James Beddard

Co-Artistic Director

Jamie is Co-Director of Diverse City, Agent for Change at The New Wolsey Theatre, and freelance director, writer and actor. He is also a consultant, trainer and workshop leader, and has worked across the arts, educational and social sectors. He lives in North London with partner Jo, and children, Llewelyn (Lewi) and Willow.

His most recent acting credits include John Merrick in the Elephant Man at Bristol Old Vic, directed by Lee Lyford, Matthias in The National Theatre’s production of The Threepenny Opera, directed by Rufus Norris, and the title role in The Messiah at Bristol Old Vic, directed by Tom Morris.

Jamie is the lead artist on Extraordinary Bodies, a collaboration between Diverse City and Cirque Bijou, and the UK’s only integrated circus company. In the summer of 2019, Jamie co-directed (with Billy Aldwen) Splash! an inclusive outdoor circus and theatre performance that toured venues in the Midlands. Other Extraordinary Bodies shows include “What Am I Worth?”, set to continue its tour to indoor and outdoor venues in the coming months, and ‘Weighting’, their first production, which toured nationally.

Jamie became a Clore Fellow in September 2013, and worked on an AHRC project – ‘How can the experience of disability infuse effective leadership?’ – and trained as a ‘Relational Dynamics’ Coach. During the Clore Fellowship, Jamie was seconded to the Southbank, the RSA, Channel 4 Film and the What Next? movement.

In 2012, Jamie directed ‘Breathe/Battle for The Winds’, a cross-art, international collaboration, bringing together 5 companies and 80 performers. This outdoor spectacular played to 12000 people on Weymouth beach, and was the opening event for the Sailing Olympics.

Jamie left his role as Diversity Officer at the Arts Council in April 2011, to concentrate on his freelance portfolio. He is a Senior Associate of Diverse City, has been Associate Director of Graeae Theatre Company, co-editor of ‘Disability Arts in London’ magazine (DAIL) and facilitated in many higher education institutions, drama colleges and community settings. He has worked in advisory capacities for many organisations including the Independent Theatre Council, London Metropolitan University, the Football League and Transport for London.