Our Board of Trustees

    At Tobacco Factory Theatres we are well supported by a fantastic board of trustees. Please see biographies below.


    Sarah is a professional business manager, with over 30 years’ experience in both the private and public sectors. As a Director of Elev8 Ltd she currently specialises in management consultancy, business development and project management working in the private and public sectors. Prior to this her roles included Development Manager, General Manager and, for three years, CEO of the Bristol Old Vic as well as being General Manager of the Hall for Cornwall Trust. Sarah was Project Director for the Redevelopment of Bristol Old Vic’s Georgian auditorium, rehearsal rooms and back of house completed in 2012.


    Bertel’s experience of the arts covers a wide range of areas including literature, theatre and dance. His past roles include working for the Yardstick Black Writers Festival, the Bristol Old Vic, Kuumba, Circomedia and the Plymouth International Book Festival. He is currently the Director of Bristol publishers, City Chameleon which supports emerging creative writers from a range of cultural and social perspectives. His current role involves commissioning, designing and publishing books and promoting live literature events and theatre.


    Andrew is an Intellectual Property Partner at the international law firm DAC Beachcroft LLP with 17 years of experience and has been a Trustee since 2014. He deals with a wide range of media businesses and has particular experience in picture licensing, parody based filming and brand exploitation.


    Mark is the Managing Director of Simpleweb, a Bristol-based studio creating digital products for start-ups and companies that want to act like start-ups. Over the years he has solved problems for a range of clients from Banksy to BP. Mark has over 20 years’ experience in the digital sector and specialises in product delivery, digital marketing, and simplifying technology.


    Anna enjoyed a long and varied career in the cultural sector, initially at Tate Gallery, then as Director of the National Museums of Wales, and ultimately Chief Executive of MLA, the Museums Libraries and Archives Council. Since 1975 she has served on the boards of a number of grant making bodies, both independent and in the public sector. She chaired the Barrow Cadbury Trust from 1996 to 2006, and remains their Lead Trustee for the Young Adults and Criminal Justice programme. Having joined the board in 2006, Anna served as Vice Chair of Big Lottery Fund from 2008 to 2014. She has also enjoyed a number of roles with arts organisations. These currently include Chair of Arnolfini, Bristol’s contemporary arts centre, and Vice Chair of the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff.


    Matt is a venture capital investor, working with start-up technology companies in the UK and abroad. Matt has been in the VC business for since 2002 and has backed over 60 tech start-ups in this time, across many different sectors. Matt has a passion for empowerment, and wants to see everyone get a fair chance, wherever they are from.

    Mike Forrest

    Mike is a retired Chartered Accountant. After qualifying in Bristol with one of the major accountancy practices, he worked for twenty years in the financial services sector (insurance and banking) before moving to the charity sector for the following ten years. He was finance director of the YHA for five years, and then held director of resources posts at a number of smaller charities, before retiring in 2013. He brings strong financial skills and significant charity experience to the board of trustees, of which he has been a member since 2018.

    Claudia McVie

    Claudia McVie was one of the top ten fundraising directors in the UK charitable sector before her appointment as Chief Executive of Tenovus Cancer Care. She has more than thirty years experience in the voluntary sector, from running charity shops in Oxfam to the major cancer charity in Wales. Claudia has a reputation for hard-hitting campaigns, always geared to fundraising as well as awareness raising. She is extraordinarily creative, and seriously customer-focussed. She is a hard negotiator with Large Corporates and sympathetically tough with Major Donors and Lotteries. To her organisation, she also brings a passion for equal rights and is not only a great mentor, but also an empathetic teacher, particularly when coaching juniors on assertiveness and communication skills.