Board of Directors

Robert Wilkinson
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 Carpenter
Oliver hails from Worcestershire and following a lifetime of singing, playing the trumpet and songwriting he is a familiar face on the UK live music and rural touring circuits. Following a 25 year career in marketing he is now concentrating on being a full time performer. He has organised lots of music festivals and events and is also the leader of The Worcester Plinth which brings big art to the city in the style of Trafalgar Square’s Fourth Plinth.

Vishalakshi Roy
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 Lane
David is a retired businessman who promoted Live & Local shows in Crich, Derbyshire from 2012 until the pandemic. David has a life-long passion for live performance, being involved in all aspects since his early school days – from make-up artist to lighting designer; actor to director; chorister to stage crew – just about anything, really. It’s obviously in the blood as one of his daughters is now a successful stand-up comic! Elsewhere in his career, David has been a director of a multi-national publishing company, but has also worked in smaller organisations, including running his own company. His business career was primarily in sales and new business development – valuable skills he uses to help expand the reach and variety of Live & Local shows. David is a keen amateur photographer and is currently working on a massive project digitising some 10,000 family photographs, some of which are more than 130 years old.

Sonia Sabri
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.