We have a troupe of trustees who volunteer behind the scenes to keep Mikron afloat.
Mark Kelly (Chair)
Mark joined the Trustees in 2008 and became Chair in February 2018. Before that had been a Friend of Mikron for a number of years, first seeing shows with his (then) young family in the 1990s.
Mark is a marketing and business growth consultant, working with primarily creative businesses on sustainable growth strategies. He has worked with Pete to spread the Mikron message online.
Mark previously served on the board of Manchester Digital, a marketing and creative industries trade body. He was also part of the steering panel for the Life Online exhibition at The National Media Museum. Mark is a volunteer organiser of the Marsden Electric Theatre community cinema CIC and Marsden Walkers Are Welcome (part of the national WAW group).
Mark has some experience (although not talent – his words) of the world of both acting and play writing. He was part of the Mikron Latecomers drama workshop group, run by ex Mikron actor, Gilly Baskeyfield.
Jeff moved to Marsden in 1982 and soon became friends with Mike and Sarah (Mikron founders), and Mikron Theatre Company. He joined the Board in the 1990s and has been an active member since then.
Originally from London, his working background is in criminal justice, ending his career at Huddersfield University as a Senior Lecturer in Applied Criminology. However it is his practical skills which tend to be in demand at Mikron. He is regularly called upon by us as general fixer, maker, mender and fettler.
He has experience in other charitable organisations having been a founder member of Yorkshire and Humberside Circles of Support and Accountability, a specialist agency working with high risk sex offenders.
His own interests include mountains, building and playing in a country dance band.
Kate qualified and taught Drama in London before moving to Marsden to live opposite Mike Lucas, founder of Mikron Theatre Company, in 1981. During the following years Kate became a member of the Marsden Community Association, a member of the board of Management for Marsden Mechanics Institute, Mikron’s Office base , and a trustee of Marsden Jazz Festival. It was not until the 1990’s and the expansion of the National Waterways Tour to include the Autumn and Spring South Pennine tours that Kate was invited to join the Board of Mikron in order to ensure local representation. Mikron also ran a thriving Young People’s Theatre Group to which Kate contributed
Kate has spent most of her teaching career developing ways in which the Arts and Creativity can support Children with Special Educational Needs, This has involved both working for the local education authority as a Behaviour Consultant, writing project proposals to Children’s Fund Commissioning bodies, ensuring both service delivery, evaluation , financial rigour and accountability.
Dermot saw his first Mikron show in 2008 and joined the board of trustees in 2021.
In between that time he has worked as an actor, director, dramaturg, and lecturer – sometimes simultaneously – in various media and with numerous companies and individuals, and continues to do so.
He sees the arts as something that does, and should, belong to everyone, and is incredibly keen to ensure that Mikrons unique story, storytelling, and ethos is spread as far and as wide as possible, to an expanding and varied audience.
He serves on the board of other theatre companies and hopes that this, alongside his industry, educational, and personal connections and knowledge will allow him to play a small part in ensuring that Mikron survives and thrives long into the future.
Janet, who joined the board in June 2017, is a Scouser, who lives in Cropredy, Oxfordshire. She and her late husband have been supporters of Mikron for many years.
Janet is a qualified accountant and worked as a Finance Director in industry, banking and finance since the late 70s. She has also held non-exec and trustees roles for joint ventures, a London Housing Association and several charities.
In recent years she had scaled down her work commitments to become a full time carer for her husband, which she cites as both a joy and also her biggest learning experience. On the day she started thinking about doing more trustee work, the MIkron newsletter arrived advertising their search for new trustees …such is fate!
Janet is also the Treasurer for her Village Hall and for the Cropredy Film Society, and enjoys travelling (a lot!), gardening, walking, reading and photography.
Now retired (and wondering how there was ever time for work) Cath is delighted to join Mikron in 2021 as a Trustee.
Cath has followed Mikron since the mid-1980s when she first saw Mikron while on a work camp restoring the Basingstoke canal. Having met her husband through canal restoration they lived on their own boat for 6 years before ‘getting normal’ and settling in house in Daventry (having been born in Grimsby Cath is unsure how they ended up about as far from the sea as possible).
Although admitting to a period of missing Mikron while work and life got a bit busy Cath has been a more dedicated follower of Mikron for the last 15 years or so helping with things like moving the van (and actors), shopping and washing for the actors during the waterways tour. Now living near the heart of the inland waterways she is able to see (and help) Mikron twice during each waterways tour as they go down the Grand Union and then back via the Oxford canal. Cath also ventures further afield for her waterways fix often helping Tyseley up the Lapworth flight and down Tardebigge.
After university in London Cath joined the Civil Service eventually moving into project and programme management. She spent time as a reviewer of Government projects so is well versed in both good practice and also how not to do things.
Eventually she parted company with the Civil Service but remained involved in central government projects through her own business providing project support to a number of government projects in the education sector.
Cath’s other interests include walking – she usually has one of the long-distance paths on the go and finds walks to enjoy the scenery wherever she happens to be usually accompanied by at least one of her dogs. Cath also has retired greyhounds (as well as a ‘walking’ dog) which Cath describes as akin to having joined a cult – there are walking groups, social events and (like chocolates) you can never have just one.
Sam has been involved with Mikron in one way or another all of his life. The son of company founders Mike and Sarah he grew up with Mikron spending his summers on tour with the company on Tyseley and his winters in Marsden, the company’s headquarters since 1978.
After studying History at Bristol University, he started work in a television post production facility, before going freelance as a Post Production Supervisor in 2004. In this role he manages television drama post production and has worked on some high quality series such as Les Miserables. He has therefore maintained his interest and involvement in drama.
Sam became a trustee of Mikron in 2018 and is delighted to be involved with the company again and hopefully able to give something back. In his home town of Newark on Trent, where he lives with his wife, former Mikron actor Elizabeth Eves, he is an active member of the local RSPB group, helping to turn old gravel pits into a nature reserve and hopefully to create England’s largest inland reedbed. He is also heavily involved in his local CAMRA branch and the organising of the annual Newark Beer Festival, on the banks of the River Trent.
He co-owns an old working boat called ‘William’ built in 1931 by the same company Yarwood and Sons Ltd, that built Tyseley, and through this indulges his life-long interest in canals and boating.
Joining the board in 2021, Katie is Artistic Director of Bloomin’ Buds Theatre Company. Their work focuses on advocating for more working-class access to arts and culture. This is as a result of Katie’s journey, having come from an estate in Bradford and a special measures secondary school and going to study a degree in theatre and performance and an MA in applied theatre and intervention at the University of Leeds. Katie has been a long-time fan of Mikron and our beautiful work, as it was always a date night for her and her dear friend Maggie, to watch a Mikron show.
Katie loves the work that Mikron produces and the way in which we tour to non-traditional theatre spaces. She’s looking forward to how she can contribute to and learn from this wonderful company.
Sue’s connection with Mikron started in the 1970s when she helped Mike and Sarah Lucas in the early days of the company in London. She became a trustee rather than an employee when she joined the Council of Management in 1989.
She has been heavily involved with the voluntary sector since the mid 1970s, chairing two residents associations where she dealt with planning, local development, licensing and transport issues with the local authority. For over 20 years she was on the Board of the St. Pancras Housing Association (SPHA) in central London where she also chaired the housing management sub-committee and regularly attended meetings with tenants.
Whilst a voluntary board member with SPHA she was instrumental in setting up the London Voluntary Members Forum and its training programme with funding from the Housing Corporation and creating a series of regular conferences for London board members. She also sat on the National Voluntary Members Forum and helped collate its submission to the National Federation of Housing Associations for the Inquiry into Housing Association Governance.
For several years she worked with the Property Director of a small independent retailer and since 1990 has built up and managed a personal investment portfolio.
Mary-Jayne Russell de Clifford
Mary-Jayne is a workshop facilitator and someone who is passionate about deaf theatre. She is an assertive person who loves to empower people through the use of theatre and drama. She was born in Bournemouth and currently lives in Worcestershire.
Mary-Jayne graduated from the University of Reading in 2005 with a degree in Theatre Arts, Education and Deaf Studies. Since then she has worked as a freelance drama facilitator, drama workshop leader, scriptwriter, BSL story-teller, worship leader and theatre director.
Her great-grandmother, Eva Carrington, was a famous actress. Lady de Clifford was well known at the Vaudeville Theatre and Aldwych Theatre, London – she was one of the “Gibson Girls”! Theatre is in Mary Jayne’s blood and she is honoured to be able to continue her family’s tradition.
Mary-Jayne is mother to an autistic teenage son and his view of the world has allowed her to see the world in a very different light, especially the abstract and surreal. Her son, too, is heavily involved in drama and stories. He loves the creative process and often makes her see things outside the box. He has made Mary-Jayne realise just how many stereotypes there are in society and the world. What could life be like if we were to remove these labels from individuals? She believes it would make the world a beautiful planet for you and for her.
“I am honoured to become a trustee for Mikron, It is my first time becoming a trustee in my lifetime, the community of Mikron have already gave me warm welcome. I am looking forward to seeing more British Sign Language in Mikrons within the team, staffs and performances too. It is important for deaf and hearing peers to work together, equally.”
Lisa became a trustee in 2018 following a number of years being a very satisfied audience member.
She has a varied background, starting with a love for all things data, she has worked in the private sector in roles spanning Financial Services, Retail and Energy. For a number of years her interest in Employment Law took her into the world or HR, where she became a chartered member of the Institute of Personnel and Development and an Employment Law consultant.
She then volunteered to help Pete and Marianne with their new employee handbook and contracts. Mikron were looking for new trustees, and this has led to her now having to a write a bio for our website!
A life-long lover of the theatre (only a fail at A-Level Theatre Studies scuppered that career), Lisa is delighted to be contributing to her local theatre company and playing her role in building strong communities.
She is mother to two cats, and loves cooking, eating and travelling. Oh, and she loves a spreadsheet!