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Staff & Trustees

Board of Trustees

Nick Swales (Chair)

Nick is the Regional Director for Wealth Manager Rathbones and also brings considerable experience having previously been Chair of The Percy Hedley Foundation and has 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.


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.


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.


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.

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.


Lorna Edwards

Lorna is a chartered accountant and chartered company secretary with over 10 years of experience in finance and governance advising clients in the public, private and not for profit sectors before moving to Arriva plc and qualifying as company secretary. She has a passion for the performing arts and with a love of dance and musical theatre.


Scott Holland

Scott is Sales 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.


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

Philip Bernays, Chief Executive

Philip joined Newcastle Theatre Royal in 2005, having previously held roles at the Everyman Theatre, Young Vic, Arts Council England, Independent Theatre Council and Actors Touring Company. Philip is Co-Chair of the Dance Consortium, Chair of balletLORENT and a Board member of UK Theatre, the Touring Partnership and Music & Lyrics.

Jo Kirby
Director of Sales, Marketing & IT

Marcia Lant
Director of Finance

Siobhan Lightfoot
Director of Operations

Our Departments

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