Kathy Bourne elected as President of UK Theatre 

Kathy Bourne, Executive Director of Chichester Festival Theatre, has been elected as the new President of UK Theatre (2025-28).  

Kathy’s three-year term as President will begin in July 2025. Stephanie Sirr MBE, Chief Executive of Nottingham Playhouse, and Jon Gilchrist, Artistic Director and CEO of Birmingham Hippodrome, will continue as Joint Presidents until the 2025 UK Theatre AGM.  

Kathy Bourne has over 30 years’ experience working in theatre. She became Executive Director of Chichester Festival Theatre in 2019 and is joint CEO of the Theatre with the Artistic Director Justin Audibert.  Since joining CFT she has originated over 30 productions and co-productions and West End transfers. She is Chair of the Board of Headlong Theatre and a Trustee of Spymonkey.  

As Associate and Festival Producer at Chichester Festival Theatre between 2006 and 2015, Kathy managed over 75 shows, as well as CFT productions on tour. She also championed CFT’s apprenticeship scheme, offering young people formal training in areas including technical, producing, and education. 

Kathy Bourne said: “I am hugely honoured to have been elected as President of UK Theatre. Having spent my entire career working in theatres and companies large and small across the UK, in both the commercial and subsidised sectors, I know full well our industry’s enormous value and significance for audiences and theatre-makers. We face many challenges but also many opportunities to support and celebrate the extraordinary work achieved across our industry. I am tremendously excited to work with Claire, Hannah and the UK Theatre Board to represent our sector and look forward to advocating for the conditions which will help UK theatre to flourish.” 

SOLT & UK Theatre Co-CEOs Claire Walker and Hannah Essex said, “We are delighted that Kathy has been elected to be President of UK Theatre. Kathy is a leading figure in our sector, with decades of experience in both commercial and not for profit theatre organisations. We are hugely looking forward to working with her to deliver on UK Theatre’s mission to champion theatre and support our members to thrive.” 

Alongside her, Kris Bryce, Executive Director of the Pitlochry Festival Theatre, has been re-elected as Vice President with his second three-year term beginning at the 2025 AGM. He will continue in his role as chair of UK Theatre’s Finance and Strategy Committee.  

Roddy Gauld, Chief Executive of Bolton Octagon; Marianne Locatori, Chief Executive of Newcastle Theatre Royal; and Michael Ockwell, Chief Executive of Mayflower Theatre and Creative Director of MAST, have been elected as new Board Directors. Their three-year terms begin today (10th July 2024).     

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