Andy Burden

Andy Burden is a freelance director and recently appointed director at the Natural Theatre Company. Andy has worked in theatre for 20 years primarily as a director, but also as a performer, lighting designer, writer and producer.


Jill Bennett

Jill is programme co-ordinator for the Engage Programme at the Theatre Royal Bath.

‘The word ‘Amateur’ comes from the Latin word for ‘Love’. A love of theatre is about so much more than just a love of plays. I will be talking about how my childhood in an am-dram family led me to a lifelong career in community theatre’


Dr Carol Chapman

Dr Carol Chapman, BA, MSc, DPsych, CPsychol is an HPC Registered Counselling Psychologist and Performance Coach. Since the 1990s, using methods for which there is solid research and clinical evidence, she has been helping performers of all types to identify, understand and overcome their problems and to fulfil their potential.

She is assessing Psychosocial Clinician at BAPAM and a Performing Arts Health Consultant. She is Lecturer and Module Leader in Performance Psychology on the innovative MSc in Performing Arts Medicine at UCL.

She is an active researcher and research and clinical supervisor, teacher and examiner. She presents her work at conferences, is very active in providing Health Education to performers, performance teachers and health professionals and occasionally appears in the media. .


Catherine Comerford

Catherine is Chairman of the Stage Newspaper



Oliver Jones

Oliver is Director of Creativity Works and Associate Director of Trestle Theatre Company.

‘The Breaking Boundaries Conference is an incredibly exciting event as it does not shy away from tackling some of the more hidden or hard to talk about issues affecting the arts and artists today. Mental Health is an illness prevalent in today’s society, and its impact is so often disregarded in our industry as a natural bi-product of the insecurity, competitiveness, and creative profoundness that we experience. It is incredibly important that we start to talk about these matters. Breaking Boundaries is brave, and it is vital, in offering a forum to debate and discuss these topics.’


Emmanuel de Lange

I joined Equity in April this year in a newly created post – Low and No Pay Industrial Organiser.

Whilst Equity members hugely value the vibrancy of the fringe sector, they have become deeply concerned over the proliferation of unpaid ‘work’ they are routinely offered, and the creation of my post demonstrates the union’s commitment to tackling the issue. There can be no doubt that low and no pay are  now endemic in theatre. In our latest member’s survey, 49% of respondents earned less than £5k a year from their professional work, and 46% had worked for free that year. A recent study by SOLT reported that 80% of actors on the fringe are paid below the National Minimum Wage.

Equity believes that the status quo is damaging to the industry and unsustainable in the long term. That’s why we campaign relentlessly for funding and support for the fringe sector, and actively tackling the culture whereby actors pay is seen by some as an optional extra, and the magic of theatre used to justify unlawful practices.

I’ll be addressing the conference on issues including:

–          What are the consequences of low and no pay for actors and theatre?

–          What is the legal situation on pay for actors in fringe theatre?

–          What can Equity do to improve things?

–          2015 – The Year of the Fringe – a major Equity campaign

More info on Low Pay, No Pay can be found here:



Toby Thompson – Performance Poet

“Toby Thompson is the future…” Kate Tempest (Poet, Rapper and Playwright)

Toby is an RSC Commissioned, Glastonbury regular who is taking the country by storm.


Jane McLeod

Jane McLeod is an Actor, Dancer, and Spoken Word Artist. She received a BA Honours Degree in Performing Arts in 2009. During this time she performed in Full Tilt Theatre Company’s national tour of Taming of The Shrew, which completed its run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Since then, she has worked as a Stand-Up comic and performed gigs across the Southwest, as well as at the famous Up The Creek comedy club in London. In addition to working as a Presenter for Classroom Video and an actress for Suited & Booted she has also written, directed and performed in her own play Yona, which was performed at The Forum, Bath. Jane is also Co-Director of bath based Hepzibah Theatre Co. which will tour the UK in 2015 and leads Dance & Drama workshops for Characters Stage School, Musical Mash-Up and the egg Theatre, Bath.


This years event will be hosted by the fabulous Jon Monie

Jon Monie is a hugely experienced and versatile Presenter, Actor and Writer. Not only a familiar face on ITV West for more than a decade, Jon has also worked extensively in most genres of television – and across most networks. Religion for BBC1, live light-entertainment for BBC3, quiz shows for Endemol, pseudo-sports programmes for Sky… Throw in some radio, voiceovers and emceeing too… It’s a diverse CV. The one constant is Jon’s unique brand of banter and quick-witted humour. As a result of his projects, Jon has grappled with a multitude of activities including tank-driving and fire-walking, and has interviewed celebrities ranging from Shirley McClaine to Miss Piggy, Gene Wilder to the Spice Girls and Dame Edna Everage to Lord Richard Attenborough. On the acting front, over the past 15 years Jon has won great acclaim for his regular performances as the comic lead in Bath’s Theatre Royal’s highly regarded pantomimes, alongside panto legend Chris Harris. His typically varied roles include Wishee Washee in Aladdin, Simple Simon inJack and the Beanstalk and Ugly Sister in Cinderella.  Jon also performs as one half of the comedy double-act ‘Avent & Monie’ (playing at many comedy festivals and venues throughout the country including London’s Hackney Empire) and is a regular performer with comedy improv troupe Instant Wit. For more information please visitwww.jonmonie.co.uk or www.aventandmonie.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *