Freelance Creative Consultant, Theatre Director & Producer
Omidaze (Oh My Days!) is Yvonne Murphy, freelancer and sole trader, using her background as a theatre director, producer, practitioner, facilitator and artist and activist to create everything from productions to prototypes, creative learning strategies to creative classrooms and frameworks to forums for conversation.
Motivated by collaboration, co-creation, creative thinking & problem solving and supporting others to become the individuals and organisations they have the potential to be.
Yvonne uses theatre and the arts to empower, inform, challenge and inspire positive social change. Yvonne believes creativity should be at the very core of how we all learn and work every single day.
Following on from a a show all about women, a Shakespeare Trilogy and two shows for children Yvonne created The Talking Shop pilot in 2019. This has led to the Clwstwr R&D project The Democracy Box, researching and developing new creative approaches to democratic participation and civic engagement by ensuring a wider public knowledge and understanding of our UK democratic systems and structures.
History – Omidaze Productions was founded as a partnership in 2008 by two freelancers – Yvonne Murphy & Dick Johns (aka Dick Bradnum)
We did a lot of deep thinking about business models and whether to make Omidaze a limited company and about whether to apply for charitable status so that we could apply to trusts and foundations for funding. Yvonne’s general belief is that Wales is a small nation (punching way above its weight) and doesn’t need more structures to weigh it down and more joining of the already existing dots is a better way to go. And administrating a structure takes her away from the creative stuff she actually wants to be doing
Then two things happened. In 2019 Arts Council of Wales changed their funding structure so that partnerships were no longer recognised as organisations and individuals could apply for large grants and in 2020 there was a global pandemic which made us reassess what we were doing and how we were doing it.
The outcome is that Omidaze is no longer a partnership and Yvonne now doesn’t have to compile two lots of accounts and file two tax returns. Yvonne & Dick continue to be freelance and the only difference is that now Yvonne trades as Yvonne Murphy and Omidaze Productions as a sole trader.
You can find out all about Dick’s work as an actor, writer and lecturer and his corporate training work here https://www.dickjohns.co.uk/
Meanwhile here is a bit about Yvonne…
Education - Yvonne read Drama at Manchester University (1988-91) before going on to train as an actor at The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama (1991-2) and as a teacher of English & Drama at UCL 1995-6). Yvonne has has been a freelance Theatre Director, Creative Producer and Creative Practitioner and Consultant since 1992 working across the UK and Internationally.
Biography – In 2008 Yvonne founded Omidaze Productions and was awarded an Arts Council of Wales Clore Fellowship in 2013. Yvonne has been made an Associate Artist of Wales Millennium Centre, Theatr Iolo and Artis Community and has been a board member of Chapter, Cardiff and Awen Cultural Trust. She is an elected councillor for Penarth Town Council and stood as a Parliamentary Candidate in the 2019 General Election and strives to make work which empowers, informs, entertains new audiences, challenges the status quo and inspires positive social change.
Yvonne works across the Cultural & Creative, Democracy and Corporate sectors and is particularly interested in the intersection between Cultural and Democratic Participation, Access and Engagement, Alternative Economic and Business Models and Creative Learning.
Yvonne was the Arts Council of Wales Fellow on the Clore Leadership programme 2013/14 www.cloreleadership.org where she was mentored by Jude Kelly. For her secondment, as part of this intensive development programme, Yvonne was Strategic Lead for the National Arts & Cultural Movement – What Next? This post continued beyond the Clore Programme through until Autumn 2014 and Yvonne remains actively involved as Co-Chair and Founder of the Cardiff Chapter of What Next?
Yvonne’s Creative Consultancy work since 2014 includes Butetown Arts & Culture Association; Theatr Iolo; National Dance Company Wales (NDCW); BBC – Archives Development Report for the Archives Commissioner; Arts Active Trust; British Council; Taking Flight Theatre Company ; Novartis Leadership Programme (Paris & Rome); The Successors of the Mandingue and Re:Cognition
Consultancy work includes Vision, Mission & Values, Company & Business Structures, Business & Strategic Planning; Creative Learning Strategies; Open Space Facilitation; Chairing & Facilitation, Teacher Training INSETs & CPD Design & Delivery, Approaches to Creative Learning & Widening Engagement to the arts and cultural sector.
Yvonne’s Directing Credits include Omidaze (including co-productions with Wales Millennium Centre), Welsh National Opera, English Shakespeare Company, Sherman Theatre, HTV, Bristol Old Vic, Plymouth Theatre Royal, Whitworth Art Gallery and Bath, London & Edinburgh Fringe. Runner up of the very first James Menzies-Kitchen Award.
Yvonne’s Producing Credits include Sticks & Stones (Film –video distribution & Leeds International Film Festival); Live Performance – Theatre, Dance & Circus – Omidaze Productions, Dirty Protest, Paul Evans Circus Choreographer/Director (aka Flying Diplodicus), Krystal Lowe (Choreographer & Dancer) and Endangered Species Productions including Edinburgh, London and European tours and taking the first ever theatre production to the House of Commons.
Yvonne’s Creative Learning Work: Designed and delivered Omidaze’s annual summer schools and year round workshops and teacher training and is a Creative Agent and Creative Practitioner for the Arts Council of Wales Lead Creative Schools Scheme specialising in Creative Classroom design and use. Yvonne has worked for many of Britain’s leading Theatre Company’s and organisations specialising in work with young people and training including the Royal National Theatre, The Shakespeare Schools Festival, The Mousetrap Foundation, Bristol Old Vic, Plymouth Theatre Royal, The English Shakespeare Company and Welsh National Opera and has been a tutor for The Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama’s Young Actors’ Studio since it began in.
Yvonne also writes. A lot. From speeches to marketing copy to business plans to blogs and proposals and pitches. An experienced fundraiser Yvonne has secured and managed large-scale funding from Kickstarter Crowd Funding, the Arts Council of Wales, The European Social Fund, Paul Hamlyn, Esmee Fairbairn and the Foyle Foundation and thinks she probably could have written a couple of books by now with all the words and time spent on funding applications. Every New Year’s Eve she promises herself that this year she will write the book of the first Omidaze show, Things Beginning With M.
Yvonne returned to South Wales from London in 2005 where she now lives with her husband and three children.
Omidaze was founded in 2008 when we printed some postcards delivered them to all the schools in our area and designed and delivered our first Shakespeare Summer School, a fun and interactive introduction to Shakespeare and Drama for 7-11 year olds. It sold out and received outstanding feedback.
Our first production Things Beginning with M began with a week of R&D supported by the Sherman Theatre in 2008 and following pilot performances in Chapter, Cardiff and the Windsor Pub in Penarth in 2009 and further R&D, in 2010 we toured across Wales in Autumn 2012 to sell-out venues and great reviews, culminating in performances in the Arcola Theatre Tent in London.