Jen, originally from Lancashire but now based in Waterloo, Liverpool is an award winning director who has worked regionally, nationally and internationally including Oporto, Lisbon, Luxembourg, Hong Kong, Serbia, Berlin and New York.
Jen is founder and artistic director of the production company Cut to the Chase: a collective of exceptional writers, composers, musicians, performers, choreographers, designers, dancers, aerialists and digital artists, although the line up changes frequently the work is always directed by Jen.
As a director who works across subsidized, commercial and community sectors, she has been described as an artistic visionary thinker of the highest order.
Working in collaboration with composer and theatre maker John Browne (The Suppliant Women & The Events) she recently co created a new choral dance theatre work entitled Through the Wilderness that had its first outing at Liverpool Cathedral supported by ACE.
She is currently the Associate Director of London Artists Projects and is delighted to currently be developing their Spider Love, The Truth to Power Café and a number of other hugely exciting projects with the company. In 2016 Jen had the idea to create a new version of Brecht’s Mother Courage and Her Children with Penny Arcade and a collective of other exceptional artists; throughout the summer of 2017 they have carried out R&D of the new work in London, Liverpool and New York supported by ACE.
Her other directing work includes the critically acclaimed Epstein The Man Who Made The Beatles (co produced with Bill Elms) in London's West End (‘a thoroughly satisfying theatrical experience’ 5 stars – What’s On Stage) www.epsteintheplay.com. Her hugely ambitious TREASURED, written and composed by multi award winning composer and writer Ailis Ni Riain, was staged in the magnificent setting of Liverpool Cathedral ("a clever, eerie and disturbing piece. It should be seen” 4 stars - The Arts Desk.) Her production of Tony Teardrop by Esther Wilson, design Myriddin Drualas Pharo photography Lee Jeffries was hailed as a triumphant production by critics, audiences and peers (" . . .an experience I will never forget" - Jimmy McGovern.
Jen’s 2008 production of Blood Wedding adapted by Ted Hughes and composed by Juan Martin was a sell out at Liverpool Playhouse (4 stars, The Guardian).
In 2007 Jen was commissioned to create WALL TALKS, a large scale immersive, promenade production staged in the Tobacco Warehouses on Stanley Dock commissioned for the 800th Birthday Celebrations of the City of Liverpool (‘breathtakingly beautiful’ 5 stars - METRO).
As a freelance director Jen has directed work for Opera North, Young Tate with Punchdrunk Enrichment, London Artists Projects, Culture Liverpool, Liverpool Everyman, Unity Theatre, HUB, LLT, Peta Lily, B7 Media, North West Playwrights, MDI and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
Jen is acting Chair of Fittings Multimedia Arts which is a disability led theatre company with offices in Liverpool and Edinburgh.
She is a thoughtful and sensitive director and someone who is committed to reflecting society and challenging the way it works. Jen has a clear sense of what she wants to achieve, yet remains open minded to new ideas and challenges
I’ve been aware of the excellent work of Jen Heyes since 2007, her site specific piece Wall Talks was one of my cultural highlights of the year
I’ve found Jen to be an artistic visionary and an open and generous collaborator of the highest order
Jen is an extraordinary director and has produced some wonderful work for MDI
Directed with subtlety and feeling by Jen Heyes, this is a beautifully crafted play
The heavily symbolic final act is where most productions of Blood Wedding degenerate into absurdity, yet it is here where Heyes' staging comes into it’s own
Treasured is a clever, disturbing piece of work. It should be seen
Jen Heyes has brought about a show that is rich, thought provoking and deeply enriching
Even more inventive than watching Ken Campbell’s sci-fi road shows in pubs during the early 80’s