Theatre Committee (TC)

Theatre Committee (TC)

The TC is there to ensure the happy, secure running of all key aspects of the Playhouse.  It meets regularly to monitor and discuss any issues arising from the other committees, the ongoing rehearsals, performances, publicity and general house concerns.   It is attended by the Heads of Departments: Artistic Director, Publicity Director, Bar Director, Facilities and Technical Director; and Theatre Manager.


Chrissie Poulter

Chair of the Theatre Committee




In January 2022, only three months after I moved from Otley to Addingham, a neighbour told me the Playhouse were looking for directors for the 2022-23 season and the application deadline was that week! Well, I applied, was asked to direct Charley’s Aunt and now here I am, up to my neck in the playhouse inner workings and loving it. I’m on the Play Reading committee, Casting, and now the Theatre Committee – encouraged to volunteer by the previous chair Geraldine Woodhouse.

Although Yorkshire is home, I’ve been in Ireland for most of the past 32 years, teaching theatre at Trinity College Dublin, training actors, directing plays (and one opera!) and creating new work, with professional and non-professional actors, students, community and amateur groups..

Before Ireland I was, at one point, Drama Officer and Deputy Director for the funding body, Yorkshire Arts, based then in Bradford, and ‘The Playhouse’ meant Leeds Playhouse. I have memories of meetings and grand plans to move that Playhouse from a temporary home inside a university sports hall to its current site opposite the bus station. Access … visibility …And now here I am at the Ilkley Playhouse, learning about similar grand designs over the decades which have given us this wonderful building to play in. What can we do to make sure it survives the post-pandemic, recession-threatened, fuel-rationed times we are in right now? Meanwhile, Bradford District is to be the 2025 UK City of Culture … what part will we play in that year-long celebration and showcase? Access … visibility …

I keep hearing that it is essential to increase the number of people taking part – not just as audience or as actors but throughout the building and the district. I can make that my aim for the year then – to find ways of making it easier to cross that threshold into this Playhouse as an active member .. where your energy and creativity will find time and space and company.

  Yvette Huddleston and Damien O'Keeffe

  Co-Artistic Directors

You can read all about Yvette and Damien and their roles as Artistic Directors here


  Jonty Hawkes

  Chair of Ilkley Players Club (Bar) Committee

I joined the Playhouse 8 years ago and helped behind the bar for a couple of years before joining the Committee. In 2016 I became Chairman when the then retiring Chairman volunteered me for the role, I was a bit slow taking the pace back!

Our primary responsibility on the Committee is to ensure the bar and coffee bar are open, staffed and stocked whenever required and that they remain profitable, a very important task I’m sure you will all agree.

I am a ‘Club Man’. By that I don’t just mean an ‘Ilkley Playhouse Man’ - whatever club I am a member of I like to support and help that club to progress and prosper. Doing this means I get to know more members than I would otherwise so making my ‘Club Life’ more enjoyable.

I can honestly say that if I had not got involved with Ilkley Playhouse my life would have been the poorer for it. There are a variety of enjoyable and not too onerous opportunities at the Playhouse on the bar or coffee bar, set building, House Managers, programme sellers… Come and join us and help us enrich your life!


Chris Cundell

Technical Director


Me relaxing at home working on another sound plot for a play!

I have been involved with the Playhouse for over 8 years at many levels from set building to painting, and refurbishing areas of the building during Covid aided by my trusty team and even when the need arises, I have actually acted on stage as well as working front of house and on the bar!

My new role is to coordinate and oversee the technical aspects of the productions we put on at the Playhouse as well as the general infrastructure of the theatres themselves. We are a team: Richard Speight, David Wallbank, Paul Chattwood and others but we could always do with more help to spread the load and make life interesting!

I believe that being an actor to start with then moving onto the technical side has given me a better insight into how integral all aspects of the production are in order to make a perfect play or musical. We are a team... first and foremost, come and join us! Everyone looks good in black!

                                  Becky Carter

                                  Publicity Director


  Justine Sowden

  Theatre Manager

You can read all about Justine and her role as Theatre Manager here