top of page

Afri-Co-Lab Community Theatre Company is Back!
Part of Knotty Festival 2024!

June 14th 9pm
June 15th 5:30pm & 9pm
June 16th 9pm

tickets limited 

Yellow Black Modern Bold Bachelor Save the Date Invitation (Website).jpg

The Hero's Journey

The year is 2124. We have survived climate disasters and capitalism. We lost some places and some ways of life, but many of us pulled through. One of the survivors was Hastings, an equitable, joy-filled town where everyone has what they need to thrive and be happy. Set in the Hastings Museum, we take a tour to look back to 2024 and visit our ancestors who set the ball in motion to this new future we live in. 


Like all good adventures we don’t know where we will end up or who will be the hero - but what we do know is that it takes a village and we have some amazing friends coming along for the ride as we uncover lost fragments from the past.The Hero’s Journey is an epic tale full of surprises, twists and turns with a large dash of local seasoning! Immerse yourself in this site-specific show, experienced on the move whilst wearing headphones.

It's sure to be epic, joyous and heartfelt - are you game?!

This immersive production is created and performed by the Afri-Co-Lab Community Company, Co-Directed by Anna Maria Nabirye and Darragh O'Leary, with Design led by Hattie Spice and Sound Co-Designed by Helen Skiera & Ted Barrow. 


Commissioned by Home Live Art, supported by Arts Council England, Hastings Museum and Art Gallery and Afri-Co-Lab CIC. 

Yellow Black Modern Bold Bachelor Save the Date Invitation (Website).jpg



If you would thinking about coming to see the production, and there are things that we can do to support time with us. 

Let us know by completing our access form.   


Easy Read Info

We have been working with the amazing Jess Mabel Jones to create an easy read guide for everything you need to know about booking and coming to the show.


Click HERE to see it

Click HERE to download it

Yellow Black Modern Bold Bachelor Save the Date Invitation (Facebook Post).jpg


Sliding scale

£15 / £10 / £5

 (+booking fees which are roughly 40p)


In order to make our show accessible to all we use a sliding scale (based on the Scottish Queer International Film Festival accessible structure). Please choose a ticket price based on your circumstances - we won't check, we just ask you to be honest, as it supports all the work that we do. All prices below have been subsidised. 

Should I Pay £15?

Should I Pay £10?

Should I Pay £5?

• I am comfortably able to meet all of my basic needs. • I may have some debt but it doesn’t prohibit attainment of basic needs. • I own my home or property or I rent a higher-end property. • I can afford public and private transport. If I have a car/access to a car I can afford petrol. • I have access to financial savings. • I have an expendable** income. • I can always buy new items. • I can afford an annual holiday or take time off.

• I may stress about meeting my basic needs but still regularly achieve them. • I may have some debt but it does not prohibit attainment of basic needs. • I can afford public transport and often private transport. If I have a car/access to a car I can afford petrol. • I am employed. • I might have access to financial savings. • I have some expendable income. • I am able to buy some new items and I buy others second-hand. • I can take a holiday annually or every few years without financial burden.

• I frequently stress about meeting basic* needs and don’t always achieve them. • I have debt and it sometimes prohibits me from meeting my basic needs. • I rent lower-end properties or have unstable housing. • I sometimes can’t afford public or private transport. If I own a car/have access to a car, I am not always able to afford petrol. • I am unemployed or underemployed. • I qualify for government and/or voluntary assistance, for example, food banks and benefits. • I have no access to savings. • I have no or very limited expendable** income. • I rarely buy new items because I am unable to afford them. • I can’t afford a holiday or don’t have the ability to take time off without financial burden.

*BASIC NEEDS include food, housing, clothing, and transportation.**EXPENDABLE INCOME might mean you are able to buy coffee or tea at a shop, go to the cinema or a concert, buy new clothes, books and similar items each month, etc.


The Hero’s Journey was made purely on the hopes and dreams of local artists, creatives and community members. In January 2024, all we had was a title. By March we had secured most of our professional team of 14, and by the end of March, we had 40 community participants signed up for the journey. We are now a team of 42; we lost some folks on the way and gained others. Using anti-racist practices of collective care and harm reduction, we have sought to make something different. Something that was inclusive and open, that led with humanity and community, both in the process and the show that we will share with you.

Meet The Company

Creative community company 

  Chiara Capraro * Denise Mathews * Dorcas Magbadelo  * Katie Taylor * Kay Johnson * Lauren Bishop Vranch * Natascha Banziger * Pip Beattie * Sarah Green * Saskia Gall * 

performing community company 

Ade Thomas * Adeline Collingwoode * Andrew Wilkins * Anne-Marie Watson * Eve Loren * Iryna Kryvosheina * Kim Batty * Kirsty Grennan * Laura Dunton Clarke * Lauren Ding * Olivia Long * Vladyslava Karavan

Show Guide community company 

Alice Dindar * Claudia Burnett *Henry robertson *  Juliet Davies * Karen Arthur* Pippa Johnson * Patrick Kealey * Shreyans Iyer

Afri-co-lab Production company 

annamaria photographyby Emma Jane RichardsWEB.jpg

Anna Maria Nabirye

My name is Anna-Maria and I use she/her pronouns. I am a Black, Ugandan-British person born and raised in London, living in St Leonards. I went to a state funded performing arts college and then to drama school to study acting. I have had many jobs alongside my creative career from working in pubs/fast-food takeaways to teaching kayaking in Cornwall. I work as an actress in mainstream theatre, film and television, as well as in devised, collaborative, experimental and political projects. I direct projects, short films and shows in drama schools here and in the USA. I also make my own work which varies from community workshops, plays, short films, experimental art films, zines, documentaries and projects that live in galleries. I mainly collaborate with other creative artists and some of these form on-going artistic relationships. I teach and coach acting both informally and at universities. I run a micro ethical fashion brand called AfroRetro and a community arts company called Afri-Co-Lab with my sister, that champions creativity as means to explore culture and identity. Amplifying diverse representations of the experiences of Black women is at the heart of everything I do.

Beth image.jpeg

Beth O'Leary
stage manager

Meet Beth O’Leary (she/her), the Stage Manager for The Hero’s Journey. Beth found her calling when she discovered she could work behind the scenes and get paid for it! With wide-ranging experience in the industry, including Stage Management, Production Management, Lighting Design, Tour Management, and Set Design, she has done alitte bit of everything. When she is not in Hastings, Beth works at the Attenborough Centre for Creative Arts (ACCA) in Brighton, where she collaborates with students, academics, professional companies, and even TV shows. As a person with ADHD, Beth finds working in the fast-paced world of theatre a perfect fit for her neurodiverse brain. She loves the challenge and fulfilment of her job, which she sees as a facilitator of people's dreams. Beth enjoys working with performance artists, community groups, and students, especially if they identify as queer like her.

Chris image.jpeg

Chris Williams
Production manager

My name is Chris Williams and my pronouns are he/him. I am the production manager for this show and will work closely with all the creative members of the team. You’ll see me at some rehearsals and at every stage of the show. I grew up in London and studied stage management and lighting design at R.A.D.A. Following this classical training I then went into the world of Rock and Rave Lighting, event, tour management and production management for lots of amazing comedians. I moved to Brighton in 1999 with my family and became technical manager of Komedia and then senior technician at The Sallis Benney Theatre at University of Brighton. I provide lighting design for a number of Brighton companies - specialising in dance, aerial and community performance and provide creative technical assistance for various projects. Following 20 years of venue technical management in Brighton, I now reside in Bexhill. I am very excited to be involved in the Heroes Journey and can’t wait to helpbring the story to life with you all.

DAn 2.jpeg

Dan Carter-Hope
Assistant Stage Manager

Hiya, I'm Dan (he/him), born in the southeast but grew up in the northwest so still getting my head round that. I had many adventures on my way to drama school in my late twenties, including two years of school in the New Mexican desert, a degree in Spanish and Portuguese, four years on cruise ships, a few months selling barbecued cheese on the beaches of Rio and backpacking to dozens of countries. I've been a performer and musician since then, presenting science shows for the Science Museum and the Ferrari F1 team, hosting a kids science tv show on the Discovery channel and playing in various bands. For the last ten years I've worked mainly as an actor-musician in theatres around the country and at the Edinburgh fringe, interspersed with the occasional low budget comedy horror film (watch The Furred Man on YouTube!), and bespoke private theatre in the Seychelles, Burma and Thailand. I've also been the actual Burger King (despite being vegetarian) and a Mariachi on Eastenders. I've just finished a two month Welsh tour of Operation Julie, a rock musical about a real life LSD drug ring in the '70s, described as Breaking Bad meets The Good Life. Great fun. I'm looking forward to being behind the scenes for once, helping to make The Hero's Journey the epic show it is destined to be!


DARragh O'Leary co-director

Hi, I’m Darragh. I’m originally from Cork, Ireland and now live in St Leonards-on-Sea. My work uses dance and movement to tell stories with a variety of different people from professionals to volunteers, community participants, young people and everyone in between. For the first 10 years of my career I was a performer in musical theatre in the West End, around the UK and internationally. As a choreographer and movement director my work now varies from musical theatre to plays, opening ceremonies for sporting events, flashmobs, wedding dances, movement coaching, physical theatre and music videos My work doesn’t just happen in theatres but can also be seen in museums, art galleries, outdoors on streets and in parks, sports stadiums, tv sets and prisons. I’m at my happiest collaborating in a playground of other theatre makers: figuring out creative solutions to new theatrical challenges, usually with just a bench and two boxes but sometimes with Danny Boyle in an Olympic Stadium.

Deanne photo.jpeg

Deanne Naula
community Lead & assistant stage Manager

Hello, I’m Deanne, a Black African and Caribbean Londoner born and raised, who has lived across the UK and landed in St Leonards. I enjoy oscillating between the ordinary and the fringes of creative spaces, where fun, expression and making meaning of being human collide to make transformative experiences. I've been called many things from engagement practitioner, communicator, relationship manager, to facilitator and more recently a creative wrangler. I’ve worked in museums, cultural organisations and universities but I’m most attracted to people and places that make room for whole people or for people to become whole. Doing what I can do to support these spaces and developing the skills to sustain them is what gets me moving, which takes some doing because I love my bed. I have been supporting The Hero’s Journey community engagement with new community audiences including folks in Hollington and recently arrived from the Ukraine since last year. I am also supporting the company rehearsals as interim stage manager.

Hattie photo.jpeg

Hattie Spice
Set & costume design Lead

My name is Hattie Spice and I am a set designer and art director, working in a variety of 3D disciplines for the past 30 years. I was born in London, but grew up in East Sussex until I went back to London in the 1980's to study Theatre Design at Central/StMartins, with a year off in the middle to study Fine Art. I now live in St Leonards, having moved here 12 years ago. I always loved drawing and painting, but got really excited with the idea of creating 3D environments. Both my parents were actors and I was lucky enough to go to the theatre as a child and I was hooked by the magic of it and I knew that's what I wanted to do. My career has been so varied, starting off designing fringe theatre shows, doing scenic/mural painting to working in art departments on short films, commercials and pop promos. Since the mid 1990's I have been designing sets for music tours, fashion shows, live events, films, theatre, art projects and pop ups. I love what I do and I also have a passion for snow globes !

helen Skiera.jpeg

Helen Skiera co-Sound designer

I am a sound designer, musician, and composer. I work with binaural sound a lot. I like to create active sound environments throughout the process of making a show; whether it is running loops on Ableton, or getting casts to sing harmonies; and to collaborate as much as possible. I also like to operate shows that have a special live component, like looping, or other elements that make operating the show a more dynamic, music-like experience I also really enjoy running workshops in sound, and have led these at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, Central St Martins, and LSBU.

Jess Headshot.jpeg

Jess Mabel Jones
Access Coordinator & Assistant stage manager

My name is Jess and I use she/her pronouns. I’m the Access Coordinator and an Assistant Stage Manager on The Hero’s Journey. I’m a multi-disciplinary theatremaker, writer, director and producer. My work specialises in collaboration with disabled, Deaf, learning disabled, autistic and neurodivergent artists and contributors, and other marginalised groups. The art I make is joyful, disruptive, inclusive and eclectic. It’s played venues and platforms that include, Barbican, TATE, Southbank Centre, WOW, Wellcome, Soho Theatre, Machynlleth Comedy Festival, Museum Of Contemporary Art Chicago, and Huangpu Theatre Shanghai. I’m a Total Theatre and a Best of Edinburgh Award winner. The last few years I’ve also been working in TV and Film as an Access Corrdinator, winning awards for inclusive practice from the Royal Television Society and Scope. Credits include: Ralph & Katie, All Creatures Great & Small, Screw, Glow Up, Traitors, Blue Peter, The Last Leg, BAFTA.

Khadija1 Image.jpeg

Khadija Khan community co-ordinator

Hello my name is Khadija, and I am passionate about bringing people together. As your Company Coordinator, I thrive on the energy of collaboration and the beauty of diversity. I'm the friendly face you can count on to greet you with a smile, whether it's in person or through the digital realm. Connecting with each member of our company and creating a sense of belonging is what I do best. So here's to the artists, the visionaries, and the dreamers who breathe life into The Hero's Journey productions. Together, let's continue to illuminate the stage with your passion, your talent, and your unwavering dedication to the art of performance.

Lilly photo.jpeg

Lilly Babirye

Hello there. My name is Lilly, and I started my life journey in Uganda, moving to the UK as a refugee with my family. I'm a textile artist/fashion designer learning my craft at Westminster University and refining my skills through the fashion label - AFRORETRO which I co-founded. If you are ever in Hastings, you can find me in the Lab that is Afri-Co-Lab. There, I support the local community to dream creatively and freely, developing and delivering a programme of creative experiences for the East Sussex community. In addition to being a fab facilitator, my other superpowers lie in my obsession with textiles and fabric manipulation, where I create garments that reflect the memorable interactions I have each day. I love to collaborate, and my neurodivergence ensures that you will always get a different perspective. My role in The Hero's Journey is to support all the logistical behind-the-scenes stuff and generally cheerlead this amazing once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Theresa photo.jpeg

Theresa Adjorlolo 
Assistant stage manager

My name is Theresa and I am a Black, Ghanaian-British woman born and raised in London Town where I currently reside. I'm a person who enjoys creative arts and thinks practically so I combined the two studying Architecture at University. Although there's been a handful until recently I have worked as a Finance Professional but the best job I've had so far is working behind the scenes with Afri-Co-Lab. I love the theatre, art galleries, eating out, cinema and tv series, travel and time with friends and family. One upon a time I had a t-shirt business with a close friend and dabbled with podcasting!

Sherry Photo.jpeg

Sherry Coenen
Lighting Designer

I'm Sherry and I use she/her pronouns. I bounced around between the USA and UK every 3-5 years growing up and I'm now based in London. I'm a theatrical lighting designer, vegetable gardener (I'm rubbish with houseplants), ocean swimmer and baker. As a lighting designer I like working with colour and darkness to help the audience to follow the narrative or emotional journey of the piece. I often design lighting for puppetry and shows for children but also across disciplines such as dance, musicals, new writing and devised. In Hastings I was the re-lighter on the English National Ballet's show 'My First Ballet - Sleeping Beauty' and the lighting designer on 'Tenome (Eyes on Hand)' at St Mary in the Castle.


Ted Barrow
co-Sound designer

I have had the pleasure of mixing live many musicians and performers including Roy Ayers, Danny Thompson, Tom Robinson, Sandra Cross, Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer, Heart n’ Soul, The Men (Blue Lips), James Browns Horn Section, the Twinkle Brothers, Jo Brand and Eddie Izzard. My first theatre design was for the premier of Sarah Daniels ‘the gut girls’. Other productions include Gaslight, Betrayal (Pinter Festival USA), Blind Faith, England is the Place for Me, The Love of Don Perlimpin for Belisa in the Garden, Blood Knot, Ragamuffin, Project (Free Street Theatre of Chicago), RUR the musical, the Seagull, Translations, dA dA dUM (Heatwave 1993, Serpentine Gallery) and A Billion Ways for companies based at the Theatre Royal Stratford, Albany empire , Cochran Theatre and the George Wood Theatre. I have enjoyed working with directors Clint Dyer, Ultz, Paulette Randal, Dominic Gerard, Armani Neptali, Teddy Kendall, Alex Jones and previously with Anna-Maria Nabirye and Darrah O’Leary. I create sounds incorporating circuit bending and tape manipulations, modifying and building instruments, field, found objects and discrete recording, I play drums and percussion including ‘Cinderella’ at the Albany Empire and “What Good Would the Moon be” (a Kurt Weill Cabaret) and was part of ‘Die Trip Computer Die’, a music concrete improvising group working with samplers, synths, recordings, vinyl, cassettes minidiscs as well as instruments, performing across Europe and releasing 3 CDs and an extensive back catalogue. My first radio play ‘The Bench” was Broadcast on LBC and I have produced and directed episodes of Rirkrit Tiravanijas’ Radio Soap ‘Stay tuned if you want to live well for the next 15 minutes’ broadcast live from his exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery and ‘The Harmon E Phraisyer Show’ for Resonance FM. In 2020 I released 60 x 60, a collection of 60 pieces each 60 seconds long on Bandcamp to mark my 60 th birthday.

The Hero's Journey has been commissioned by Home Live Arts, it is produced by Afri-Co-Lab and supported by Arts Council England and Hastings Museum & Art Gallery.

bottom of page