The Team | Adverse Camber


Adverse Camber is powered by a growing team of associates who bring a wealth of expertise to the task of making engaging live performances which involve audiences and participants.

a photograph of Naomi Wilds

Naomi Wilds


Naomi Wilds founded Adverse Camber in 2006 and has spearheaded its development since then.   She has produced all of the company’s national tours, raising substantial funds for artistic and organisational development. In 2009, Naomi was one of four East Midlands producers to receive a bursary from Arts Council England in recognition of her work. She traveled to Australia and New Zealand/Aotearoa researching storytelling traditions, a trip which has informed Adverse Camber’s work in recent years.

Naomi studied English Literature at the University of Leeds, winning the Crabtree Prize and gaining an MA by research on narrative strategies in 1991. Following work for various arts organisations, she specialised in literature development from 1999-2005 as part of the E Mids Literature Network.

Paula Crutchlow

Artistic Advisor

Paula Crutchlow is an independent artist and performance maker who has been working as a director and dramaturg with storytellers, musicians, dance artists and new writing projects for over twenty years. Alongside this, her work with artist collective Blind Ditch creates collaborative and unexpected happenings in everyday spaces; often using participatory approaches and digital media to engage publics as thinking citizens and active spectators.

Paula is currently Artistic Adviser for Adverse Camber and is a board member of B-side multimedia arts festival. As a scholar and educator she was an Associate Lecturer in Theatre at Dartington College of Arts, Devon 2001-10, and is now an ESRC funded Doctoral Researcher in Cultural Geography at the University of Exeter.

Photo: Andrew Brand

Jenny Babenko, Marketing Associate

Jenny Babenko

Marketing Associate

Jenny Babenko has worked with Adverse Camber since 2013 and is now the company’s lead Marketing Associate, working closely with venues to develop relationships with new and more diverse audiences across the range of the company’s work.

Prior to joining Adverse Camber, Jenny has worked at The Lowry in Salford Quays, West Yorkshire Arts Marketing, Derbyshire Dales District Council, Derby City Council and as a freelance marketer for a range of organisations including Red Earth Theatre, Nottingham Puppet Festival, Wirksworth Festival and musician, Will Pound.

Jan Reynolds

Jan Reynolds

Participation Associate

Jan Reynolds is supporting the development of Adverse Camber’s exciting engagement programme. She is currently leading on Moon Stories an HLF project working with young people in care and care leavers learning important skills through oral history. Jan is a freelance community artist and project manager working cross art form. After training at Dartington College in dance, drama and the written word she was a founder member or several community arts companies. Jan is also a member of FOLK 3D, a co-director of EMPAF, the East Midlands Participatory Arts Forum, and works in session delivery at Level Centre.

Zoe Robinson headshot Feb21

Zoë Robinson

Associate Producer

Zoë Robinson is a Creative Producer & Collaborator. An advocate for diversity, defiant in her want for excellent quality cultural experiences for all.

She is Senior Producer at Polka Theatre dedicated to producing work for young audiences whilst also freelancing as Producer for Paula Varjack , Haley McGee and Jan Blake  with Adverse Camber.

Previously she has produced for Punchdrunk Enrichment, Bill Kenwright Ltd and CBBC, consulted for ERA 50:50 and was Early Years Associate at Lyric, Hammersmith. 

From 2013 – 20 Zoë ran Rive Productions (a company she co founded). Rive presented:

  • The UK premiere of The Dog, the Night and the Knife by Marius Von Mayenberg (Arcola Theatre)
  • The World Premiere of Klippies by Jessica Sian (Southwark Playhouse) “a runaway smash. If this is not proof as to why we need to continue funding new talent, I don’t know what is.” A Younger Theatre
  • Skin a Cat by Isley Lynn (opening the new Bunker Theatre, London Bridge and then touring UK venues including The Lowry, Manchester, Theatr Clwyd and the Stephen Joseph, Scarborough.) “Beyond its silly and plentiful humour is a genuinely moving and effortlessly charming production” ★★★★  TimeOut  “a witty, tender play” ★★★★ Financial Times
  • And adapted and developed Anthony Horowitz’s The Devil and His Boy with Theatr Clwyd. 

Listen to Zoë on the Pint Sized podcast to hear more about producing and her passion for diversity. 

a photograph of Nick Cutts with a guitar

Nick Cutts

Board Member (Chair)

Nick Cutts is a musician based in Derbyshire, UK playing bassoon, guitar and piano. Nick began his musical career as an Orchestra Manager, working as ‘Fixer’, Librarian, Concert and Stage Manager. He left the orchestral life in 2000 to establish OPUS Music CIC (OPUS), a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to providing music-making opportunities for people of all ages across the midlands region. OPUS has a strong history of supporting music-making with children and young people, its ‘OPUS Ensemble’ programme working in partnership with many schools to develop group music-making approaches. OPUS is renowned for the high quality of its early years music-making and music in health projects.
Nick is proud to have been a member of the Adverse Camber board for several years!

a photograph of Pam Butler

Pam Butler

Board Member

I worked in publishing and magazine journalism before moving to Derbyshire and working in local government publications and PR. In my spare time I became involved in a range of community projects and my career gradually moved more towards working in community settings. I worked in Arts Development until I retired. I love writing and storytelling in all its forms: theatre, novels, poetry, good journalism.

photograph of Hannah McDowall with face paint

Hannah McDowall

Board Member

Hannah McDowall started her career as a researcher of social innovation projects, and this system-level thinking is a skill Hannah brings to the Adverse Camber board.
In 2011 she went on her first storytelling training course and from there has built expertise as a performer, facilitator and trainer. Myth and story is one of the ways we can usher in the new, imagining beyond what we can see right now and most of Hannah’s work is as an applied practitioner supporting social innovators and civil society organisations. She supports others to craft real life stories to better understand and share the lives they are living, and through using traditional and real life story in social innovation projects to expand the imaginative capacity of leaders and community members seeking to vision better futures.
In 2020 Hannah published her book Performance Storytelling: How to Build Your Career and Grow the Artform which describes the market place for performance storytelling in England and supports storytellers and promoters to make good choices to grow their work.
a photograph of Carol Taylor

Carol Taylor

Board Member

I retired a few years ago from a job as deputy director of the National Institute for Adult Education, and since then have taken on several volunteering roles, the most time consuming of which is to chair the Wirksworth Arts Festival!

My interest is, I suppose, community activism and community engagement, enabling people to have some control over their lives and what happens in their communities. My skills are in leadership and management, especially in the charitable sector. I love novels, and drama, because I love stories (I very often have to read novels twice because the first time I’m so interested in the story, then I go back and read it again for all the rest of it!). Storytelling takes you to other worlds, worlds where you can get lost, where you can experience fear, love, loss, exhilaration and so much more.

Helen Palmer

Helen Palmer

Strategic Marketing Associate

Helen Palmer’s background was originally in theatre marketing and PR. Helen became a consultant in 1999, before creating Palmer Squared in 2005 with her twin brother Andrew. Helen has a track record of being part of the founding management teams for major new projects, developing the strategic marketing functions and leading the delivery of the marketing and audience development plans, including the British Ceramics Biennal, Manchester International Festival, Asia Triennial Manchester, Cultureshock and The Lowry. Helen previously led Marketing Manchester’s Marketing Coordination Unit as the Director of Strategic Marketing, and is one of the Directors of Creative Tourist providing strategic advice and tactical support for cultural tourism initiatives.

Andrew Palmer

Andrew Palmer

Strategic Marketing Associate

Andrew Palmer has worked with the culture, heritage and tourism sectors for 15 years before establishing Palmer Squared in 2005 with his sister Helen. Prior to consultancy, Andrew led the marketing and research teams at the National Museums Liverpool during its £35m redevelopment programme. He also developed and delivered the launch marketing strategy for the National Museum of Photography, Film & Television (now National Media Museum) resulting in over one million visits to the museum in its first year re-opened. He has mentored marketing and audience development staff at numerous museums and galleries, and currently Visits Unlimited, a social enterprise dedicated to accessible tourism, especially for families.