The home of multimedia poetics
The home of multimedia poetics

Our team

Isabel White

Founder & Director


Isabel founded Alarms & Excursions in 2009, and has been director of the company ever since, involved with every project of the Collective, which is her real passion. Isabel is a prize winning, published poet, and leads on the artistic agenda of the company, spearheading the majority of projects. Performing across the UK, in Paris and Rotterdam, Isabel has shared the stage with a host of performance poets, actors and musicians, including Patience Agbabi, Jo Bell, Liz Berry, Pete Brown, Dead Rat Orchestra, Bernadine Evaristo, Kate Fox, Rosie Garland, Jonas Golland (the Tigerlilies), Cynthia Hamilton, Matt Harvey, John Hegley, Adam Horowitz, Michael Horowitz, Fran Landesman, Elvis McGonagall, Daljit Nagra, Jacqui Saphra, Jo Shapcott, Dudley Sutton and Benjamin Till… She hosted Wash House Poets in the City of London (2014-2016), and curated the poetry for the hugely successful Up The Line remembrance events between 2009 and 2013. Isabel was a finalist in the 2013 and 2017 BBC Radio 3 Proms competitions, Adlestrop and Guernsey International Competitions, Pendle War Poem competition (3rd place), was twice commended for the Elmbridge Literary Prize, shortlisted for the Bridport Prize (2016) and Vernal Equinox (2018) Competition. She has also perfomed in the Ledbury slam (three times) and won the Rhyme Against the Tide slam in January 2022. Isabel served six years on the Governing Council of the Poetry Society and founded and ran its Chichester Stanza for 3 years. Isabel recently joined the board of Modern Poetry in Translation. Her work is much anthologised and she has three full collections and a pamphlet published to date. Her collaboration with Agnes Meadows resulted in a new pamphlet published June 2022, and her next collection is due late 2024.


“I am constantly amazed at the possibilities that working with such a variety of talent brings to my own practice; new directions in movement, music and written and spoken word broaden my writing ideas beyond measure. I can’t wait for our next project!”

James Hodgson

Provocateur/Performance Artist


James joined Alarms in 2016, where he acted as Provocateur for their production Warp & Weft, which for the first time incorporated an element of dance in the production. He also provided dramatic staging input for the Flotsam project in Margate. James is an experienced Performance Artist and Theatrical Devisor, and a graduate of Rose Bruford College of Speech & Drama. He spearheads We Are A Real Theatre Company and was until recently Managing Director of Sydenham Arts, bringing creativity in abundance to a varied multi-disciplinary programme.


Emma O-Rourke

Visual Artist

Emma graduated from Wimbledon College of Art, University of the Arts London, and holds an MA from the University of Manchester. Her work ranges in medium from drawing to video art, performativity in the everyday and all things tongue-in-cheek. A keen storyteller, she is inherently interested in the relationship between visual artists and performers, alongside archival material, film pop culture, banal moments and bingo.She has exhibited across the UK and was one of the selected artists for the Deptford X Festival 2013. She is one half of Well Made, a curatorial partnership aimed to spark conversations around art and health. Emma continues to practice alongside raising young Ethan, keeping her more than busy!

Irène Wernli,


Irène performs and devises collaborative work within dance, music and theatre. She taught Creative Producing for Live Performance and Theatre at Birkbeck University and was Visiting Lecturer in Dance at Bucks New University. Currently taking time out to welcome a new addition to the family, Irène divides her time between England, Switzerland and places in between as well as co-running the family restaurant.


“Warp & Weft offered a rare performance opportunity to use improvised Tap Dance. It used Tap Dance in an unusual set-up and I formed new relationships with artists from spoken word and music backgrounds”.


Robin Pilcher



After a career teaching in further education, Robin took up poetry writing as a retirement hobby, and has now been scribbling for some eight years, during which time he has performed at a number of festivals, various London poetry café venues and on Croydon internet radio. He specialises in new takes on Medieval English (who wouldn't).


Cassandra Mathews

Musician (Guitar, Flute, Lute), Composer, Arranger


Royal College of Music graduate Cassandra has worked with John Williams, Bernard Haitinck, Craig Ogden on guitar and Jakob Lindberg on the lute. She won the Lennox Berkeley Guitar Prize 2012. A highly accomplished chamber musician, she has played at Wigmore Hall, V&A Museum and Kings Place, recently collaborating with Carlos Bonell and Julian Byzantine. Cassandra's current chamber partners include flautist Lindsay Bryden and violinist Sabina Virtosu. In March 2014 she unveiled DESVALIDAS alongside poet Isabel White and visual artist Dylan J Fox (creator of The Hive).  She also worked with Dylan on Silent Cacophony, curated by Platform-7 for Remembrance Day 2012. Cassie is often to be found working the cruise ships, giving both performances and workshops. You can find out more about Cassie on her website.


"Warp and Weft gave me a great opportunity to explore many different aspects of my creative practice.  As a classical guitarist, most of my performances are sedentary, so moving around whilst playing was an entirely new experience for me.  I also enjoyed researching the music for the performance and arranging the Thomas Tallis for violin and guitar.  This has encouraged me to make more arrangements since the project.  I have also never sung in a foreign language before, so this was a great chance for me to push myself into more unfamiliar territories when performing".


Sabina Virtosu

Musician (Violin, Piano)


Sabina studied violin at Brasov Music College, Romania, where she was awarded the “Constantin Silvestri” Scholarship to study in the UK, winning 2nd prize at the Hickies Competition and the opportunity to play with the Reading Symphony Orchestra. She has given recitals and concerts at the Royal Festival Hall, St-Martin-in-the-Fields, Wigmore, Cadogan and Royal Albert Halls (with the English Chamber Orchestra). In 2013 she graduated with Honours from the Royal College of Music, where she studied with Yossi Zivoni, former leader of the Gabrieli String Quartet. In February 2015 she was commissioned by HBO to play for their 4th season DVD release. Sabina has been involved in a number of Alarms projects. She is a qualified pilot and can also be found accompanying the players at the World Snooker Championships!

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Alarms and Excursions is based in the United Kingdom. All rights reserved.