Chris Yarnell is a working-class director, movement director, magician and interdisciplinary theatre maker of West Indian and British heritage. He specialises in visually/physically driven work and new writing. 

His work often incorporates elements of Total Theatre, Ensemble, Performance Art, LeCoq pedagogy and Magie Nouvelle, often through collaborative processes. He is excited by making work which explores the ineffable elements of the human condition through visually and physically driven metaphor. 

His work with new writing has included writing and adapting several plays in addition to working with writers as a director, dramateurg and workshopping drafts of new texts. 

Chris trained with the acclaimed New Wolsey Young Company, The Magic Circle Youth and Suffolk Youth Dance Company. In 2014, he graduated East 15 Acting School with a 1st class honours degree in physical theatre. In 2021, he received a Develop Your Creative Practice grant from Arts Council England to begin exploring transferring his practice onto film and expanding his understanding of International contemporary theatre-making 

His work has been performed at venues including Jacksons Lane, SOHO Theatre, Greenwich Theatre, Simply Theatre (Switzerland), Lyric Hammersmith, New Diorama and at Pleasance, Underbelly, Bedlam and Assembly as part of Ed Fringe 

In 2015, Chris co-founded multi-award winning visual/physical theatre company The Outbound Project. This company became graduate emerging artists with New Diorama, associate artists with The Point, Eastleigh, and were also accepted onto the Third Angel mentorship scheme. Chris directed all work for the company from 2016 including writing and co-writing several shows and establishing the companies outreach scheme. 

His previous work has won the UNTAPPED award and the Les Enfants Terribles Partnership award in addition to receiving nominations for The Stage award, Adelaide Fringe Award, Vault 5 and a Total Theatre award.


Chris is a bold, innovative and committed theatre maker with a broad range of skills which inform and enhance his artistic practice.

His experience as a versatile and skilled devising physical performer gives him tools, as a maker, to really understand, support, and amplify the individual qualities of his performers and collaborators. He is a very skilled facilitator-building rapport quickly to create a safe, positive creative working environment.

In the years I have known Chris, he has always been open and hungry for ideas; his energy and commitment are tireless.

Helen Baggett - Associate Director, Gecko