News story

Culture Secretary appoints 6 new members to The Theatres Trust

Dara Ó Briain, Gavin Henderson, Peter Roberts, Simon Ruddick, Ann Skippers and Anna Stapleton appointed as members of The Theatres Trust.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Sajid Javid, has appointed new members to the board of The Theatres Trust.


Dara Ó Briain

Dara is a comedian and television presenter, noted for hosting topical panel shows such as The Panel, Mock the Week, Dara Ó Briain: School of Hard Sums and The Apprentice: You’re Fired!. Dara began his career by performing in comedy clubs in Ireland; he now tours both nationally and internationally. When not on tour, he works regularly as an after-dinner Speaker and awards host, having presented the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Telly awards, the BAFTA Video Game awards and the Empire Movie awards, amongst many others. Dara has also written a book; “Tickling the English” published in 2009 and has now written for most of the national papers in the UK and Ireland, including a year as sports columnist for the Guardian.

Professor Gavin Henderson CBE

Gavin Henderson is currently Principal of The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, a college of the University of London. He was Artistic Director of the Dartington International Summer School from 1983-2010, Artistic Director of Brighton Festival 1984–94 and is an Honorary Fellow of the University of Brighton. He was Principal of Trinity College of Music from 1994 to 2005, creating the merger with Laban Centre for Dance, and has been President of the European Festivals Association, and Chairman of the British Arts Festivals Association. Gavin is also a trustee of The Antony Dale Trust, The Berners Trust, Brighton Early Music Festival, Estorick Collection and President of the National Piers Society.

Peter Roberts

Peter has spent the last 50 years working in the theatre industry, he recently was the technical director and head of theatre development at Cameron Mackintosh, Peter is now a freelance theatre consultant. Peter has not only worked for theatres in Great Britain but he has also worked on theatres internationally including, USA, Thailand, Australia and Germany. Peter is vice-chairman of Governors at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and has been a member of the Society of London Theatres for 30 years.

Simon Ruddick

Simon Ruddick is the CEO of Albourne Partners, the alternative investment consultancy firm that he co-founded in 1994. Simon began his career working in capital markets for Daiwa Europe and Morgan Grenfell, before spending 5 years in Japan, latterly with Bankers Trust. Returning to the UK in 1989, Simon set up the hedge fund management company, Westminster Equity. Albourne has twice won the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise and was cited as the most influential investor in the Hedge Fund space by HFMWeek in 2012. Simon has also been a Trustee of the Hedge Funds Standard Board since 2008 and won the International Leadership Award from the American Red Cross in 2012.

Ann Skippers

Ann Skippers is a chartered town planner with over twenty years experience in the planning sector in a career which has spanned the public, private and academic sectors. She is currently Director of Ann Skippers Planning and specialises in neighbourhood planning and providing training and support to a range of clients on planning matters. Ann was President of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) in 2010 and was the Vice President (Europe) of the Commonwealth Association of Planners from 2010-2012. She is currently Vice Chair of the Construction Industry Council until June of this year. Ann has also been a non-salaried Planning Inspector since 2004 and has held a number of academic appointments including as a tutor for the Open University and continues to lecture regularly to planning, housing and surveying students at various universities. She is currently a visiting Lecturer at University College London.

Anna Stapleton

Anna Stapleton is a Freelance Arts Manager, with over 40 years’ experience of working in the arts. Previous posts include Administrative Director at the Citizens Theatre, Glasgow; Drama & Dance Director at the Scottish Arts Council; Drama Director at the Arts Council of England and work with a range of producing theatres including the Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh; the Liverpool Everyman Theatre; Perth Theatre and the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester.

Published 29 May 2014