Don Robertson, Heidi Hall, Duncan Hendry and Lou Brodie.
I’m delighted to share news about changes to our board.
Following Jane Gill’s departure as Chair of the Eden Court Board of Directors, and another board member retirement, I’m really pleased that we are starting Eden Court on a new journey of refreshed governance with the appointment of some exceptional colleagues to steer the strategic direction of Eden Court and help us deliver our ambitious plans for the future.
Existing board member, Don Robertson, has been appointed Chair. I have really enjoyed getting to know Don since I joined Eden Court in February 2018. He provides the right level of support and challenge that I need in my role and his extensive corporate sector experience will be of huge benefit as we move forward.
Duncan Hendry, Chief Executive of Capital Theatres, Edinburgh has been appointed to the board. I have known Duncan for many years and hold him in the highest of regard. Duncan brings to Eden Court extensive industry experience and crucially a unique insight into the theatre ecology in Scotland.
Heidi Hall, Director of the Central School of Ballet in London, has been appointed to the board. A high achieving West End performer, a committed advocate for those excluded from participation in arts and culture and recently winning The Third Sector Rising Chief Executive Award Heidi brings extensive education, youth and community, fundraising and capital experience to Eden Court.
Inverness based artist Lou Brodie, has been co-opted to our Education Committee. Lou is an applied artist, performance maker and project manager. Through an artistic process rooted in social practice and conviviality Lou produces idiosyncratic art works and events in collaboration with communities, people and place.
You can read more about Don, Duncan, Heidi and Lou below.
Now, more than ever, charities need to work harder to prove to their stakeholders and funders that what we are doing works and deserves investment.
We also need to work harder to diversify our boards to ensure they represent the communities we serve. Our new appointments help to balance both age demographic and gender representation, but there is so much more to do. I look forward to doing just that with all of these new colleagues, and all of those who they join.
Don grew up near Beauly and attended Inverness Royal Academy. Following graduation from the University of Glasgow he embarked on a 30-year career in the oil and gas industry. Don is recognised for his strategic perspective and extensive operational experience. He has a track record in leading organisational change to deliver substantive improvements in business results.
Most recently he was President & General Manager for ConocoPhillips exploration and production business in Libya. Key experiences in this role included the successful management of personnel evacuation following the outbreak of civil unrest. This was followed by a period of intensive interaction with both the UK and US governments to manage the company’s interests during the subsequent period of international sanctions. After the uprising, Don managed the company’s re-entry to Libya and restart of its operations.
Don has lived in Dubai, Texas and across the UK.
Following retirement Don returned to live in Inverness when he and his wife became regular visitors to Eden Court. He became a Patron in 2013 and joined the board of Eden Court in 2018.
Duncan Hendry was Artistic Director of the Aberdeen Alternative Festival from 1988 to 1997 before becoming General Manager of the Music Hall in Aberdeen in 1998. A year later he was promoted by Aberdeen City Council to General Manger of His Majesty’s Theatre and The Music Hall - a post he held from 1999 to 2004. Duncan led on taking the venues out of the local authority into an arm’s length trust (Aberdeen Performing Arts) and on an £8m redevelopment of the grade A listed His Majesty’s Theatre. Aberdeen Performing Arts (APA) started trading in April 2004 with Duncan as its first Chief Executive and His Majesty’s Theatre re-opened in 2005 after an 18-month closure period for its redevelopment. Duncan was Chief Executive of APA for 8 years – operating His Majesty’s Theatre, The Music Hall and (latterly) The Lemon Tree.
He was appointed to his current post - Chief Executive of Festival City Theatres Trust (now Capital Theatres) in January 2012. In 2013 the Trust built and opened a new studio theatre on Potterrow and carried out a partial refurbishment of the King’s Theatre. The Trust changed its name from Festival City Theatres Trust to Capital Theatres in March 2018. Capital Theatres operates three venues - the Festival Theatre, The King’s Theatre, the Studio and has an extensive learning and participation programme. The organisation presents over 650 performances each year, hosts over 300 participatory events, employs over 200 staff and has a turnover of £18m.
Heidi Hall is the Director of Central School of Ballet in London. She trained at Central and had an extensive performance career, notably playing the principal role of Meg Giry in Phantom of the Opera in the West End production.
She has toured extensively in the UK and in Europe. She appeared in The Sleeping Beauty at the London Coliseum with the Bolshoi Ballet and has worked with Cameron Mackintosh, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Gillian Lynne and Hal Prince. Alongside her performance career Heidi has taught in many vocational colleges and been involved in musical theatre workshops and various educational projects, including working for the educational department at English National Ballet. On retiring from the stage Heidi moved into Arts management roles, focusing on both Fundraising and creative projects including working for the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain on concerts at the Royal Festival Hall, Sage Gateshead and the prestigious BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall.
In 2012 Heidi returned to Central School of Ballet as Company Manager to Ballet Central. She was subsequently promoted to Deputy Director and then in September 2016 appointed as Director of Central School of Ballet where she has led a Capital Campaign to move the school to bespoke premises on London’s Southbank. In 2018 Heidi was recognised for her success on this project with the Rising Chief Executive Award by the annual Third Sector Awards. Heidi is also on the Board of Trustees of Ballet Black.
Graduating in 2004 from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (formerly RSAMD) with a BA(Hons) in Contemporary Theatre Practice, Lou has worked with a range of national and international companies and artists including; Visible Fictions, Tramway Glasgow, Lyra Theatre, Platform Glasgow, Imaginate and the Edinburgh International Children’s Festival, Mammalian Diving Reflex, Nic Green, Southbank Centre, The WOW Foundation, Perth Theatre and The Touring Network.
Lou has worked extensively across the community, youth arts and young audiences’ sectors. Much of her work is preoccupied with the creation of spaces and performative actions that rely on or question the responsibility of the spectator/participant. From teaching teens and adults how to throw bricks, inviting classes of 5-year olds to experience dance theatre on a bouncy castle or spending a full year asking people to hold her hand each day every day for 30 minutes, gently probing the role of risk, responsibility and intimacy are themes that run throughout her practice.
Lou is currently undertaking a part-time MSc in Applied Gender Studies at Strathclyde University in addition to her portfolio on-going projects. These currently include the creation of Youth consultation events for the First Minister’s National Advisory Council for Women and Girls, an upcoming residency at The Work Room and Creative Facilitator for the National Theatre of Scotland and All the Queens Men’s Scottish Premiere of The Coming Back Out Ball.
This blog was written by: