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Staff & Trustees

Board of 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.

John Carver (Vice Chair)

John is a Finance Director and who has worked in a wide range of international consumer businesses, including Procter & Gamble, Associated British Foods and the Pentland Group, providing consultancy to businesses going through change both in the UK and Europe.

John became a Newcastle Theatre Royal trustee in 2013.

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 is Commercial Director at Mediaworks; 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 retail management.

Joan Louw

Joan trained as a chartered accountant and her previous roles include Trustee of Queens Hall Arts in Hexham. She is an advisor with Creative United, a London based Arts support organisation that provides innovative business growth programmess and membership schemes. She has a lifelong love of theatre and a longstanding relationship with the Theatre Royal.

Ray Mills

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.

Our Executive Team

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.

Aynsley Cowan-Young
Director of Operations (maternity cover)

Colin Johnston
Director of Finance (interim)

Jo Kirby
Director of Sales, Marketing & IT

Siobhan Lightfoot
Director of Operations


Our Departments

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