Ellie Turner

Producer and Project Director


I make incredible things happen. The spectacles and productions that we create are designed to enthral, amaze and surprise – but the real trick to what we do is to make it look incredibly simple.

To meet or exceed a client’s expectations involves working with them at every stage to ensure we realise their creative ambition. Therefore, much of what I do involves pulling creative teams together to work collaboratively towards a collective goal while keeping a close eye on budgets, key milestones and the final big event.

We’re always striving for new ideas and creative excellence, so my job involves inspiring people along the way and bringing out their very best.

My favourite project to work on was Turku, 2012. It was the biggest event I’d managed and a huge learning curve, not least of all because I was working on delivering a show in -22 degrees. I also love Manchester Day because it engages with so many different community groups and artists in one big collaborative project.

From pyrotechnic volunteer to ship’s cook then producer

It all started back in 2000 when I volunteered that summer through a friend based in Yeovil, South West England. I was then taken on as a pyrotechnician and worked on shows for two years before heading off on my global travels, which involved a stint as a pyro in the land of Oz. Back in the UK I worked as a freelance pyrotechnician, cooked on the Fitzcaraldo (Walk the Plank’s touring ship), then became a full time production manager. I am now a Producer and Project Director.

My specialism

Multi-disciplinary shows that combine many different elements such as fire, fireworks, community participation, performance, sound, light and many more possibilities. It seems I also have a passion for parade for processions which has been nurtured by role as producer for Manchester Day, the Rugby Five Nations World Cup and the New Year’s Eve winter carnival in Newcastle.

What attracted me to Walk the Plank?

I went to art school and always wanted to find some way of working with art and people. I grabbed opportunities where they arose and I bumped into Walk the Plank in the summer after I graduated. The work was fun, exciting and I loved the camaraderie and physical nature of being part of the crew. Once I’d got my foot in the door, lots of different opportunities came my way – crew, pyro, assistant artist on community projects and stage management. I like the fact that projects are created with participation and collaboration at the very core of the whole journey towards completion.

What do I get up to outside work?

Give me a kitchen or an open fire and I’ll be happy. I love being creative in the kitchen and I love being outdoors – walking, being close to nature. Probably explains why I love working for Walk the Plank – it taps into what I like doing anyway.

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