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Staff & Trustees

Nick Swales (Chair)

Nick is the Regional Director for Wealth Manager Rathbones; he brings considerable experience having previously been Chair of The Percy Hedley Foundation (retired in 2017), and he has also served on a number of other charities and trusts in the region and at a national level for nearly 30 years.

Nick became Chair of the Board in 2018.

Ray Mills (Vice Chair)

Ray is a chartered accountant and is non-executive director of several small companies in the music, film production and house building sectors and a trustee of The Newbridge Project, a charity which provides subsidised studio space for artists in Newcastle and Gateshead, and the national environmental charity, Keep Britain Tidy.

Julie Blackie

Julie runs a successful group of online businesses, most notably Pink Boutique, which she founded with her daughter.  She has written for radio, stage and TV, opened a hotel and theatre, run a Saturday School, worked for various charities and has extensive experience in youth and community works.

Lorna Edwards

Lorna is Deputy Group Company Secretary at Bellway plc, she is a chartered accountant and chartered company secretary with over 15 years of experience in finance and governance advising clients in the public, private and not for profit sectors before moving into industry and qualifying as company secretary with Arriva plc.  She has a passion for the performing arts and a love of dance and musical theatre.

Dr Ben Fletcher-Watson

Ben specialises in access and inclusion in the cultural sector and is published on performance for audiences with autism and dementia and the use of new technologies in theatre; previously he has been involved in outreach and education work in the North-East, and fundraising for the National Centre for Dance in Edinburgh. He is a trustee of Starcatchers, Scotland’s national arts and early years organisation.

Scott Holland

Scott has experience in senior and c-suite commercial roles across B2B and B2C environments, before founding a consulting firm advising businesses on their growth and marketing strategies. Working with businesses across the UK and internationally, he brings considerable digital strategy experience to the theatre and has advised clients across the legal, retail, fashion, finance and FMCG sectors on digital transformation and online growth strategies. He also has a background in enterprise IT solutions and extensive experience in the retail sector.

Alison Jones

Alison qualified as a lawyer over ten years ago and has worked for a number of law firms across the country, as well as in-house, before moving to Muckle LLP. She specialises in charity law and governance and also advises her charity and not-for-profit clients on data protection issues. Alison has sat on a number of boards in different sectors, but is most passionate about the arts sector.

Andrew Roberts

Andrew is Finance, Operations & People Director at Theatr Clwyd in North Wales, and is qualified in Accountancy and Human Resources. He brings many years’ experience in strategic and operational leadership as well as significant knowledge in Theatre Making.

He joined the Board of Trustees in 2023

Marianne Locatori, Chief Executive

Marianne joined Newcastle Theatre Royal in October 2021 and is responsible for leading the charity’s overall strategy as well as programming the Theatre.

She previously held a number of senior leadership positions at Theatre Royal Plymouth and prior to this she worked for the Ambassador Theatre Group leading the marketing teams for a number of their regional venues. Marianne originally trained at English National Ballet School and Rambert and is passionate about the life changing potential of arts and culture, believing that regional theatre is an important catalyst for positive change in communities.

Marianne is on the board of Dance Consortium and is a member of Touring Partnership.

Colin Johnston
Director of Finance 

Jo Kirby
Director of Audience & Communications

Siobhan Lightfoot
Director of Operations


A view of an empty theatre auditorium through a red velvet curtain