We have 28 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, Simon Callow, Jack Dee, Mel Giedroyc, David Hare, Miranda Hart, Lenny Henry, Cassidy Janson, Beverley Knight, Kwame Kwei-Armah, Jude Law, Cameron Mackintosh, David Morrissey, Bill Nighy, Dara Ó Briain, Elaine Paige, Siobhan Redmond, Tim Rice, John Simm, Meera Syal, and Andrew Lloyd Webber.
"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, Newswatch on BBC1, and the podcast How I Found My Voice for Intelligence Squared. Her documentaries include Art of Persia on BBC4.
"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."
"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 85 plays. Truth Will Out, due to be produced at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in summer 2020 was, of course, cancelled. However, his very latest play, The Girl Next Door, premiered in June 2021 at the Stephen Joseph Theatre where nearly all his plays continue to be first staged. It was under his leadership that in 1996 the Stephen Joseph Theatre finally found a permanent home in Scarborough in a subsequently converted former Odeon Cinema. In happier, pre-Covid times, his work was performed continuously on stage and television throughout the world winning countless awards. Major successes include Relatively Speaking, How the Other Half Loves, The Norman Conquests, Seasons Greetings, Absurd Person Singular, and Woman in Mind. Inducted into American Theatre’s Hall of Fame, and 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 theatre.
"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 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 OBE by the Queen in 2016. He has recently been performing at the London Coliseum as Anatoly in Chess.
"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 ambiance 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 a British actress who trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. Pippa has just started filming Chloe, a new psychological thriller for BBC1, having just wrapped on feature film Untitled Murder Mystery. 2020 saw Pippa star in BBC dramas Roadkill and Sitting in Limbo, Gangs of London for Sky, and Maxxx for Channel 4. Pippa played the co-lead in the British indie film Real which premiered at the London Film Festival in 2019.
"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 You, Never Mind The Buzzcocks, Absolutely Fabulous, Getting On, Damned, and Question Time. In addition to her television success, Jo still remains passionate about performing live, maintaining, 'nothing tops the thrill of the theatre.'
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.
"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."
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. Alexandra rose to fame winning the fifth series of The X Factor in 2008 while duetting with her idol Beyonce.
Simon Callow CBE is an actor, author and director. He joined the National Theatre in 1979, where he created the role of Mozart in Peter Shaffer’s Amadeus. He has acted in many West End theatres since his debut at the Prince of Wales theatre in 1975. His West End productions include Shirley Valentine, Shades, and Carmen Jones (which ran for two years). London’s Great Theatres is his sixteenth book.
"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.
"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.
"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."
David Hare has written over thirty stage plays and thirty screenplays for film and television. The plays include Plenty, Pravda (with Howard Brenton), Racing Demon, Skylight, Amy’s View, The Blue Room, Via Dolorosa, Stuff Happens, The Absence of War and The Judas Kiss. For cinema, he has written The Hours, The Reader, Damage, Denial, Wetherby and The White Crow among others, while his television films include Licking Hitler, The Worricker Trilogy, Collateral and Roadkill. In a millennial poll of the greatest plays of the 20th century, five of the top 100 were his.
"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 its nature theatre provides creativity, inspiration, escapism, magic and vision. Things we all need and should nurture."
Miranda Hart is an actor, writer, and comedian. 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 first book Is It Just Me? was a highly successful bestseller and won Non-Fiction Book of the Year and she has since published four more books including comedy memoir Peggy & Me and children’s novel The Girl With The Lost Smile. Miranda has continued to gain recognition for her work as an actor 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 and can be seen as Miss Bates in the Working Title film of Jane Austen’s Emma, released in 2020.
"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 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. His theatre credits include The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui at The Donmar and most recently August Wilson’s King Hedley ii at Theatre Royal Stratford East in 2019. Lenny’s Television credits include Broadchurch, The Syndicate, The Long Song, and his 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 in 2019 that the British Public had donated over £1bn to Comic Relief in 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. In October 2019, Lenny released his memoir Who Am I Again? and in 2020 it was announced that Lenny’s debut fiction title will launch with Macmillan Children’s Books. He has been a Trustee of the National Theatre since February 2016.
"Theatres are vital to local communities and provide a hub for - not just theatre productions - but other events such as blood donations, church meetings, lectures, training events, etc. They are a flexible-use space and now more than ever we need them to bring communities together. The Old Bull Arts Centre in High Barnet (now called The Bull Theatre) was a great place in my childhood. I took acting lessons there and it was a real community hub."
Cassidy Janson most recently appeared in &Juliet at The Shaftesbury Theatre playing Anne Hathaway/Mrs Shakespeare in a new musical with the music of Max Martin, for which she won an Olivier Award 2020 for Best Supporting Actress in a Musical. Prior to this, she played the role of Carole King in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical at the Aldwych Theatre in London’s West End from November 2015 to August 2017. Cassidy duetted with King in Hyde Park for 65,000 people for BST festivals, and her debut album 'Cassidy' released in 2019 with BMG, includes a previously unreleased Carole King track. Cassidy was a member of the original London cast of Wicked and played standby for Elphaba. Further theatre roles include Ruth in Dessa Rose at the Trafalgar Studios opposite Oscar nominee Cynthia Erivo; Susan in Tick, Tick... Boom! for the Menier Chocolate Factory starring alongside Neil Patrick Harris; Paquette in Candide, also at the Menier Chocolate Factory; Maggie in Lend Me a Tenor at the Gielgud Theatre; Company at the Southwark Playhouse; Kate Monster/Lucy the Slut in Avenue Q at the Wyndhams Theatre, and Florence in Chess for English National Opera at the Coliseum. Cassidy was in the trio Leading Ladies, performing alongside Amber Riley and Beverley Knight. They recorded an acclaimed debut album, Songs from the Stage, which was nominated for a Classical Brit Award. She also recently guested with The Jive Aces, performing at Glastonbury and Ronnie Scott’s as well as on tours to New York City and Florida. On film, her credits include The Hike, Tail’s End, Day Trip to London, Full Circle, and Coma. Her television appearances include Casualty.
"We need theatres to remain at the heart of our communities, to tell stories that explain the world and give us a sense of place where we can come together. Being a trustee for Theatres Trust for six years gave me a great deal of satisfaction and pride so I’m delighted to continue to support Theatres Trust in its vital work as an Ambassador."
Gary Kemp grew up in Islington and attended local grammar school Dame Alice Owens and Anna Scher’s Children’s Theatre drama club, becoming a child actor in film and TV. In 1976 he left acting to concentrate on making music and song writing, founding the 1980s super group Spandau Ballet. His songs spent a combined total of 500 weeks in the charts and generated over 25m record sales worldwide. Gary pursued an acclaimed solo career after Spandau Ballet split in 1990 and returned to acting, starring in films such as ‘The Krays’ and ‘The Bodyguard’ and performing on stage at Wyndham’s, Stratford East and the Trafalgar Studios. He writes articles on art, music and the theatre for numerous publications, including the Times, Guardian and Evening Standard, and presents and produces programmes for TV and radio. Gary Kemp was on Theatres Trust’s Board from 2017 to 2023.
"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.
“I have recently become Artistic Director of the Young Vic. It is an extraordinary creative and vibrant hub that puts live performance and community at its heart. Theatres Trust campaigns for buildings like ours around the UK and I believe that all communities should have access to a hub like ours.“
Kwame Kwei-Armah OBE became Artistic Director of the Young Vic theatre in 2018. He was Artistic Director of Baltimore Centerstage (2011-18) and Artistic Director of the Festival of Black Arts and Culture, Senegal (2010), where he wrote and directed the opening ceremony at Senghor stadium. As a playwright, Kwame was the first African Caribbean to have a play produced in London’s West End (Elmina’s Kitchen). His triptych of plays was produced at the National Theatre, where he later created the online resource The Black Play Archive. Kwame was Chancellor of the University of the Arts, London (2010-2015), is Patron of Ballet Black, and The Black Cultural Archives, Chair of Warwick Arts Centre Advisory Board, and Fellow of Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford University. Kwame was awarded an OBE for Services to Drama in 2011, and in 2020 listed as one of 100 Great Black Britons. Whilst Artistic Director of Baltimore Center Stage, Kwame directed: Jazz, Marley, One Night in Miami, Amadeus, Dance of the Holy Ghosts, The Mountaintop; An Enemy of the People, The Whipping Man, Things of Dry Hours. Other directing includes Twelfth Night, Comedy of Errors, Much Ado About Nothing, Detroit’67 (Public Theatre), The Liquid Plain (Signature Theatre/Oregon Shakespeare Festival), Porgy and Bess (Baltimore Symphony Orchestra), the Olivier-nominated One Night in Miami (Donmar Warehouse), One Love (Birmingham Repertory Theatre). His playwrighting credits include Tree (MIF, Young Vic), One Love (Birmingham Repertory Theatre), Beneatha’s Place (Baltimore Center Stage), Elmina’s Kitchen, Fix Up, Statement of Regret (National Theatre) Let There Be Love, Seize the Day (Tricycle).
"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."
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, Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald, Captain Marvel and Vox Lux. He is the star of the television series The Young Pope – the follow-up to which The New Pope will be released later this year. He has various upcoming films including The Nest and The Third Day. 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.
"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.
"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.
Dara Ó Briain
Dara is a comedian and television presenter noted for hosting television shows such as Mock the Week, Stargazing Live, and The Apprentice: You’re Fired! Dara began his career by performing in comedy clubs in Ireland; he now tours both nationally and internationally and has released 5 DVDs. He has also written books for children and adults, and written for most of the national papers in the UK and Ireland.
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 and 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 17th year and regularly attracts over 2.5 million listeners each week.
"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.
"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.
“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. 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 Grace, White Dragon, 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.
"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 including Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing (RSC), The Nurse in Kenneth Branagh's Romeo and Juliet, and most recently Dottie in the recent West End revival of Noises Off. She was also a 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 a CBE for Services To Drama And Literature and in 2017 she was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.
Andrew Lloyd Webber
When Sunset Boulevard joined School Of Rock, Cats, and The Phantom Of The Opera on Broadway in February 2017, Andrew Lloyd Webber became the only person to equal the record set in 1953 by Rodgers and Hammerstein with four Broadway shows running concurrently. In total, he has composed 21 musicals, a song cycle, a set of variations, two film scores, and a Latin Requiem Mass. His other musicals include Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar, and Evita. His latest musical Cinderella will premiere in July 2021 after being composed throughout the Covid-19 lockdown. Lloyd Webber has also co-produced his own shows including Cats and The Phantom Of The Opera. As a solo producer, he presented the groundbreaking Bombay Dreams which brought the double Oscar-winning Bollywood composer AR Rahman to the Western stage. Other productions include the Olivier-Award-Winning Daisy Pulls It Off and La Bete, The Wizard of Oz, and the record-breaking The London Palladium production of The Sound Of Music. As a composer and producer, Lloyd Webber is one of a select group of artists to have achieved 'EGOT' status by receiving an Emmy, four Grammys including Best Contemporary Classical Composition for Requiem, his setting of the Latin Requiem mass, an Oscar, and eight Tony Awards including the 2018 Special Tony for Lifetime Achievement in the theatre. He has won seven Oliviers and a Golden Globe and his honours include the Praemium Imperiale, the Richard Rodgers Award for Excellence in Musical Theatre, a BASCA Fellowship, and the Kennedy Center Honor. He owns seven West End theatres and every penny of profit from his theatres is re-invested into the buildings. His Theatre Royal Drury Lane is due to reopen in August 2021 after a £60m refurbishment to restore the theatre to its original 1812 glory. This has been a two-year project which combines Andrew’s passion for architecture and art in order to give something back to the West End. Working alongside Madeleine Lloyd Webber, the pair renovated the building to establish it as a destination to visit without having to attend a show, making the building inviting for all. Lloyd Webber is passionate about the importance of music in education and access to the arts. Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation has become one of Britain’s leading charities supporting the arts and music. Since its creation in 1992, the Foundation has provided 30 performing arts scholarships every year for talented students with financial need, supporting a range of access projects such as the Music in Secondary Schools Trust and commissioning research into the diversity of the industry.