Claire Alizon Hills – Artistic Director
Hi I’m Claire, and I’m the Artistic Director and founding member of Topsy Turvy Theatre.
After I graduated from Edge Hill in 2003 with a degree in Drama and Critical Criminology I became what you might call a jobbing actor. I worked for lots of different companies, performing in schools, theatres, out on the street and even abroad. I played characters ranging from The Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland to Wilbur the pig in Charlottes Webb and performing for children and families was where I felt most at home.
Then in 2010 I took the leap (with co-founder Rachel) to start Topsy Turvy Theatre, and 10 years on, we’re still here! I have many different roles within the company as I’m the only full time member of staff, so in addition to performing in all our shows, I also write (or adapt) and direct them. Whenever we perform at a venue, its me who’s organised the visit. Not only that, I’m also heavily involved in the making of our props and scenery, and particularly enjoy upcycling and repurposing furniture or items that might have found their way to landfill to build our shows with. Over the years I have developed a very unique writing style which is heavily influenced by the items we are making and the materials we have found or repurposed. It’s a very inspiring way to work.
In addition to writing, directing and performing in our SEVEN touring shows, I also develop our workshops. In fact, I freelance as a Workshop Facilitator, Mentor and Acting Tutor for other organisations such as Artis Foundation and Dark Horse Theatre, and most recently I became a registered chaperone.
When I do get a spare moment to myself, I enjoy spending time in my garden, playing board games with my family and cuddling my cat. I have never been able to put up an ironing board properly, I don’t like bananas and I’m a little bit frightened of snakes!