Holly Whytock biography

Holly Whytock began her career in arts marketing and project management at Trinity Theatre working in and subsequently heading up the marketing department. She went on to become Communications Manager for The Theatre Royal Haymarket Masterclass Trust, a charity in the West End offering talks and workshops with leading names in theatre, film and TV for young, aspiring writers, actors, directors, producers and technicians. Holly was promoted to Programme Director for Masterclass in 2009 and led on the strategic planning, financial management, communication and delivery of the busy programme of events for young people.

Since 2011 Holly has worked as a freelancer on a diverse range of projects for clients including: The Old Vic, Unicorn Theatre, IdeasTap, Royal Opera House, Applause Rural Touring and The Kevin Spacey Foundation. She is excited to be working in her hometown again on the digital marketing strategy for the Tunbridge Wells Puppetry Festival.


Hayley Chester biography

Hayley Chester has experience in the arts, in particular in theatre, spanning over 20 years.

From organising national and international tours at the National Theatre, to General Managing Chicago The Musical in the West End, doing Press on numerous high profile productions with the PR legend Peter Thompson and working on long-running BBC TV series My Family for DLT Entertainment.

Hayley Chester Arts Marketing was set-up in 2011 after Hayley left her 10 year career as a Marketing Account Handler at top live entertainment marketing agency, Dewynters, to become a freelance consultant. There she worked with many high profile clients including Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Group, Bill Kenwright Ltd, Cameron Mackintosh, Disney Theatrical Productions (The Lion King), Nimax Theatres, David Pugh and the Royal Opera House.

As a freelance consultant, Hayley has worked with a diverse range of clients; comedienne Helen Lederer, UK Theatre (as Editor of the membership magazine), National Theatre, immersive theatre company The Spectator’s Guild, Ambassador Theatre Group, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, Wizard Presents (Michael Morpurgo’s I Believe in Unicorns) and the National Gallery (Rembrandt – The Late Years and Inventing Impressionism exhibitions) to name but a few.

As a local lass, she is looking forward to introducing puppetry to Tunbridge Wells and is delighted to be marketing consultant on the inaugural Tunbridge Wells Puppetry Festival.


Bethan Tomlinson biography

Bethan Tomlinson established Tunbridge Wells-based Strangeface Theatre Company in 2001 with mask and puppet maker Russell Dean. In the intervening years their work has been seen in tiny village halls, residencies in mid-scale theatres, on a 13m haulage truck and tabletops across the county in a project called “Pubbetry” which served small-scale side orders on tables in cafes, pubs, garden centres and swimming pools.  Strangeface will premier their new work based on British Folklore at the Tunbridge Wells Puppetry Festival before touring venues across the UK during the Family Arts Festival. Bethan’s other projects currently include working on engaging volunteer promoters for work in unusual places for Applause Rural Touring and Ideas Test in Swale and Medway, and working for Puppet Centre Trust as Co-ordinator for a newly formed Puppetry Development Consortium.

Linda Lewis biography

Linda Lewis has worked in the arts for over forty years. On leaving the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama she was immediately snapped up by the children’s theatre company Theatre Centre both as an actor and director where she toured all over the country. As an actress she has worked in television in Scotland. She has run many workshops, taught in schools, colleges and universities as well as the commercial sector. During her role as Drama Officer at the South East Arts Board, the regional arts funding agency for the South East of England, she developed new initiatives in street arts, puppetry, and circus and this is where her enthusiasm and love for puppetry and outdoor arts emerged.

When she left South East Arts she became the Theatre Director for the De La Warr Pavilion, the iconic building in Bexhill where she programmed the 1000 seat theatre, the 100 seat Elizabeth Room and the outdoor Terrace as well as managing the staff and catering facilities.

In 2000 she was invited to take over as Director of the ‘visions’ festival of international visual theatre and puppetry at the University of Brighton. During her tenure here she made many international and national puppetry relationships and contacts.

Whilst visiting puppetry festivals abroad and in the UK, she longed to bring such a festival to her home town, Tunbridge Wells in Kent.

Linda has been a freelance creative producer with four highly acclaimed productions under her belt, ranging from a new play by John Retallack, ‘Ballroom’ which she commissioned in collaboration with the Nuffield Theatre, Southampton and the De La Warr Pavilion with a successful national tour, playing to packed houses at the Riverside Studios in London, to a community production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with 80 children from Tonbridge and the surrounding local villages at the E.M Forster Theatre.

More recently Linda was the Director of the Puppet Centre Trust – a development agency for promoting and advocating puppetry in England.