Our Staff

Our Staff

Our Senior Management

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Julian Bird became Chief Executive of the Society of London Theatre and UK Theatre in November 2010 and is the Executive Producer for The Olivier Awards and UK Theatre Awards.  Prior to his time at SOLT, Julian was the Chief Operating Officer at the Tate for three years where he led the day-to-day operations and over saw Tate Enterprises Ltd large commercial operations. Julian spent nine years prior to this working at the Financial Services Authority and the Bank of England.  Julian is actively involved in arts charities such as Yvonne Arnaud Theatre in Guildford and the Southwold & Aldeburgh Theatre Trust, as well as being a trustee for the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill-on-Sea.

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Theatre, music, and the arts has always been an important part of my life. I grew up in Birmingham, and went on to Sheffield University. From here I went into publishing, and began a career connecting audiences with great artistic work. 

I spent the first decade of my career working with a wide range of artists and authors – from James Ellroy to Kathy Reichs, Ralph Steadman to the Spice Girls. As Director of Media and Stakeholder Relations for Arts Council England I led communications and engagement programmes that made a difference to our cultural landscape. I’m a Trustee for Future Talent, a charity that supports gifted young musicians from low-income backgrounds. I’m also on the Board of the National Campaign for the Arts.  

Theatre and the performing arts are always finding ways to adapt and grow, so my role at UK Theatre is to make sure that we are supporting members to become even more resilient and relevant in the future. This includes advocacy to Government and others, our training and events programme, and our data collection and research.

I joined SOLT more than 20 years ago. In 2011 I was promoted to Chief Operating Officer and became deputy to the Chief Executive. Having graduated from Cambridge University with a degree in Economics, I joined Ernst & Young, qualifying as a chartered accountant. A five-year spell accounting for franking machines and telecommunications equipment was enough to persuade me that I really should do something more interesting and fortunately this coincided with SOLT looking to fill a vacant Finance Manager slot. My parents met performing in theatre so it seemed that fate was calling.

In my current role I’m responsible for ensuring that the finances are kept in good order and that members receive the best possible value for money; I have a team of three in the accounts department who look after SOLT, Theatre Development Trust, UK Theatre and Stage One.

I’m also responsible for the running of the building, having overseen the successful move to Rose Street in 1997. My team ensures that all staff are able to undertake their roles and have all the resources they require, while also welcoming visitors and managing the meeting rooms.

In addition I’m involved in a wide variety of projects, from guidance on ceilings to the New York Olivier Awards event, and I’m also closely involved in setting the strategy for the organisation.

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After graduating from Sussex University in French and European Studies, I was selected for a Japanese government programme and spent a fascinating two and a half years working as a high school English teacher in a small town in Japan.

On my return to the UK, I joined the London branch of Japan’s oldest department store, Mitsukoshi, assisting the buyers from Tokyo to identify British goods for export.

After a career re-think, I spent two years at Nottingham Law School, and then trained and qualified as a solicitor at City law firm, Clifford Chance.

Always keen to find a way to combine the law with my interest in the arts, in 1997 I came across a job advert which seemed to have my name on it. For 10 years I was the sole lawyer at SOLT and UK Theatre, and latterly have headed a (very) small team of exceptional solicitors, providing legal services to our members and in-house.

The member services include one-to-one legal advice, briefings (guidance, alerts and regular updates), monitoring new developments in the law which might affect the industry and representing members’ views in responses to government and other consultation exercises. We cover an extensive range of legal areas, including employment, immigration, tax, copyright, child performance licensing, health and safety, ticketing, alcohol and entertainment licensing, disability discrimination, governance and general commercial law.

Mine is a unique role to which, in my opinion, few other legal positions can compare for interest and variety; and I find being able to make a small contribution to the theatre industry very rewarding.     

Outside work, I am an active performer with local amateur groups. 

Wayne Lee (2)

The Employment Relations team works with and advises members on pay and terms and conditions of employment for staff engaged in professional theatre in the West End and throughout the UK, such as actors, stage managers, technicians and the creative team.

Wayne Lee joined as Head of Employment Relations for SOLT and UK Theatre in 2015. He was previously Director of Employee Relations and Reward at the Co-operative Group.  Over a number of years he was extensively involved in business restructurings and change management arising from mergers and acquisitions and sales of businesses. He was also General Secretary of the Co-operative Employers Association negotiating terms and condition of employment for over 100,000 employees across a diverse multi-business and multi-union landscape. Wayne has over 20 years senior HR experience dealing with a number of Trade Unions, at local, regional and national level in both the public and private sectors. He is a strong advocate of employers and Trade Unions engaging positively and professionally to contribute to a successful and sustainable business. 

Wayne began his career in public sector finance before gaining a scholarship and returning to full time education obtaining a BA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from the University of Oxford and an MA in Industrial Relations from the University of Warwick.

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My role and the role of my department is to raise the profile of theatre through our events and promotions, and to sell tickets through TKTS and the Official London Theatre website. We strive to support our members and deliver the best experience possible for our audiences. Full details of our programme and events and campaign calendar is available. 

Collaboration is a key element of my job and over the years I have worked with VisitBritain, London & Partners, the Arts Council, London Development Agency, London First and the West End Marketing Alliance. 

I am very proud to have set up Kids Week in the West End, which enables kids to go free to the theatre. This audience development initiative has grown from a week-long promotion selling 10,000 tickets to a month-long festival selling more than 220,000 tickets. I also helped co-ordinate the industry response to 9/11 and to the July bombings, and worked with the London Mayor's office to create the Get Into London Theatre promotion and helped organise the Queen’s visit to Theatreland. 

I’m particularly honoured to have worked with Westminster City Council on West End LIVE since its inception 11 years ago and to sit on the advisory board of TheatreCraft, which is a careers event for young people looking to get into the industry. 

Since 2011, I have worked on the Olivier Awards and have loved seeing it grow and develop thanks to the support of the industry and our sponsors MasterCard. I feel very lucky to work at SOLT and UK Theatre and really enjoy being at the heart of the theatre industry and working for the members with the support of my fantastic and dedicated team. 

I was on the Board of the Rose Theatre Kingston and am currently on the board of the ATG Foundation. I won a London Hero Award for my work on Kids Week and for raising money for Great Ormond Street Hospital where my son was a patient. 

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Phill’s started his career in 1989 with the Ministry of Defence and for 10 years worked in a variety of positions including UK and International security management.   On leaving the MoD he re-trained and qualified in safety and risk management first working within the NHS in safety, risk and security management positions but most recently as Risk Management Director for the Ambassador Theatre Group.  During that time he created and nurtured a proactive approach to safety management and developed positive changes in theatre working practices throughout the Group portfolio. 

Phill has gained invaluable risk management experience both in the UK and internationally and as the inaugural person to hold this exciting newly created role he will provide a consolidated and effective industry voice to represent the collective interests of SOLT and UK Theatre membership in relation to risk and technical management.  Member services will include providing safety and security advice, identifying industry training requirements, evaluating emerging industry risks and helping develop sector best practice.

Phill is a Fellow of International Institute of Risk and Safety Management (FIIRSM), Fellow of Institute of Entertainment & Arts Management (FIEAM), Registered Safety Practitioner (RSP) Chartered Member of Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (CMIOSH) and European Occupational Safety and Health Manager (EurOSHM)

Phill continues to strive to find imaginative and original ways to engage with staff and venues throughout the industry, setting high standards of safety and risk for all members.

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32 Rose Street
Covent Garden
London
WC2E 9ET

+44 (0)20 7557 6700

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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.