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Our People

Our people are central to everything we do. 

We welcome diversity, respect individuality and value creativity.

Meet the Team

Our team

We believe in the power of the arts to transform and enrich lives. Meet the team taking positive action to make sure that all voices are heard and all stories told.




We have up to 16 Board members including four elected members from Aberdeen City Council and an employee Director.  Board members work together to set overall direction,  ensure good governance and they are ambassadors for Aberdeen Performing Arts

Craig Pike – Chair

Aberdeen Performing Arts Chairman. Lawyer specialising in Private Client work and is a Partner with Ledingham Chalmers LLP. A Director and performer with local theatre groups, producing shows at His Majesty’s Theatre, ACT Aberdeen, and the Tivoli, as well as a performer and member of comedy group ‘The Flying Pigs’ having produced work for stage, radio and TV. Formerly Vice Chair of Castlegate Arts Limited, which operates ACT Aberdeen. Holds an LL.B. (With Options in Management Studies), a Diploma in Personnel Management and Diploma in Legal Practice. Craig is Clerk & Assessor to the Seven Incorporated Trades of Aberdeen, continuing an unbroken line of lawyers from his firm, going back to 1888. With a keen interest in the well-being of older people in our community, Craig is a Trustee of Northcote Lodge Care Home, in Aberdeen and is also on the local Steering Group for Alzheimer Scotland.

Dr Duncan Cockburn

Duncan is the Vice Principal for Strategy and Planning at Robert Gordon University.  In this role he is the executive lead for a number of departments, including Marketing & Communications; Access, Recruitment & Admissions; and Planning & Insight.  He joined RGU in 2008 as the Principal’s Policy Advisor. He was appointed as the Director of Planning and Policy at the University in 2013.  Prior to this Duncan was Head of sparqs (Student Participation in Quality Scotland) and is a former President of the University of Aberdeen’s Student Association.

Outwith work, Duncan is active in the cultural sector, he was appointed to the Board of Creative Scotland in 2019.  At a regional level he is Chair of Culture Aberdeen, the city’s cultural network responsible for the implementation and monitoring of the region’s cultural strategy.  He is also a Board member of Sound and was formally Chair of the Look Again visual arts and design festival run annually across Aberdeen and led by the University.  Duncan is a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts.

Duncan is a double graduate of the University of Aberdeen, holding a MA honours degree  and a PhD both in History.  He is civilly partnered to Neil and together they live in Inverness with Flora their dog.  In his spare time, Duncan enjoys cooking, gardening and reading history books.

Azzrai Effendi

Azraai is currently the Head of Financial Governance at the Offshore Petroleum Regulator for Environment and Decommissioning (OPRED). As a trained petroleum economist, he has skills in data analytics, data gathering and data management. His qualifications have been achieved in the US, Malaysia and in the UK.   He has a passion for the performing arts, enjoys going to the theatre and the orchestra in particular, and has lived in Aberdeen now for over 10 years.

Councillor Lee Fairfull

Lee is an Aberdeen City Councillor for the Torry/Ferryhill ward having been elected in May 2022.  Lee grew up in Aberdeenshire where she was passionate about acting and performance at school, studying drama and media at higher level and regularly attending shows at The Lemon Tree, His Majesty’s Theatre and The Music Hall.  She went on to attend Edinburgh Napier University, where she graduated with a Law Degree in 2016, before getting into the world of politics and joining the office of Stephen Flynn MP as a Parliamentary Assistant in 2020 and standing for election herself in 2022.  Outside of politics, Lee enjoys spending time with her young nieces and nephews and family dog, Piper.  Lee also has a keen interest in Scottish history, having worked as a Tour Guide for the National Trust for Scotland for a number of years.  Lee’s passion for both theatre and music very much remains, as she continues to regularly attend shows across our Aberdeen venues.

Margaret Gibson

Margaret was until July 2020 a partner at Burness Paull. Specialising in Employment Law she acted for many of Aberdeen’s leading oil and gas companies but also for a number of Aberdeen’s third sector organisations.  Margaret acted for Voluntary Service Aberdeen for many years and has since retirement joined their Board.  Margaret also sits on the Board of Archway, a local charity providing permanent and respite care for adults and young people with varying needs.

Margaret’s connections with Aberdeen Performing Arts began during her time as a Burness Paull partner as she provided advice and guidance to the Company, working closely with Jane Spiers in recent years.  Margaret was brought up in Aberdeen and returned to the city from Edinburgh in 1990.  Passionate about the city and its culture, Margaret enjoys going to a range of theatrical, musical and artistic events as well as making her own music playing her clarinet.  When not involved in cultural activities Margaret is likely to be found either in the mountains or on the sea.

Councillor Dell Henrickson

Dell is an Aberdeen City Councillor for George Street/Harbour and was elected for a second term in June 2022.  Dell attended Aberdeen University and graduated with a degree in Geology in 1982. He then spent nine years serving in the RAF as an imagery analyst, during which time he was involved with RAF theatre groups and was a member of RAFTA (Royal Air Force Theatre Association).  While spending 20 years working in the middle east, he was an active member of the local drama scene in many different roles. Dell has a long standing interest in the performing arts with a wide range in tastes, and attends as many performances as possible.

Councillor Martin Greig

Martin has been an elected member of Aberdeen City Council since 2003.  He has occupied many roles and functions and is currently Chair of the Education Committee and Council spokesperson on culture.

Nikki Morris-Laing

A Bachelor of Arts and a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, Nikki has 17+ years of project and people management experience, 10+ years of experience in a senior marketing role (including both client and agency side) and 10+ years’ experience in tourism/hospitality marketing.

With a background in Media, Nikki managed community radio stations across Scotland and moved to Aberdeen in 2008 to manage local community radio station, shmuFM. For the following 7 years, Nikki led on consumer marketing for Aberdeen & Aberdeenshire’s tourism industry as the Head of Marketing for the regions Destination Marketing Organisation, VisitAberdeenshire. Nikki is currently Head of Digital Marketing & Growth UK for Dish Cult, the diner facing brand of ResDiary.

Nikki is a passionate ambassador for the arts and enjoys attending a variety of events at the city’s cultural venues. She also enjoys being a local food blogger and is a keen supporter of ‘eat local’ so can often be found dining out in one of Aberdeen’s many independent foodie spots.

Watson Mutch

Watson is a Chartered Accountant. He currently works part time as Partnership Accountant with a long established firm of solicitors in Aberdeen. Prior to this he was Finance Director and Company Secretary for a local newspaper publisher for a number of years.  He takes an active interest in his former employer’s pension fund where he is Trustee Director.

Councillor Jennifer Stewart

Leadership Team

Sharon Burgess

Sharon is our Chief Executive and provides organisational leadership; developing and implementing the long term vision and mission of the organisation whilst  ensuring the business plan, operations, finance and programme are delivered effectively.  Sharon’s favourite company values are Teamwork and Resilience.

Faye Barron

Faye is Director of People and leads on people, culture, compliance and governance for the organisation and our corporate teams across HR, IT and Finance and Sustainability.  Faye is a fierce believer that Aberdeen Performing Arts must be a welcoming and open place for everyone and loves working with our team to celebrate and encourage difference in all parts of our organisation.  Loyalty and Optimism are her favourite company values.

Matt Godfrey

Matt is our Head of Finance and Sustainability, joining our team in April 2022 in the newly refocused role.  He has responsibility for financial management and governance within the business and leads on developing and directing our strategy on environmental sustainability.  Matt believes that through effective partnering across all functions of our organisation, we can effect positive change towards reducing our carbon footprint.  Matt’s favourite company values are Curiosity and Teamwork.

Ross Sims

Ross is our Head of Technical and Operations, and leads our Technical, Operations and Housekeeping Teams.  Ross chairs our Health, Safety and Security Meetings as well as leading our Health and Safety Champions in ensuring that our venues are managed to a high standard. Ross is passionate about maintaining our beautiful venues and working alongside our talented people.  The values that appeal most to Ross are Resilience and Teamwork as we strive to work as one team to create all our varied and successful events.

Ben Torrie

Ben is our Director of Programming and Creative Projects and leads on delivering the organisation’s artistic plans via programming, producing, commissioning, curating and creative engagement, and also oversees our technical, operations and housekeeping teams.  Ben thrives on working with the team to turn great ideas into reality and deliver amazing experiences.  His favourite of our values are Curiosity and Loyalty.

Susan Whyte

Susan is our Head of Creative Engagement and leads our team of Creative Change Makers and Producers who manage our creative engagement programmes and our Light the Blue and Wonderland Festivals.  Susan believes that the arts can have a positive impact on everyone’s lives and that nobody should feel excluded from taking part.  Her favourite company values are Curiosity and Optimism.

Management Team

Deva Allan

Front of House Manager 

Grace Arthur

Customer Experience Manager – Sales & Engagement

Greig Dempster

Chief LX

Lynn Hackett

Customer Experience Manager – Hospitality & Events

Andy Howie

Chief Technician

Barry Johnstone

Finance Manager

Andy Kite

Marketing Manager

David Milne

Chief Technician

Steven Milne

Cultural Programme Manager

Graeme Shepherd

Stage Manager