Kate Hazel pays tribute to those who have inspired her.

Valerie Jones
When I was about nine my parents sent me to a Saturday morning drama club, to provide me with an outlet for my 'dramatic' tendencies. The club was led by Val, an innovative and inspiring teacher who channelled my pre-teenage anxieties and gave me focus. She probably didn't realise it at the time, but she has had a huge impact in shaping my career.

Lloyd Newson
When I was 15 I started a Saturday job working in a local gift shop. One day Hayley, the other Saturday girl, surreptitiously handed me a video copy of DV8's Strange Fish, telling me that it would 'change my life'. She wasn't wrong. I have been an avid follower of DV8's work ever since. Lloyd Newson has the ability to convey emotion in a way no other director can. ‘The Cost of Living’ still contains one of the most astounding pieces of dance I have ever seen.

Sir Ken Robinson
My final year as a student at the Central School of Speech and Drama included an internship at the National Campaign for the Arts. The National Curriculum was under review and my job was to write a paper on the reasons why drama should be included as a subject in its own right. At the same time, Sir Ken Robinson’s report for the National Advisory Committee on Creative and Cultural Education had just been published. This document became the basis of my research and argument, so clearly does it outline why creativity is such an important part of our lives. I still refer to it when asked to talk about why I do what I do.

Helen Marriage
In 2006 The Sultan's Elephant came to town, bringing with it a seismic shift in how funders, businesses and communities viewed outdoor arts and its possibilities. The project, produced by Helen Marriage, co-director of Artichoke, heralded a new wave for the sector. Helen’s passion, tenacity and sheer unyielding belief in what she does is to be admired. She reminds me that hard work, determination and a good dose of bloody mindedness go a long way in this industry!

Louise Bourgeois
Although I work predominantly in the performing arts, I often turn to the visual world for inspiration. Louise Bourgeois is a true artist: the sheer breadth and scale of the work she produced in her lifetime is astounding. She was able to turn her hand to almost anything and had the ability to create visual work that has an emotional and physical impact on the viewer. The performer in me means I am drawn to work with which I can interact. Louise Bourgeois' work has always done this for me and I find myself coming back to her time and time again.


Kate Hazel is a creative producer and festival director.

Through her company Alchemy Productions she heads up Small Wonders, the consortium commissioning new outdoor performance work for the under 5s.


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