Society of London Theatre and UK Theatre employs over 60 staff on both a full and part-time basis working out of either the Rose Street head office or the TKTS, the Official London Theatre ticket booth in Leicester Square.

Our core departments, alongside the CEO and Operations teams include Membership Services, including Legal, Employment Relations and Workforce; Audience and Commercial, including Marketing, Digital, Theatre Tokens, Ticketing and Events and Policy and Advocacy, including Government Relations and Data.

Our Executive Team

Claire Walker & Hannah Essex

Co-Chief Executives

Claire and Hannah are one of UK’s most successful and high-profile job share partnerships. With over 40 years of combined experience as senior leaders in a range of business and not-for-profit organisations, they are trailblazers in the concept of co-leadership, proving it can have significant benefits in terms of innovation, influence and relationships. They are regarded as two of the most effective, credible and tenacious influencers in Westminster and were both recently recognised as two of the Top 100 Women in Westminster by House Magazine in 2022.

They joined the Society of London Theatre and UK Theatre in September 2022. This is their third role together as a partnership. They were previously Co-Executive Directors of the British Chambers of Commerce between 2018-2022 working on behalf of their members on critical issues such as Brexit, Covid and workforce. Prior to their role at the British Chambers of Commerce, they worked as Co-Communications Directors of the social enterprise Teach First.

Emma De Souza

Executive Director, Audience and Commercial

Over the last 25 years, Emma has dedicated her career to SOLT and UK Theatre, continually progressing throughout the organisation in various roles including press, sponsorship, marketing, advocacy, and promotions to her current role as Executive Director, Audiences and Commercial. She founded Kids Week in the West End which has introduced over 2 million families to the magic of live theatre. She has overseen and created several campaigns to build new audiences and make theatre more accessible including pioneering Inspiring Future Theatre Day, enabling hundreds of school children to experience their first theatre visit. She also worked in collaboration with Westminster City Council to create West End Live – an annual two-day, free musical theatre festival in Trafalgar Square. Attracting over 70,000 visitors the event is an incredible showcase for member shows.

Collaboration is at the heart of everything she does, and she relishes building partnerships that support theatre. Over the years, she has worked closely with the Mayor, London and Partners, Visit Britain the Royal Household, TDF and the Broadway League on a variety of different campaigns and events. As Executive Director, Emma has taken on responsibility for all audience facing and commercial operations including ticketing, marketing, events, and new business. She leads on the Olivier Awards, and with her new team, has transformed how the event is delivered. Emma has ensured the Awards programme is member-led throughout the year, and established an Olivier Committee to ensure that the event is a true collaboration and celebration of members’ work. She is also working on a 5-year strategy for the UK Theatre Awards.

Emma was on the board of the Rose Theatre Kingston and the ATG Foundation. She was recognised in the 2024 Women in Trade Organisation power list and has recently become a mentor for the Leaders Plus charity – championing parents to progress in their careers whilst juggling young families.

Phillip Brown

Director of Membership

Phill started his career in 1989 with the Ministry of Defence and for 10 years worked in a variety of positions including UK and International security management.   On leaving the MoD he re-trained and qualified in safety and risk management first working within the NHS in safety, risk and security management and as Risk Management Director for the Ambassador Theatre Group gaining invaluable risk management experience both in the UK and internationally. 

Phill was the inaugural Head of Risk & Safety for SOLT and UK Theatre membership providing risk, H&S, security and technical advice.   He created and nurtured a proactive approach to safety management and developed positive changes in theatre working practices within the industry.

In May 2023 he became Director of Membership.  This new role is part of the Executive Committee working with and accountable to the Co-CEO’s and responsible for developing and implementing SOLT and UK Theatre’s membership strategy.  He oversees the Membership Services Team which comprises of the Legal, Employment Relations, Risk & Safety & UK Theatre Teams.

His focus has always been on building strong professional relationships and strives to find imaginative and original ways to engage with members and partners organisations throughout the industry.

Phill is a Fellow of International Institute of Risk and Safety Management (FIIRSM), Registered Safety Practitioner (RSP) and Chartered Member of Institution of Occupational (CMIOSH). 

Lisa Cunningham

Director of Policy, Research and Advocacy

A strategic influencing expert, Lisa has 20 years’ experience spanning strategic communications, engagement, strategy, policy and public affairs, and insight delivered across a range of settings specialising in membership organisations.

She joins from the employer’s association in higher education, responsible for corporate strategy and risk, delivering complex policy and business projects in an environment of challenging industrial relations. She has led the communication and engagement function in a professional regulator, shaping and delivering influencing strategy and action significantly contributing to organisational and reputational improvement. Establishing the strategic communications functions at a health trade union and delivering multiple complex campaigns, she has a track record in delivering demonstrable success in high profile settings.

Committed to the value of voluntary action, Lisa is a governor at a local middle school.

Harriet Jones

Director of Finance and Operations

Harriet joined SOLT and UK Theatre as Director of Finance and Operations in March 2024 to lead corporate services for the organisations. Harriet has held a variety of senior roles in not for profit organisations in different business sectors, broadening her core finance skills as a Chartered Accountant to lead IT and digital teams and corporate services more generally.

Harriet joined from the Royal College of General Practitioners where she had held the role of Executive Director of Planning and Resources since 2019, with responsibility for Finance, IT, Property & Facilities, HR, Governance and Procurement. Prior to that, Harriet held a similar role at Asthma UK, a medium sized charity funded by donations, and was previously Finance Bursar for a foundation of private schools in London. Harriet has also held a variety of roles at the BBC, focusing on business planning, analysis, value for money and aligning operational plans with strategy.

Harriet is a trustee at University of Northampton and is Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee.