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Our Leadership Team

Annabel Turpin

Turpin comes from a highly successful 15-year stint at ARC Stockton Arts Centre – one of the North East’s largest arts venues.  She is also Co-Director of Future Arts Centres, a national network of 130+ arts centres, committed to championing their artistic and social contribution to the cultural and civic life of UK towns and cities. 

She is Deputy Chair and Strategic Lead for Creative Place for the Tees Valley Combined Authority’s Business Board (LEP) and sits on a number of other boards and advisory groups. Her consultancy work includes organisational development for theatre companies, venues and local authorities, and mentoring and facilitation at both executive and board level. 

In 2020-21 she led the independent Tees Valley Creative & Visitor Economy Task Force, established by the Tees Valley Mayor, and currently co-chairs the Tees Valley Creative Place Advisory Group. 

She launched and chairs Venues North, a group of 45+ venues from across the greater North committed to helping artists get their work seen more widely. She has produced and toured work nationally by artists, writers and theatre-makers including Jonathan Coe, Daniel Bye, Patrick Gale, Jackie Kay and Luca Rutherford. 

Turpin joins Storyhouse at an exciting time, as it prepares to launch its new 3-year strategy and positions its charity for its next stage of development. Turpin’s broad and diverse leadership credentials will enable Storyhouse to maximise its offer to the widest range of audiences in its unique programme of work.  


A black and white photograph of Suzie Henderson - Storyhouse's creative director.

Suzie Henderson
Creative Director

Suzie joined Storyhouse in January 2022.

As Creative Director, Suzie leads on our Artistic programme including our engagement and communities programmes, as well as leading our festivals and talent development programmes.

Suzie trained in Drama at the University of Bristol, after finding her way in to the arts as a teenager via her local youth theatre. Before joining Storyhouse, Suzie was the Head of Creative Development for Contact in Manchester. There, she led on the development of The Agency – a UK-wide social entrepreneurship programme in partnership with Battersea Arts Centre, People’s Palace Projects and Brazilian Artist and Cultural Leader Marcus Faustini.

As well as leading the development of socially engaged theatre pieces, focused on unheard and underrepresented voices, Suzie has worked extensively both nationally and internationally in youth governance and leadership, co-curation with young people, and with communities and arts for social change. Suzie has a particular interest in the civic role of arts organisations. She is also an expert in reality TV and gin-based cocktails.

Oliver Hill
Operations Director

As our Operations Director, Olly runs all of our venue operations, customer service, food & drink and all event programmes.

He has worked in hospitality and operations for 20 years, as a general manager, cluster manager & operations manager as well as in brand development and marketing.

He has run numerous restaurants, bars and live music venues in London, Sheffield, Leeds, Manchester and Nottingham, as well as working on festivals and as a consultant on over 10 new bar openings. He came to Storyhouse having spent a number of years as the General F&B Manager for Chester Zoo.

Kate Mylchreest
Development Director

As our Development Director, Kate runs our fundraising and stakeholder management programmes.

She has a degree in Sociology and Anthropology from Newcastle University and has worked in fundraising for the not-for-profit sector for over 20 years. She is an avowed champion of Storyhouse’s community programme, particularly supporting young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

She has considerable experience in the NHS and held senior positions at both the Countess of Chester and The Royal Liverpool University Hospital, where she set up the R Charity. Kate has specialist experience of managing large capital fundraising campaigns and has lectured at University of Liverpool on this area. She continues to mentor other fundraisers.

She started her career in human rights and disability charities in London before coming home to Chester. She’s a long-suffering and active member of the local Labour party and knows Chester like nobody else.

Ros Thomas
Finance Director

Ros joined the Storyhouse team in 2017.

As the Head of Finance, she has overall responsibility for the charity’s financial health. Ros combines both an operational and strategic role, managing the accounting and financial control functions for the organisation as well as shaping its financial strategy to ensure long-term sustainability.

An industry accountant from a commercial background, Ros previously worked at Chester Race Company specialising in project management and systems change. After 15 years living & working in Chester, Ros considers the city home and enjoys spending anytime she’s not working with her small human.