Our Ambassadors

We have 24 Ambassadors committed to championing the past, present and future of live theatre. They will work with us to ensure the UK's theatres are protected and secured for future generations to enjoy.

We are honoured with the support of these influential Ambassadors who believe passionately in the UK’s theatres and the role they play in communities, towns and cities across the country.

Celebrated names adding their voice in support of the Theatres Trust's work include senior industry members, theatre makers and distinguished actors working in stage, film and TV include:

Samira Ahmed, Gemma Arterton, Alan Ayckbourn, Michael Ball, Pippa Bennett-Warner, Matthew Bourne, Jo Brand, Alexandra Burke, Jack Dee, Mel Giedroyc, David Hare, Miranda Hart, Lenny Henry, Beverley Knight, Kwame Kwei-Armah, Jude Law, Cameron Mackintosh, David Morrissey, Bill Nighy, Elaine Paige, Siobhan Redmond, Tim Rice, John Simm and Meera Syal.

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    Samira Ahmed

    "Theatres have played a huge part in my life since I was first taken to the Wimbledon Theatre as a schoolchild to see panto and I'm passionate about their importance to British life and identity. I'm a huge supporter of the Theatres' Trust campaign to ensure we protect and renew them."

    Journalist, broadcaster and documentary maker Samira Ahmed presents Front Row on Radio 4 and Newswatch on BBC1. She is a visiting professor of journalism at Kingston University.

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    Gemma Arterton

    "The first theatre I performed in was the Gravesend and District Theatre Guild in Kent. A little shack with a tin roof that is still going today. If it wasn’t for this little theatre, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Theatres are not only imperative to our culture in the UK, but play a big part in bringing local communities together. Small theatres, such the one I went to as a teenager, give young people a place to develop, play, meet people from different backgrounds and open their eyes to new things. This is why I am so thrilled to be an ambassador of the Theatres Trust. Keeping the UK’s many theatres alive is a passion."

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    Alan Ayckbourn

    "There’s a school of thought that says that theatre can happen just about anywhere. To an extent, I’ve found that to be true. But for theatre to thrive and be more than merely a series of isolated events, it needs special buildings in which performers and audiences can meet and celebrate the human condition. It is important that big or small, old or new, our theatres survive."

    A playwright and theatre director, to date Sir Alan Ayckbourn has written 82 plays - his latest, Better Off Dead, premieres September 2018 at the Stephen Joseph Theatre where nearly all his plays continue to be first staged.  His work is performed on stage and television throughout the world and has won countless awards. Major successes include Relatively Speaking, How The Other Half Loves, The Norman Conquests, Season’s Greetings (all recently revived to great acclaim), Absurd Person Singular and Woman in Mind. Inducted into American Theatre’s Hall of Fame, a recipient of the Critics’ Circle Award for Services to the Arts, he became the first British playwright to receive both Olivier and Tony Special Lifetime Achievement Awards. He was knighted in 1997 for services to the theatre.

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    Michael Ball

    "We’re rightly proud of our theatrical heritage in Britain. Without the Theatres Trust there would be fewer theatres and that would be a great shame for all of us."

    Michael Ball is Britain’s leading musical theatre star, a double Olivier Award winner, multi-platinum recording artist and a hugely popular radio and TV presenter. For 30 years Michael has been at the top of his game starring in musical theatre productions in the West End and on Broadway winning critical acclaim, a devoted following and awards for his stage work and recording career. Michael regularly tours the UK as a concert artist and has sold millions of albums over the last 25 years; he’s performed in Australia, China, USA and Singapore, and in 2007 made his BBC Proms debut: An Evening with Michael Ball at the Royal Albert Hall, marking the first time a musical theatre star had been given a solo concert at the Proms. He is a two times Classical BRIT award winner and was awarded an O.B.E by the Queen in 2016.  He has recently been performing at the London Coliseum as Anatoly in Chess.

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    Pippa Bennett-Warner

    "I am so thrilled to be an Ambassador for the Theatres Trust. I remember coming to London with my family to see plays and musicals, the 8 year old me totally transfixed by the actors, the ambience in the theatre and desperately hoping that one day I'd get the opportunity to be on stage. So far in my career I've had the chance to perform in some beautiful theatres and I feel the need to be involved with the preservation of those buildings both old and new for future generations to come."

    Pippa Bennett-Warner is an established theatre actress who has appeared in shows across many London theatres including the National Theatre, Donmar Warehouse, and the Royal Court Theatre. Pippa’s film and television credits include WakefieldThe SmokeThe Secrets, Dr Who, and River. In 2012 she was long listed for Best Actress at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards and was named as one of the 1000 Most Influential Londoners. She has achieved continued growing success in her career and most recently appeared in the TV shows Harlots and Sick Note as well as working with BBC Radio 3 and BBC Radio 4.

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    Jo Brand

    "The Theatres Trust does massively important work to promote and protect theatres. I am delighted to become one of their Ambassadors to ensure this work continues."

    Jo Brand is an outstanding corporate speaker, brilliant event host and side-splitting after dinner speaker. Sussed, polemic, deceptively droll, with a razor-sharp perspective on all that is sexist and sizeist, her popularity is well deserved. Jo’s first job was at Dr Barnardo’s as a house mother. She then went on to train as a mental health nurse working in a 24 hour walk-in mental health A&E in South East London. Since gaining a cult following on the London cabaret circuit, Jo Brand has established herself as one of the best female comics in Britain. Aside from her award-winning Channel 4 show, Jo Brand Through The Cakehole, Jo’s other television appearances include: BBC’s Have I Got News For YouNever Mind The BuzzcocksAbsolutely Fabulous, Getting On, Damned and Question Time. In addition to her television success, Jo still remains passionate about performing live, boasting, “nothing tops the thrill of the theatre.”

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    Matthew Bourne

    Matthew Bourne is widely hailed as the UK’s most popular and successful choreographer and director. He was knighted in the Queen’s New Year Honours 2016 for services to dance. Matthew is the creator of the world’s longest running ballet production, a seven-time Olivier Award winner, and the only British director to have won the Tony Award for both Best Choreographer and Best Director of a Musical. Matthew started his dance training at the comparatively late age of 22. He danced professionally for 14 years creating many roles in his own work. As Artistic Director of his first company, Adventures in Motion Pictures (1987-2002) Matthew created many award winning works. Further hit productions were created when New Adventures was launched in 2002, becoming the UK’s busiest and most successful dance company. In 2008 the charitable arm of New Adventures was established to increase opportunities that inspire young people with a passion for dance.

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    Alexandra Burke

    "The Theatres Trust does vital work ensuring communities across the UK have wonderful theatres where they can enjoy live performance.  I am proud to be an Ambassador of the Theatres Trust."

    Alexandra rose to fame in 2008 after winning The X Factor. With several noteworthy performances, the British solo artist’s entrance to the Music Industry did not go unnoticed. Alexandra’s debut album reached number one in the UK Albums Chart, amassing three Brit Award nominations. Following on from Alexandra’s success in music, she ventured into theatre playing the lead roles in the hugely popular musicals; ‘The Bodyguard’ and ‘Sister Act’. Alexandra’s latest album was released in March 2018, and most recently Alexandra took on the role of Svetlana in ‘Chess’ at the London Coliseum.

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    Jack Dee

    "Nothing beats the immediacy of performing a stand up gig in a theatre. I’ve been privileged to tour many theatres throughout the UK and I know the Theatres Trust works tirelessly to ensure these buildings remain open."

    Jack is a comedian. Actor and writer. He first trod the boards in 1986 at London’s Comedy Store. It was the notorious Open Mic session late one Friday night. Jack’s allotted 3 minutes on that fateful stage didn’t go as disastrously as expected and he was invited back. Now an established Stand Up, Jack has spent the last thirty years touring this country and further afield with his one man shows. It’s this experience that has introduced Jack to many of Britain’s wonderful theatres. As well as his live shows and countless television appearances and acting roles, Jack has co-written and starred in the BBC2 sitcom Lead Balloon and the ITV sitcom Bad Move. In 2004 he created and hosted the BAFTA nominated Jack Dee’s Live At The Apollo - the show which has gone on as Live At The Apollo ever since. Jack was honoured to take over as chair of BBC Radio 4’s “antidote to panel games,” I’m Sorry, I Haven’t a Clue in 2009 after the passing of the legendary Humphrey Lyttelton.

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    Mel Giedroyc

    "Presenting on television is exhilarating but nothing compares to performing in theatres in front of a live audience. Each audience differs every night which makes each performance totally unique. I am proud to be an Ambassador of the Theatres Trust to ensure theatres remain vibrant for both audience and performers alike."

    Mel’s theatre credits include Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing (Rose Theatre Kingston) Luce (Southwark Playhouse), The Rocky Horror Picture Show (Playhouse), Eurobeat (Novello) and New Boy (Trafalgar Studios). Television credits include The Sound of Music Live, Miranda, Sadie J, Sorry I’ve Got No Head, Blessed and The Vicar of Dibley. Presenting work includes Strictly Come Dancing Live Tour, Letterbox, The Great British Bake Off, Let It Shine, Horrible Histories, Eurovision Song Contest 2015, Relatively Clever, The Gift, Mel and Sue, Now You See It, Collectaholics, Late Lunch and Light Lunch. Radio credits include The 4 O’Clock Show, Count Arthur Strong Series and The Mel & Sue Thing. Mel has also appeared in many comedy television shows including Would I Lie To You?, Big Fat Quiz of The Year, 8 Out of Ten Cats and Richard Ayaode's Travel Man.

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    David Hare

    "A city isn’t a city without a post office, a football ground and a theatre. Theatre buildings contain the history of great performers and great performances. When they go, so does the soul of the city."

    Sir David Hare is a playwright and film-maker. He has written over thirty stage plays, and over twenty-five screenplays for film and television. He has also written English adaptations of plays by Brecht, Gorky, Chekhov, Pirandello, Ibsen and Lorca. His first work of memoir was published in 2015. Most recently David created the four-part series ‘Collateral’ for the BBC and Netflix. His play ‘The Moderate Soprano’ is currently being revived at the Duke of York’s, his new play, ‘I’m Not Running’, opens at the National Theatre this October, and his screenplay about Rudolf Nureyev’s defection to the West, ‘The White Crow’, has just finished filming. In a millennial poll of the greatest plays of the 20th Century, five of the top 100 were his.

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    Miranda Hart

    "My first love as an audience member and a performer is always theatre and I believe in its importance both nationally and locally. For me it isn’t just about the big spectacles where we celebrate our nations great actors, writers and directors; but it’s about nurturing new talent and providing an inspiring space where community can flourish, whether that’s for hosting workshops with local groups or schools, or simply being the place people get access to the theatre locally, and perhaps even for the first time. By it’s nature theatre provides creativity, inspiration, escapism, magic and vision. Things we all need and should nurture."  

    Miranda Hart is a comedy writer and actress. Her hugely successful sitcom Miranda ran for four series on the BBC and earned her three RTS Awards, four British Comedy Awards, plus four BAFTA nominations. Miranda's stand-up arena tour My, What I Call, Live Show was a sell-out and in 2015 she starred in the Golden Globe nominated film Spy. Her book Is It Just Me? was a highly successful best seller, and in 2014, Miranda had her second book published, titled The Best Of Miranda to a similar success. Miranda has continued to gain recognition for her work as an actress and author, earning a fifth BAFTA nomination for Best Supporting Actress in Call The Midwife, among other accolades. She made her West End Debut in 2017 playing Miss Hannigan in Annie in a triumphant revival at the Piccadilly Theatre. 

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    Lenny Henry

    "I grew up in Dudley and remember seeing the legendary comic Tommy Cooper at the Dudley Hippodrome. Live performances at venues such as the Hippodrome inspired me at the start of my career as both a comedian and then later as an actor. I am passionate about saving these theatres for the communities they sit in and am proud to be an Ambassador of the Theatres Trust."

    Lenny Henry has been a comedian since the age of 16.  He has risen from being a cult star on children’s television to becoming one of Britain’s best known comedians, as well as a writer, philanthropist and award-winning actor. In recent years Lenny has starred in The Comedy of Errors at The National, Fences at the Duchess Theatre, and in 2017 he made his Donmar Warehouse debut in ‘The Resitable Rise of Arturo Ui’. Lenny’s Television credits include Broadchurch, The Syndicate and the biographic Danny and The Human Zoo. Lenny’s Production Company, Douglas Road, has achieved success in partnership with Burning Bright on the recently acclaimed ‘The Commonwealth Kid’ documentary and has a host of other programmes in the pipeline. As a co-founder of Comic Relief Lenny was delighted to announce this year that the British Public has donated over £1 billion to Comic Relief over the last 30 years. Lenny is a strong advocate for diversity, taking his work on the subject to Cannes in order to deliver the Keynote speech launching the idea of offering tax breaks for diversity, as well as talks given in Rome to the global TV and film insider audience. Lenny was chosen by Baroness Doreen Lawrence to interview three beneficiaries of the Stephen Lawrence Trust at his memorial in 2018. He has been a Trustee of the National Theatre since February 2016.

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    Beverley Knight

    "As an actress and singer nothing compares to standing on stage and looking out to a packed audience. There is a special connection in that moment which is made even more special by the beauty of these theatre buildings. I am an Ambassador of the Theatres Trust as I want to ensure these buildings remain open for generations to come."

    Beverley Knight has been one of the UK's most consistent artists for two decades. Platinum selling Knight’s last solo album, Soulsville, entered the UK top 10 in June 2016. She was awarded an MBE in 2007, has won many awards, including three MOBO’s, and received multiple Brit Award nominations and a nomination for the Mercury Music Prize. Knight has recently forged a formidable parallel career in London’s West End, starring in The Bodyguard and Cats to great acclaim and receiving an Olivier Award Nomination for her role in Memphis The Musical. Her latest role will be to play Emmeline Pankhurst in Sylvia at the Old Vic this September. Beverley is an ambassador for many charities, and an active campaigner for anti-Aids organisations.

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    Jude Law

    "As a child I was taken to the theatre regularly: To more intimate spaces like the Young Vic, Greenwich Playhouse, the Bush, and the Gate and also historic and magnificent spaces, such as the National Theatre and Wyndham’s Theatre. Sharing the experience of live performance with others made me feel like a part of a community and was fundamental in building in me a sense of who I was as a person.

    It encouraged my imagination. Performance can explain situations that are hard to articulate. You see what we can do to each other and learn to understand each other.

    As an actor, the experience of working on stage has always been the highlight of my job. There is a chemistry that occurs between audience and performer that bonds you for the duration of the piece which can often be magical.

    I am proud to be an ambassador for the Theatres Trust and encourage the preservation and promotion of our theatres. The UK has an important role in celebrating this art form internationally as it plays such a large part of our heritage. Let’s start with diversifying our audiences."

    Academy, Tony and Olivier award nominee and BAFTA winner Jude Law has worked with some of the industry’s most prolific Directors and talent. His extensive film credits include: The Talented Mr Ripley, Cold Mountain, Breaking and Entering, Road to Perdition, Existenz, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, Enemy at the Gates, Closer, Alfie, Sky Captain, World of Tomorrow, The Aviator, I Heart Huckabees, All The King’s Men, The Holiday, Sleuth, My Blueberry Nights, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, Spy, Genius Black Sea, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Anna Karenina, Side Effects, Sherlock Holmes franchise. He has various upcoming films including Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald, Captain Marvel, Vox Lux, and Rhythm Section. He most recently appeared in the HBO/Sky/ Studio Canal original series The Young Pope. Law’s theatre work has also been highly regarded. Credits include: Obsession, Henry V, Anna Christie, Hamlet, Les Parents terrible, ‘Tis Pity She’s A Whore and Dr Faustus.

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    Cameron Mackintosh

    "When I started as a producer, I never thought I would end up owning some of London's most beautiful theatres.  Apart from producing musicals my other passion in life has always been architecture.  I discovered putting together a musical and re-inventing an historic building for the 21st century are pretty similar tasks.

    To get the best out of a play you have to listen to the author and to get the best out of an old building you have to listen to the original architect.  Only then can you bring something fresh and new to the project.  The great theatre architects Matcham, Sprague and Phipps had a brilliant grasp of how to bond audiences and players together in an exciting yet cunningly intimate space often on difficult sites and, thanks to the tireless campaigning of the Theatres Trust, we can still enjoy many of these magnificent buildings in a level of comfort never envisaged when they were built 100 years ago. 

    That so many of these theatres have not only survived but are thriving is a great tribute to the Trust and I am honoured to become an Ambassador."

    For over 50 years, Sir Cameron Mackintosh has been producing more musicals than anyone else in history, including the three longest-running musicals of all time, Les Misérables, The Phantom of the Opera and Cats, which are still running extraordinarily successfully across the world. Uniquely, to celebrate the 25th anniversaries of Les Misérables, The Phantom of the Opera and Miss Saigon, Cameron has mounted new versions of these classic musicals, which are now proving as successful as the original. Joining this list of legendary titles, his co-production with Disney of Mary Poppins continues to break records and disperse her magic globally. Following its huge recent success in the West End his acclaimed new production of Miss Saigon has enjoyed sell out tours of both the U.K. and North America, whilst the much loved KINKY BOOTS, co-produced by Cameron in the West End and in Australia, continues to kick up its heels. Cameron, in partnership with Underbelly, recently co-produced the much-loved revival of his hit of 25 years ago, Louis Jordan’s Five Guys Named Moe which played at the Marble Arch Theatre. As well as original musicals, Cameron enjoys producing new versions of such classics as Oliver!, My Fair Lady, Oklahoma!, Carousel, the longest-running production ever of Stephen Sondheim’s legendary Follies and, most recently, the reinvented Half a Sixpence. Other original musicals he has produced include: Little Shop of Horrors, Side by Side by Sondheim, Tomfoolery, Martin Guerre, Betty Blue Eyes and The Witches of Eastwick. Les Misérables remains the longest-running musical in the world and the original is now in its 33rd year in London. In 2013, Cameron produced his first hugely successful musical film in conjunction with Working Title Films and Universal - the Oscar, Golden Globe and BAFTA award-winning Les Misérables. Cameron owns eight historic theatres in London’s West End, all of which have undergone spectacular refurbishment. By far the most ambitious transformation has been Matcham’s masterpiece, the Victoria Palace Theatre, which has been rebuilt, expanded and visually re-imagined, and is currently home to the Olivier and Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning American musical Hamilton, which Cameron is co-producing with the original American producers. Music Theatre International, the world’s largest representative of secondary rights of many of the greatest musicals ever written, is now one of Cameron’s companies. Cameron was knighted in the 1996 New Year honours for his services to British theatre and he is the first British producer to be elected to Broadway’s Theater Hall of Fame. In 1990, Cameron inaugurated the chair of contemporary theatre at St Catherine’s College in Oxford University, which has since been held by a long list of extraordinary theatre figures including Sir Tom Stoppard, Stephen Daldry, Sir Ian McKellen, Meera Syal and Stephen Sondheim to name just a few.

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    David Morrissey

    "I grew up in Liverpool and much of my formative years were spent at the Everyman Theatre, starting in their Youth Theatre. Without great regional theatres like these I may not have gone on to the career I have been fortunate to have. The Theatres Trust work closely with both existing theatres and new theatres to make sure they have the right buildings to serve their communities."

    David Morrissey is an accomplished English actor and director for stage and screen, whose career spans more than thirty years. He is well known for a variety of TV roles, including State of Play, Blackpool, The Walking Dead, The Missing and Britannia. David worked with the RSC and the National Theatre for many years, and returned to his home town of Liverpool in 2011 to perform in Macbeth at the Everyman Theatre where he started his career. He went on to perform in the critically acclaimed play Hangmen. Most recently he has performed in Julius Caesar at The Bridge Theatre.

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    Elaine Paige

    Award winning Elaine Paige, actress, singer, producer, radio presenter, has made a unique and major contribution to the stage musical. She has starred in more smash hit West End & Broadway musicals than anyone else of her generation – Hair, Jesus Christ Superstar, Billy, Evita, Cats, Chess, Anything Goes, Piaf, Sunset Boulevard, The King & I, Sweeney Todd, The Drowsy Chaperone and Follies. She has defined them, set standards and in 1995 was awarded an OBE for services to Musical Theatre by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and in 2014 Elaine celebrated 50 years on stage. A thrilling live performer, Elaine has performed in concert all over the world; she has recorded 22 solo albums, earned eight consecutive gold and four multi-platinum discs and has achieved chart topping hits including Memory, Don’t Cry For Me Argentina and I Know Him So Well which have become her signatures. Elaine also continues to be one of the star presenters on BBC Radio 2 with her own lunchtime show, Elaine Paige On Sunday, which is now in its 14th year and regularly attracts over 2.5 million listeners each week.

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    Siobhan Redmond

    "As a child, growing up in Scotland, it seemed to me that the best place you could possibly be was at the theatre- a thrilling and mysterious in-between world.  I have particular early memories of seeing performances at the Citizens Theatre and King’s Theatre in Glasgow. It still seems that way now - at its best it’s uniquely placed to show us all that we can be at our best and at our worst and to perform a particular alchemy on the people who are there on the day, in the auditorium and onstage. Its magic is elusive and transformative and there’s nothing else like it. I’m delighted to be a Theatres Trust Ambassador- we need more shared experience, more stories and more magic."

    Siobhan Redmond trained at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and began her career as an actress in tv, film and theatre in 1983. TV credits include Unforgotten, The Replacement, The Catherine Tate Show, Sea of Souls, The High Life and Between The Lines: radio work includes the well-loved drama series McLevy. Originally from Glasgow, Siobhan has performed in theatres across Scotland in a wide range of stage plays including The Trick Is To Keep Breathing at the Tron, Perfect Days at the Traverse and varying plays for the National Theatre of Scotland and The Royal Lyceum Edinburgh. She has amassed credits from a wide range of theatre productions across England and is an Associate Artist of the Royal Shakespeare Company. In 2013 she was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List for her services to drama.

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    Tim Rice

    "If you love theatre, I urge you to support the Theatres Trust - they are looking after our national treasure of unique and wonderful theatres for generations to come."

    Sir Tim Rice has worked in music, theatre and films since 1965 when he met Andrew Lloyd Webber, a fellow struggling songwriter. Rather than pursue Tim’s ambitions to write rock or pop songs they turned their attention to Andrew’s obsession – musical theatre. Their first collaboration (lyrics by Tim, music by Andrew) was an unsuccessful show based on the life of Dr.Barnardo, the Victorian philanthropist, The Likes Of Us. Their next three works together were much more successful – Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar and Evita. Tim has since worked with other distinguished popular composers such as Elton John (The Lion King, Aida), Alan Menken (Aladdin, King David, Beauty and the Beast), Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson (Chess) and Stuart Brayson (From Here To Eternity). Recent versions of his works include a live US television broadcast of Jesus Christ Superstar starring John Legend, Sara Bareilles and Alice Cooper (Easter 2018); a major production of Chess at the London Coliseum with the ENO, starring Michael Ball, Alexandra Burke, Cassidy Janson and Tim Hower (May 2018); two new productions of From Here To Eternity in New York State and Maine (2016/17); and a world tour of Hal Prince’s original production of Evita, winding up with a season at the Sydney Opera House (2018). Tim formed his own cricket team in 1973 and was President of MCC in 2002. He was appointed President of the London Library in 2017 in succession to Sir Tom Stoppard. He is a regular broadcaster/presenter on BBC Radio 2, drawing on his extensive knowledge of the history of popular music since Elvis was a lad. He has won several awards*, mainly for the wrong thing or for simply turning up.

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    John Simm

    “As a young actor attending College in Blackpool, I appeared in three productions at ‘The Blackpool Grand Theatre’, It was the first theatre stage I ever appeared on, and because of that wonderful old place I have been in love with theatre ever since. The Theatres Trust supports The Grand Theatre, along with many other performance venues, and helps them thrive. For this reason I am proud to be an ambassador of the trust.”

    John Simm is an actor well known for his roles in British TV and film. He has been awarded two BAFTA Nominations for his work. Some of his most recent TV credits include ‘Collateral’, ‘Trauma’ and ‘Doctor Who’. John has also performed in stage productions across London and the West End, including the critically acclaimed play ‘Elling’ which earned him an Olivier Award Nomination, as well as a theatregoers Choice Award Nomination. Some of John’s earlier well known credits include roles in ‘Life on Mars’ and ‘Mad Dogs’ and in addition to his accomplishments in acting, he has worked as a musician in a career that spans over twenty years.

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    Meera Syal

    "The Theatres Trust does vital work to promote and protect this nation's theatres. It's an important institution we should treasure."

    Meera Syal is an actress with a number of television, theatre and film credits. Her first novel, Anita And Me, won the Betty Trask Award and is on the national schools’ curriculum.  She has written two other critically acclaimed novels, both of which she has adapted for television. She was also writer/performer in the multi-award-winning comedy series Goodness Gracious Me and The Kumars At Number 42. Meera is the recipient of several national awards including two British Comedy Awards, two International EMMYS, a BAFTA nomination and the Women In Film And Television Award for Creative Innovation. In 2015, she was awarded the CBE for Services To Drama And Literature and in 2017 she was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.