Meet The Team
“I’m delighted and honoured to be a patron of The Godber Theatre Foundation. Supporting and developing young talent from Hull and East Yorkshire. I’m very proud of my connections to this part of the world and still have friends and family living nearby. To give support and guidance to young actors from brilliant mentors like John and Jane is a rare gift. I know without the experience and energy of similar community spirited individuals when I was growing up, I certainly wouldn’t be an actor today.
It’s vital that we support and develop young talent from all backgrounds across this country, in order to continue the rich and diverse cultural legacy that makes our nation great."
“Growing up in a theatrical family, I was very lucky to have unique opportunities, such as sitting in on rehearsals and having conversations with professional actors and theatre practitioners to whom I could always reach out to for advice. I am very aware of the benefits this gave me in terms of developing my own career as an actor and my ambition is to give similar opportunities to other young people at the start of their career. This inspired me to launch The Godber Theatre Foundation in order to support promising young creatives from my area. When starting my own drama school training at LIPA (Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts) in 2015, I soon became aware of the number of compulsory additional costs the course required, for things such as script fees and headshots. Having been through drama school training recently, I feel I am in an excellent position to relate to student’s needs and I am passionate about making the arts more accessible to young people, particularly for those from Hull.”
“I was born into a working class family in the West Yorkshire coalfields in 1956. My father was a miner and my mother was a part-time school dinner lady. I wanted to play football and rugby but I became fascinated with literature and theatre at school, and started to write short scripts and appear in school plays. I eventually trained at Bretton Hall College, Wakefield and became a qualified drama teacher. After postgraduate study at Leeds University I began to teach in a tough Comprehensive school, the one I had attended as a student. In 1984 I left teaching to run Hull Truck Theatre Company and led it from bankruptcy into a new £15million theatre in Hull’s City centre. In 2010 I set up the John Godber Company to continue to tour my work nationally and regionally. We have been supporting young people with an interest in the theatre unofficially for many many years, now The Godber Theatre Foundation creates a more permanent platform to help young people from the area I live and work in. I hope our significant educational and industry links will prove useful to those who are successful applicants to the foundation.”
“I grew up in West Yorks and went to school near Skipton in North Yorks which entitled me at age 16 to audition for the North Yorkshire County Youth Theatre. I gained a place and worked with them over three consecutive summers alongside a couple of other budding young actors; Nigel Betts and Mark Addy. Working with a professional director in a number of theatres, I was also introduced to warm ups, theatre games, working in traverse, youth theatre festivals and a myriad of other opportunities that were not easily available to me coming from the background I did. The experience also meant that when I auditioned for a place at Bretton Hall College to study for a degree in Drama. Since graduating from Bretton as well as acting, writing and directing I have won two BAFTAs for Best Schools Drama and Best original Writer for Children’s TV. I have worked with young offenders, written plays and programmes for both primary and secondary schools, worked as teacher and workshop leader, run my own award winning youth theatre and supported many young people in applying for drama schools.”
Associate Manager/ Funding Manager
“After studying creative writing at Hull University (BA), Leeds University (MA) and now as a PhD, and setting up my own theatre company, I am acutely aware of the difficulties of starting out in the creative industries as a young northern artist. I have previously been funded by Arts Council England, City Councils, Building societies, local businesses and trusts and funds in both the charitable and commercial sector, and I am excited to share my knowledge of finding funding and supporting work with students of this foundation. I am also passionate about creating accessible work, having recently been working in the field of dementia-awareness work, and I am hoping to continue to work with young people moving into the industry who are particularly interested in issue-based work in the Hull and East Yorkshire region.”