ARTISTIC DIRECTOR Northumberland Theatre Company (1990–present)

Touring productions of anything from Dickens and Molière to specially commissioned work for audiences in rural venues is by far the best job in the world. After 20 years of dedicating my life to creating theatre experiences for people who would otherwise be excluded from it, Northumberland Theatre Company (NTC) is now under threat because our funding has been completely cut. But hey, we’re fighting on – Illegitimi non carborundum!


An ongoing and wonderful opportunity to see a wide range of work.


I co-directed ‘The Flag’ and ‘Casement’ by Alex Ferguson with Corin Redgrave for the Moving Theatre Company in London. This was an exceptional experience working with some of the greats of both stage and TV.

FREELANCE DIRECTOR Cheltenham Everyman (1990)

Having decided to develop my own practice and work for adult, as well as young audiences, I was invited to direct ‘These Things Do Happen’ by Stewart Howson. This was an outreach tour produced by Martin Houghton, who had previously employed me as an actor and a director at NTC – it’s definitely not what you know in this industry.

ARTISTIC DIRECTOR Leeds Playhouse Theatre in Education (1988–1990)

I learned valuable politicking and leadership skills, and you could definitely say it was an all-round learning experience. As Fellini said, “Experience is something you get while looking for something else.”

FREELANCE DIRECTOR York Young People’s Theatre (1984)

As well as directing with York Young People’s Theatre, I also helped out NTC when it required a director at short notice – no structured career path here! Other theatre-in-education directing quickly followed with various companies, including Colchester Mercury.

ACTOR (1977–present)

As an actor with the York Theatre Royal’s Young People’s Theatre Company, I joined the main house panto companies as an understudy and chorus dancer, as I had dance training, and I got to go on as ‘Aladdin’. Post YPT, I acted in main house shows.


Having trained at The New College of Speech and Drama in London, where you came away with a teaching certificate, this seemed like the best move. Miles away from home with no TV this was an amazing learning experience, even if I did get tied to a tree...

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Photo of Gillian Hambleton