Sir Geoffrey Cass (Chairman)

SirGSir Geoffrey is Chairman and co-founder of the Royal Theatrical Support Trust.

He was educated at Jesus College, Oxford and at Nuffield College, Oxford and is a Fellow of Clare Hall, Cambridge, and a member of Jesus College, Cambridge. A keen tennis player, Sir Geoffrey competed in the 1954, 1955, 1956 and 1959 Wimbledon Championships, and in 1978 became the British Veterans’ Singles Champion. He was President of the Lawn Tennis Association from 1997 to 1999.

Sir Geoffrey was Chief Executive of Cambridge University Press from 1972 to 1992, Chairman of the Royal Shakespeare Company from 1985 to 2000 and Deputy President (to HRH The Prince of Wales) from 2000 to 2011. He has been Chairman and co-founder of The Royal Theatrical Support Trust since 1983, and is a Life Trustee of The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. 

He was awarded a French Knighthood Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres in 1982 and a British knighthood in 1992.


Jacqueline Ball

Jackie-Ball-199x300Jacqueline Ball is Strategic Planning Director of David Ball Group where she performs the role of internal and external quality control auditor focused upon development and growth of the company.

Jacqueline holds a business degree from the London Metropolitan University and an MBA from Anglia Ruskin University. She is a committee member of Cambridge Macmillan Cancer Support, Chairman of the Suffolk Lady Taverners and programme secretary for Cambridge Decorative and Fine Arts Society (DFAS), as well as former trustee of the National Association of Decorative Fine Arts (NADFAS) and a former governor of Fairstead House School. She is a supporter the Cambridge Arts Theatre and the Marlowe Society of Cambridge University.


Mark Billinge


For 30 years (from 1976), Mark Billinge was Cambridge University Lecturer in Cultural Geography, becoming inaugural Director of the University’s Undergraduate School in 1998. He was awarded a Pilkington Teaching Prize in 2000.

A Fellow of Magdalene, he was successively Dean, Admission Tutor, Tutor, Senior Tutor and Fellow for Development. He retired early and was involved in fundraising for CU Union Society for 18 months. He then became Director of Development & Alumni Relations at Magdalene.

Since retiring, Mark has continued to pursue a keen interest in the theatre and is currently Chair of the University Theatre Syndicate and Chair of the Executive Committee of the ADC Theatre, as well as Patron of an East Anglian Theatre Company and Chairman of Opera East. He helps CU Rugby Club with fundraising. He was Senior Treasurer of CU Opera Society. He has written on various aspects of European culture, harbouring an especial interest in opera in general and 18th and 19th century Italian Opera in particular.


Miranda Cass

Miranda CassMiranda Cass is a Partner, head of the Tax practice and co-head of the Charities & Not-for-Profit practice at the law firm Bristows LLP in the City of London.

Before joining Bristows in 1995, Miranda worked for five years as a tax lawyer with the international law firm Simmons & Simmons. Miranda has many years of experience in advising on tax issues that arise in the context of mergers & acquisitions and other corporate transactions, intellectual property licensing arrangements and real estate deals. She advises clients from start-ups to multi-national corporations, and from pension funds to major professional institutions.

Miranda has substantial expertise in the full range of tax issues affecting charities and not-for-profit organisations. She is a member of the Charity Law Association, and she is recommended as a charity tax lawyer by The Legal 500 directory. 

Neil Constable

Neil Constable is the Chief Executive of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre – a role he has performed since October 2010. He is a Trustee of the Theatre and a Member of the Board in both the UK and the USA.

Neil trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in stage management and technical theatre. He began his career working as ASM with the Royal Shakespeare Company on its 1987 Stratford Season. In his 16 years with the RSC, he became successively Stage Manager, Company Manager, RSC London Manager of the Barbican Centre, and RSC General Administrator. He managed the RSC company which the then RSC Chairman, Sir Geoffrey Cass, took over to Tokyo with The Winter’s Tale. After the RSC, Neil became Executive Director and Joint Chief Executive of the Almeida Theatre, Islington.


Jane Crawford

Jane CrawfordJane Crawford has been working in event management for the Cambridge University Development and Alumni Relations office since 2000, prior to which she had a career in sales and marketing for international hotel groups.

At Cambridge, Jane is responsible for the strategy and delivery of high-profile events to recognise and steward major donors, engage friends of Cambridge and inspire future supporters; this has included the launch of two major fundraising campaigns and she works closely with many development colleagues and internal and external stakeholders in the planning and the execution of major events. Jane has a BA (Hons) Degree in European Studies with German and Russian from the University of Bath.  

Felicia Crystal



Biography to be added


Clive Francis


Clive Francis is an actor of stage and screen.

His first West End engagement was in 1966 in There’s a Girl in My Soup at the Globe Theatre – his many other London appearances since include: The Servant of Two Masters, The Importance of Being Earnest, What the Butler Saw, Single Spies, Entertaining Mr Sloane, The Madness of George III and more recently in his own reworking of Ben Travers’ farce, Thark.  

In 1987 Clive Francis joined the Royal National company, appearing in ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore and A Small Family Business (for which he won the Clarence Derwent award) He has also had two seasons for the RSC: Three Hours after Marriage, Troilus and Cressida, and A Christmas Carol. In the past four years he has toured in several productions including his own adaptations of Three Men in a Boat and Our Man in Havana. His numerous television appearances include: Poldark, Yes, Prime Minster, Lipstick on Your Collar and Mike Leigh’s, Mr Turner.

Clive Francis’ began adapting for the stage in 2002 with his one-man show of A Christmas Carol. This was followed with The Lavender Hill Mob, Three Men in a Boat, The Hound of the Baskervilles, Our Man in Havana, The Loved One, Alice the Musical! Thark and Susan Hill’s, The Small Hand. Recent theatre includes, The Woman Hater, The Skin Game, 84 Charing Cross Road and The Gathered Leaves.


Elizabeth Geffen

NewnewElizabeth Geffen is patron to Watts Gallery in Surrey and a fundraising committee member of The Myotubular Trust, a charity raising money to fund medical research into the condition.

Educated with a MA in History from Jesus College, Cambridge and an MBA from Imperial College Business School, Elizabeth worked for 11 years as a Management Consultant for Newchurch & Company, a boutique consultancy specialising in organisational strategy and development particularly in the health sector. Whilst at Newchurch, she worked on a strategic review of The Prince’s Trust and its fundraising, and subsequently joined them as a volunteer working in London for a number of years assessing grants for disadvantaged young people to help them further their education or get into work.

Now on a career break to raise two boys who are very keen on cricket, rugby and tennis, she spends many hours on the touchline and the boundary. Recently, Elizabeth has been working for a prep school in Surrey developing its website, fundraising and organising events, including a Ball and Auction. She has also recently written a book celebrating 75 Years of Aldro in Shackleford, charting the school’s history since 1940 when it was evacuated from Eastbourne during the Battle of Britain.

Elizabeth is a theatre, opera and ballet enthusiast.

Lee Hall

Photo on 05-10-2015 at 09.38Lee Hall is a celebrated English playwright and screenwriter. 

Lee was born in Newcastle Upon Tyne in 1966 and studied English Literature at Cambridge University.  He has worked as a writer in theatre, TV, radio and film.  He has been writer in residence at the Royal Shakespeare Company and Live Theatre, Newcastle Upon Tyne.  His most commercially successful work is Billy Elliot, the story of a North Eastern English boy who, in the face of opposition from his family and community, aspires to be a ballet dancer.

Initially a 1999 film directed by Stephen Daldry, for which Lee wrote the screenplay, and for which he received an Academy Award nomination, Billy Elliot was later turned into a stage musical, with music by Elton John and lyrics by Lee.  It is enjoying a long run in the West End – it won the 2004 Olivier Award for Best Musical – and it opened on Broadway in 2008 where it won the 2009 Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical.   Other career highlights include the play Spoonface Steinberg, originally performed on Radio 4 in 1997 and subsequently staged in the West End, and The Pitmen Painters, which premiered at the Live Theatre in Newcastle upon Tyne in 2008 and later transferred to the National Theatre in London, winning the 2008 Evening Standard Award for Best Play, and opened on Broadway in September 2010.  Lee was co-writer of the screenplay for the film adaptation of Michael Morpurgo’s War Horse directed by Steven Spielberg. 


Mark Hawes (Honorary Secretary)

mark hawes (2)Mark Hawes is a Partner at the City of London law firm Bristows LLP where he heads the Corporate practice and co-heads the Charities and Not-for-Profit practice.

Over the course of his 30-year career, Mark has gained considerable experience of advising clients in the technology, life sciences and charity sectors. Mark worked for six years in the corporate finance group at the international ‘magic circle’ law firm Freshfields before joining Bristows in 1993. He specialises in advising companies and investors on UK mergers, acquisitions and financings, and charities and other not-for-profit organisations on a wide range of governance and charity law matters. His clients include technology companies, professional institutions incorporated by Royal Charter; a United Nations-backed organisation that promotes responsible investment; and charities focused on youth unemployment, cancer research, consumer safety and the arts.

Mark is a member of the Charity Law Association. He is recommended – both as a corporate lawyer and as a charity lawyer – by The Legal 500 directory, and as a corporate finance lawyer by Super Lawyers directory.

Mark is a devotee of the theatre.


Thelma Holt CBE

Thelma Holt

Thelma Holt is a leading British theatre producer and former actress.

Thelma founded the Open Space Theatre in Tottenham Court Road, London, which became the forerunner of the London fringe. In 1977, she joined The Round House in Chalk Farm as Artistic and Executive Director and instigated a policy of bringing the best of regional theatre to London.

In 1985, Thelma joined the National Theatre as Head of Touring and Commercial Exploitation, and was responsible for major tours of National Theatre productions to Paris, Vienna, Zurich, North America, Moscow, Tbilisi and Tokyo. Thelma also produced INTERNATIONAL 87, a series of four visits to the National Theatre by international theatre companies. For this international season, Thelma received the Olivier/Observer Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Theatre and a special award from Drama Magazine.

Thelma has played an important role in the promotion of British theatre in Japan in her role as Patron of the Oxford University Dramatic Society (OUDS), through which she has instigated and coordinated several successful OUDS tours in Japan. In 2004, the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays and Rosette was presented to Thelma in recognition of her efforts to foster cultural exchange between Japan and the UK through theatre exchange.

Thelma is currently the Producer and Managing Director of Thelma Holt Ltd, a performing arts company created in 1990, and associate producer of the Royal Shakespeare Company.


Tony Hughes (Honorary Treasurer)

img058Tony Hughes qualified as a Chartered Accountant (FCA) in 1970 and after various financial positions between 1971 and 1981 within the manufacturing/engineering industry he initiated the role of Financial Director at The All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club (responsible for running the Wimbledon Championships). He held this role until 2007. Responsibilities included all financial matters for the Club, Championships, Ground Company, Museum and Long Term Plan; overall responsibility for the Ground Company (including issuing debentures to provide the finance for the Long Term development of the site), pension scheme, Personnel Manager and the Buildings and Services Manager’s department.

Between 2007 – 2010, he became Finance Director (part time) for The Tennis Foundation, a charity responsible for the management of a sustainable, inclusive tennis delivery across the whole of the education sector and disability development and performance, and, at that stage, all Local Authority tennis facilities for every age group, including parks, leisure centres and indoor facilities, located on Local Authority land.

Since retiring, has held a number of positions as trustee of three charities (treasurer of two); independent examiner of a further charity (having helped to set it up); trustee of a pension fund; governor of the local primary school; and audit committee member of the local university.


Jonathan Lane

johnJonathan was co-founder and Chief Executive of Shaftesbury PLC, a property company investing in the West End of London, from 1986 until 2011. He is now the Chairman of Shaftesbury PLC. Jonathan is also a Lawn Tennis Association Councillor (nominated by the Tennis Foundation) representing the Tennis Foundation.

An Oxford graduate, Jonathan is Chairman of Tregarthens Hotel, Scilly Isles, and he was formerly Managing Director of Stock Conversion PLC, Chairman of the Porthminster Hotel, St Ives, Deputy Chairman of the Crafts Council, and a member of the Committee of the Art Fund. He advised on the building of the new Royal Shakespeare Theatre, and of the National Tennis Centre. Jonathan acts in an advisory capacity to a number of charitable bodies, including The Art Fund, The Royal Shakespeare Company (of which he is a former governor), the Theatres Trust, and Cambridge University.


Christopher Luscombe


Christopher Luscombe read English at Cambridge University. He began his career as an actor, spending seven years with the Royal Shakespeare Company, and went on to appear at the National Theatre and in the West End.

His directing credits in London include The Shakespeare Revue (RSC and Vaudeville); Star Quality and The Madness of George III (Apollo); Home and Beauty (Lyric); Fascinating Aïda – One Last Flutter (Harold Pinter, Olivier Award nomination for Best Entertainment); The Comedy of Errors, The Merry Wives of Windsor and Nell Gwynn (Shakespeare’s Globe); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Regent’s Park); Enjoy (Gielgud); Alphabetical Order (Hampstead); When We Are Married (Olivier Award nomination for Best Revival, Garrick); Travels with My Aunt (Menier Chocolate Factory); The Rocky Horror Show and Spamalot (Playhouse).

Other directing credits include Masterpieces (Birmingham Rep); Little Shop of Horrors and The History Boys (West Yorkshire Playhouse); Things We Do for Love (Harrogate); Candida (Oxford Stage Company); The Likes of Us (Sydmonton); Arms and the Man (Salisbury); A Small Family Business (Watford); Hobson’s Choice (Sheffield); Hay Fever (Minneapolis); Henry V (Chicago) and tours of The Importance of Being Earnest, Tell Me on a Sunday, The Lady in the Van, Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime, Single Spies, Dandy Dick and Blue/Orange.

He recently directed Love’s Labour’s Lost and Love’s Labour’s Won for the RSC in Stratford-upon-Avon, and these productions have been seen in cinemas worldwide; they have just been released on DVD. He has directed The Rocky Horror Show in this country and abroad for the last nine years, and his production will be touring the UK throughout 2016.


Sir Ian McKellen

IM - Sarah Dunn

Sir Ian McKellen is one of the most acclaimed English actors of his generation, having been honoured with more than 40 international awards for his work on stage and screen, including multiple Olivier Awards, a Tony Award, a Golden Globe Award, two Academy Award nominations and five Emmy Award nominations.

Since graduating with an English Literature degree from St. Catherine’s College, Cambridge in 1961, Sir Ian’s work has spanned genres from Shakespearean and modern theatre to popular fantasy and science fiction. He has appeared in films throughout the majority of his career but is perhaps best known to the public for his portrayal of Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies, Magneto in the X-Men films, and Sir Leigh Teabing in The Da Vinci Code.

Sir Ian was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1979, was knighted in 1991 for services to the performing arts, and was made a Companion of Honour for services to drama and to equality in the 2008 New Year Honours.

He is a co-founder of the UK pressure group Stonewall, which lobbies for equal legal and social rights for lesbians and gay men in the UK.  Photo – Sarah Dunn.

Catherine Middleton

JMCatherine Middleton has over 18 years’ experience in marketing, communications and fundraising and most recently was responsible for alumni relations, philanthropic communications, regular giving and stewardship at UCL.

Prior to this, as campaign manager for Cambridge’s 800th Anniversary Campaign, Catherine was responsible for setting, managing and coordinating the activities of the Cambridge 800th Anniversary Campaign to achieve the objective of raising ₤1 billion. She has also worked with global media company Clear Channel and the BBC.

Michael Nabarro

MeMichael Nabarro is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of Spektrix Ltd, a provider of cloud-based ticketing and marketing systems to arts organisations across the UK.

Michael graduated from Trinity Hall, Cambridge in 2003 with a masters degree in Computer Science. He also studied Stage Electrics and Lighting Design at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.

Mark Rylance


Mark Rylance is a celebrated actor, theatre director and playwright.

Mark was born in England in 1960 and raised in America until 1978. After training at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), he was given his first job by the Citizens’ Theatre, Glasgow in 1981. He has since won Olivier Awards, Tony Awards and a BAFTA Award. He was the first Artistic Director of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre (1995-2005). Acclaimed roles he has played include Johnny Byron in Jersualem (West End and Broadway) and Thomas Cromwell in the BBC’s production of Wolf Hall. Mark is an Associate Artist of the RSC, a Friend of the Francis Bacon Research Trust and Chairman of the Shakespearean Authorship Trust. He is also a trustee of the Murray Cox Foundation, and an honorary bencher of the Middle Temple.

Andrew Tusa


Andrew Tusa is Managing Director and Co-Head of UK Corporate Broking at Deutsche Bank.

Prior to joining Deutsche Bank, Andrew was Managing Director of corporate broking at Bank of America Merrill Lynch where he advised UK-listed companies on financial transactions and all aspects of their relationships with equity markets. Before joining Merrill Lynch in 2005, Andrew was a senior fund manager at Deutsche Asset Management where he looked after the UK equity portfolios of large UK pension funds and institutions and where he was also head of corporate governance. He was Chairman of the Listing Authority Advisory Committee from 2007 to March 2012.

Andrew pursued a musical career for eight years after leaving Oxford in 1987 where he studied music at New College and was a member of New College Choir. His singing career took him round the world as soloist in concerts and opera, as chamber musician with early music ensemble Gothic Voices, and as a member of vocal ensembles such as the Taverner Consort and Monteverdi Choir.

Andrew was a director of the Monteverdi Choir and Orchestra from 2001 to 2008 and was Chairman of the Uttlesforde Orchestra (in which he plays the violin) from 2008 to 2011.