Our Board Members

Our Board

As the UK’s leading theatre trade association and membership organisation, UK Theatre’s vision is to see a well-connected and well-supported theatre sector, and our Board gives vital support to help us achieve that vision. Board members volunteer their time and expertise to UK Theatre on behalf of the industry to steer and advise on our work.

Current Board Members   

Fiona Allan (Credit: Pamela Raith)

Fiona Allan, President

Fiona was elected as President, in 2016. 

Fiona is Chief Executive of the Birmingham Hippodrome. Prior to this she spent four years at Curve, Leicester and six years at Wales Millennium Centre. During her time there she formed creative partnerships with organisations as diverse as the Mariinsky Theatre (St Petersburg), Cape Town Opera, NoFit State circus, and Galeri in Caernarfon.

Before moving to the UK in July 2004, Fiona had an established career in Australia, where she held roles as Chief Executive of the Sydney Film Festival, Programme Manager at Sydney Opera House, and General Manager of the Australian National Academy of Music, amongst others.

Stephanie Sirr, Chief Executive at Nottingham Playhouse. Creative by Wren

Stephanie Sirr, Vice President

Read Stephanie's 'Meet the Board' blog here.

Stephanie Sirr has been Chief Executive of Nottingham Playhouse since 2001. Before this she ran Blackpool Grand Theatre for five years and the Merlin Theatre Frome for two. She has programmed several theatres in addition including Sadler’s Wells and The Hackney Empire. Prior to this Stephanie worked as an actress for five years, a stage manager for two and has been, variously, a theatre critic, court reporter and comedy club compere. She is a founder Board Member of Dance Touring Partnership and Ticketing Network East Midlands and a board member of Nottingham City Of Literature. 

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Andrew Bentley

Andrew is CEO of Storyhouse, the multi-arts and theatre producer.  Their new building opened in 2017 and is one of the country’s most successful cultural centres, with over 1m customers per year.  Storyhouse includes a library, restaurant, café, cinema and two theatres. It was the overall winner in the 2018 Guardian Public Service Awards for its revolutionary library, also the 2018 Civic Trust Special Award for Community Impact & Engagement. 

2019 will be Storyhouse’s 11th season staging theatre, defined by Andrew’s partnership with Artistic Director Alex Clifton. Their uniquely designed, temporary theatre in the round at Grosvenor Park, has become the country’s pre-eminent regional open-air theatre. They are known for an efficient variant of the repertory model, for staging new adaptations, and for putting communities on stage. 

Andrew’s varied career includes 8 years in the private sector in Liverpool - where he founded and built the city’s Hope Street Hotel.  He first trained as a musician and was Director of Liverpool’s Philharmonic Hall, which he re-built, for a number of years.  In 1999 he arrange to buy the bankrupt Liverpool Playhouse from its receivers, raising sufficient funds to refurbish the building and bring about a merger with the Everyman.

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Philip Bernays

Philip is currently Chief Executive of Theatre Royal, Newcastle. Philip's previous roles include General Manager of Actors Touring Company, Administrator of the Independent Theatre Council, Drama Officer for Arts Council England and Executive Director of the Young Vic.

In 1995 he was appointed as Chief Executive of the Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham, where he stayed until 2005, when he became Chief Executive of the Theatre Royal, Newcastle.

As well as serving on the UK Theatre Board, Philip is the chair of ballet LORENT, the co-Chair of the Dance Consortium and a Director of the Touring Partnership and of Music & Lyrics Ltd. 

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Kris Bryce

Kris joined Pitlochry Festival Theatre as Executive Director in 2016 and was appointed Chief Executive in 2018.

Leading Scotland’s largest producing theatre and the UK’s most northerly major theatre producer, Kris operates one of the region’s largest employers and is responsible for the £20m creative and capital redevelopment of the organisation as the single cultural project named by government within a regional transformation programme.

Before taking up his current role, Kris was Head of Operations at Dundee Rep and Scottish Dance Theatre from 2011. Previous to this, he held management positions in theatres and multi-art form venues across the country. Kris spent ten years working with arts organisations and festivals in Vancouver including six years in a sector link role at Ticketmaster Canada before relocating to the UK in September 2004.

Kris is currently a board member of Stellar Quines Theatre Company, Scotland’s touring theatre company inspiring excellence in women and girls, and supports UK Theatre’s workforce consortium as the member representative from Scotland. Kris has an MBA with a focus in Creative Industries and has a professional interest in strategic management and the development of future workforces, mentoring and supporting future arts leaders.

Jon Gilchrist (Photo: Helen-Murray)

Jon Gilchrist

Read Jon's 'Meet the Board' blog here.

Jon is Executive Director of HOME in Manchester, a venue that presents a year-round programme of produced and visiting live performance across multiple spaces, and serves as the city’s centre for international contemporary art and film.

Prior to this Jon worked as Executive Director of the Bush Theatre between 2014 and 2018. In this time he led on their major capital redevelopment, and helped expand the organisation’s reach as a centre of excellence for diverse emerging talent. Before this he worked in marketing roles at theatres across the North West for ten years, including The Lowry in Salford, the Octagon Theatre Bolton, and the Dukes in Lancaster.

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Chris Glover

Chris joined HQ Theatres & Hospitality in 2012 as Theatre Director of The Orchard Theatre, Dartford.

Using established producer relationships Chris successfully put the venue back on the number one touring circuit and worked closely with the local authority to invest significantly in the building, in turn boosting audience figures and loyalty. As a result of this progression, The Orchard Theatre is now a venue of choice to launch new productions, from Derren Brown to the phenomenally successful Peter James adaptations.   

Prior to this, following a career in Public Relations, Chris made the leap into theatre by joining ATG in 2003 as Executive Assistant to Derek Nicholls at the Churchill Theatre, Bromley. Chris stayed at the venue for nine years, becoming General Manager in 2011.

From April 2016 Chris has also been running The Churchill Theatre on behalf of HQ Theatres & Hospitality.

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Robin Hawkes

Read Robin's blog on Diversifying Theatre Leadership in Yorkshire. 

Robin joined West Yorkshire Playhouse (now Leeds Playhouse) as Executive Director & Joint Chief Executive in June 2015. He leads the business and operational side of the theatre, and holds responsibility for ensuring that its resources are managed effectively. He is jointly responsible for the strategic direction and development of the theatre as a whole, and is the project champion for the Playhouse's capital redevelopment project.

Robin worked previously at the National Theatre for seven years, most recently as Director of Artistic Administration, where he was responsible for the coordination of 20+ productions each year across the National’s three venues on the South Bank. Prior to the National, he was an administrator at the Independent Theatre Council – an association of small and medium-size theatre companies across the UK.

Robin was the first Chair of the Board of Trustees for The Yard Theatre in Hackney Wick, stepping down in Summer 2015.

Brenna Hobson

Brenna Hobson

Brenna Hobson is currently the Executive Producer and Deputy Chief Executive for the National Theatre of Scotland. She recently moved to the UK From Australia where she was the Executive Director and co-Chief Executive for Belvoir in Sydney, Australia’s fourth largest theatre company. During Brenna’s tenure Belvoir established an international presence with productions on Broadway and London, at Theater Der Welt, Weiner Festwochen, the Taegu International Musical Festival in Korea and Bharat Rang Mahotsav International festival in India. The company also prioritised equal representation of artists under her leadership achieving gender parity in directing and writing and making inroads into the promotion of the work of culturally diverse artists, most notably First Nations artists.

Prior to her work at Belvoir she was the General Manager of Jigsaw Theatre, Canberra and Production Manager for Bangarra Dance Theatre, Australia’s premier indigenous performing arts organisation.

Brenna’s previous board roles include; Company Secretary of the Belvoir St Theatre Limited Board, membership of the Company B Ltd and Arts on Tour boards as well as a membership of the Seymour Centre’s Artistic Advisory Panel and the Walsh Bay Arts Precinct steering committee in Sydney. She served on the Sydney Opera House Trust from January 2014 to May 2017 where she was on the Audit and Risk Committee.

Sarah Holmes (Photo: Mike Kwasniak)

Sarah Holmes

Sarah Holmes is Chief Executive of the New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich which she reopened 15 years ago along with Artistic Director Peter Rowe, placing accessibility, quality and diversity at the centre of the artistic offer. Originally from New Zealand where she gained experience in technical and stage management ,she has been working in theatre administration in the UK for 35 years, 10 years in London at the London Bubble and Theatre Royal Stratford East before relocating to North Wales for 10 years as Head of Marketing and Customer Service, and later Administrative Director, at Theatr Clwyd.

She is currently leading on Ramps On The Moon an Arts Council funded project that brings together seven major mainstream regional partners to respond to the opportunities and challenges of creating more employment and access for D/deaf and disabled artists, participants and audiences. Her work at the New Wolsey has also seen the theatre become the first UK venue to work with US based consultants TRG Arts , a US firm specialising in data analysis for audience development.

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Conrad Lynch

Conrad is a Freelance Producer and Cultural Consultant based in the glorious Eden Valley in Cumbria.

Current projects include The Queen and The Rebelsby Ugo Betti, adapted by Timberlake Wertenbaker for Shared Experience,#LocalLegends for Not Too Tame, Street for Imitating the Dog, Brewery Arts Centre & HIghlights, and Immediate Family by Paul Oakley Stovall for TEAM.

Clients include MIF, Royal Exchange, Shakespeare's Globe, Bated Breath & Jackson's Lane.

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Adam McGinlay

Adam is General Manager at Cadogan Hall.

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Janthi Mills-Ward

Janthi Mills-Ward has been Executive Director of Hull Truck Theatre since August 2013. During this time, she has dramatically improved the theatres resilience through developing the organisations business model - balancing the theatres producing work alongside a programme of visiting and community productions.  She has built a strong team and introduced new personnel and diversity initiatives to ensure the continued growth and development of the theatre.  She was instrumental in Hull Truck Theatres delivery as a key partner in Hull UK City of Culture 2017; building an ambitious programme, relationships with key partners and a national profile for the theatre.  

Previous experience in other regional producing theatres; include 6 years at the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry as General Manager where she set up the theatres award winning Apprenticeship scheme and 4 years as Community Development Manager at Derby Playhouse where she set up the Hot Tickets scheme which went on to become a  DCMS model of best practise.

Claire Murray. Photo by Maisie Burn

Claire Murray

Claire Murray is Communications & Fundraising Director at Sheffield Theatres. In early 2018 Claire covered the role of Chief Executive at Sheffield Theatres whilst Dan Bates embarked on a short sabbatical to explore international opportunities.

Claire has over 20 years’ experience working in the arts sector, specifically in produced and presented theatre. She has held Marketing and Communications roles at Royal & Derngate in Northampton and De Montfort Hall in Leicester, as well as running her own consultancy for 2 years specialising in CRM system implementation.

Claire’s wide ranging experience covers change management and leadership, fundraising, brand and digital development, CRM system implementation, marketing, PR and customer care strategy.

Karen Pimbley

Karen Pimbley

Karen has been Head of Arts Management at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama since 2012, where she is responsible for its vocational arts management training courses, run in partnership with industry. She is also a National Advisor at Arts Council Wales, a trustee at National Youth Arts Wales and a university external examiner.

Karen was previously Business Development Manager at Diversions Dance Company, helping to establish it as National Dance Company Wales, based at Wales Millennium Centre. Her early career was spent in marketing roles in regional repertory theatre and contemporary dance, but she then moved into events management, becoming Head of Events at a newly opening arena venue in the mid 90s. A chance meeting with a major promoter signalled a move into the music business, where she then spent a number of years touring the arena circuit with well-known music artists as promoter's rep.


Julia Potts

Read Julia's 'Meet the Board' blog here.

Julia was appointed UK Business Development Director for the Ambassador Theatre Group in May 2014. Prior to this she was Executive Director of the Almeida Theatre from 2011-14, including a period as Acting Chief Executive between the Artistic Directorships of Michael Attenborough and Rupert Goold. Former positions include Acting General Manager of the Churchill Theatre Bromley (2010/11), Head of Learning and Access for ATG (2003-11), as well as specialist consultancy work for a number of clients including SOLT and various Local Authorities. Julia was appointed a Fellow on the Clore Leadership Programme in 2006, and undertook her secondment at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge.

Alongside her work at ATG, Julia is a Board member of Magpie Dance, an inclusive dance company for people with learning disabilities, and a former Board Member of dreamthinkspeak and Action for Children’s Arts.

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Corey Reynolds

Corey Reynolds is a Chartered Accountant, arts manager and independent theatre producer from Australia. He currently works as Business Manager at Guardian News and Media (Live Events), and Finance Manager at EBP. Starting his career at PricewaterhouseCoopers, Corey has worked at Opera Australia, fortyfivedownstairs, Prague Fringe and was Treasurer for MKA: Theatre of New Writing. He has completed an MA (Creative Producing) at Mountview and currently sits on the board of Upstart Theatre.

Michele Taylor

Michèle Taylor

Read Michele's 'Meet the Board' blog here. 

Michèle Taylor is Director for Change for the Ramps on the Moon consortium (funded by Arts Council England) with responsibility for supporting partners in implementing their change programmes, and reporting on progress and learning.

Following time working in theatre, Michèle has been working as an independent consultant and trainer on disability issues for nearly 30 years. Although she works mainly with arts organisations, other clients have included the Department for Education, the Balkan Museums Network and a number of HE institutions. 

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Despina Tsatsas

Despina is Executive Director of the Young Vic. Prior to this she was Executive Producer at Punchdrunk International and Frantic Assembly, and Associate Producer for Mark Rubinstein Ltd.

Full biog coming soon.

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Sebastian Warrack

Sebastian is Executive Director of Wiltshire Creative, a pan-arts organisation, which incorporates Salisbury Playhouse, Salisbury International Arts Festival and Salisbury Arts Centre following their merger in February 2018. Previously he had been Executive Director of Salisbury Playhouse since 2012. Prior to this he was Executive Producer of Told by an Idiot, Theatre Officer at Arts Council England (both in the London and East offices), press officer for Guy Chapman Associates, an arts press and marketing company, and he fulfilled a variety of roles at the Lyric Theatre Hammersmith, including Marketing Officer, Development Officer, Assistant to the Directors and Finance Assistant - a superb training ground for arts administration. Before moving into arts management, Sebastian worked for ten years as an actor.

Sebastian’s previous board roles include Chair of Company of Angels (now Boundless Theatre) and a trustee of ITC and Oily Cart.

If you would like to contact any of our Board Members, please email ukt@soltukt.co.uk or phone 020 7557 6700 and we will put you in touch.
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"UK Theatre" is the operating name of UK Theatre Association, a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales, whose registered office is at 32 Rose Street, London, WC2E 9ET, Company No 323204.