Your professional career is a world apart from the Arts. Why is Bubble a passion project that made you commit your time, effort and expertise?
Let me correct you, I was honoured to chair the Board of an arts company in South Africa for 10 years! But indeed, professionally I have a different skillset. Being part of any organisation that is celebrating 50 years of making a difference in people’s lives, whilst entertaining audiences and developing future leaders in the arts (and beyond) is an immense privilege. My commitment is narrowly focused on collaboratively improving the Bubble’s financial sustainability and repertoire of services in order to ensure its longevity for at least a further 50 years. Supporting children, youth and the elderly in finding a voice and purpose through our work and in collaboration with our funders is worth the effort and time. Being part of a global environment, where our skills and experiences are growingly more transferrable across industries and geographies, I am of the view that one is well capable of making a difference where they feel most passionate.
What’s your first impression of Team Bubble?
Our co-CEOs, Lucy and Marie are absolutely committed to the work of the Bubble. In turn, they are both supported by dedicated colleagues who continue to prioritise the Bubble and its purpose. We are very fortunate to have this team in place. The Trustees and I recognise that we need to provide more support and avail more resources to strengthen Team Bubble which will go a long way in bolstering its outcomes where it matters most, in our communities and with our performances.
How did you feel when you were invited to be chair rather than a trustee which was your original interest?
Somewhat surprised but very honoured. I requested some time to consider the request. I love the arts and am passionate about tackling issues facing vulnerable people within our communities. The opportunity to work with trustees who are keen to leave a mark in this sphere of the Bubble was one I could not decline.
What are you most looking forward to in your role here?
Working very hard to make our work and performances visible again to our broader communities, alongside our Bubble team, trustees, supporters, partners and funders. The sustainability of the Bubble is a priority.
What strategies will you employ to ensure your board of trustees feel fully appreciated, listened to and respected whilst carrying out their duties?
I am very appreciative of our incredible team of trustees with whom I get to share the next phase of the Bubble journey. My predecessor, Sir Simon Hughes, and relevant trustees must be congratulated for their detailed and sensitive approach in structuring a team with expansive skillsets, experience, passion and dedication. My role with our trustees will include a lot of listening, acting as a sounding board, creating spaces for robust and true deliberations to move the Bubble forward. I look forward to my own personal learning journey with our trustees.
You lead a very busy life, how do you make time for it all?
I prioritise and rely on very capable colleagues and my family support structure to ensure my focus remains on what is most important, impactful and changes our society for the better. I was very eager to be of service to the Bubble. My experience in transformative performing arts, including leadership of a leading ballet company for over a decade will stand us in good stead to direct our efforts in early wins.
What is your favourite performance piece or play and why?
I love the classic ballet, Swan Lake. It premiered on global stages over 125 years and is timeless, featuring in repertoires of leading ballet companies across the globe. Tchaikovsky’s dramatic score is a favourite, truly befitting of an ever so relevant storyline.
What is the importance of community theatre in these changing times?
Over time, community theatre has always been a powerful and effective instrument for community sensitisation and mobilisation. In these changing times, with a multitude of pressing social issues, community theatres engage us not only intellectually and aesthetically but also emotionally. They will always be a powerful way of putting across messages with the aim of stimulating community action to address identified problems and issues. This is why initiatives like the Bubble must be supported. They connect us.