Board of Trustees

The Board of Brighton Fringe is a group of dedicated experts focused on realising the potential of Brighton Fringe. The Board is working closely with our Patron, Richard Jordan.

Richard Jordan (Patron)

Internationally recognised as a theatre entrepreneur and impresario, Richard Jordan began his theatre career aged 16, working backstage in a West End production of Cats. He went on to work in stage and theatre management both regionally and in the West End and in 1998 he formed his own production company, Richard Jordan Productions Ltd. He is one of British theatre’s most influential and successful producers, producing or co-producing over 120 productions in 15 countries.

Richard, named for the eighth time in the 2013 Stage Newspaper’s UK Top 100 Theatre Professionals, is also a keen advocate of theatre training and development, and has enjoyed a long association with The Edinburgh Festival Fringe where his productions have won a wide variety of awards including the Scotsman Fringe First, Herald Angel Award, and the Total Theatre Award. He has been a member of the BAFTA judging panel since 2004.

Heather James (Chair)

Heather has a successful background in business development and marketing, working for international companies including EMI Records and Coca Cola & Schweppes. A former Brighton & Hove City Councillor and Chair of the Sussex Police Strategic Independent Advisory Group, she has worked with communities and organisations across the city and has extensive experience of developing new forums and stakeholder groups. She is currently a freelance planning consultant specialising in community engagement, the Deputy Chair of the government’s Disabled Person’s Transport Advisory Committee and an executive member of the Arts & Creative Industries Commission.

Heather joined the Brighton Fringe Board in 2005 when the company was first formed and has chaired the organisation since 2008.

“I am passionate about Brighton Fringe and the creative talent and energy that takes our city by storm every May inviting everyone to engage in the arts.”

Colin Matthews (Vice Chair)

Colin has been involved with the arts/cultural scene in Brighton since the late 60s, running and promoting nightclubs and concerts in 80’s and 90’s. He was the gallery manager for University Gallery from 1989 to 2008 and Sallis Benney Theatre Manager from 1995 to 2008, as well as executive producer of the ‘Visions’ festival of international animated theatre.

He also chairs Zap Art, Hurstpierpoint Festival and Onwards Arts for the local NHS trust.

He joined the Brighton Fringe board to ensure the festival becomes fully independent and robust, providing access to arts for all.

"The best feeling in May is the artistic vibrancy throughout Brighton and Hove."

Damian Barr

Damian Barr is a writer, journalist and cultural entrepreneur. He runs the UK's most successful Literary Salon and started Silent Cinema.  His best-selling book Maggie & Me is the Sunday Times Memoir of the Year and soon to be a TV series.  On the Board he has brought in key partners, like Hendrick's Gin, developing content with and for them.  He also secured the Fringe's first national media partner: the i newspaper.  A keeper of chickens and drinker of cocktails, he lives in Brighton and travels widely.

"Brighton Fringe thrills the city every year and I want to broaden its appeal within the city and beyond into the rest of the country. My favourite thing about the Fringe in May is walking down the street and dodging a man on stilts in your rush to get to a piece of performance poetry before that gig later on."

Steve Bustin

Steve is a PR consultant and media trainer, working with organisations to raise their profile through the media. He is also a freelance journalist, writing about the arts, current affairs and gardening for a range of publications and also performs as a stand-up comic! Steve is very much interested in reaching new audiences through the arts and thinks that Brighton Fringe is uniquely placed to bring together some of Brighton’s more disparate communities.

“I love seeing the city transformed for Brighton Fringe, with spaces that are often blank and lifeless for the rest of the year being brought into action with temporary venues and social spaces.”

Daisy Cresswell

Daisy is a Creative Director with over 15 years experience in Brand Experience. She runs a social media agency in London,, which manages conversations and relationships in real-time on behalf of brands and celebrities. She joined the board in order to help them build long-term relationships with their target audiences through digital channels, and to bring her knowledge and expertise back to her hometown!

"Brighton Fringe is a great test-bed for new ideas and now, through social media channels, we can bring together the personal stories of both the acts and the audience reactions. There is so much that goes into putting on an event – and Brighton Fringe is the ideal platform for people to play with and test out their material... bring it on!"

Allan Spencer

Allan is the finance director of the University of Sussex and has worked in HE finance for nearly twenty years. He wants to help make Brighton Fringe thrive even further and wants to use his experience and enthusiasm to help it grow and flourish.

"My favourite thing about Brighton Fringe in May is the variety of content from classical to comedy and the buzz of the city with tents and events down the green artery to the Old Steine."

Douglas Stewart

Douglas is a solicitor working in private practice, advising companies and businesses on commercial matters and company law. He moved down to Brighton for work some 12 years ago and so far hasn’t found a reason to leave. Being part of the Brighton Fringe Board is an opportunity to use his legal and professional skills in a different context and to benefit the arts in Brighton & Hove, alongside being involved with something that is an intrinsic and important part of the city.

"The sheer number and diversity of events taking place is absolutely staggering. There’s so much to choose from that it’s always a challenge trying to fit it all in."

Lantern Theatre The Argus