Toby Ealden

Artistic Director

Toby trained as an actor at Bretton Hall and has specialised in creating theatre for young people since 2004. Toby spent 3 and a half years as the Youth Theatre Director for Nacro, the National Crime Reduction Charity, before establishing Zest Theatre in 2007. From grassroots beginnings in Lincolnshire, Zest now reaches 20,000 young people nationally every year. As Artistic Director, Toby strategically oversees Zest's development whilst also directing Zest's professional touring work. Recent highlights include: Gatecrash (2013), Boy Meets Girl (2014), Thrive (2015), First Person (2017) and What Once Was Ours (2017), which went on to win Best Production for Young People 13+ at the Off West End Awards 2018. Toby has been Theatre Director for Lost Village Festival since 2015.


Catherine Fowles


Catherine has worked in various arts management roles in New York, London, and Birmingham. She holds an MFA in Creative Producing from Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, and has completed the Stage One Regional Producer Placement scheme. While in New York, Catherine worked for Jessimeg Productions operating St. Luke’s Theatre and Actors Temple Theatre, and has general managed over 25 Off-Broadway productions, including Cougar The MusicalRain Pryor’s Fried Chicken and Latkes, Black Angels Over Tuskegee, The Devil’s Music: The Life and Blues of Bessie Smith, and Danny & Sylvia: The Danny Kaye Musical. In the UK, she has worked with BROKENSTEREO, Defibrillator, Nick Thompson Productions, Reading Rep, Hannah Kendall Productions, ENO Baylis, and Birmingham Repertory Theatre.


Aggi Doughty

Aggi Doughty currently works at Bishop Grosseteste University where Aggi promotes her unique vision, which integrates a careers and employability narrative within the mainstream curriculum. Having worked as a careers education and guidance practitioner within a number of educational settings since 2003, Aggi was inspired to pursue this area of work through working on a theatre in education show promoting careers in schools. Aggi worked as a freelance actor on various tours across the UK and Europe, having gained a first degree in dramaturgy from Bretton Hall. Aggi is passionate about enabling young people's voices to be heard, in whatever medium they see fit! She lives in Lincoln with her husband, three cats and Furious George the tortoise.

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Peter Holland

A graduate of Bretton Hall, Pete is the Producer at Frantic Assembly and leading the company into its 25th Anniversary year. Prior to working for Frantic Assembly Peter was the Producer at the Lyric Hammersmith and has produced, managed and delivered a wide and varied portfolio of work. Notably, the reopening events of the Lyric Hammersmith, the UK and International Tour of Lyric and Filter Theatre’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream to Australia and Ireland. Of merit for Birmingham Stage Company, Peter secured the theatrical rights to adapt the number one best seller ‘Gangsta Granny’ by David Walliams and earned an Olivier Award Nomination in 2018. Born and raised in Nottingham, with a stint in selling Jewellery in Lincoln, Pete is delighted to be working with Zest Theatre.

Simon Hollingworth


Simon has worked for more than 20 years in arts & education. In 2004 he became the first Director of Lincoln Drill Hall, a new multi-use arts venue that was run by the City of Lincoln Council. In 2010 he oversaw its transfer to an independent charity and helped set up the Lincolnshire One Venues network, securing funding for 5 of the venues as a single National Portfolio Organisation of Arts Council England. In 2013 he began a freelance career producing, programming & project managing for a wide variety of venues, festivals & creative projects. He has been a proud member of the Board of Zest Theatre since 2013 and was delighted to take on the role of Chair in 2016.

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Dr Rona Mackenzie

Dr. Rona Mackenzie spent twenty years in education, having worked in six local authorities during her career. She held an array of posts ranging from teacher of Physical Education to Deputy Head. Rona was the founding Principal of Lincoln UTC, a college specialising in Science and Engineering, a post she left in December 2016. Rona completed a Masters in Educational Disadvantage and SEN in 2005 and a Doctorate in Education in 2012. She returned to university in 2017, completing an MBA, and embarked on a career in industry in January 2018. Rona is currently the Chief Operating Officer at David Fowkes Jewellery. A keen sportswoman and mountaineer, Rona is most at home in the gym or out in the mountains: she recently trekked over 6000m in the Indian and Nepali Himalayas.

Helen Molloy

Helen Molloy is a solicitor at Wilkin Chapman specialising in employment law and HR matters. More recently, her focus has moved to military employment matters. Originally from Liverpool, but having moved around as a child, studied in London and trained in Leeds, she then settled in Lincoln 7 years ago with her husband. Helen's hobbies used to include snowboarding, keeping fit, good food and wine. Helen enjoys going to the theatre when she can find a babysitter...her kids also inject significant drama into her life!

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Adam Pownall

Adam is Theatre Programmer and Producer at Hull Truck Theatre. Previously at Lincoln Drill Hall where he was Artistic Programme & Participation Manager following programming & producing for Derby Theatre.  In 2014 he won the Olwen Wymark Award for supporting New Writing within Theatre for the Writer’s Guild for his work in opening and running Create Theatre, a state of the art studio theatre in Mansfield. Adam is also an artist himself having self-produced and performed in the national tour of ‘Getting Better Slowly’ 2016 -2017 - an inspiring story of recovery told through new writing, movement & sound . He specialises in supporting emerging companies, artist development and new-writing and is a proud advocate for regional theatre. Adam is also a Trustee & Vice Chair for GAIN Charity.


Luke Vernon

Luke trained as an Actor at Birmingham School of Acting and has worked on a wide range of Zest productions and projects since 2014, including: Jonno in Gatecrash (national tour), Gravedigger at Lost Village Festival and Raph in Thrive (national tour). Luke has also joined the Research and Development processes for Thrive, What Once Was Ours and 2030, taking inspiration from both personal experiences and the voices of young people to create new work. Outside of Zest, Luke’s credits include: Doctors (BBC), the short film Bless You and The Crown (Netflix).

Simon Wesley

From his earthy Lincolnshire farming routes Simon has spent the past 17 years promoting positive community and economic growth, supporting businesses and more recently the voluntary and charitable sector in the county.
A science graduate from Staffordshire University who took a big detour into the world of business, Simon is passionate about seeing organisations develop and grow and support their people. At Zest he keeps a keen eye on the finance and has been part of the board since its inception in 2011. At home he is the proud father of his three young children and an ever doting husband. He also loves the theatre!


Zest works with a huge bank of performers, designers, technicians and stage managers who bring a vast range of skills, passion and expertise to our work. These artists are central to everything that Zest does; with many regularly returning to the Zest family. Recently Zest has worked with:

Joel Peter Atkins
Sound Designer / Composer

Jess Bark
Actor / Company Manager

Sophia Bebyck
Actor / Dancer

Pippa Beckwith

Emily Bickerdike

Martyn Bignell

Jordan Blackwood
Company Manager / Director

Ross Bremner
Actor / Dancer / Choreographer

Dr Roger Bretherton
Psychology Consultant

Ellen Carter
Actor / Stilt Walker

Phil Clarke
Lighting Designer at Half Moon Theatre

Alexander Clifford

Guy Connelly
Sound Designer

Laura Cork
Aerialist / Circus Artist

Jenny Daniels
Theatre Maker / Stage Manager

Fliss Donnelly

Chris Elwell
Dramaturg and Director at Half Moon Theatre

Claire Gaydon

Barney George
Set and Costume Designer

Rosa Glover
Company Manager

Alex Harvey Sporle

Laura Hopwood

Myk Hoyle
Technical Manager / Lighting Designer

Justyn Huntley
Actor / Dancer

Jaz Hutchins

Pierre Lafayette-Marsh
Dancer / Actor

Chelsey Lee

Ari Levy
Sound Designer / Touring Technical Manger

Ruth Luckins
Touring Technical Manager

Mike McCallum
Aerialist / Circus Artist

Mark McCreadie

Daniel Morgan

Gareth Morgan

Alice Morgan-Richards

Laura Murphy
Aerialist / Theatre Maker

Stephanie Newall

Amy O'Sullivan
Performer / Movement Director

Ben Pacey
Lighting Designer

Amelia Parrilion
Actor / Dancer

Jay Petherik
Actor / Company Manager

Scott Perry
Magician / Magic Consultant

Rob Pomfret

Ella Redhead
Actor / Dancer

Verity Quinn
Set and Costume Designer

Kyle Sterland
Dancer / Actor

Helen Symonds
Costume Designer

Luke Vernon

Phoebe Wall-Palmer

Rose Wardle

Sam Wilson
Actor Musician