Press Story

National Theatre Wales places equality, social justice and a focus on well-being at the core of its new change-making Vision. The company needs leaders who are able to support on the journey towards equity and greater mental resilience for its staff, theatre makers, participants and audiences, and have both the expertise and the lived experiences to inform our progress. The role of Chair of Trustees has oversight of NTW, and holds it to account.

Following a recent recruitment process, and with change-making in mind, the panel decided to do things differently and appoint two Co-Chairs instead of one.

National Theatre Wales are delighted to announce the appointment of Yvonne Connikie and Sharon Gilburd as Co-Chairs. They both started in the role from Monday 24 April.

An individual with short grey hair smiling at the camera.
Yvonne Connikie
An individual with shoulder length blonde hair, sitting with their arms crossed and smiling at the camera.
Sharon Gilburd

Sharon Gilburd is already a Trustee with NTW. Yvonne Connikie will be joining the Board for the first time.

Lorne Campbell, Artistic Director of National Theatre Wales said:

“This is a great opportunity for the company now to bring two unique, different and complementary sets of knowledge, experiences and skills to Chair the Board. By uniting two candidates, National Theatre Wales is going to benefit from double the time and perspectives we have on offer and we can’t wait to see their combined influence in shaping the company in the years to come.”

Bronwen Price, Executive Director of National Theatre Wales said:

“This is a really exciting development for us. As a current Trustee, Sharon has existing knowledge of the company and will combine this with her professional experience to interrogate our operations and strategy. Yvonne brings exceptional qualities in her understanding of the arts, her co-creation approach and community networks which will challenge our strategy and our work. Having a Co-Chair arrangement will support pace within our governance, whilst also drawing a wider range of perspectives into debate and decision-making at leadership level.”

Yvonne Connikie is a Programmer/Curator specialising in Black Independent Film. Yvonne was the founder of the Black Film Festival Wales and a Founder Member and Chair of the New Black Film Collective and Assistant Curator for Black London Film Heritage.

She’s a lead programmer for the Windrush Caribbean Film Festival in Newport and works as a Curator/Project Manager for Charlie Phillips Photography.

Yvonne is a PHD candidate at the University of South Wales exploring the Leisure Activities of the Elder Caribbeans in Butetown Cardiff.

Yvonne said:

“It’s a real pleasure to take the role as Co-Chair of NTW. This is a company I’ve admired for its brave work and I can’t wait to get started and work on future projects together. Doing this role with Sharon is an honour - we haven’t worked together before but we’ve been discussing how the role will work and what different skill sets we’ll bring to the table.”

Sharon Gilburd is a digital strategist who has worked for nearly two decades with established and start-up businesses to transform their ways of working, through the application of digital design and technology. Her clients have included Visa, Orange and Barclaycard.

Originally from Glasgow, Sharon grew up in Shetland, before attending university in Edinburgh where she was recruited to work for the World Trade Organisation in Geneva, where she developed a love of both statistics and languages. More recently, she studied an MA in Applied Imagination in the Creative Industries at Central St Martin’s and was appointed Chair of the Centre for Digital Public Services in Wales (a Welsh Gov public body). Welsh is Sharon’s latest language learning project; being immersed in a supportive, predominantly Welsh-speaking community really helps.

Sharon said:

“I’m really looking forward to working as Co-Chair with Yvonne. It’s great that we’ve got the opportunity to bring both of our experiences to the role. Plus the talent and commitment on the existing Board and across the NTW team is incredible. Having spent 6 months or so as a Trustee, I’m now looking forward to playing my role in helping them to deliver on their goals for NTW and Wales over the next few years.”

Clive Jones, previous Chair of the Board stepped down as of 24 April 2023 as his 6 year term has come to an end. The company thanked him for his hard work and commitment during his time with the company.

Also leaving the Board is Simon Pirotte. The company has also thanked for his time and care during his tenure.

NTWs’ Board of Trustees also includes Anastacia Ackers, Anna Arrieta, Sian Doyle, Robert Edge, Miguela Gonzalez, Tafsila Kahn, Jo Lilford, Sanjiv Vedi, Simon Stephens.