
- Frida Kahlo’s Corset, screened at Tate Modern alongside the retrospective of Kahlo’s paintings
- The Real Helen Keller, made for Channel 4, with Ann Pugh and Redweather Productions
Many of our films are available to buy or hire. Please see the relevant work pages for more details.
How do we work?
Cumulatively, Roaring Girl Productions has brought hidden stories and new perspectives to audiences by using a range of media, with the means and the medium used in each production defined by the story it is setting out to tell.
We work inclusively and our productions demonstrate the possibilities and benefits of this approach. We pioneer new approaches to accessibility for audiences, incorporating solutions into the creative planning from the beginning of projects. This includes integrating audio description, captioning and sign language interpretation into the creative and production processes in film, and our recent introduction of integrated social media into performance.
We are a tiny core team whose numbers ebb and flow according to the scale of the project and the phase of production. Over the years, our work has been made possible by the generosity of our funders and the hard graft and support of dozens of committed individuals and organisations.
Claudio Ahlers studied music in Manchester, followed by a Masters Degree in Composing for Film, TV and Theatre in Bristol in 1998. He worked as an in-house composer and dubbing mixer for a Bristol-based television production company. He is now a freelance composer writing music for TV and film and a number of production music labels. Over the past ten years he has composed music for the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5, National Geographic Television, NDR (Germany) and a number of cable broadcasters. He has also written the music for four short films and and a series of television advertising campaigns.
His career initially began in graphic design and 3D animation before he became a TV and film editor. After working in post-production for several years for companies such as BBC and Channel 4, Bim became freelance. For the past twelve years Bim has directed and produced for a diverse range of clients, with whom he has formed strong relationships.
Bim is profoundly deaf, which gives him a unique visual perspective on the films he created. Throughout the summer of 2012, Bim co-directed a film for Channel 4 for the opening of the London Paralympic Ceremony. Most recently, Bim directed a short film, Champion of the World, which won the award for Best Film at Deaffest and was screened on Film4.
Deaf Consultant: Nectar
First involved in the media production in 1982. Trained as producer with BBC’s media training, carried out research work for Channel Four and BBC, presenting for BBC since 1985. Born Deaf from Deaf family and strongly active in Deaf community. Currently, lecturer/researcher at Centre for Deaf studies, Bristol and freelance interpreter for Point West News.
Technical Team: Resistance
ArtAV is a collaboration between Tom Cullen, Nick Joyce, Steve Holmes and the resources and facilities at Enigma FX to provide the number one technical service to the UK art industry. Clients include Bill Viola, Gillian Wearing, Steve McQueen, Isaac Julien and Jane & Louise Wilson.
Frida: Frida Kahlo’s Corset
Cuban-born Isolte Avila trained with the Cuban Ballet and members of Alvyn Ailey Dance Company. She has a degree in Dance from California Institute of the Arts, where she won a scholarship from the Disney Foundation. She is fluent in BSL grass roots signing and international sign. She has worked with choreographers: Ismael Ivo 1995-1998, Milton Meyers, Alvin Ailey since 1985, Carlos Orta (Limon Dance Company) Choreoarte Venezuela 1997-1999 and Ornella D’Agostino Carovana SMI 2002-2008. Her acting experience includes playing Freda Kahlo in Liz Crow’s award winning film . Recently she has been working alongside BBC Radio 4 as associate artist on A Small Piece of Silence, and Dragonfly directed by Sue Roberts. She is the founder of the art-form signdance, managing and developing the signdance trust through from 1987 – 2001, in 2001 she formed SDCI with actor David Bower. Isolte has managed SDC’s work since 1987 successfully touring the company internationally, working in-association with international organizations and artists.Isolte is an associate lecturer for theatre at Buckinghamshire New University.
Orderly : Resistance
Canice is an actor. He recently graduated from the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. This is his first professional performance on film. Since graduating he has worked in Theatre in Education for Quantum Theatre, short films for many of the film schools in the UK and Fringe Theatre. Canice is a native of Dublin. “Working on this film was one of the most enjoyable and fulfilling acting experience to date. The team were wonderful. Thanks for the opportunity.”
Jamie is an actor, director, writer, trainer and workshop leader. He is currently a Clore Fellow, and has been on secondment at the Southbank, Channel 4 and the RSA. Last year directed ‘Breathe’, the opening show for the Sailing Olympics in Weymouth. He has been Diversity Office at the Arts Council and Associate Director of Graeae Theatre Company. Amongst the companies he has worked with are the British Council, the BBC, Diverse City, Nottingham Playhouse, London Metropolitan University and a host of drama colleges. As a performer his credits include Skalligrigg, Quills, I.D., Wonderful You, The Egg and The Outcasts.
Producer & Elise: Resistance
Since gaining an MA in Documentary Film from Goldsmith’s College, Lou has worked continuously as a writer/director producer and editor. She was selected to take part in the NFTS ‘Compass Point- the Director’s Vision’ scheme, and was soon after gained a commission to write and direct a Paralympic Opening Ceremony film based on Leni Riefenstahl’s ‘Olympia’. Another of her shorts, Stubborn & Spite, won a Best Film nomination at the London Short Film Festival, a Honourable Mention Award at the Picture This Film Festival and was considered Best Work of 2007 by the UK Film Council.
Sarah is an accomplished actress with over twenty years’ experience on screen and stage. Recent work includes Judy in In Love with Barbara for BBC 4, Persuasion for Clerkenwell Films, along with appearances in Skins, Doc Martin and Holby City. Theatre work includes Delaine in Painting Heaven at Theatre West and The House of Bernarda at the Alba.
Classical training in ballet and tap gives Jacob a strong footing in comedic and physical theatre. A member of Bristol Musical Youth Productions for eight years, he appeared in major shows including Tommy and Hans Christian Anderson at Bristol Hippodrome, plus work in Disneyland Europe. Television credits include BBC dramas Pride and Prejudice, The Secret Garden and Casualty. Theatre performance includes leading roles in adaptations of Toy Story, Derek Jarman’s Blue, The Nuremburg Trials, plus contemporary original works. As a Deaf actor, Jake was asked to work with Green Candle Dance Company introducing BSL to children in primary schools. His most recent work is for urban thriller Soundproof for BBC2, a full length feature to be screened in 2006. Nectar is his debut on the big screen.
As a deaf mime-actor I was involved in the development of the professional British Theatre of the Deaf in the 1960-80s, covering a wide range of various disciplines such as mime, poetry signing, drama in theatre sign language, teaching deaf theatre. I also lectured on Deaf Sign Theatre at the University of Reading in the 1990s. I am keen on the idea of plays and films illustrating the power of lyrical expressiveness of Sign Language as a third dimension to the language of drama and theatre. I am now writing a book on the history of the professional British Theatre of the Deaf 1960-1977 under the directorship of Pat Keysell of BBC’s Vision On fame. Though now in my late 70s, I would consider occasional offers of playing/signing male roles. I might be ideal for King Lear as we both are of the same advanced age, and/or perhaps James Tyrone Sr in Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day into the Night! Any offers?
David has acted in Rep and Tours from Bolton to Birmingham and Brighton, and from Aldeburgh to Aberystwyth. He’s been back to the Edinburgh Festival, and in the West End twice, the latter in the musical ‘Gone With The Wind’ and then in ‘Lenny’ – the story of Lenny Bruce. At the National Theatre in 1974 he featured as both dancer and actor in Jonathan Miller’s production of The Marriage of Figaro and he also appeared in David Hare’s NT Touring production of ‘The Party’ by Trevor Griffiths. As well as acting, he’s created projects and productions with playmakers and story tellers from all kinds of backgrounds: civil servants, teachers, priests and prisoners, actors and dancers with learning difficulties, musicians, children of all ages, and, as a poet himself, with other poets.
Founder of Roaring Girl Productions. Writer, director and producer of many productions
Liz is an artist-activist working with performance, film, audio and text. Interested in drama, life stories and experimental work, she is drawn to the potential of storytelling to trigger change. Described as “a director of real visual flair”, her work has been praised for its ability “to get under the skin of a subject”. Liz’s work has shown at Tate Modern and the Smithsonian Institution, as well as on television and at festivals internationally. Through a four-year NESTA (National Endowment for Science,Technology and the Arts) fellowship, she explored ways to combine her creative practice and political activism. Liz is a graduate of the Skillset Guiding Lights scheme where she was mentored by Peter Cattaneo (The Full Monty), an Associate of the Centre for Cultural Disability Studies at Liverpool Hope University, and is currently a doctoral candidate on a practice-led PhD at the University of England.
Abigail has worked in TV and film for the last 30 years. She spent 15 years in factual TV before becoming HTV West’s Commissioning Editor for Arts, Documentary and Drama with a specific remit to develop new talent. As a freelancer, she produced 11 Digital Shorts for UKFC / South West Screen and script edited and co-produced films for Channel4’s drama production series Coming Up. Abigail is currently Associate Head of Department for the Filmmaking courses at UWE Bristol where she also teaches screenwriting and production. Alongside, she continues to work professionally as a script editor and producer – most recently on Life Out There, an award-winning drama directed by David Ellington for BSLBT, Film4 and The Community Channel.
David is a freelance artist and an award winning director of VS1 Productions. Since 1997, David’s roles have been diverse, including film, theatre and television drama and presenting. His recent directing of film, Life Out There, commissioned by British Sign Language Broadcast Trust (BSLBT) has won RTS Bristol, Community Media Award. David has always enjoyed creative works including film making projects and theatre workshop projects (Graeae and DRoots) and also supported ALRA in running theatre course for Deaf students.
Sign language interpreter: Nectar
Award-winning broadcaster Sherrie Eugene started her television career 23 years ago as a sign language interpreter for HTV news and weather, before embarking on speech presentation and becoming the station’s anchor woman. She has worked on a range of programmes, many of which she devised, including Hand in Hand for C4, Green Grow the Rushes, a vegetarian cookery programme, Bristol’s Roots, a look into the history of the Black Diaspora, and the documentary Windrush, which won a National Television Award. Now a freelance Presenter/Producer, she is working on a series West Country Culture for ITV West News, focusing on the West’s diversity of culture and ethnicity.
Sue’s passion for photography and story telling took her to Bristol to study film. Her varied experience and interests – from textile design to engineering are reflected in her work, which encompasses experimental art films, science documentary and drama. Sue sees herself as a person who creates what she wants in whatever form suits the material – without being boxed in. She wants to make stunning work that challenges the audience so that they reconsider the world around them. As a filmmaker she has made foreign language films that have been broadcast shown in museums and galleries in The Netherlands and New York. Her experimental shorts have reached festival audiences.
For most of my career I have worked in the interface, originally between film and video, now between film and new digital media. I’ve shot on most film and video formats, for the BBC, Channel 4, ITV, (two of these won British Royal Television Society awards) and various international terrestrial and satellite broadcasters, and in drama, documentary, promos and commercials, live TV and films for theatrical distribution. Since 2000 I’ve become re-acquainted with High Definition (I first came across the older 1250 line system in 1990) and in 2004 (having already made various HD projects, some for film transfer) I shot the feature film Past, Present, Future Imperfect for Fluidity Films on 24p 1080 for cinema release. Also in 2004 I lit and technically directed a multi-camera HD shoot under candlelight for an HD DVD. My next feature Human Remains is due to shoot in 2006. More information on my website.
Mat Fraser is an actor, writer, and multi-disciplinary performing and Disability artist. He has performed professionally on stage and screen all his adult life, having been first a drummer for 16 years, before coming out as disabled and becoming a full time Disabled and Disability Artist. He has written three plays, and made several CDs of music, as well as performed live art, cabaret, theatre, music and lectures, all over the world.
Audio description consultant: Nectar
After several years’ theatre experience and directing for BBC television, Raina trained in fiction film direction at The Northern Film School. Her graduation film Drive (1997) premiered at Leeds International Film Festival. The first fiction film to be audio described at production stage, it premiered at Birmingham International Film Festival (1997) and won Best Overall Innovation at Picture This Film Festival (Calgary). In 2002, Raina directed Gettin Off, followed by Blind Sensations (2001), 3×3 minute experimental films. Currently, Raina is collaborating with producer Paul Raphael and screenwriter Meera Syal on a romantic comedy project, with development finance from the UK Film Council. Raina does audio description production training and consultancy for audio describers and filmmakers.
Joe trained at Dartington College of Arts. His works in film and television and has appeared in numerous productions on ITV, Channel 4 and BBC. His theatre experience includes Bristol Old Vic, Travelling Light and Show of Strength. He has also appeared in several plays on Radio 3 and 4.
I call/am called/have called myself many things: poet, text-based artist, writer, scriptwriter, inventor, playwright, installation artist, micro-economic cultural entity, public poet. Do, do, now what do I do do? Oh, spray 100m long violent red negatively-stencilled ‘found’ poems onto industrial plastic and wind it round Somerset farms; float words on ponds and record the way the water sprites and frogs want them arranged; literally stick a 600m long ‘city epic’ onto the streets of Bristol, up and over several buildings and completely around two ferries (Bristol Legible City); fly poems on kites at Tintagel as English Heritage writer-in-residence. The LIVE VOICE is very important and I’m looking into ways of developing that right now. Stuff.
Kiren’s acting credits extend to both film and theatre. she has worked with a variety of theatre and film companies. She begun her training at Aberystwyth University and went on to attend a number courses in dance and creative writing. Her theatre credits include: Forever (National Tour), Fools Paradise, Romeo & Laila, Multicultural, Phadera Brittanica. After a series of short films she has recently completed her first feature film Veiled Existence where she plays the leading role of Suman. Kiren is currently the youth theatre leader at Loughborough Theatre and leads a number of dance and theatre workshops across the country.
Chloe left Guildford School of Acting in 1990. Her first work, Hamlet, was in the West End, followed by a tour in Germany, returning to the London Fringe in such shows as New Science, Swing Low Sweet Testicles, Baal, Blood Wedding, Skin and Baby With the Bathwater. She helped set up Overall Productions with Sleeping Beauty and Alice Through the Looking Glass. Chloe has a keen interest in new writing and film, which has brought her into contact with short filmmakers. Her work includes the award-winning The Thief of Smiles, Six Foot Square, Bubble Gum and Park Lane. Chloe has also worked in comedie, mime and a documentary.
After completing a BA hons degree in Fine Art Printmaking in 1984, Bryan’s career started in a Cheltenham graphic design company before forming a fashion garment screen-print and design company. During business trips to Japan, it was suggested that his character drawings would be ideal for a Japanese comic strip, which appeared in Tokyo in 1995. this lead naturally to animation and the character Max Bear, co-developed with his wife Helena, was first broadcast on UK Channel 4 in 1998. Bryan began teaching animation and motion graphics in 2004, designing modules for industry and education while continuing to develop animated projects with his company Max Bear Productions Ltd.
Poppy Roberts was born and raised in Cornwall and after backpacking her way around the world (and amazingly returning in one piece!) followed her dream to become an actor and began a three year training at The Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. Since leaving she has been involved in a variety of projects including a number one theatre tour (‘My Boy Jack’) and a new piece of writing- ‘Kitty and Kate’- showcased at The New Vic Theatre, Newcastle Under- Lyme. As well as several short films and youth and community projects. She has recently returned to her beloved Cornwall where she continues to surround herself in the world of film and theatre.
Maia Tamrakar was cast as Dolly Girl in The King and I in 2004, aged 6. She loved being in the show and the producers were so impressed with her that she was asked to tour with the company. In 2006, she was cast as Tam in Miss Saigon and was overjoyed to be on stage again. Maia regularly attends the ITV West Drama Workshop, and it was here that she was spotted for Illumination, her first experience of film. Maia is very keen on theatre and now also on filming and would love to do more. She manages to fit it in between the many hours she spends in training as a gymnast, her other passion.
Barnaby is an Emmy-award winning composer, best known for his scores for landmark BBC series such as Wild Arabia (2013), the critically acclaimed Nature’s Great Events (2009) and Frozen Planet: On Thin Ice (2011), winner of the inaugural Music and Sound Award for Best Original Composition for TV. Drama credits include three seasons of the RTS Award-winning The Indian Doctor. Barnaby’s first feature film, Camera Trap, directed by Alex Verner, will be released by Pinewood/Cinema NX later in 2013.
Sophie has been writing, devising, performing and producing for the past 15 years. Recent work includes Something to Sing About at Colchester’s Mercury Theatre, King Lear at Colcherster Institute. She has performed with Candoco dance company and is a member of Diplay theatre group. Sophie is a Candidate Member of the Writer’s Guild of Great Britain.