Donmar Warehouse Chair Adam Kenwright today announces four new members joining the Board of Trustees. Professor Hannah Thompson, Jonathan Kanagasooriam, Neil Blair and Sarah Carson joinAdam Kenwright, Antonia Romeo, Gerard Lemos CMG, Jonathan Smith, June Sarpong OBE, Lucian Msamati, Susan Boster, Tessa Ross CBE, Tiina Lee and William Eccleshare on the Donmar’s Board.

Adam Kenwright said today, “After an extensive recruitment process, the Board and I are delighted to be welcoming Professor Hannah Thompson, Jonathan Kanagasooriam, Neil Blair and Sarah Carson to the Donmar’s Board of Trustees. Collectively they bring a wealth of knowledge and experience and have a shared enthusiasm for taking the vision and ambitions of the Donmar forward. I look forward to working alongside them.”

Michael Longhurst, Artistic Director and Henny Finch, Executive Director added “We are thrilled to be joined by our new trustees and are grateful for the expertise and energy they collectively bring to the Donmar”.

Professor Hannah Thompson: “I’m pleased to bring my love of live theatre and my expertise in equality, diversity, and inclusion. As a partially blind theatre goer, I understand what a difference creative and world-leading access provision makes. I’m excited to be part of a forward-looking team who understand the benefits of making theatre accessible to everyone.”

Jonathan Kanagasooriam: “I’m honoured and excited to join the Donmar’s Board. It’s an organisation that represents the very best of live performance, creativity, and art in the UK. I can’t wait to start working with Adam and other trustees in supporting Henny, Michael, and the wider Donmar team in their continued mission to bring people together through the power of world-class theatre.”

Neil Blair: “I am delighted to be joining the Board as I have long been an admirer of the Donmar. I look forward to working with my fellow trustees and the inspirational team, headed up by Michael Longhurst and Henny Finch, to continue to tell stories, engage audiences and deliver the Donmar’s mission.”

Sarah Carson: “I’m very excited to be joining the Board of the Donmar Warehouse as a champion for youth voice and participation. The Discover programme is a powerful platform for young people to tell new stories, challenge ideas and provoke debate. It’s an impressive team, and I’m really looking forward to supporting this work.”

Professor Hannah Thompson is a specialist in nineteenth- and twentieth-century French literature and the visual arts, translation studies, critical disability studies and audio description. She is Professor of French and Critical Disability Studies at Royal Holloway, University of London and studied at Newnham College, Cambridge where she earned her PhD in French Literature. She is a partially blind academic and activist. Her research asks what the representation of various protected characteristics (including gender, sexuality, and disability) tell us about (French) culture. Since the publication of her third book, Reviewing Blindness in French Fiction (1789-2013) (Palgrave, 2017) her internationally renowned research focus on the intersections between Critical Disability Studies and French Studies.  Hannah is currently working on creative audio description in museums, art galleries and theatres and her notion of ‘blindness gain’: she was Production Consultant for the Donmar’s installation Blindness and also worked with them during her AHRC EDI Fellowship ‘Inclusive Description for Equality and Access’.

Jonathan Kanagasooriam is Head of Content Strategy for BBC Sounds. He previously worked in a range of organisations across the creative industries including BBC Studios, fashion publisher Dazed Media and in-house agency, Dazed Media Studios, McCann London and Wunderman Thompson (formerly JWT London). He is also a trustee of The Whitechapel Gallery and Hofesh Shechter Company.

Neil Blair is Founding Partner of The Blair Partnership and Chairman of Pottermore. The Blair Partnership, represents and brand manages writers, entertainers and artists from around the world including high profile names such as Marina Abramovic, J.K. Rowling, Sir Trevor Phillips and YolanDa Brown. Prior to this, Neil was Head of Business Affairs, Europe, for Warner Bros. working on productions such as Band of Brothers and Eyes Wide Shut. In 2014, Neil was an Executive Producer for the BBC adaptation of The Casual Vacancy and more recently has been Executive Producer for the BBC series adaptation of Robert Galbraith’s Cormoran Strike Mysteries, and for the Warner Bros. film adaptations of J.K. Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Neil also continues to represent J.K. Rowling’s Producer interest on Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. He recently completed his tenure as Chairman of J.K. Rowling’s children’s charity, Lumos and is involved as a trustee or ambassador in a number of other charitable causes including The Atlas Foundation, GIFT, Stand With Us UK, United Hatzalah, JW3, The Abraham Initiatives and the Donmar Warehouse.

Sarah Carson has spent several years in the charity sector working on campaigns and youth-centred initiatives to raise young people’s voices. She is currently the Head of Campaigns at UNICEF UK, advocating for children’s rights here and around the world, and prior to this was the Head of Youth, Movements and Campaigns at global organisation Plan International. Sarah has a Masters in Political Theory from the London School of Economics. She also qualified as an Art Psychotherapist at Goldsmiths, and has volunteered with young offenders at Holloway women’s prison, and now with survivors of violence at the Women and Girls Network.



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