Our Board of Trustees

    Here at Tobacco Factory Theatres we are well supported by a fantastic board of trustees. Read on to find out more about who our trustees are.


    SARAH SMITH (CHAIR)

    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.


    JOSEPH BELL

    Joe is a Digital Producer with a particular interest in immersive & interactive media. He has produced a range of innovative and award-winning digital projects, many during 7 years spent at the BBC. As an associate for The Space, he supported over 60 arts organisations develop and produce their own digital projects to build online audiences, and with his company, Sideburn Panda, delivered a wide variety of projects for the arts & heritage sector. He is currently a Senior Producer at Aardman Animations working on Wallace & Gromit’s first feature in VR.


    SAM CHARLESTON

    Sam was a Theatre Sound Engineer for many years, in London and Southampton, working in venues including the Royal Court, Young Vic, National Theatre, and latterly as Head of Sound and Video at the NST Theatres in Southampton. Sam also spent a number of years teaching Sound Design and Engineering at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, and LAMDA. Sam is an elected Salisbury City Councillor, and sits as an observer on the board of WIltshire Creative. Sam brings the benefit of his experience in technical theatre and local Government to the Tobacco Factory Board of Trustees.


    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.


    LAURA KNIGHT

    Laura Mora Knight is a British/Latinx theatre producer, specialising in Theatre for Young Audiences. She is Incubator Producer at The Egg, Theatre Royal Bath’s playground for developing, producing, and programming work for and with children and young people. Laura is an advocate for the rights of children and young people and is passionate about ensuring they have access to high quality arts experiences. Prior to her work at The Egg, Laura taught English at secondary school level and worked in Community Outreach for Oxford Playhouse and a variety of different arts festivals across the country.


    EWEN MACGREGOR

    Ewen is an adopted son of the West Country having moved to Bristol (from his home town in the north of Scotland) in 1989. He is a solicitor and a partner at TLT, within the firms nationally recognised alcohol and gambling licensing practise. Ewen represents a number of nationally recognised clients (as well as significant number of independent operators) in the retail and hospitality sector, including theatre operators. He has previously undertaken other voluntary roles within the city including being a trustee and board director at the Trinity Centre. Over the years Ewen has enjoyed numerous productions at the Tobacco Factory, notable amongst them Othello, Jigsy (Les Dennis – a revelation!), Living with the Lights On and the wonderful Christmas productions.


    CHRISTELLE PELLECUER

    Christelle is the Founder and Creative Director at Razana Afrika and the Cultural Heritage Manager at Black South West Network. Her work is focused on culture, heritage and visual art. Christelle’s professional background includes working in the education sector for over 15 years undertaking programme/project management roles with an international focus.

    Christelle has also worked in the fashion industry for the last 10 years as a freelance makeup artist and her work experience covers advertising campaigns, magazine shoots, films, music videos, TV shows, Fashion Week. Christelle has expanded her skills into producing fashion events and has extensive experience of event management.

    Christelle is also a co-director and a performer in a small theatre company called Black Women Let Loose Theatre Company and she is a presenter on Imperial Voice Radio with a show called Fashion Rendez-vous exploring areas of fashion and textile especially in relation to Africa and the diaspora.


    MATT PENNEYCARD

    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.


    RICK STONE

    Rick is a senior engineer for a leading insurance company with over 30 years experience in the Motor, Insurer and Customer Service industry.

    He returned to his native Bristol in 2020 after a 15 year hiatus in Devon where he developed a love of local theatre gained after years of backstage assistance and chaperoning. He was naturally drawn to the history of the building and both the quality and affordability of the productions. He shares the TFT desire to promote theatre to the whole community making it a safe, inclusive place for all.

    Despite not having a professional background in theatre, his eclectic taste in genre and passion for diverse production types means he brings a vital ‘audience perspective’ to the board.