Robert is an actor, writer and a Cheeky Chappy who describes himself as having worked in theatre, television and radio, narrowly avoiding a career in shoplifting and burglary! After graduating, Robert joined Tic Toc Theatre Company, where he acted and began to write community plays and comedy cabaret. He has since become a freelance performer and writer, with an MA in Television Scriptwriting. Together with Paul Nolan he set up The Cheeky Chappies, writing and performing comedy shows which have toured nationally, including Live & Local venues. Married to Mandy, with two children who both threaten to follow in their father’s entertaining footsteps!
Live & Local says: Robert Chairs the Board with a firm but fun hand and brings a professional performer’s perspective to our planning with his wealth of experience across the arts scene.
Oliver hails from Worcestershire and following a lifetime of singing and trumpet playing is a familiar face on the UK live music circuit. In addition to a 25-year career in marketing, he runs a not-for-profit organisation which delivers community music festivals, three of which are now established as annual events. Oliver is also on the volunteer committee of Upton Blues Festival, the largest completely free blues festival in the UK.
Live & Local says: Oliver gives his time freely to support Live & Local and Shindig in his home county and offers some mean marketing advice!
David has been the Pastor of Heanor Baptist Church in Derbyshire for 17 years and is a long-standing promoter of Live & Local events. Following a management career in the energy industry, David worked as a training consultant before moving to the church full-time. He serves on several national bodies seeking racial equality and justice for all and is the current Chair of a local regeneration project, Heanor Me & U. David is married to Sharon and they have a son, Jacob.
Live & Local says: David brings limitless enthusiasm for community issues and a wealth of practical know-how to the Board. You can also set your watch by him!
Vishalakshi is a consultant and academic specialising in the creative and cultural sector. She founded Earthen Lamp in 2011, a consultancy to provide bright thinking for the creative sector working with cultural organisations across the UK. Since 2009, Vishalakshi has been using her industry expertise to teach management, strategic planning and audience development at The Centre for Cultural Policy Studies, University of Warwick. Vishalakshi is a Certified Member of the Market Research Society and Arts Marketing Association. She is a Trustee of Birmingham Opera Company and Creative Academies Network.
David is a retired businessman who has promoted Live & Local shows in Crich, Derbyshire since 2012. David has a life-long passion for live performance, being involved in all aspects since early school days – from make-up artist to lighting designer; actor to director; choir boy to stage crew – just about anything, really! His business career was primarily in sales and new business development – skills he hopes to use to expand the typical audience age range! David was a director of a multi-national publishing company, and has also worked in much smaller organisations, including running his own company. David currently runs a community website and social media feeds.
Married with two children and five grandchildren, his family, live performance, and photography, are his three major passions!
Sonia is the artistic director of Sonia Sabri Company creating work that spans the presentation of classical North Indian Kathak to explorations of contemporary approaches. As a dancer, she is acclaimed for her enchanting stage presence, grace and musicality and she has secured an international reputation for collaboration across dance styles and art forms including work with pioneers Richard Alston, Shobana Jeyasingh and Nitin Sawhney and many more.
In addition, Sonia is a teacher of Kathak, the artistic director of her own youth dance company, Kathakaars, and has had several prestigious commissions and awards as well as being an Associate Artist of one UK’s most celebrated arts centres, mac.
Having spent over 25 years in the Australian and overseas arts communities, Vera is a strong believer that the key to a successful arts organisation is the ability to marry the goals of a non-for-profit, the dynamism of a start up and the accountability of a private enterprise.
During her time in the Australian Arts scene, she has put together disparate partnerships that capitalises on these three factors to deliver entrepreneurial and targeted outcomes across a range of arts and community programs and projects.
Vera gets excited by the opportunity to connect people from different areas and giving them the space and opportunity to foster creativity, while managing to direct the energy and efforts of all involved into the desired outcome.
Colin is a retired businessman who ran a corporate communications training organisation and a graphic arts equipment manufacturing company. He is Chairman of the Pattingham Village Hall management committee and a regular promoter of Live & Local events. Involved with the local drama group for 25 years, Colin has served as Treasurer and Chairman as well as acting in, or being involved with, the production of numerous plays. An active sportsman, Colin is Honorary Secretary of the Old Oundelain Golfing Society and an avid squash player.
Live & Local says: Colin’s business acumen and corporate experience is much appreciated in the cost-conscious, funding-dependent world of rural touring. He is always on-par with his level-headed approach.