Wolverhampton Grand Theatre has officially announced a new team of theatre ambassadors who will help the theatre in its mission to ensure the diversity of its audiences is reflective of that which makes up the city’s population.
The Grand Theatre is committed to being a theatre for all and since the introduction of South Asian ambassadors in 2018, there has been a South Asian audience increase of 20%.
Now, similar work has begun with a new group of Black African and Caribbean ambassadors, led by the Grand Theatre’s new Audience Development Consultant, Tonia Daley-Campbell.
Tonia Daley-Campbell is an actress, award-winning writer, published author, director/casting director, and producer. Tonia has been working in the creative industries for over 21 years and throughout her creative career, she has been committed to discovering hidden talent from across the West Midlands. She has cast many short films, theatre projects, and the TV Pilot Lucid The Dreamwalker. She has directed plays in theatres across the UK including, The Birmingham Hippodrome, National Theatre London and Wolverhampton Grand Theatre. In 2018 Tonia won an inspirational woman award for her work with young people from marginalized and disaffected communities, helping them to gain careers within the creative industries. Tonia has toured in theatres across the country and internationally, whilst also starring in TV, films and commercials. Tonia’s acting credits include: Gazebo Theatre’s Wanted, Sorry No Coloureds No Irish No Dogs and Jamaica 50. BBC Doctors, Prisoners Wives, BBC drama Danny and the human zoo, short films Good Hair, Roadside Killer, Black Hill and award-winning BBC Creatives, The Boy shaped space. Tonia is one of the directors of TV, Film and Theatre production company Themis Creative limited with Business partner and friend Oraine Johnson. Tonia is Currently the new Audience Development consultant for The Grand Theatre Wolverhampton which she absolutely loves.
Tonia said; “The Black African and Caribbean Ambassadors group is a fantastic way for the Grand theatre to show that representation matters. Our communities will feel seen and this will be reflected within the shows and projects we develop. I am so excited about our next steps at the Grand."
On the launch of the new ambassador group, Vicky Price, Associate Director of Development and Communication at the Grand Theatre said; “we’re extremely pleased to welcome this new group of ambassadors to the Grand Theatre. We are already hugely grateful to Tonia and the team for the efforts they’ve immediately put in to help us reach new audiences and we’re very excited by the plans we’re preparing for the future.”
The ambassadors are;
Pamilerin Beckley - Birmingham-born digital communication professional with an insatiable passion for storytelling. As the Architect of Stories of The Haven, Wolverhampton, she engages with various stakeholders to explore how their stories can be told, through digital mediums, as a catalyst for change. She spent her early years in Freetown, Sierra Leone, where she developed a keen interest in advocacy for women’s rights and the betterment of the girl child. As a former woman's magazine editor, she was exposed to and became fully cognizant of the stereotypes and stigma associated with many gender-based societal issues and how the power dynamics between men and women often leave women at a disadvantage. As a freelancer, she supports small to medium women-led businesses and organisations with simple, affordable but effective design and digital solutions. She has developed brand identities, designed and implemented marketing and communication strategies, which have improved consumer engagement and secured media coverage in leading media outlets like CNN and The Huffington Post.
Sophie Clayton - also known as Sofie Anné, she is a young singer/performer born and raised in Wolverhampton. From a young age Sophie has been surrounded by music with influences from her Aunty Beverley aka Wolverhampton’s own Soul Queen Beverley Knight.
Sophie also shared a love for theatre during her time at Aldersley High School playing lead role in both Queen’s We Will Rock You playing ‘Killer Queen’ and the theatre classic Grease where she played ‘Sandy’. Sophie attended Birmingham Ormiston Academy (BOA) which is the sister school to the Brit school in London, where she completed a 2 year music course. In 2016, Sophie attended BIMM Manchester where she excelled and completed her degree in Professional Musicianship: Vocals.She performs for exclusive luxury events around the UK and internationally including destinations such as St.Tropez, Thailand and California. Sophie has worked with artists Beverley Knight, Marisha Wallace, Dueted with Josh Daniel From X Factor and has also made several TV appearances on BBC Songs Of Praise and The Royal Variety Show. Sophie is very excited to be an ambassador for The Wolverhampton Grand Theatre and aims to bring more of the Black community and youth into the Grand and put Wolverhampton back on the map!’
Junior Hemans - an experienced consultant having worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers for ten years up to 2011 and now working as an independent consultant. Junior is also a non-executive director for the Royal Wolverhampton (5years) and Walsall Healthcare (Feb 2021) NHS Trusts, where he serves as Chair of both Trust’s People and Organisation Committees. He is also Chair of Tuntum Housing Association since 2015 and has successfully led the organisation through a period of growth and significant development and is also a Prince’s Trust mentor and a property developer/landlord of more than 20 years.
Nathan John - born in Wednesfield, Wolverhampton, he left at age 16 to pursue a career in the British Army, and over the course of 20 years as both a Soldier and attendance at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, as an Officer, he served on operations in Kosovo, Sierra Leone, Iraq and Afghanistan, Germany and culminated in a high-profile role in NATO. He has a Masters degree from Kings College London, and Batchelor degrees from Northumbria Business School and the Open University. Nathan is also a member of the Institute of Directors and CIPD. A natural entrepreneur and has built businesses, including a property portfolio and media company, and was shortlisted as New Leaver of the Year at the Ex-Forces in Business Awards 2020. Now an author and TEDxl speaker, his debut book, Decision Point is a culmination of his personal development journey and a synthesis of his best lessons for success. Nathan has fused practical human psychology with his own research to support and develop colleagues and clients to achieve their own successes. Keen to support the next generation, Nathan is also a Multiverse Mentor. Former Prime Minsters’ son’ Euan Blair’s brainchild to create a diverse group of future leaders, where Nathan supports Directors and business leaders in leadership and management. Nathan is thrilled to be able to work with the Grand Theatre to develop the Black/Caribbean audience and promoting the theatre as a venue for all. Inspired by the words of Maya Angelou’ Nathan believes when you learn you should teach and when you get you should give. He hopes to have a positive and lasting impact in his home community.
Carl McGregor - is a Wolverhampton lad, born and bred. As a child he started playing keyboards and drums in his father’s church. He has been a professional musician for forty years and has travelled to various parts of the world and has worked with a wide variety of artistes such as, Sir Cliff Richard, the late great Roy Castle, Michael Bolton, Gospel legend Andrae Crouch, and Soul deva, our very own Beverley Knight. Carl has also over the years worked with young people in institutions such as schools, churches, and even prisons, helping them to realise their potential.
Simone Stewart - is a proud Wolverhampton girl, after graduating from University of Wolverhampton she went onto work in journalism starting out at BBC Sport. Simone is an award-winning video journalist having previously worked for BBC News and BBC Sport making digital videos. “I’ve always been passionate about storytelling and giving a voice to the voiceless.” She is currently an Assistant Producer for a production company working with clients such as FIFA, UEFA and the FA. In her spare time Simone loves F1, football, food and to travel. When asked to be an ambassador for The Grand Theatre Simone said “It was a great honor to be asked by one of the biggest landmarks in Wolverhampton to not only represent them but also represent the Black community and draw a more diverse and younger audience to come to The Grand.