Our Team

STASH KIRKBRIDE

Co-founder & Artistic Director of the Autumn Festival of Norfolk and PBSK Partnership

As co-founder of the festival, Stash heads up yearly festival programming, commissioning projects, development & running of the programme. He also co-produces Autumn Festival of Norfolk Signature Projects the Norfolk Arts Awards and the African Choir of Norfolk.

He takes care of all creative management, reporting and general administration. Festival sustainability is key for Stash; the core festival team works hard to ensure the Autumn Festival of Norfolk continues to champion the arts in Norfolk for years to come. As artistic director, he programmes, casts and directs every aspect of the festival’s Central Production.

If you would like to chat about a creative idea over a coffee, become a partner, ambassador or volunteer, or would like to share your skills with the festival, get in touch with Stash at stash@autumnfestivalofnorfolk.org

PETER BARROW

Co-founder & Executive Producer of the Autumn Festival of Norfolk & PBSK Partnership

Peter is the Autumn Festival of Norfolk’s Co-founder and principal philanthropic investor. As co-chair of the festival committee, he oversees outgoing & incoming financials and is involved in fundraising, partnerships and co-programming of festival events alongside his co-founder Stash Kirkbride. Together they formed the PBSK Partnership in 2010 to “create and develop projects in Norfolk” which include the festival and its Signature Projects, The Norfolk Arts Awards, Total Ensemble Arts Initiative, Paint Out, and most recently, The African Choir of Norfolk. These key annual events have developed under the creative umbrella of the festival all of which now engage with the Norfolk community throughout the year.

Peter is originally from Canada but has lived in the UK since the 1970s, moving to Norfolk in 2007. He graduated as an actor from The Drama Centre and Mountview Theatre School. He acts and performs in the festival’s Central Production each year, which he co-produces with his creative partner Stash. He’s played some very diverse roles since the festival’s first production way back in 2010 – visit our new Archive to see him in action!

REBECCA CHAPMAN

Artistic Director & Founder of Total Ensemble Arts Initiative

As co-founder of the festival, Rebecca played an integral role in establishing its cultural offering in the county. A professionally trained actor, she performed in several of the festival’s Central Productions before forming Total Ensemble Arts Initiative (TEAI), a Autumn Festival of Norfolk Signature Project.

As artistic director of TEAI she develops, writes, casts and directs sublime pieces of movement-based theatre. She is a fierce advocate for inclusion; the company has been producing original ensemble productions with large casts made up of disabled and non-disabled performers since it was founded in 2011.

In 2018, she devised, wrote and directed the festival’s Central Production, Boy in the Lighthouse. A beautiful piece of theatre that received glowing reviews from the press and audiences alike. To find out more about Rebecca and TETC, visit: www.totalensemble.org.

PETER BECK

Founder Member of the Autumn Festival of Norfolk & Norfolk Arts Awards

Peter is a founder member of the festival. As an actor, he has performed in several Central Productions. He held the role of Set Designer & Production Manager from 2010 to 2015 and co-wrote the 2012 Central Production, Hamlet. He went on to direct Central Productions in 2013 (A Doll’s House) and 2014 (The Country Wife). Peter is co-founder of the Norfolk Arts Awards with Stash Kirkbride.

He continues to work with the festival on a freelance basis, assisting with set design and development of the production offer. Peter works as a Theatre Director, Actor and Set Designer and is Director of Restless Natives. He is a UEA Alum.

MIKE KING

Treasurer of the Autumn Festival of Norfolk Committee & Patron

Mike has been actively involved with the Autumn Festival of Norfolk since its inception. During this period he has played many roles, performer, presenter, promoter, associate producer being just some. Working closely with Stash and Peter he continues to help in the formation, management and governance of the festival as a member of the Autumn Festival of Norfolk Committee. He also is a member of the Total Ensemble Arts Initiative management team acting as Treasurer.

HAMILTON WILSON

Assistant Producer, Writer In Residence

Hamilton has been Assistant Producer of the Autumn Festival of Norfolk since it was founded in 2010. His role encompasses cast support, line learning (much appreciated during rehearsal season!), dramaturge during festival events, responsibility for Box Office requirements, support on casting, and so much more.

He brings warmth to every aspect of the festival (and even hosts cast parties with his wife, Hassanah!).

ANNA MUDEKA

Artistic Director of the African Choir of Norfolk

Anna joined the festival in 2019 following the launch of the Autumn Festival of Norfolk Signature Project, African Choir of Norfolk. Anna’s vast experiences in voice and performance coupled with her winning personality and reputation made her the perfect choice to lead the choir. Anna’s remit is to engage with people of African heritage living in Norfolk and beyond, all of whom play a part in portraying the 54 countries of Africa through song over a five-year programme.

The choir’s member base is growing rapidly, with on-line rehearsals taking place thanks to support from Arts O’Lam and the Arts Council of Great Britain. The official launch of the African Choir of Norfolk is taking place on Friday 22nd October.2021.

Anna can be contacted at www.africanchoirnorfolk.org or by emailing africa@autumnfestivalofnorfolk.org.

MARK IVAN BENFIELD

Festival Productions & Events Manager

Mark joined the festival in 2014 as Productions & Events Manager. A long-standing member of the festival team, he heads up lighting design, development of technical aspects, cost savings and best use of spaces each year. He also oversees sound design & operations and manages the front of house team & backstage crew at main events. His knowledge and calm, supportive nature take the stress out of opening night! He’s also a talented photographer and often provides images for the festival brochure and programmes.

Mark is as a freelance Technical Manager with extensive experience in entertainment sector. Find out more about Mark’s freelance work here.

RICHARD NOBES

Head of Graphic Design

Richard has been head of graphic design since 2016. He oversees the festival brochure design each year, as well as programmes and signage. He is a member of the festival committee, serving as festival committee Secretary. He is head of marketing at Norwich High School For Girls, who sponsor the festival brochure in partnership as Cover Page supporters.

KATE PRITCHARD

Assistant Graphic Designer

Kate has recently come on board with the festival to assist Richard with the graphical design of posters, signage and programmes too. She assists in ensuring that the festival is well branded and promoted, and creates artworks for various spaces across Norwich. Having been involved in the festival in a previous graphic designer role, Kate met with Stash for a coffee this year to discuss how her new design business can assist with the growing visual media needs of the festival.

Kate is owner of Disco Flamingo, a creative design agency based in Norwich.

SCOTT MEACOCK

Front of House Manager & Volunteers Coordinator

Scott is one of our longest-serving volunteers. His indispensable dependability and calm nature provides us with the perfect person at the helm of our Front of House team. Scott works closely on the festival volunteer offer, updating our Volunteer Welcome Pack each year, working alongside our Volunteer coordinators. He buys stock, delivers it, stores it, and prepares front of house for each event throughout the festival.

He also provides a calming presence (and plenty of snacks!) at auditions and table reads and liaises with our stage management team. A fountain of hands-on experience, Scott is much-loved and appreciated by the entire Hostry Festival family. Scott’s partner LUCY MEACOCK also helps with costume and backstage support.

SHARON & RON UPTON

Volunteer Team Leaders

Sharon & Ron have been with the festival since 2011 and are wonderful examples of volunteers, engaging wherever the creative process of programming takes them each year.

They perform with us and also provide precious help at get ins and get outs, with backstage support and pastoral care. In 2020, our husband & wife super-duo took on the role of Heads of Volunteers. This role includes liaising with volunteers in the run up to and during the festival, as well as working with Scott Meacock on the Volunteer Welcome Pack.

They also help in the run up to, and during all gala events, including our Festival Launch Night. Two long-serving supporters of the festival, MARYCE & MARTIN SHEPHERD, will be joining them in Volunteer Coordination and Front of House roles for our 10th Anniversary in 2021.

CAZ SLOTA

Norfolk Arts Awards Coordinator

Caz joined the Festival team as Norfolk Arts Awards Coordinator in 2019. A freelance arts marketer and administrator by trade, Caz is an unflappable asset to the team. She keeps a cool head during the busiest of moments, overseeing the production team and volunteers who work closely with her from August to November.

She is responsible for producing all Arts Awards content, from programmes to press releases. Find out more about her freelance services here.

CHRIS & DIANE JACOB

Festival Ambassadors

Chris works closely with Stash on festival development and tone, as well as heading up the 10th Anniversary Steering Group. Chris & Diane are Festival Ambassadors, acting as a link between key individuals in the community and the festival, introducing them to the Autumn Festival of Norfolk and our Signature Projects. In turn, they offer support financially and in-kind through volunteering.

Chris’s company Matthew & Sons sponsors Total Ensemble Arts Initiative and one other event each year.

BARRY PARSONS

Sound effects for Lady Windermere’s Fan

Barry has been in the Norfolk theatre scene for 30+ years. This year at The Autumn Festival, he will be in charge of sound effects for Lady Windermere’s Fan. Barry is also a professional photographer for many of our local theatre companies and has taken many of the publicity photos for this year’s Autumn Festival. He is also a keen stage actor and has performed regularly with the Great Hall Theatre Company and the Maddermarket Theatre. More recently he played the vicar in When We Are Married at Sheringham Little Theatre. Seems he has a reputation for always playing the comedy vicar roles. On stage, he loves doing the farces and the comedies. It’s where he gets the most joy. His philosophy for life: Make ‘em laugh! 

LOUISE HARVEY

Production Assistant

Louise joined the festival in 2022 to help out behind the scenes for the Central Production but with a love for her home city she has returned as Production Assistant for 2023. Her background in teaching English gives her a zest for seeing great works of literature come to life and being performed on a platform they deserve.  She plans to be around for many more festivals to see the arts thrive in her favourite part of the world. 

SUZANNA REDFORD

Stage Manager

This is what happened when I said I could help during the festival 2019 production of The Graduate

“Can you just: hand out flyers, help with lines, oh – prompt? Find a 1960s style back pack , move the set…” and so it went on. I am not from a theatrical background and I didn’t have a clue, but my love of order provided an ideal platform for what was required behind the scenes. Be aware: if you offer your services to the Festival you never quite know where it will lead, however it will give you a great sense of camaraderie, achievement and it is great fun.

SUZANNE BELL

Costume Designer

Suzanne is a talented costume designer who joined the Festival in 2019, heading up costume design on our Central Production, The Graduate, perfectly encapsulating that classic 1960’s iconic style. She returns four our 10th Anniversary 2021 Central Production, providing a wonderful opportunity for the county to see more of what she does so well.

VICTORIA JENKINS

PA to Stash Kirkbride

Victoria has joined The Autumn Festival of Norfolk this year after reconnecting with Stash over the board room table (lunch meetings) as new members of Chivers Trust. She takes on the role of PA to the Artistic Director and is closely involved in supporting all aspects of organising and hosting the festival.
Passionate about Norfolk and the Arts, this role is Victoria’s return to proper work after 6 intensive years of parenting two little boys, running the local playgroup and juggling a variety of part time jobs and volunteer roles.
Before starting her family in 2017, Victoria was part of a dynamic education team at Norwich Theatre Royal. During her 10 years there, she headed up the coordination of the flagship education project, working with schools across Norfolk, managing teams of practitioners and liaising with backstage, box office and front of house theatre staff to facilitate the programme of work that would give children the opportunity to write and perform their own version of an opera, on stage with their classmates, local musicians and professional singers.

SIMON REDFORD

Production Assistant

As a Production Assistant, there is never a dull moment, you are mostly behind-the- scenes with always something to do for someone. Tasks vary from day to day but generally you are all things to everyone, from running errands for Directors and Producers, relaying messages between other members, to building props for the Stage Manager and finally, helping front of house, ensuring everything runs smoothly from start to finish. And I only said I would help out one afternoon……

CHRIS ELLIS

Artist in Residence

Chris is an exceptional songwriter, composer, improviser and multi-instrumentalist. He is also artistic director of his own arts festival and brings with him a wealth of experience delivering ambitious projects such as ours.

He performed with us in our first year, going on to compose the score for our ground-breaking world premiere of Hamlet The Undiscovered Country and Total Ensemble’s masterpiece of movement theatre, Prologue, in 2012. He also played the role of Horatio in the production. He continues to perform and compose with us, and in 2021 he will be performing in a specially-commissioned piano concert for our 10th Anniversary.

Chris will also be overseeing sound design throughout the festival, as well as composing the score for the 10th Anniversary documentary. We feel incredibly lucky to have such a talented, gentle soul on our team. Find out more about Chris’ work here.

DEBBIE HARRIS

Website and social media

Debbie has joined the Festival team this year as web wizard and social media lead. Drama has been in her blood since she studied it at university more years ago that she cares to remember and she is thrilled to be involved in a theatre project once again!

A woman of many hats, Debbie has worked in publishing, event management, education and marketing and has run several businesses since the mid 90’s. She  also works as a photographer and was the official photographer in residence at West Acre Theatre in 2014.

In 2018 Debbie  qualified as a yoga teacher and she is looking forward to organising some wellness and well-being events across the county as part of the Festival in October.

You can find her online at The Pixel Chef and Yogavision

SARA WINSER

Website developer

Sara is a Graphic Designer at KH Digital. She started her creative endeavours with a degree in Illustration but has found her calling working in Graphic Design over the last 10 years. Sara brings to the festival her experience in print and marketing, as well as skills in type setting, page layout and website design. Sara thrives in helping others realise their brand identity by creating eye-catching and effective content.

CHLOE CAMERON-HUGHES

Social Media Developer

Chloe has recently joined the festival team to assist in promoting our social media platforms, utilising her skills in animation and digital design to create captivating and innovative content. In her spare time, Chloe works as a freelance digital designer and animator, specialising in 2D and motion graphics. Additionally, she collaborates with a freelance partner to paint murals for schools in Norfolk, contributing to various community projects. Chloe became part of the team after meeting with Stash to explore novel approaches to promote the festival through animated content on social media.

JUDY FOSTER

Press & Marketing Support

With many years’ experience in media, Judy has worked as a news journalist at national level for The Press Association and regionally for newspaper groups Archant and Johnston Press, as well as in PR & marketing and running her own business for 20 years. She turned her life-long love of the arts in to work when she joined the Norwich Theatre Royal press office from 2014-2020 working with, amongst others, the RSC, the National Theatre, Glyndebourne, Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures and Northern Ballet, and also helped provide press coverage for Houghton Hall’s annual landmark exhibitions. Now working as a freelance public and media relations specialist, she is thrilled to be part of the fantastic team at the Autumn Festival of Norfolk.

SIMON FINLAY

Festival Photographer

As one of our key festival photographers, Simon has captured a stunning array of images of our Central Productions and Signature Project events over the years. Look out for examples of his work across the website and Archive!

MALWINA MACIAG

Freelance Illustrator 

Malwina is a local artist and freelance illustrator with a background in visual marketing. She joined our team in autumn 2022 as she illustrated a cast of Hostry Festival Central Production, for their biographies. She is also volunteering at many of our events and loves to connect with people. Her work is an authentic expression of herself, full of vibrant colours, great compositions and humour. Her style is minimalistic and it is an act of rebellion against classical rules around art, that she was surrounded growing up in Poland.

Find out more about her work and freelance services here. (Link: https://instagram.com/malwina_maciag

 

ELIZA ROSE COTTLE

UEA Marketing Intern

This is Eliza’s first year being involved in the Autumn Festival of Norfolk, having been introduced to the team through Stash. Having recently completed her second year at the UEA, studying marketing and management, she will be working within the marketing team to promote the festival, through utilising various social media platforms.

Eliza has been highly passionate about the arts from a young age, enjoying a diverse range of theatre and musical performances. She also plays the clarinet and piano, as well as enjoying tennis.

With her background in marketing, she is delighted to be involved in promoting the Autumn Festival of Norfolk, and is eager to use her skills to make a meaningful contribution. She recognises the power of the arts in fostering a sense of unity and connection within a community and is excited to be working alongside such a vibrant and talented team.

RICHARD HOWES

10th Anniversary Documentary Filmmaker

Richard has filmed all our Central Productions from the very beginning in 2010, to present day. He also films the Norfolk Arts Awards each year and interviews performers and audiences on our Press Gala nights. He is making our 10th Anniversary Documentary Film with support from Becky Demmen. In his daily life, Richard is a Video Producer at Insight Media Productions, a visual media company based in Norwich.

MARTIN WATTERS

Festival Filmmaker

Martin joined the festival in 2010 and has filmed and edited numerous promotional films for the festival and Norfolk Arts Awards over the years. In his professional life, Martin is a Video Producer at Norwich-based video production company, Brief Media.

SHEILA GARRETT

Festival Administrator

Sheila has been a part of the Autumn Festival of Norfolk right from the beginning. She provides administration support and keeps all our paperwork in check! Sheila now lives in Norwich and is originally from Salmon Arm, Canada.