What Next? Steering Group Biographies

What Next? Steering Group 

Suzanne Alleyne, Creative Strategist and leader of Neurology of Power (joined in 2019)

Suzanne Alleyne is a Cultural Thinker. Collaborative working is at the heart of everything she does. She is driven by the belief that considering people, profit and purpose at all levels of business, benefits both organisations and wider society. Her business navigates the intersection of culture and commerce underpinned by 25 years experience supporting and consulting for high profile international organisations and individuals. Her portfolio of clients includes Barclaycard, Channel 4, V&A, Wellcome Trust and Roundhouse. Within the arts she has an impressive track record working with UK writers and poets on their professional development and associated shows. She is an inaugural Arts Council England Changemaker, through which she was Commercial, Brand and Strategy Director at Apples and Snakes. She is a Fellow of the RSA, a Cultural Animateur for Signifier, and a Visiting Research Associate and guest lecturer at King’s College London.

Dave Moutrey (pronoun he/him) – Director and Chief Executive, HOME, Director of Culture for Manchester City Council

Dave Moutrey is Director and Chief Executive of HOME a purpose built 7,500m2 multi art form venue that opened in May 2015.  In this role he conceived and led both the merger of Cornerhouse and Library Theatre Company and the £25m capital project to create HOME which has attracted almost 1m visits per year since it opened.  In April 2018 he was seconded to Manchester City Council in a part time role of Director of Culture.  He is responsible for advising the Council on policy and strategy for culture and working closely with the Cultural Leaders Group on joint working and other collaborative initiatives.

Dave has worked in Manchester in leadership roles in the arts since 1984 previously at Abraham Moss Centre Theatre, Arts About Manchester and Cornerhouse. He was awarded a Doctor of Arts honoris causa by the University of Salford is a Fellow of the RSA, a member of the Chartered Management Institute, and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.  Dave is also an advisor to the British Council and holds a number of nonexecutive roles on not-for-profit boards

Jamie Beddard, Co-Artistic Director Diverse City (joined in 2018)

Jamie is Co-Artistic Director of Diverse City, and Lead Artist in Extaordinary Bodies. He is also an Agent for Change at The New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich. As a performer, he recently performed the title role in the Elephant Man as well as the Leader in The Messiah at Bristol Old Vic, played the role of Mathias in The National Theatre’s production of The Threepenny Opera, and performed in ‘Weighting’, a large-scale outdoor circus show created by Extraordinary Bodies. He is a Clore Fellow, and has previously been a Diversity Officer (Arts Council), Associate Director (Graeae Theatre Company) and Editor of ‘Disability Arts in London’ magazine (DAIL). His directing credits include ‘The Last Freakshow’ (Fittings), ‘Can I Be Frank With You’ (‘Datco’) and ‘The Trouble With Richard’ (Graeae). Acting includes Quills, I.D, All the King’s Men, Wonderful You (Film/TV) and Ubu, Alice in Wonderland, Flesh Fly (Graeae), 15 Seconds (Traverse) and Waiting for Godot (Tottering Bipeds).

Alistair Spalding, Artistic Director and Chief Executive, Sadler’s Wells (joined in 2011)

Alexandrina Hemsley – Freelance Creative Practitioner and Consultant

Alexandrina Hemsley’s choreographic, writing and facilitation practice is shaped by and insists on embodied ways of voicing realities resulting from systemic, racial, gender-based and ableist marginalisation. The breath of their creative approach also sees them invested as much in discourse and organisational structures as choreographic or aesthetic enquiries. Alexandrina is an Associate Artist at Cambridge Junction, Dance Ireland International Associate 2020, and a board member of Chisenhale Dance Space.

Website and Social media handles: www.alexandrinahemsley.com Twitter: https://twitter.com/alexandrinahem Instagram:https://www.instagram.com/alexandrinah/

Alison Clark – Head of Culture Sport & Tourism, Durham County Council

Having been told by a careers teacher at 16 ‘people from places like this don’t do jobs like that’, Alison has had a 25-year career in arts and culture leadership. She is currently Head of Culture Sport and Tourism at Durham County Council. Previously she spent 15 years with Arts Council England, the last 6 as director of the north west and national director for Combined Arts where she raised profile and investment across outdoor arts, festivals, arts centres and social arts practice, and designed and lead the influential Ambition for Excellence programme. She is a fellow of the DeVos Institute of Global Arts Management at the University of Maryland.

Twitter and Instagram is @alisoncj

Claire Hodgson – Co artistic Director Diverse City and Extraordinary Bodies (role share with Jamie Beddard)

Claire is a Theatre, Dance and Circus Director, committed to achieving social justice. Claire founded Diverse City in 2005 and is the co-founder of Extraordinary Bodies, the UK’s leading professional integrated circus company. Claire was a Clore Fellow in 2012 and writes for The Guardian online. She is the former head of Performing Arts at London Metropolitan University and was awarded an MBE in 2016 for services to inclusion in the Performing Arts. Together with Jamie Beddard, Claire won the Clore Duffield 50th Anniversary prize, which they used to tour Extraordinary Bodies across the UK and support 10 ‘Unexpected Leaders’ who have faced barriers to entering the industry.


Dan de la Motte – Freelance as Producer, Curator, Performer and Activist.

DAN DE LA MOTTE is a Queer performer, presenter, lecturer, producer, curator and activist. As PERFORMER recent credits include A Deed Without A Name (Theatro Technis) A Delicate Balance (Southbank Centre) The Hound of the Baskervilles (Abney Park); Fine and Dandy (King’s Head Theatre, Arcola Theatre) Live to Tell: (A Proposal For) The Madonna Jukebox Musical (Pulse Festival – New Wolsey Theatre and Yard Theatre). As CO-DIRECTOR Qtopia (Arcola Theatre), MAMMA QUIA – THE ZOOMSICAL! (via Zoom) As PRODUCER Stark Dallas Naked (Pleasance Theatre and regional tour) Disney Love (music video) Carnation for a Song (Young Vic and London tour) Bird la Bird’s Queer People’s History Show (national tour), DISNEY LOVE (music video for Alekxandr, filmed at the Glory) As CURATOR Artist Climate Lab 2018, Artist Climate Lab 2019 (Hawkwood College) Bloolips and Radical Drag (Platform Southwark) GLF AT 50; THE ART OF PROTEST (Platform Southwark) Dan is a Creative Climate Leader and is the host of Off Book, the Young Vic Podcast. UPCOMING: On Railton Road (Brixton Community Base), Do The Jellyfish Bop! (Barbican Centre) Different Ways of Living and Loving (Alexandra Palace) MOLLY’S MASQUERADE (St Margaret’sHouse)

Social media handle is @Dandelamotte

David Tovey and Lora Krasteva (role share) – Lora is Artist | Cultural Producer | Activist Founder of Global Voices Theatre and David is Creative Producer for Arts and Homelessness International

Lora Krasteva is a theatre maker, political scientist, and activist. She is the Activist Founder of Global Voices Theatre, a female, non-binary and immigrant company platforming work from underrepresented creatives. Since the COVID lockdown, Lora has been podcasting as Untrained Effort, investigating cultural policy around the world and working with other migrants in theatre to increase representation across the industry. She recently joined the Cultural Freelance Taskforce, a nationwide taskforce setting agendas and enacting change as part of the UK cultural recovery.

Socials are @lorakrasteva and @GlobalVoicesTh

David Tovey (Arts and Homelessness International, Creative Producer) is an ex-homeless artist, educator and activist. He is a photographer, painter as well as an installation artist and performance-maker. David has exhibited internationally in locations such as the Atsa Festival Montreal, Kunstall Stavern Norway.  He is the founder of the UK’s first One Festival of Homeless Arts. His Man on Bench performances have earned him significant acclaim and have taken place on the pavement of the London’s Southbank, The Mayfield Depot Manchester and the halls of Tate Exchange. David is one of the Big Issue’s TOP 100 Change-Makers of 2019

Socials are @davidtovey1975 and @OneFestivalofHA and Arts and Homelessness International @artshomelessint

Holly Lombardo – Director, NRTF

Holly has worked in creative industries at a senior level since 2001. She founded the Brighton Fringe in 2004, managing it to become the 3rd largest Arts Fringe Festival in the world. She was a senior manager at the Edinburgh Fringe Society and Director of an Edinburgh Fringe venue. Known for working within some of the UK’s largest international Festivals. In 2007 pooled her knowledge of the cultural sector to found World Fringe Network, which links nearly 300 Fringe Festivals across the globe. As well as this she lectured at Universities on event & business management. Was an assessor for the Arts Council England, where she assessed the NRTF and has been an Executive Trustee of the British Arts Festival Association for 8 years. More recently she was the Project Director for Wooden O Theatres and left her position as the Artistic Director of Fusion Arts Oxford to join the NRTF as the Director. She is also the Director of World Fringe

@ruraltouring @WorldFringenet @HollyPLombardo

Kate McGrath – Director, Fuel 

Kate McGrath is the Director of Fuel, a producing organisation which she co-founded in 2004. Fuel collaborates with theatre makers exploring the big questions of our times to produce an adventurous, playful and significant programme of live performance for audiences across the UK and beyond. Kate is also Curator for Edinburgh International Festival’s You Are Here programme, Co-Chair of the Board of Camden People’s Theatre, and a School Governor. Prior to this Kate worked as a freelance producer, and at Battersea Arts Centre, after starting her career in journalism at The Scotsman

@1KateMcGrath on Twitter.

Keisha Thompson – Young People’s Producer (Contact theatre, Manchester) and Freelance Artist/Producer

Keisha Thompson is a Manchester based writer, performance artist and producer. Keisha is the Young People’s Producer at Contact, chair of radical arts funding body, Future’s Venture Foundation, is a fellow of the MOBO x London Theatre Consortium Fellowship and is a member of Greater Manchester Cultural and Heritage Group. She is currently touring award-winning solo show, Man on the Moon. Her debut book, Lunar, features her poetry and the show script. Whilst Moonwhile is a poetic mini album featuring music from the show. In 2020 she will work with commissioners Eclipse Theatre, York Theatre Royal and Pilot Theatre to stage new play, The Bell Curves. The script was made in development with Box of Tricks. She will also work with Fuel Theatre and Alan Lane (Slung Low) to create new children’s show, Izzy, BOSSS & Fractal. She will release a new mini album, Ephemera, in collaboration with Tom “Werkha” Leah.

Social media handles: Twitter: Keke_Thom Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shebekeke Instagram: shebekeke https://keishathompson.com/bio/

Laura Drane – Freelance producer, facilitator, consultant 

I am an experienced independent creative producer, consultant and facilitator. To give a few examples, I’ve produced science festivals and community arts projects, toured dance productions to 13th century castles, and delivered major outreach projects for government departments. I have been based in Cardiff since 2012, having previously lived in Edinburgh, Manchester and West Yorkshire. I co-founded What Next? Cardiff in 2014 (now meets at WN?Cymru via Zoom) and notable achievements of the chapter have included a Welsh national hustings for arts and culture, and a significant campaign to engage the local authority around potential cuts, called Cardiff Without Culture?

Handles: @LauraHD @WNCardiff

Monique Baptiste-Brown – Head of Audiences and Communications – Brixton House

Arts marketer, cultural strategist, researcher, and working mum. Monique’s experience spans across the arts and cultural sector including art forms and creative practice in theatre, museums and heritage, film, and literature. A lover of stories whether on screen, page or stage, she is motivated by diverse narratives and audiences. She has led commercial campaigns for Broadway and West End productions and is passionate about championing grassroots and community-focused initiatives.  Her work includes the opening of the UK’s first dedicated heritage centre Black Cultural Archives, and more recently #CultureNeedsDiversity campaign. She is the co-curator of #BCAFilmFest that showcases Black British film and co-founder of #BlackWomxnInTheatre movement. As a researcher, she focuses on cultural valuation and production processes within institutions. Her Masters in Postcolonial Culture and Global Policy led to empirical research on today’s education system and well-being of young people; and a critique on cultural economics and value systems in the UK. She is a London representative for the Arts Marketing Association and Mentor for the Sour Lemonades. She is currently the Head of Audiences and Communications at Brixton House due to open 2021.

Social media handles: Twitter @BaptisteMon

Sarah Ellis  Director of Digital Development for the Royal Shakespeare Company

Sarah Ellis is the Director of Digital Development for the RSC. Her latest partnership is the Audience of the Future Live Performance Demonstrator funded by InnovateUK. In 2017, she became a fellow of the University of Worcester. In 2016 awarded The Hospital Club & Creatives Industries award for cross-industry collaboration. In 2013 listed in the top 100 most influential people in Gaming and Technology by Guardian Culture Professionals. She is Industry Champion for the PEC, informing academic research on the creative industries. She is Chair of The Space, established by ACE and BBC to promote digital engagement across the arts.

Social media handle is @scarahnellis