About Imagineer

Imagineer is a live events production company, specialising in theatre and outdoor performance, education programmes, special commissions and touring. At the heart of our work is an exploration of the relationship between creative thinkers and innovators from the arts sector and creative engineers, architects, educationalists, special effects artists and designers.

The Team

Artists Taking the Lead. WEST MIDLANDS: Godiva Awakes, Imagineer Productions. Coventry icon Lady Godiva will be recreated as a gigantic human puppet and lead a cast of thousands in a spectacular processional performance, before making her epic journey to London.

Jane Hytch CEO, Kathi Leahy Associate Creative Director, Claire Maddocks Festival Director, Andrea Simpson, Executive Director.

Jane Hytch

Head of Community Belgrade Theatre, Associate Producer Belgrade Theatre, Director Worcester Arts Workshop, Chair C@T, Director Imagineer Productions, Creative Producer for ‘Something This Way Wicked Comes’, The Mysteries 2000,2003,2006 (Belgrade Theatre), ‘Chasing Fate’ (Birmingham Hippodrome), Godiva Awakes (Imagineer), Worcestershire Woman of the Year.

Claire Maddocks

25 years experience in the arts, Programme Manager BelgradeTheatre, founder of Coventry Arts Alive Festival, Secretary of ISAN, Director and Creative Producer of Imagineer Productions.

Kathi Leahy

Irish Post Award Recipient (1998) Arts Council Fellowship Recipient (2005) Revived Coventry Carnival (now Godiva Carnival) in 2000.Creator/Director numerous theatre & outdoor productions including all the major events/ productions for Imagineer to date.

Andrea Simpson

Chartered Management Accountant (ACMA) who trained and practised in the commercial sector before moving into the public sector, joining Belgrade Theatre as Head of Finance in 2000. Full time Finance Director for Imagineer since 2009.



Bridge is a large scale, ambitious, outdoor arts project celebrating the intersection of art, engineering & social change, creating a new network of outdoor arts partners across the Midlands. Exploring themes of bridge building, ‘fierce kindness’ and human progress, Imagineer will collaborate with exceptional artists and civil engineers Arup, to produce 3 major events in Coventry, Worcester & Grantham over 3 years. An iconic bridge structure will inhabit public spaces for 2 weeks at a time, inspiring and framing spectacular, immersive live performances, creative community responses and interactive lighting / digital animations.

Bridge builds on Imagineer’s ground-breaking collaboration with structural engineers Arup and Coventry Cathedral, evolved through Arup’s work with Coventry schools on the Bridge project for FOI 2016 and 2017 (images below).

Our starting point is a Bridge. In the context of our relationship with Coventry Cathedral and its pioneering work, alongside others in our city, in peace and reconciliation, we want to consider the builders of bridges, the imagination and actions of individuals and groups, on intimate and larger scale, within and across communities, that bridge gaps, heal divisions and bring people together in new ways. We think of the Hebrew word “chesed” which conjures a ‘fierce kindness’.

Through our ongoing collaboration with Arup and the Cathedral, the Bridge structure has evolved into a dynamic spiral form that conjures overlapping waves or circles. The Very Reverend John Witcombe, Dean of Coventry Cathedral, commented “I like the idea of going round and round (an issue, or a relationship, revisiting history, revisiting the story, revisiting a proposal …) but each time moving forward a little…”

We are excited by this development and the potential for a flow of movement and choreography that relates to overlapping waves, cycles of human progress and a journey into the future.




Transformations 5: Venture

Transformations 5: Venture

Are you aged 16yrs – 30yrs?
Not in employment, education or training?  

Interested in design / making / music / sound engineering / live events?

Transformations is a project we run aimed at those who want to develop their confidence and  self worth, meet new people and give themselves a challenge to work as a team to create an authentic arts commission. Transformations 5 will see us creating an extraordinary ride called ‘Venture’. Venture means to go on a daring journey, to take risks, to be pioneering. On this project ‘Venture’ is a merry-go-round, a merry-go-round like no other – it’s daring, fantastical, unique and challenging. It’s for children and adults alike. ‘Venture’ has a story to tell of an extraordinary world and an imaginary people and will take that story to places, spaces and festivals.  It’s a fantastic opportunity to get involved in making something unique with professional artists, designers and sound engineers with a ‘Sent from Coventry’ stamp on it!

This is a ‘hands on’ practical course which will give you the opportunity to develop design skills, making and construction skills in woodwork and also sound engineering. Imagineer Productions have teamed up with Media Mania so that you will have an authentic experience of working in a professional sound recording studio and also a professional arts space. You will work as a team to develop this extraordinary idea into reality. We will then go on to train you to a professional level to crew, steward and stage manage ‘Venture ‘opening possibilities for employment as it gains bookings at events and festivals.

Imagineer Productions has a 10 year history of inclusive engagement work particularly with young people from priority neighbourhoods in the city and the region. We have a great deal of experience of successfully delivering combined arts projects with a parallel programme of personal development and mentoring support. This project is funded by Heart of England Community Fund and we are working in partnership with the very experienced Media Mania to deliver this unique project . At the heart of the project is the participants personal development and we will be supporting their pathways to employment, education or training signposting / offering advice throughout.

The project will be led by Imagineer Productions who create events and outdoor productions in Coventry and the region. Their biggest event to date was Godiva Awakes which involved 2000 people and saw them creating a 6metre Godiva and cycling her to London for the Olympics. With Imagineer they will explore the performing arts / design and event management side of the event.

The course will run on Tuesdays & Thursdays 10am – 2.30pm starting on February 5th 2018
The course will break for Easter on 22nd March 2018.
Enrolment is open now.
All participants must fully enrol before starting the course.

Course will be based at the Daimler Powerhouse Unit 4 Sandy Lane Business Park, Sandy Lane, Radford  – (Imagineer Productions & Media Mania’s base) Coventry. CV1 4DQ

How to apply:
The course is free but places are limited.

Contact :
Beth Allum for further information

Or for further information:
Associate Director Imagineer Productions:
Kathi Leahy

Festival of Imagineers 2017

Festival of Imagineers 2017

At the core of Imagineers work lies the Festival of Imagineers, a week-long festival celebrating innovation, linking art design and engineering and acting as a catalyst for new creative work at the intersection of art and engineering. FOI works with creative thinkers and innovators locally, nationally and internationally to create a unique festival of outdoor/site specific performance and interactive experiences, outdoors, indoors and in unusual spaces.

The festival aims to develop a new relationship with audiences offering people access to hidden spaces, engaging the public as creative collaborators, influencing the development of performances and productions at R&D and concept development stage, making stage and finally as audiences and critics, as projects are realised.

The festival draws on Coventry’s heritage in design and manufacture and focuses on:

  • creating world class outdoor productions through international and national collaborations
  • commissioning local artists to tell the city’s stories and reveal hidden spaces
  • growing and inspiring imagineers of the future
  • connecting young people and communities to their heritage through new technologies
  • creative partnerships with businesses to develop narrative performance and interactive experiences, nurturing unique collaborations with engineers, manufacturers, designers and architects
  • projects to engage and unify isolated and fragmented communities
  • transforming city spaces through site specific performances and installation

Festival of Imagineers 2017

Click here to view the gallery of last years festival.

Click here to meet the Festival of Imagineers team!

Festival of Imagineers – The Future 

Over the next 5 years Imagineer has ambitious plans to build the FOI into a major international festival in 2021 where people will come together to imagine the impossible and wonder at the extraordinary creations at the intersection of engineering and art.


Transformations 3

Transformations 3

We have had a fantastic year working with 15 young people aged 18-25 on a series of outdoor installations and performances performed in and around Coventry on Saturday July 1st. Many of them have found pathways into future training for careers in the creative sector, develop confidence and skill, worked together in production teams and feel a real sense of pride.

Transformations 4 is now underway and is a collaboration with Media Mania, Imagineer and Wild Earth. This project is for young people who are not in employment education or training  aged 18-25 years and we are happy to engage new people to the project as it develops. For further information please contact Bethany Allum –

Imagineer is currently recruiting for Transformations 5 (December 2017 – March 2018) if you are aged 16-30 and are currently unemployed, not in training or education please contact Beth Allum  for further information

Transformations 4 ‘Into the Woods – Imagineer In Partnership with Media Mania and Wild Earth Funded by Talent Match

Transformations focuses on developing the confidence and self worth of young people and building their employability skills and identifying progression routes through giving them authentic arts commissions to deliver.

T4 took place between August and October this year. This project challenged the young people to work as a team to create and  produce a unique event for Halloween taking place outdoors in a woodland setting. As part of the project they learnt bushcraft and basic survival skills with Wild Earth and sound and music production and sound engineering skills with Media Mania and developed the creative vision and their knowledge on event management, and how to produce safe and sustainable events with Imagineer Productions.

Participants created a new night time site- specific event at Rough Close called ‘Into The Woods’. inspired by The Celtic Festival of Samhain (the origins of Halloween)they took the audience on a night time trail of discovery through the woods stopping at seven locations where they encountered strange and mystical characters, listened to binaural soundscapes and watched and took part in the performances. The journey culminated in a final celebration of Samhain around a huge fire pit.

The project  involved constructing installations/props, devising and creating the scenography and  creating binaural soundscapes. The event involved a professional performers working alongside  the Communitas (Imagineers Community Performers including Theatre Students from Coventry University ) Imagineer’s  Monday Night Maker Group also worked on the project designing and making the costumes for a series of characters called The Dark Fairies.

For further information about the developing Transformations creative programme please contact Kathi Leahy Associate Creative Director Imagineer –





The Imagineerium Initiative

The Imagineerium Initiative

Imagineer has worked with 5 Coventry Primary Schools this year: Whitmore Park, St Barts, Corpus Christie, Moathouse, Holy Family, on The Marvellous Mechanical Machines Project funded by The Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Medwell Hyde, The Premier Group and John Haynes and in partnership with Warwick University. This is a Science technology engineering arts and maths (STEAM) project where children and teachers work on an authentic commission with professional engineers and artists.

We are currently recruiting for 5 new primary schools to take part in 2019. Please contact Jane Hytch – or contact us for further information.

Marvellous Mechanical Machines Commission

To imagine and create designs for marvellous moving mechanical machines. These machines will form a Waymarker Arts Trail along a new cycle path to be created as part of a new Charterhouse Heritage Park. The machines will be inspired by and reflect the history and heritage of Stoke and the Charterhouse area of Coventry. There is a wealth of history and heritage to draw on including people, places, events and changing industry running from the 1300’s when the Charterhouse was started, up to the present day.

The machines need to be surprising, unique, fun and engaging – appealing to all ages. Machines will be located in specific places near to the new cycle track. The machines will be powered to ‘come alive’ for a couple of magical minutes.

The inspiring Change Conference 2017 Festival of Imagineers  

The first Inspiring change conference took place at Study Inn Conference Centre in September as part of the festival. The aim was to share projects promoting The STEAM (Science, technology, engineering, art, maths) agenda to artists, educationalists and businesses. Included in the programme were case studies from Highly Sprung Performance Company – One Giant Leap; The Imagineerium Initiative, Marvellous Mechanical Machines; Dominic Wilcox The Little Inventors Project (Sunderland); The Paul Hamlyn Foundation, The National Picture. The conference posed a series of questions around the value of the work and how to move it forward. The delegates were keen for the conference to continue and to expand the knowledge base other national and international work and to influence change in relation to STEM curriculum development. For further details of the conference and to receive conference notes please contact Jane Hytch – 

Impression Technologies are supporting The Imagineerium Initiative.



Projects, commissions and touring

Projects, commissions and touring

Imagineer works with other creative organisations, local authorities, festival and event producers and businesses on new projects which excite us and where we have opportunities to pass on our skills and expertise.

Recent projects include:

  • The MOTHS project (Museums on the High Street) with Worcestershire Museums Service (2014)
  • The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and the RSC – Shakespeare’s birthday celebration the peoples procession (2015)
  • Birmingham Cathedral and Birmingham City Council – War Bride with Birmingham and Frankfurt choir (2015)
  • Armagh, Banbridge, Craigavon Council, Northern Ireland – Feasibility study into the creation of a new giant, the goddess Macha and festival as part of a major tourism initiative (2015/16)
  • REACH commissioned by Coventry City of Culture Trust for The Godiva Festival (2016) created by Kathi Leahy.
  • Daimler The War Years (September 2016) the first site specific performance to take place inside Daimler Powerhouse looking at the role the factory and its workers had during WW1. The project was researched, written and directed by Kathi Leahy in collaboration with Transformations 2 project and performed by a professional and community cast. This project was funded by Talent Match and The Heritage Lottery Fund.
  • Operation Migration. Working in partnership with Students from BOA, Allens Croft Primary School, Nelson Mandela Primary School & Sacred Heart Primary School presents the beautiful and true story of one man’s extraordinary endeavour to teach a gaggle of orphaned geese to fly and to follow his ultra light aircraft on a successful migration. William Lishman, ‘Father Goose’ is an award winning inventor, sculptor, film maker and naturalist recipient of the ‘Us National Wildlife Federation Award’ and ‘Odyssey of the Mind’ Award for Creativity ( former recipients include Walt Disney and Neil Armstrong) and his heart warming story will be brought to life through a visual feast of puppetry, dance, and inventive design.  Created and directed by Kathi Leahy with production designs, costumes and construction by Brenda Buis and John Leahy in collaboration with Monday Night Makers and apprentices at The Premier Group. This project was commissioned by Birmingham Hippodrome as pa of The Summer at Southside Festival (June 2017)

War Bride

A dynamic visual and physical performance to an emotive underscore and voice over.

The War Bride costume is symbolic –  A long train covered in letters, poppies and photos of soldiers. The costume dramatically transforms into a giant poppy during the performance. The War Bride stands silently as a monument to War. Two young ‘pals’answer the call of recruitment and  volunteer together, train together, and journey together to the theatre of War. Out of the silence the sound of a whistle and a day that will change their lives forever.

A story of love, loss, comradeship and ultimately hope.

Costume Designed and Created by Anna Lewis

Created and directed by Kathi Leahy – Imagineer Productions


Currently Touring

  • Godiva
  • Reach
  • Winters tale will be available for touring from summer 2017

Coming soon.

Halloween 2017 (Saturday October  – Imagineer is currently working in partnership with The Coventry Bid to develop a new large scale outdoor event in Broadgate Square following the  success last year where thousands of people watched and took part. To take part please contact Kathi Leahy –  More information about the programme will be announced in early October.

Please contact Imagineer Productions directly for more information here.

The Daimler Powerhouse

The Daimler Powerhouse

Imagineer are currently putting together a funding package to support the refurbishment of our existing production workshop, the Daimler Powerhouse. Our ambition is to transform it into the region’s first dedicated centre of excellence for creating, commissioning, and co-producing new outdoor work and innovative engagement projects.

The Powerhouse will be the hub of  Imagineer’s creative work and will provide an outward looking, flexible production space, a vital resource for local, regional and national street artists, cementing Imagineer’s role as a key strategic player in the development of the outdoor sector and enabling us to attract world class practitioners to the region.

The scheme will provide a greatly improved facility that is fully accessible, sustainable, energy and cost efficient and environmentally friendly. The redeveloped building will incorporate:

  • A large, flexible, open space on the ground floor suitable for making and rehearsing large scale outdoor performances
  • Offices and meeting rooms
  • Facilities for aerial training and rehearsals
  • Rigging points for lighting, projection and sound
  • A second smaller first floor rehearsal/workshop space
  • Smaller making, training and meeting room spaces
  • A digital facility for virtual and experiential learning aimed principally at primary education

The powerhouse will be the hub of Imagineers creative work and will provide an outward looking, flexible production space, a vital resource for regional and national street artists, cementing Imagineer’s role as a key strategic player in the development of the outdoor sector, improving the experience for artists and enabling us to attract world class practitioners to the region.

Funding Partners