IWCEP - Cultural Education Partnership Ident - Teal, Pink and Fern
Fulfilling the creative potential of young people on the Isle of Wight

Peter Higgin – Artistic Director (Theatre)

Employer: Self Employed / Open University
Primary School: Arreton and Newchurch Primaries
Secondary School: Sandown High
Where do you live and work now? Ventnor IOW and London

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Was there an experience you had at school that made you want to go into the area of work you are in now?

All my experiences of school productions and drama classes from Middle school onwards.

What are the main roles and responsibilities of your job?

Joint CEO. Exec oversight of the company, artistic vision and creative output. Managing teams and creating ideas and setting the vision and creative direction.

Could you briefly share a bit about your career journey? (What did you study? How did you end up where you are today?)

I studied drama at Exeter University. This led me to meet a long time collaborator and co-founder of Punchdrunk. I graduated in 2000. Alongside interests in immersive arts I pursued applied drama and work in education. Whilst setting up Punchdrunk I worked as a drama practitioner and returned to the Island to train as a teacher. I returned to London and worked on pivotal Punchdrunk projects, Faust and Masque of the red death. In 2008 I formed Punchdrunk Enrichment applying immersive practice in school, community and educational settings. Since 2016 I have led the charity. In 2021 we became an independent charity from Punchdrunk. During my career I have created work in schools, museums, theater and a care home. The practice has toured globally. Since 2013 I split my time between London and the island.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

Being creative, making worlds, bringing joy.

What is the hardest thing about your job?

Operating in a climate of austerity and an underfunded, under resourced and undervalued sector.

What skills or attributes do you believe have been crucial to your success in your career?

Hard work, self belief, imagination and collaboration.

If you could give advice to someone aspiring to have a job like you, what would it be?

Believe in yourself and make yourself indispensable.

What do you think was a benefit about growing up on the Isle of Wight?

An outdoor life, sheltered care free and playful.

What was the most difficult thing about growing up on the Isle of Wight?

Isolation, lack of opportunity, culture and aspirational role models.

What do you want to do next?

Keep being creative and creatively inspired.

How can we connect with the work you do?

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