part of The Part Exchange Co

Welcome to The Engine House.
Powering Ideas.

What Is The Engine House?

The Engine House is Part Exchange Co’s research & development engine that sits at the heart of the company. It powers forward seed ideas and projects for theatre performances and events, creating that crucial space for new ideas to take flight.

Forming bridges between new writing, the multi-disciplinary and the collaborative, our ideas team writers with artists and professionals from across the disciplines and develop engagements with city communities connected to the themes and places in the work.

Our focus is on imaginative and innovative work that places ideas that matter at the heart and pushes the boundaries of why, where, by and for whom theatre and arts events happen.

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Meet the team

David Lane

David Lane

Artistic Associate

Engine House Artistic Associate Writer. David is a playwright, dramaturg and academic who trained at Exeter University, Goldsmiths College and Soho Theatre and Writers’ Centre. He has delivered numerous workshops and writer development programmes for regional venues, is a commissioned playwright specialising in work for young people and is the author of Contemporary British Drama.

David is bringing an overarching ‘writerly’ perspective to all Engine House activities with a strategic eye on the short, mid and long term including impact on practice particularly in the south west region. He will be curating a three-monthly digest that captures and comments on Engine House processes, developing creative tools for collaboration, drawing in content from elsewhere and placing it all within the wider creative landscape.

Rachel Aspinwall

Rachel Aspinwall

Artistic Director

Rachel trained at Ecole Jacques Lecoq in Paris, she worked as a freelance actor, director and workshop leader in the devised and physical theatre worlds before co-founding Menagerie New Writing Theatre in Cambridge. Working with Menagerie as actress, director and core company member she helped bring into being their Hotbed Festival of new writing.

A move to Plymouth saw the founding of Part Exchange Co in 2008 with the launch of the Hidden City Festival bringing together new writing, the multi-disciplinary, site and the city. Now based in Bristol she is leading on overall Engine House artistic vision, managing the project and its activities, steering them towards realisation as fully-fledged Part Exchange Co performance and events.

Julie Guerrin

Julie Guerrin

Admin and finance officer

During her ten years in arts and events management Julie has had various positions within a number of high profile organisations.

Most recently she looked after some of Peter Gabriel’s numerous fans and was in charge of creating a bespoke VIP experience for 1,200 people, split between 18 cities, over a month. Before that, she managed a classical ensemble for Mr Gabriel's tours around Europe, the US, Canada and South America during which she was responsible for the logistical and operational management of the orchestra.

Simultaneously, she worked as freelance Artist Liaison and Event Manager for WOMAD Festivals for the last five years and has been responsible for looking after up to 1,000 artists at events.

Previously, she managed a concerts and tours production company, called Vivement Ce Soir!, in Paris where she was responsible for all the finances and office operations but also coordinated worldwide tours.


Will Raybould

Will Raybould

History, Heritage and Communities Co-ordinator

Will is a researcher and historian specialising in heritage, community engagement and histories of identity and colonialism. He is also a communications specialist and digital content writer for a number of organisations and businesses.

Having taught history for several years at the University of Bristol, where he specialised in the history of empires and colonialism, Will decided that he wanted to engage with wider audiences about heritage, the past and the world around them. Since moving into the arts and heritage sector Will has worked for a UK-wide exhibitions company as well as on a number of projects focussing on local cultural and social histories of Bristol. These have ranged from the SS Great Britain to Alfred the Gorilla, the relationship between Bristol and hot air ballooning, producing a map of the city's historic pubs and Part Exchange Co's Earthed residency in June 2014. Will will be working across the engine house seed ideas to support the community engagement and history and heritage aspects of each project.

Alexis Hobson

Alexis Hobson

Assistant Producer

Alexis is our new Assistant Producer and will be working closely with the team to help develop and move forward the 'Seed' ideas. 

After graduating in Drama and Media, from 'The University of the West of England' in 2007, Alexis spent the next seven years working for 'Pumpkin Interactive', an educational film company; where she helped produce video content in UK and abroad, covering subjects from earthquakes to physical theatre. 

Alexis also works as the Big Screen Producer for 'At-Bristol Science Learning Centre', programming, scheduling and working with community groups to produce new content for the big screen in Millennium Square, Bristol.