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Ruby Pugh

Designer and Activist

Country: UK
Cohort: CCL UK 2023


"Creative thinking is essential for progression, particularly in times of crisis. It allows you to imagine possibilities that aren’t currently available. To me, not being afraid to ask questions is crucial to good leadership. Challenging the systems that brought us here, in order to find our way out, while uplifting & empowering the people who are not benefitting from the current system. "

Ruby Pugh


Ruby Pugh is a Designer, Maker & Activist working across theatre, film, festivals, events, street art & protests. She lives in a traveller community based in the South West.

Ruby believes in using the power of storytelling to breed empathy and amplify systematically excluded voices. Ruby is passionate about using the arts for community engagement. As Artistic Director of Twisted Theatre, a diverse collective of artists, she creates political work for unsuspecting audiences at some of the UK’s biggest festivals. Her Design credits include; Designer on ‘The Beekeeper of Aleppo’ UK Theatre Tour & Head of Design for Coventry City of Culture Opening Ceremony. As an activist she designed the pink boat action for Extinction Rebellion, and co-founded an anti-racist street art collective. She has volunteered across Europe in Refugee Camps specifically working with women and children using art to help process trauma.

Project Highlights

The Beekeeper of Aleppo cast perform at Nottingham Playhouse. Photographs: Manuel Harlan. Design: Ruby Pugh

The Beekeeper of Aleppo, Designed by Ruby Pugh

Based on a collection of real stories from the Syrian refugee crisis, this play deals with the realities of fleeing war and questions how we in the UK treat refugees.

The design was a surreal look at how to convey the shifting narrative and the heartache of leaving the place you call home, in search of safety.

Winner of the Aspen Words Award, Runner up for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, and one of The Times top three bestselling books of 2020, Christy Lefteri’s best-selling novel had its world premiere in a brand-new adaptation by Nesrin Alrefaai and Matthew Spangler. The production was directed by Olivier Award winning Miranda Cromwell (Death of a Salesman – Young Vic, Piccadilly Theatre and Broadway).”

Coventry City of Culture Opening Ceremony 2021

Coventry Moves - City of Culture Opening Ceremony 2021

Coventry’s tenure as the UK’s City of Culture officially opened with a day-long opening ceremony in the city’s streets. Innovation, People Power, Sustainability, Resilience, Social Justice, and Youthfulness were the six personified energies of the event. All themes that have a new relevance as the city emerged from the pandemic.

Coventry is a city of invention, regeneration and an international city of peace and reconciliation. Coventry’s vision as the City of Culture 2021 was to focus on inclusion and diversity through programmes and events that encourage activism, civic participation and digital innovation.

The Four Winds National Theatre Public Acts

Public Acts builds sustained partnerships with theatres and community organisations across the UK who share our vision of theatre as a force for change.

To mark the fifth anniversary of Public Acts in 2023, a new journeying production of The Odyssey was told in five episodes by community companies across the country: at Restoke in Stoke-on-Trent, Cast in Doncaster, Trowbridge Town Hall, Sunderland Culture and at the National Theatre in London. Directed by award winning Director Jesse Jones.”

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