Executive dream maker Matt plots AREA 51's course through the outer reaches of the entertainment universe.
Whether designing and directing our shows, many of which have headlined major festivals, or manning the company's culture bunker, AREA 51's art architect has his fingers on the pulse. With a background in photography, journalism, cartooning and caricature creations, Matt was always destined for a career in arts and entertainment.
He oozes an almost incessant stream of brainstorming concepts and it's this flowing river of his imagination that helps sculpt the company's distinctive vibe.
Partner in crime, Rich set up AREA 51 with Matt back just before the Millennium in 1999 and never looked back.
Using his excellent expert knowledge of processes and skills in 3D design and sculpture, Rich has developed a unique and incredibly capable design workshop facility at the AREA 51 HQ in deepest northern Warwickshire and it forms the beating heart of our operation to this day.
With his direction AREA 51's decor and prop design abilities are now recognised as being amongst the very best in the UK.
Pippin combines two vital roles as AREA 51's Artist Liaison Officer in charge of allocations and being Chief Fire Officer in our 'fire brigade'.
Always busy on the phone finding faces for places, she is also an amazing performer in a wide range of roles.
Pippin's main office duties are securing the right performer for the plethora of jobs that flow through our headquarters and her exhaustive network of contacts ensure the customer is kept satisfied.
As head of our fire team, she co-ordinates almost all of AREA 51's fire shows. Her skills list including stilts, fire work, modelling, walkabout and character roles plus a little dance.
Bringer of order to the accounts department, Rick has properly honed his skills keeping a major London council in the black - he's now turned his attention to AREA 51, and it's thanks to him that we all get paid (and you lot pay up!).
Pulled from the wreckage of his ditched flying saucer, it turns out our Alien friend was editor of the local rag back on his homeworld! Now confined to the newsdesk at our top-secret base in Hurley, Warwickshire, UK, CV9 2HT, we've put him in charge of updating this very website - and in return we keep him well supplied with the Jack Daniels he requires for survival, in accordance with inter-galactic journalistic law.
Sit and Amit
Introducing Sit and Amit. Our dynamic duo are primed and ready for action. Fantastic problem solvers, with an unerring ability to sniff out and hunt down that final missing piece of the jigsaw. An Incredibly hands on approach means you're most likely to find them on-site or up a ladder with their precious tools - with these incredibly experienced guys as part of the team you're in safe hands!
With a lifelong ambition of taking over the legacy of Mr. Benn, Joe has entertained the country as an actor, performer and singer on television and at venues ranging from the Birmingham Hippodrome and Gloucester’s majestic cathedral to multistorey car parks!
When not being creative for his own amusement or entertaining crowds, he can be found on the end of a phone as Area 51’s Sales Manager, creating concepts for your entertainment needs and even catching up on the latest PS4 games and movies!
The Workshop Crew
Aiden 'Nero' Vauls
Meet our Workshop Manager Aiden Vauls, the man who makes sure everything gets done right and on time with as little fuss as possible!
In charge of a brigade of workshop technicians that can rise to more than 20 at times, he has responsibility for production, logistics, deliveries and ensuring the right specialists are assigned to each job.
Aiden joined the AREA 51 family as a performer, but after being recruited to help out in the busy workshop he found his true vocation and had no hesitation swapping the stage for a permanent role there. With his guidance AREA 51 never misses a deadline - however tight!
Gabby's outstanding organisational skills shine through in her role as managing the vast expanses of the cosmic Area 51 costume department.
Attention to detail, creating order from beautiful chaos and being an all-round go-getter helps make Gabby the perfect person to successfully tackle one of the company's busiest departments...with aplomb!
This hard-working Lincoln lovely is also one of our more in-demand performers and has been Pip's long-standing performance partner. When all is said and done, Gabby is an important cog in the magnificent machinery here in the Midlands land of make believe...
Heading up our own top secret Special Operations Executive is electronics expert Spyke Toombs. Our Head of Special Projects, Spyke has his own sealed vault inside AREA 51 headquarters (Spyke's Tomb) where he cooks up all manners of gadgetry.
He is the company's longest-serving crew member, having been with us for 11 years and he oversees the design and production of all costumes and gadgetry in our workshop. Spyke is very hands-on and carries out all our electronics work as well as being our resident pyrotechnician and master of SFX.
Whether behind the controls of a giant robot, rebuilding classic motorcycles, or wiring up a bewildering selection of techno toys, Spyke is indispensable.
Lord Jeffrey of Tansey
Industrious Jeff is a vital cog in the well-oiled AREA 51 machine and despite his youth, is already a veteran of nine years with us and can be found at the epicentre of most things.
A workshop stalwart and leading performance artist in his own right, Jeff is currently Head of Costume and it's his job to ensure the AREA 51 wardrobe is maintained in prime condition.
Having turned his hand to almost all workshop duties and being our welder-in-chief, a talented photographer and so much more, hard-working Jeff is a veteran of many 24hr shifts. He is also AREA 51's in-house aerial expert.
One of AREA 51's mainstays, Wil has been involved with the company even before it actually existed when she created costumes for Kiss My Axe, 51's ancestral troupe of entertainers. And she continues to play a crucial role in the company's much lauded costumes right from their inception as a design consultant and through to making and fitting them. With an impressive background of dressmaking that has taken her over the world to make high class garments out in the Caribbean on Antigua and also costumes for the Haymarket Theatre and to Spain, Wil is an expert when it comes to all aspects of costume design and making.
Seamlessly making sure our costumes aren't so-so, Jenny Cooper boldly sews where no man has gone before with a passion for innovative tailoring. AREA 51’s queen of the sewing machine, Jenny deals with designing, creating and maintaining our costumes but also turns her hand to other work in our workshop. Creating patterns to either personal measurements or standard sizes, Jenny sources suitable fabrics and then makes the costumes before personal fitting sessions. Having gained a degree in costumes and textiles at Huddersfield University and with a background in circus and costume making for contemporary dance and aerial hoop artists, Jenny is on call with her trusty sewing machine ready to hop on a ‘plane at a moment’s notice to help keep the Area 51 crew well turned out.
Newcomer, Captain Klas brings with him German efficiency and organisation to the AREA 51 workshop. Klas is an expert with event set-up, but although new to this he is no rookie - this popular giant (he is 6ft 6in tall!) is also a superlative performer in his own right. Originally from Köln in the Rhineland, Klas is a street performer of high repute and has worked all over the world. He is also captain of HMS Bestival!
Whenever we need something to look stunning the first person we call on is Helen Gallop, our savvy workshop miracle worker!
Helen is a highly valued technician at AREA 51 with a unique skills set and she turns her hand to a mind boggling array of tasks with precision and verve including sculpting, mask making, mould making, scenic painting and generally making our scenery and props look like the bee's knees!
After studying theatre design at university in Birmingham Helen developed some of her extensive talents working as an architectural model maker and then as a scenery painter at Coventry's Belgrade Theatre before linking up with the AREA 51 workshop team of specialists six years ago.
Manger of our Digilegs operation, rockin’ Richard Perkins is the man responsible for overseeing day-to-day matters concerning the revolutionary product from Area 51 which successfully enables the wearer to transform his or her legs into the hind quarters of a digitigrade animal.
From product development to assembly and dispatch, everything Digilegs is everything Perkins!
And he isn’t afraid of jumping in and getting his hands dirty with other areas of the Area 51 workshop when work volumes are at peak levels and we need all extra expert hands on deck.
An integral member of the workshop crew, Jody’s remit involves helping build and install items for events and productions.
But alongside this he is also a highly respected and creative photographer and video cameraman, often attending events to bag still and moving images of both the performers and décor that Area 51 is so well known for.
This undisputed creative talent is bolstered by a practical side to his personality and both combine brilliantly to bring out the best in this motivated and hard-working member of the 51 crew.
Area 51’s expert in heavy (and light) metal, Dan Johnson is the company’s Mr. Fix It.
He’s the go-to man in our workshop with regards to all matters metal. Welding science and art together with high production values, Dan is the specialist when it comes to forming, cutting and joining processes.
Emma Fay is AREA 51’s human art designer who’s taken body art, hair and beauty to a whole new level of achievement. A true artisan, she is one of the world’s leading concept body artists and together with her team of assistants, is responsible for the striking make up seen on board the majority of AREA 51’s entertainers. Emma combines her artistic, theatrical and business backgrounds with vast professional experience and knowledge within the hair and beauty industry to liaise closely with the imaginative minds at AREA 51 to realise the company’s grand designs. She has been at the epicentre of several big Area 51 productions and accompanied artists on trips all over the globe to provide meticulous on the spot services while also being an arts awards advisor and creative director with Enter Edem who combine interactive art, entertainment and education. In short she is amazing!
After answering an advert for swordfighters in The Stage back in 1996, Luke has become an integral part of AREA 51. This man should be topping the bill in Hollywood by now! - Only we need him too much to let that happen. Brilliant, brilliant actor, host with the most - and now legendary circus ringmaster. Put simply, AREA 51’s first choice of leading man.
Pictures alone cannot describe the Legend that is Big Grey. He really only comes together in 3 dimensions. Mad Professor to Take That, agent provocateur in our very own circus, Somnambu - and now ringmaster for Circus Extreme. Probably the most recognizable face in UK juggling circles today... now that's a frightening thought!
Special mention to the number one purveyor of "Five-One Love!" Keith's unmatched enthusiasm and joy for the job has seen him move into pole position of our interactive crew. Not too shabby with the 'ol video cam either!!
This man’s skills are matched only by his height. Towering above us in both stature and raw talent, there is nothing Mr Lemon cannot do. So sickeningly good at stuff that you’ll want throw your juggling clubs out of the window in disgust. And just in case we need putting in our place further, he owns the driest wit since Monty Python.
Gorgeous Kayla Cadorna is one of AREA 51’s most in-demand all-round performers, an entertainment tour de force. She has a wide range of skills that have enabled her to reach the pinnacle of the industry and attract any army of devoted followers. One of our busiest and most popular girls, Kayla appears all over the world as a model, dancer, stilt walker, angle grinder and fire performer.
Without this clever guy, we'd be a bit knackered. He keeps our website running smoothly, and is always around the office maintaining and fixing our overloaded network. Let's hear it for Adam - chief of The Tech Factory - who seems to spend more time in our office than his own (could it be the girls?!), doesn't mind being disturbed on a Sunday - and even took us to Alton Towers!!