Dominic Proctor (2022) Chair
Dominic’s background is mainly in advertising, media and marketing. He spent most of his 38 year career in various roles within the WPP Group including CEO at JWT, Mindshare and GroupM. These were global roles, working with some of the world’s biggest advertisers and gaining extensive experience of different markets and cultures. He helped launch Tommy’s, the Baby Charity, which aims to give all babies a healthy start in life by funding research and education into the causes of miscarriage, premature birth and stillbirth. He served on the Tommy’s Board for 30 years and also served on the Boards of the RFU for 7 years and Chaired the London Landmarks Half Marathon. Dominic lives in Wimbledon with his wife, dog and parrot. He has four children and five grandchildren…all living locally and all Polka regulars
Victoria Aspden (2021) Creative Learning Producer & Project Manager
Victoria is a Creative Learning Producer and Project Manager with over 17 years’ experience working in the arts and education sectors. Most recently at Eastside Educational Trust as Senior Producer where Victoria was responsible for working with Southwark Council in offering all primary school children in the borough the chance to visit the theatre for free, every year for three years. Prior to this Victoria worked at the Royal Opera House (ROH) for 6 years and was responsible for launching a new daytime events programme as part of the ROH’s capital redevelopment and managing its Insights programme, producing live and broadcast learning events. Before this Victoria worked for 6 years at Society of London Theatre in several audience engagement and partnership roles. Victoria is a qualified secondary school teacher and trained as an actor whilst living in Sydney. A passionate theatregoer, Victoria started visiting Polka with her mum as a child in 1984 and is delighted her 2 daughters are now following in that tradition.
Michael Bradley (2019) Head Teacher
Michael is head teacher at Merton Abbey Primary School in South Wimbledon. He trained to teach in East London, specialising in working in multicultural communities and in teaching children who speak English as an additional language. Most of his career has been spent in schools with high numbers of disadvantaged pupils. Michael wants all children – whatever their family background – to benefit from London’s artistic and creative opportunities. He and his partner are foster carers and live with a very naughty small dog.
Helen Clark Bell (2023) Business Strategist
Helen spent 10 years establishing, growing and managing Love Wimbledon Business Improvement District. Prior to this she worked at Merton Chamber of Commerce delivering publicly funded business support projects across South London. She believes building and nurturing strong contacts and relationships makes for a well connected and joined up community that we can all be proud of and want to be a part of. Helen is now a Non-Executive Director for The Walk and Talk Movement, Chair for Wimbledon Community Choir and works strategically with a number of businesses and not for profit organisations.
Alison Harpur (2020) Publishing
Alison has been involved with books all her working life, first in publishing and then as a Children’s Librarian, she now works for a specialist Children’s bookshop. Alison spent 25 years living and working around the world and returned to south London 8 years ago and was extremely happy to discover that Polka Theatre was still a thriving concern as she remembers many happy visits with her children in the 1990s. Alison is a keen theatregoer and a passionate believer that children need theatre.
Mic Lord (2022) Theatre Maker
Mic is a London born, Texas raised Theatre Maker, MC, recording artist, Teacher, Lecturer and Community Advocate. Since 1993 his Hip hop Freestyle Performance Company Ghetto Gramma has toured extensively across the nation devising theatre in marginalised communities. He’s directed over 100 plays and musicals with his most recent theatre work including Jaberwocky at New Wimbledon Studio and Evita at Epsom Playhouse. Mic is the former Head of Drama at Ursuline High School, Wimbledon. In 2007 he was the recipient of South London Press Hero Teacher Award. Since 2018 he has been the Head Coach at Five ASide Theatre CIC a community theatre training company. He’s also the founder and Artistic Director of The Peoples Writes a community theatre devising company. Mic is a Governor at Ursuline High School working on the Sub Committee on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. He’s a Trustee at Apples and Snakes Poetry and Sutton African Caribbean Cultural Organisation. Mic has chaired Polka’s Community Working Group since 2021.
Katy Manuel (2022) Arts Marketing Consultant
Katy is a freelance marketing consultant with over 25 years’ experience in the performing arts sector. She began her career in festivals before being awarded an Arts Council bursary in marketing, specialising in touring. Katy has worked with most large and medium sized theatres around the country, as well as a number of dance or theatre companies, both national and international. She has held positions in several major regional repertory theatres, been a consultant to a range of organisations devising audience development and communications strategies and delivered training courses around the country. She was most recently Head of Marketing at Dance Umbrella and works regularly delivering research and marketing plans. She lives in west London and has two sons who were regular Polka visitors when younger.
Fiona Mclaren (2021) Lawyer
Fiona is an experienced lawyer with over 25 years’ experience with FTSE 100 companies, combining this with roles as professional disciplinary panel member, chair of governors and charity trustee, reflecting her interest in education, open justice, and commitment to public service. Fiona worked as Director of Legal for Sky UK for 17 years, focusing primarily on employment issues, but latterly was responsible for the delivery of legal advice across a range of areas from news and ad sales to property and construction, all contributing to the broadcasting and creation of content. Her love of theatre began at a young age with visits from touring companies to her local theatre and she is delighted that visits to Polka created the same lifelong interest in her son.
Vince O’Brien (2022) Non-Executive Director
Vince is a Chartered Accountant and lives in Wimbledon where his three grown-up children were regular Polka attendees. He qualified with Coopers and Lybrand (now PWC), before becoming a director of a private equity firm, Montagu, where he spent 24 years, originally as Finance Director. In 2005/6 he served as Chairman of the British Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (BVCA). His past experience as a trustee includes eight years with a major children’s charity, and two years with a public arts organisation dedicated to illustration. He retired in 2016 and now works as a Non-Executive Director and board advisor. His posts have included serving as Senior NED for a listed asset management group specialising in the sustainable economy, chairing a private equity fundraising business, and chairing the investment committee of a business specialising in impact investing. His interests include the arts, music of all kinds, and keeping fit through walking, running and golf.
Arif Saad (2021) Investment Strategist
Arif is a Senior Investment Strategist at Kempen responsible for designing, executing and managing multi-asset solutions for institutional clients. He began his career as an investment consultant at Mercer, and then spent 8 years at Legal & General Investment Management. Arif has always enjoyed varied experiences having grown up in Wiltshire and Qatar in the Middle East. He has a passion for driving diversity and inclusion and equality of opportunity, particularly for the next generation. He has two young children who love spending time at Polka.
Emily Vaughan-Barratt (2019) Theatre Producer
Emily is a theatre producer who runs theatre production company Wessex Grove alongside Ben Lowy, which they set up together in 2020, recent productions include Constellations (Vaudeville Theatre) and The New Tomorrow (co-production with The Young Vic). Prior to this, Emily was a Producer for Ambassador Theatre Group for 8 years, producing shows for the West End and for Broadway. Recent productions include; Cyrano de Bergerac and The Seagull (Playhouse Theatre), Pretty Woman(Piccadilly Theatre), Betrayal (Harold Pinter Theatre and Bernard B.Jacobs Theatre), and The Pinter at the Pinter Season (Harold Pinter Theatre). She has also worked at Fiery Angel, Chichester Festival Theatre and The Print Room. Emily grew up in Wimbledon, where her parents still live and spent a lot of time with her mum at Polka all through her childhood, which is clearly where the beginning of her love and commitment to theatre started.
Kellie Williams-Jauvel (2021) Solicitor
Kellie is a solicitor of over 20 years’ experience in trusts and probate dispute resolution. She has represented and advised Charites, corporations, and individuals on the legal duties of trustees and personal representatives, and in relation to claims within the sector. Kellie is currently a partner at Morrisons Solicitors LLP, having previously trained and worked at a firm based in The City. Kellie has built a significant network in the business community in and around the South West London and Surrey area. Originally from Manchester, but living locally to Polka Theatre, she has a young son, and both have been enjoying theatre at Polka for many years. A keen and long-time supporter, Kellie is passionate about the work Polka undertakes and the enjoyment that theatre brings to children. Kellie is extremely pleased to be able to serve Polka and its users in this position.