I am a producer. I worked in and around Battersea Arts Centre from 1999-2019 (summary below) and then became a full-time parent in Devon where I am growing two children and undertaking a rewilding project. During the early stages of the pandemic, I researched and presented CULTURE PLAN B which was a podcast that talked to independent artists and communities who create culture outside big institutions.
I now work with organisations in the democratic sector. I became a Director of the SORTITION FOUNDATION in July 2020 which is one of the world’s leading providers of sortition services. In other words, we select random but representative groups of everyday citizens to join assemblies; commissioned by governments and public bodies all around the globe. Recent examples include the UK’S CLIMATE ASSEMBLY and the JERSEY ASSISTED DYING CITIZENS’ JURY. We also campaign for a citizen-led democracy, such as replacing the House of Lords in Westminster with a permanent Citizen’s Assembly.
From 2004-2019, I was Artistic Director and Chief Executive of BATTERSEA ARTS CENTRE (BAC) with a purpose:
We produced and co-produced shows such as Punchdrunk’s MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH (Observer Top Ten Shows of Decade), Kae Tempest’s BRAND NEW ANCIENTS (Ted Hughes Poetry Prize), BAC’s LONDON STORIES: MADE BY MIGRANTS (Observer Best Theatre of 2016) and FRANKENSTEIN (Off West End and Total Theatre Awards 2019). We were also the producer for PERFORMANCE LIVE a newly created strand of live theatre, dance and poetry for BBC TWO and BBC FOUR featuring artists like Akala, Touretteshero, Hofesh Shechter and Slung Low.
During my time leading BAC we:
- launched BAC Productions and BAC Touring with an international programme partnering with over 100 venues in more than 20 countries, as well as inventing a more embedded and sustainable approach to UK touring called the COLLABORATIVE TOURING NETWORK;
- kick-started a new national network called CO-CREATING CHANGE to develop and share more democratic approaches to producing culture and introduced innovative social change programmes including THE AGENCY and LOCAL ROOTS;
- created BAC MOVING MUSEUM as the new custodian of the Wandsworth collection and developed CREATIVE MUSEUMS as a national development programme to explore the creative role of Scratch in the heritage sector;
- achieved the asset transfer of Battersea’s former Town Hall, signing a 125 year lease and delivering an innovative £26m RENOVATION PROJECT in partnership with Haworth Tompkins winning a RIBA National Award and The Stage Build of the Year Award in 2019;
- reimagined the organisation’s operating and programme model with PROJECT WORKING and increasing annual turnover from £1.5m in 2004 to £6m in 2018/19, growing the organisation’s staff capacity from 25 to 65 FTE and increasing investment in artists by over 400%;
- partnered with Touretteshero to develop the world’s first RELAXED VENUE and partnered with Artistic Directors of the Future and the Bush Theatre to develop UP NEXT to support artistic directors of colour including Battersea’s new Artistic Director appointed in 2019.
I was Chair of KNEEHIGH THEATRE from 2008-2013. I was part of a collective of people who supported the development of WHAT NEXT? movement from 2010. I was inaugural Chair of the LONDON THEATRE CONSORTIUM from 2012-2015. I was a member of the inaugural Advisory Council for the CREATIVE INDUSTRIES FEDERATION from 2015-2016. I was a panellist on the inquiry into the CIVIC ROLE OF ARTS ORGANISATIONS by Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation from 2017-2018. I was a member of Arts Council England’s TEN YEAR STRATEGY External Reference Group from 2018-2019.
Prior to working at Battersea Arts Centre, I was Director of Your Imagination (2001-2004) which was a company dedicated to producing independent artists including TOBY JONES, KAZUKO HOHKI and RIDICULUSMUS. I was the Development Producer at Battersea Arts Centre (1999-2001) working with Artistic Director Tom Morris to develop and launch the organisation’s Scratch programme. And I was Director of the Lion & Unicorn Theatre with Central School of Speech and Drama (1998-1999). I have enjoyed teaching roles in secondary and higher education in Northampton, Bristol and London.
I am an HONORARY FELLOW of Central School and have an HONORARY DOCTORATE with Roehampton University. I trained at Bretton Hall, Bristol University (MA) and Central School of Speech and Drama (MA, Distinction).
In case a visual description is useful, I am a six foot white male with a head of varying amounts of stubble. I usually wear a stingy brimmed hat and my pronouns are he/him.