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About Us

Out of the Archive 

Out Of The Archive is a community-interest company founded in 2019 by Nicky Hallett and Val Regan.

It is a collaboration between writers, musicians, performers and academics and its aim is to animate archival material about LGBT+ lives, bringing hidden histories into contemporary focus.

Our performances bring forgotten lives out into public spaces, to get words and voices heard in new, perhaps unexpected ways. We unlock the past in order to explore the present, to create bridges within and across communities. They give roots to an emerging (long-lived) culture, and at the same time unsettle the established space so that is no longer exclusively one thing. It is figuratively and literally ‘queered’.

We work in partnerships with community groups, heritage organisations and universities. Previous partners have included: Museums Sheffield, The University of Sheffield, Out Aloud Community Choir, Jersey Heritage Archive.


The Team

Nicky Hallett

Nicky is a writer of fiction, non-fiction, poetry and plays, inspired by lost voices and lives that may be overlooked or go unheard. In her previous academic incarnation, she published five books – about lesbian auto/biography, nuns in enclosed convents, sensory history, disability, and women’s life-writing. These days she writes creatively to reimagine lost experience, often drawing on archive material and ephemera to explore and sometimes fictionalise unspoken histories of community and silence.

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Val Regan
Musical Director

Val Regan is a composer, multi-instrumentalist and arranger. She writes music for choirs and leads singing workshops nationally and internationally plus a host of music-making, theatre and composition projects. She has created music for hospitals, theatres, universities, schools and cathedrals and her MD work includes two award-winning productions for BBC Radio Four.

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Jelena Budimir


Jelena’s a freelance director committed to making innovative, inclusive theatre. Her association with Out of the Archive started in 2020 as dramaturg and director on ReSisters, Façade for the 20th Century. She was dramaturg and director for Gwenda’s Garage at  Sheffield Crucible's Playhouse. She joined Out of the Archive as a company director in 2024. For radio she directed Happy Hour by Liv Fowler, nominated for the Imison Award at the BBC Audio Awards 2024. Her latest for Radio 4 is First Light, a new play by Kit Withington. With producer Sanna-Karina Aab, she’s the founder of All Ignite Theatre. directing White Guy on the Bus by Bruce Graham, Beast on the Moon by Richard Kalinoski, Property, also written by Jelena, and The Duration, by Bruce Graham. Jelena was Associate Director at Chickenshed Theatre. She directed many shows at this leading inclusive company including Benjamin Zephaniah’s Refugee Boy adapted by Lemn Sissay, Sarah Daniels’ Gut Girls, The Comedy of Errors, Dario Fo’s Can't Pay! Won't Pay!, Lysistrata, Our Country's Good by Timberlake Wertenbaker, Yard Gal by Rebecca Prichard and Ariel Dorfmen’s Widows. At Chickenshed, she developed the Studio Theatre, and headed up the company’s emerging writers’ programme Write Here, Write Now.

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Becky Graham

Administrator and Designer

Becky is a costume professional.  She has worked as a costume designer, supervisor, cutter and maker. Her work includes costumes for HBO’s Game of Thrones, Globe Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company, Opera North and Garsington Opera. Becky’s first professional costume job was with Crucible Theatre in Sheffield.  Becky has taught costume construction at University of Huddersfield, as part of the BA Hons Costume with Textiles course. She has an MA by research, focusing on dress history of lesbians in the early twentieth century. Becky recently joined Out Of The Archive as a director.  Previously she worked with the team as costume designer for ReSisters and project and production manager for Gwenda’s Garage.

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