Who We Are
Andy is an accomplished writer and director with over 25 years of expertise creating innovative productions across a range of topics. A leading member of the Forthright Arts CIC team, he plays an integral role as the company’s Artistic Director.
Performing Arts has been an ever-present part of Andy’s life, having started writing for the stage as a young member of the Redditch Amateur Theatre Society. He then polished his skills when he joined the Swan Playwrights at the Swan Theatre in Worcester. His passion led him to excel academically in this field, attaining degrees in Drama at the University of Worcester and Playwriting at Birmingham University.
Throughout his career, he has written and directed several plays for Forthright Arts CIC, three of which were funded by Arts Council England. Notable productions include An Angel Abroad, Robbing Peter to pay Paul and Baby Blues. He has also directed work for a number of organisations, including the creation of screenplays for the likes of Walsall Housing Group and Redditch Borough Council. The work for the housing association covered universal credit and debt whilst the latter, which was to be shown in local schools, focused on loan sharks.
A driving force behind Andy’s success throughout his career has been his desire to make a positive contribution to the local community. As a result, he has led many workshops and programmes with young people, individuals with learning difficulties and vulnerable groups. For many participants, the outcome of these sessions has often led to greater self-esteem and confidence; both important traits they can take into other walks of life.
Although the world of performance arts has been heavily impacted by the arrival of Covid-19 in 2020, Andy has continued to work on an exciting new portfolio. One project, which is being funded by Arts Council England, has seen him direct a reimagined version of his highly successful stage play The Gary and Robert Blues as a piece of audio theatre. This has been carefully designed for future use in a live audience setting, where they can enjoy the piece in surround sound with enhanced visual images on-screen.
Jan has played an important role in the development of Forthright Productions, calling upon extensive experience from her career in environmental and public health. Throughout that time, she served as both a Practitioner and latterly as a Lecturer at the Universities of Birmingham and Derby, running programmes to train EH practitioners.
As a result, she decided to combine her background in health with Andy’s writing expertise, subsequently leading to many projects having a focus on health and wellbeing. Since retiring, Jan has devoted her efforts full-time to Jestaminute Community Theatre and it’s new rebrand, Forthright Productions. During that time, she has been a Non-Executive Director of Redditch and Bromsgrove Primary Care Trust and very active within the local community. This has included chairing the Arts and Health sub-group of Worcestershire Arts Partnership. For the last two years, Jan has chaired a consortium of organisations in Redditch to apply for Creative People & Places (CPP) funding from Arts Council England.
Jo has over 15 years of experience within the performing arts sector, participating in community arts work and acting as Assistant Director on various productions. Throughout this time she has also shared her expertise as a qualified ADPA Performing Arts tutor, teaching singing and acting at youth theatre. Furthermore, she has also obtained a Grade 8 certification in singing at the London College of Music.
Away from the stage, Jo has continued to excel academically, qualifying from University with a BSc (Hons) in Forensic Psychology and Criminal Justice. Her experience studying for this qualification has been integral in enabling Forthright Productions to work with young offenders and those at risk of offending. As a result, the business has been able to introduce them to the world of drama and creative writing.
Jo is passionate about the power of the arts in bringing communities together and how it can have such a positive effect on both physical and mental health.