Committee - North
Peter OliverRegional Councillor / Councillor / Volunteer
I have from a very young age loved musical theatre, from a young age I performed in school shows and concerts but it was not until my own family had grown up did I take to performing more seriously. I am an active member of Sunderland Theatre Company and a committee member of Murton Musical Theatre Group which I thoroughly enjoy. I am passionate about our Noda Family and have a particular passion about ensuring the youth members in my District are encouraged and promoted to develop their skills and talent.
Pauline SwannRegional Secretary / Membership Secretary / Volunteer
Ken AllanRegional Treasurer / Regional Representative / Volunteer (District N01 & 9 - North Tyneside & Northumberland)
Ken is a retired Finance Controller and has over 50 years experience on the amateur stage as actor singer and director.
Previously as a member of Beaconsfield Operatic Society, The Phoenix Theatre Company, Tynemouth AOS and currently Newcastle Musical Theatre Company as principal tenor/baritone he has played virtually all of the popular musical theatre roles for men as well as plays, pantomime, concerts and oratorio.
He retired from the stage following his portrayal of 'Old Deuteronomy' in CATS in 2018 at Newcastle Theatre Royal.
Foster JohnsonRegional Representative / Volunteer (District N02 - South Tyneside)
Michelle CoulsonRegional Representative / Youth Coordinator / Youth / Volunteer (District N03 - North West co.Durham)
I have been a performer in amateur theatre since 1979, have been directing for the last 14 years and I have also served on society committees including the roles of Secretary, Chairman and Charity Board member. Being a Noda Representative gives an opportunity to meet a wide variety of people who share our wonderful hobby and I look forward to extending the role of the Youth Adviser in the region and supporting all aspects of youth theatre.
Helen AbrahamRegional Representative / Volunteer (District N04 - East and South Durham)
Helen has been involved in and with amateur theatre since she was a baby; her mother being a talented choreographer for various groups in the East Durham region and taking her along in the buggy. As such she cannot imagine a life without it.
As such it was unsurprising that Helen was first on stage at age 4 as the “Little Fairy” in pantomime and has continued since then, mainly dancing and performing until she attended the NODA Summer School Directing Course and now has a host of directing achievements under her belt which she is very proud of. Helen has found that she much prefers being off stage rather than on as she got older (not necessarily wiser!) and has also stage managed for a multitude of Societies in her and a wider region and thoroughly enjoys it.
After an approach to gauge her interest in a Regional representative role for NODA, she decided to put herself forward for a new feather under her cap and here we are! She is very much looking forward to embracing her new role and hopefully a positive promotion of all that is wonderful about amateur theatre for all. Helen hopes she can motivate and inspire others to the love of amateur theatre and all its positive attributes.
Michael L. AveryRegional Representative / Volunteer (District N05 - Tyne Valley)
I have been involved with amateur musical theatre since 1984 when I volunteered to act as Members’ Ticket Secretary for Newcastle upon Tyne Musical Theatre Company (NMTC), then known as Newcastle upon Tyne Operatic Society. Somehow, I became the Secretary, then Business Manager was added, later Vice Chairman and, ultimately, Chairman of NMTC. I am really a paper-pusher, having been a Solicitor (now retired) and have never performed onstage. I did, for a few years, become a supernumerary (extra) for several performances by the RSC at Newcastle Theatre Royal, where NMTC mount their productions. I also “walked the lights” for the Really Useful Group before they brought their travelling version of Jesus Christ Superstar to the Royal. Always well hidden by quite a large number of friends from NMTC and a lot of others, primarily men, I dragged in to swell the din. So that’s my onstage career. For NMTC my first show was Call Me Madam, my last was The Producers, a gradual move from standard musicals to more adventurous productions. I retired as Chairman of NMTC in 2009 and, thereafter, managed to get myself elected as a Regional Rep. for Area 5, NODA North which covers Newcastle and the Tyne Valley. I still work front of house for NMTC during their annual show at the Theatre Royal
John HollidayRegional Representative / Volunteer (District N06 - North Yorkshire)
John found his love for the performing arts at the tender age of just 10 when joining Richmond Operatic Society to take on the important role of back-end of a dragon in their annual pantomime and has not looked back since.
Whilst the majority of his time has been spent with ROS where he is currently Chairman (stepping down from this role in Jan 2021), he has also thoroughly enjoyed many productions with Richmond Amateur Dramatic Society and also a solo outing with Darlington.
A regular visitor to many amateur shows and frequent West End trips inspired him to direct a number of shows and over the last few years even write a number of shows that have been used by ROS and more recently Chester Le Street.
John is looking forward to visiting all of his District’s societies, to meet all of the fabulous people involved and to be a useful link between yourselves and NODA
Dan MatuszakRegional Representative / Volunteer (District N08 - Teesside)
Dan is no stranger to the stage and has been involved in the Arts since he was 5 years old.
He is well versed in all aspects of the theatre world having directed, musically directed, produced, stage managed and yes, even choreographed productions in the past. A member of numerous societies in the North East, Dan enjoys getting stuck in to all the nitty-gritty work that the Arts has to offer. He is also Assistant Business Manager for Teesside Musical Theatre Company.
He runs a very successful choir for which he is Chairman and Musical Director. They perform throughout the year at all sorts of different functions and their own concerts in the Summer and at Christmas. Dan is a true advocate of the Arts and very much looking forward to the challenges that being a NODA representative will bring and he cannot wait to see all the wonderful talent his region has to offer. He hopes he can share his love of theatre with lots of people and encourage them join in.
Emma CoulsonMagazine Editor / Volunteer
I have been involved in amateur theatre since I was eleven years old, after being brought up watching my Mum on and off stage amongst a theatre group which I now consider family. I’m mainly on the stage myself, and have been lucky enough to play some incredible roles in musicals, pantomimes and plays over the years, but I’ve also worked as stage crew, front of house, and a chaperone for various theatre groups and schools. I’m a current Member’s Representative on my home theatre group’s committee, also undertaking the tasks of creating branding, posters and programmes, designing and running our website, and managing social media. I’m fiercely passionate about amateur dramatics and all that it brings to those involved, and look forward to sharing that through this opportunity with NODA.
Fred PiggfordAwards Secretary / Previous Council Member / Past President / NODA Ltd / Volunteer
Fred's first major involvement with NODA began in about 1992 when, the then Northern Area Councillor, Ian Wells asked him to take over the position of treasurer from the Past Councillor Harry Low. Fred continued in that post until 1999 when Ian became National President and Fred was elected as Councillor. He served as North Regional Councillor and became a member of the NODA Management Committee until 2011 when he was elected as National President. At the completion of his year as President and subsequently IPP he was elected to remain on Council as an Life Member and subsequently elected as Chairman of Trustees in 2015 but reluctantly resigned in 2016. Fred is now on the Board of NODA Ltd as an Independent Director, thus continuing his involvement with NODA.
Gordon RichardsonWebsite Editor / Councillor / President / NODA Ltd / Volunteer
Gordon took to the stage as a young prince in 'King and I' at the age of 9. Now almost 60 years later he was presented his 50 year LSA in Sept 2021
In those years he has appeared in many musicals and a multitude of plays. He is the first to admit that given his singing voice (somewhere between the cracks of the keys...) his first love is drama.
His other love, somewhat masochistically, is the politics of amateur theatre and hence the role of Council was such a great fit for him as he loves the 'cut and thrust' of committee discussion and decision making. He was elected as a regional rep. in 2010 and, at the ‘national’ in Cardiff, he was honoured to receive the 'Presidents Cup' by retiring President Fred Piggford. Inspired, he stood for election to the Regional Councillor in 2013, and ascend to President in September 2021.