Focus on General Council:
Farewell to our dedicated committee members

With our AGM fast approaching on 20 May, it’s a fitting time to reflect on the contributions made by long-serving members of SLT’s General Council who are standing down this year.

As directors of the company, our governing body is ultimately responsible for keeping the organisation running smoothly, but we support SLT in a wide variety of ways, from acting and directing productions to working backstage, front of house and behind the bar.

Chair of South London Theatre since 2012, Lee Ridgeway has steered the organisation through one of the most turbulent periods in our history. He was appointed at a time when the future of our building was still in doubt, but remained in charge as the building preservation trust finally secured funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, moved out (for rather longer than expected) to Stanley Halls and returned to the restored Old Fire Station at the end of March 2018.

No one could say that it’s been an easy journey, but Lee’s determination and affable nature have made him a valuable leader at a time of profound change. During his time as chair, Lee has directed shows such as Little Shop of Horrors (2013) and Oliver! (2015) as well as operating lights and sound on many shows including Jesus Christ Superstar (2016), The World’s Wife (2017) and His Dark Materials (2018).

Carole Coyne is currently General Council’s longest-serving member, having first been elected in 2006. As the cryptically titled Director Without Portfolio, she has performed the vital task of securing performance rights for many SLT productions, as well as handling all SLT payments – including those all-important expense claims for shows. Carole’s stage roles since joining GC have included Meg Boles in The Birthday Party (2009), Emily in Eternity Awaits (2012) and Amy in Forget-Me-Not Lane (2017), as well as Lady Bountiful in our forthcoming production of The Beaux’ Stratagem.

A prominent member of SLT for many years, Mark Ireson joined General Council in 2013. Not merely content with directing and stage-managing shows and building most of our sets, Mark has played a key part in the artistic direction of the company, helping to choose successive seasons for six years. In this time, he has directed Chimps (2013), Contractions (2014), Educating Rita (2014), Betrayal (2015), Around the World in Eighty Days (2016), Foxfinder (2017), Nell Gwynn (2018) and Old Fools (2019). Later this year, Mark will be directing SLT’s seasonal show A Christmas Carol.

And finally… Jenny McLaughlin has been on Theatre Committee for the past year. Her extensive acting experience has proved invaluable in shaping SLT’s programming and advising productions. In 2018, you might well have seen Jenny playing Mrs Coulter in His Dark Materials, Lady Castlemaine in Nell Gwynn and the glitter-spangled title role in The Snow Queen (2018).


Nominations for all posts on General Council are open until 6 May: find out more here about what each role involves.

If you want to stand, get the nomination form below completed and send to Fiona Daffern, General Secretary by 6 May 2019.