Stuff and Nonsense is led by Artistic Director Niki McCretton
Niki McCretton – Artistic Director
Niki McCretton has been producing theatre for over 25 years, with a reputation for contemporary artistic children’s theatre as well as writing and directing adaptations of existing stories. Niki joined forces with Stuff and Nonsense in 2008, bringing with her an incomparable array of theatre making experience, including award-winning national and international tours with Heretic, Throw me a Bone, Wormhole, Relative, Space 50, Muttnik the First Dog in Space, Hoof! and Horseplay. Niki works as a leading artist with 5x5x5=creativity, a research group which develops children’s creative processes. She also creates solo productions and dabbles at stand-up comedy, just for fun.
Jane McGibbon – Producer
Jane joined Stuff and Nonsense as producer in 2018. Following a successful career in teaching (maths and drama) she made the move to working in the arts, first as a technician and props maker and later as producer. She now has over 20 years experience of developing work for children, finding innovative ways to engage new audiences. She was the founder of Ballyhoo Arts (making giant puppets for carnivals and festivals throughout the UK), co-director of Pebble Gorge (You’re Getting Warmer, I’m Sticking with You), Producer for Paper Balloon (The Boy and the Mermaid, Once Upon a Snowflake, Faerie Cakes), and associate producer for film for Pursued by a Bear (On Hungry Hill, March of the Women, RC Sherriff One Among Millions) . She was Participatory Theatre Coordinator for Farnham Maltings where she produced many large scale community theatre events, including Theatre Meadows, The Art of Hiding and The Last Line of Defence, as well as founding the funding schemes No Strings Attached and Fresh Tracks.
Paula Hammond – Tour Booking
Paula’s first job in theatre was as a Box Office Assistant at the Palace Theatre Manchester in the 1980s. She has since worked in marketing, fundraising and programming for various venues including the South Bank Centre, National Film Theatre, Orange Tree Theatre, Lyric Theatre Hammersmith and the Canal Café Theatre. For 10 years she was Director of the Merlin Theatre in Frome – where she first met Niki McCretton and championed her productions both as a solo artist and, later, with Stuff and Nonsense. Based in Frome, Somerset, Paula currently programmes for The Sherling Studio at Lighthouse, Poole’s Centre for the Arts and Salisbury Arts Centre for Wiltshire Creative as well as being responsible for coordinating our multi-faceted tour bookings!
Ceri Brierley – Marketing Consultant
Ceri is an Independent Arts Manager with almost 20 years’ experience. She has recently worked with companies including Anjali Dance Company, ATMA Dance, Made by Katie Green, Pell Ensemble and Theatre Company Blah Blah Blah. Before becoming a freelancer in 2014 she worked in programming, marketing and company management roles at Northern School of Contemporary Dance/The Riley Theatre, Phoenix Dance Theatre, South East Dance and Company Wayne McGregor (Random Dance). Ceri is based in Leeds, has a first class honours degree in Dance and Culture from the University of Surrey, and is passionate about increasing and diversifying arts engagement.
Holly Miller – Puppets and Props
Holly is a freelance puppet creator, propmaker and visual artist based at The Lyric Theatre in Bridport, Dorset. She has worked with Stuff and Nonsense Theatre Company for five years. In addition to theatre work Holly designs and creates giant puppets and parade pieces working with community groups and schools. She runs puppet clubs and creative art workshops for adults and children. Holly also acts as our rehearsal director across various productions when things get busy!
Sam Wood – Production Manager
Sam’s career in technical theatre has led her to work in a variety of companies, venues and countries. Touring internationally with companies such as Hofesh Shechter Company and Wired Aerial Theatre enabled Sam to experience working in internationally renowned venues all over the world, such as Sydney Opera House, Brooklyn Academy of Music and National Theatre Taiwan. Sam’s experience spans from working in venue technical management to production and stage management of outdoor events, festivals and site specific performances, through to creating and teaching stage management for the British Council.
Thomas Fowler – Trustee (Chair)
Thomas is the co-founder of AdviceAid, a tool for homeless prevention, and is passionate about technology for the common good.
He began his career in the music industry, touring the world with a varied roster of artists. In 2006 he switched to third sector leadership and developed a range of services for homeless, complex-need adults and young people. Thomas was responsible for creating the UK’s first direct access hostel on a working farm.
Thomas has since worked in both the public and private sectors as a commissioner, senior project manager and strategic designer. He specialises in community development and stakeholder engagement to improve outcomes for children and young people.
Julie Fielder – Trustee (Treasurer)
Having qualified as an accountant over 15 years ago, Julie is currently the Director of Finance (Planning) at the University of Southampton – having previously worked in finance roles within both the Government and Financial Services.
Julie was formerly a trustee with the Agincourt600 charity – an organisation that was tasked with commemorating the battle’s 600th anniversary. This role included allocating funding to numerous arts-based groups to cover an eclectic range of activities from poetry competitions through museum exhibits to new classical music compositions.
Outside of work, Julie enjoys spending time with her family and their much-loved Golden Retriever!
Sarah James – Trustee
Sarah James has held senior management and leadership roles in internationally and nationally renowned arts and cultural organisations for the last 13 years, including at Arts Council England and the Royal Opera House. All these roles involved leading creative teams and producing high profile and quality participatory programming for galleries, public realm and festivals. As the CEO of the Arts Development Company (ADC) based in Dorset, Sarah is currently overseeing a change management process at the ADC moving the company into the delivery of a new business plan and operating model; working with the team on developing a growth strategy for the company to diversify its income base and increase trading and earned income in particular and at the same time develop a more fleet of foot and agile way of delivering this.
Helen Bovey – Trustee
Helen Bovey is an established Devon-based Theatre-Maker and Producer, who graduated from East 15 Acting School in 2013 before relocating back to Devon to create her own work.
Founder and Artistic Director of Above Bounds Theatre, her specialism as a theatre-maker is in making work with and for children and young people, and notable projects include: The Golden Penguin and The Pizza Inspector, co-produced with the Plymouth Cultural Education Partnership as part of the With Flying Colours Project, A-Tissue! A-Tissue! a show co-created with a group of 2-4 year olds and their families in Southway Library, Above & Beyond Children’s Theatre Festival, a children’s festival taking place in libraries across Plymouth and The Elves & The Shoemaker, a show for 4-7 year olds which toured across the UK between 2018-2019.
As well as running Above Bounds, Helen works as the Executive Producer for Beyond Face CIC and as Producer (Artist Development) for the Exeter Northcott. Previous producing credits include for Theatre Royal Plymouth and The Narwhal Ensemble, and as a Theatre Practitioner for companies including the Barbican Theatre Plymouth and Theatre Royal Plymouth.
Chris Chibnall – Patron
Chris Chibnall is a BAFTA and Peabody Award-winning screenwriter, playwright and executive producer.
He created, wrote and executive produced the multi-award winning, quadruple BAFTA winner Broadchurch for ITV. He is currently the showrunner of Doctor Who. The episode Rosa, which Chris co-wrote with Malorie Blackman, received a BAFTA nomination as a “Must-See Moment” and won a Visionary Award.
His two part mini-series, the BAFTA nominated The Great Train Robbery aired in 2013 on BBC One. His single film United, about the Busby Babes and the Munich Air Crash, was commended at the Broadcast Awards 2013 as Best Single Drama, and was nominated for the Prix Europa.
Previously, Chris was the launch showrunner who brought Law and Order: UK to ITV, and was lead writer and co-producer on the award-winning Torchwood for the BBC, as well as contributing to the BBC’s Life on Mars.
Chris was given the “Industry Standout Talent of the Year” award at the 2013 Edinburgh Television Festival and the prestigious “FIPA d’honneur” at Biarritz in 2015.
Chris’s most recent play, Worst Wedding Ever, ran at Salisbury Playhouse in March 2014, to critical acclaim and sell-out audiences, and was revived in February 2017 for a further run and UK tour. Other theatre includes Kiss Me Like You Mean It (Soho Theatre & Theatre de l’Oeuvre, Paris), Gaffer! (Southwark Playhouse) and Best Daze (GRiP Theatre).