Company Biogs


Conceived and directed by Esther McAuley


Esther trained at Mountview where she was awarded the John Geilgud Bursary. She has studied British Sign Language to NVQ Level 6 and is currently in training to become  qualified BSL/English Interpreter. She was a China Plate Optimist in 2016 and works regularly as an actor and theatre-maker.

In 2016 she founded Mac’s Arcadian (name proudly inherited from a traveling theatre company set up by her grandparents in the 1940's) to make Great Odds, her first full scale production. 


Writing/ directing credits include; Finder (director & performer) Mac's Arcadian & The Barbican; The Girl Who Followed Her Dream (writer/director) supported by The Unicorn & Improbable; Jack & Jewel (writer/director) Mousetrap Theatre Projects at Soho Theatre; The Cleaner - Short Film (writer/performer). 

Written and performed (vocals) by Reuben Johnson

Reuben is an actor, writer and spoken word artist from Manchester. Reuben’s first play ‘Territory’ won the NSDF Best Emerging Artist Award in 2009. His plays have subsequently been performed at venues such as The Lowry, Pleasance Islington, Pleasance Edinburgh and Theatre 503. Reuben also wrote the site-specific play ‘Deep Water’ for the Royal Exchange in 2015. Reuben’s work as a writer of spoken word/rap includes ‘The Manchester Project’ and ‘The Manchester Project at Christmas,’ at HOME Manchester, where Reuben also performed his pieces. In Paperfinch’s 2019 play for children ‘Beam Me Upperthorpe,’ Reuben wrote and performed various raps and songs. His rap ‘Heisenberging it’ was chosen by BBC Upload this year and played on BBC Radio Manchester.

As an actor Reuben has performed at venues such as; Royal Exchange, York Theatre Royal, Royal Lyceum Edinburgh, Orange Tree Theatre and he has toured with the National Theatre and Graeae. Reuben’s TV and film credits include; Prisoners Wives, Doctor Who, Casualty, Doctors (BBC) Loaded, The Aliens (Channel 4) and Weekender (Momentum Pictures).

Visual Vernacular created and performed by Zoë McWhinney

Zoë McWhinney is Visual Vernacular performer and a BSL poet, working as an theatre maker and workshop facilitator for BSL storytelling and poetry. She competed in several national and international VV championships (Deaffest 2014, BDAY 2016, Pedius 2017 and EDYC 2018) and toured with her BSL-origin poetry (What Words Are Ours 2018-2019.) She is currently approaching the end of her formal training at the pioneering Ecole de Théâtre Universelle in Toulouse, for a range of visual and/ or Deaf-centric theatrical disciplines, including sign language performance arts. 



Design and illustration by Amelia Bird


Amelia Bird is a Designer, Director and all-round theatremaker. Design credits include Stella (Filskit Theatre, The Arc Stockton/Barnsley Civic), The Great Odds (Macs Arcadian, the Lighthouse Poole), The Boy Who Never Grew Up (national tour), The Many Doors of Frank Feelbad (Bootworks, national tour), The Lost Things (Tortoise in a Nutshell, international tour), Feral (Tortoise in a Nutshell, international tour), The Magic Theatre (Bogglesox TV). Amelia works with London Bubble Theatre and prior to that was the Artistic Director of Gomito Productions.


Animation and graphics by Andrew Revell

Andrew John Revell was born in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire and in 2000, he graduated from Wolverhampton University with a degree in Computer Aided Product Design BSc (Hons). Currently, Andrew lives in London with his partner Leah with their two year old daughter Athena. Andrew is a freelance artist with experience and management skills and works for various clients. To date, he has edited over 200 programs including The Hub, Wicked and Visual effects for Secret Lab (BSL Zone), and BBC-Magic Hands series 1 and 3.

Andrew has developed a passion for Computer-Generated Imagery (GCI) and Visual effects (VFX) and at the moment, is studying Autodesk Maya, Pixologic Zbrush and Foundry Nuke in his spare time.

Andrew is currently works for D-Live! and is responsible for the visual effects in their digital theatre programme. He created a CGI for the Frozen Snow Queen video plus a brief VFX and edited the ‘Scrooge’ in 2018. 'Scrooge' was his first digital theatre show.


Audio description consultant; Amelia Cavallo

Amelia Cavallo is a blind, USA born theatre practitioner, academic and workshop facilitator. They work as a multi-disciplinary performer, musical director, lecturer and consultant on access and audio description. Currently, they are a Phd candidate at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama studying intersections of gender, disability and sexuality. They have also performed with disability led theatre companies such as Extant, Graeae and Birds of Paradise as well as with regional theatres such as The New Wolsey, Theatre Royal Stratford East and The Royal Exchange Manchester. When working independently, they often perform as a drag king who goes by the name of Tito Bone. Amelia is a co-founder of Quiplash, a theatre company making space for disabled people across the LGBTQIA+ spectrum. Recent publications include a co-written chapter with Maria Oshodi in Theatre in the Dark: Shadow, Gloom and Blackout in Contemporary Theatre, and Seeing the Word, Hearing the Image: The Artistic Possibilities of Audio Description in Theatrical Performance in RIDE: The Journal of Applied Theatre.

Workshop soundtrack:

© 2016 Esther McAuley. Proudly created with

Mac's Arcadian Ltd. 10651867

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