Meet the RicNic team

As well as full time staff and board members, RICNIC is supported by an extended network of alumni associates, creative advisors and industry ambassasors:

– Our staff

Jennifer Holyhead

Executive Director

Jennifer has over 20 years experience of working in arts education and community participation. She joined the RicNic team in 2019 having previously run her own company Spit Spot Theatre alongside working as Learning and Participation Manager, then Festival Director at the Lichfield Festival in Staffordshire.  Jennifer is passionate about supporting young people to access creative opportunities and experience the arts.

Joshua Clayton

Projects and Production Assistant

Joshua is a Music Student, Musical director, and Theatre/Live Events producer from the Midlands. He joined RicNic Burton as part of their first production team in 2020 and produced and musical directed their August Virtual Cabaret project, before leading RicNic Burton in their first performances.

Jessica Williams

Outreach Assistant

Jess graduated from Oxford Brookes University in 2020 with a degree in Drama with English Literature. She is Co-Founder and Musical Director at Nereids Theatre Company; an all-female ensemble currently producing a “Shakin’ up Shakespeare!” audio play series. Jess has trained with the National Youth Theatre, and has enjoyed acting with companies including the Oxford Playhouse, Mandala Theatre, and Crescent Theatre. She also works as a facilitator at the Pauline Quirke Academy.

– Our Board

Ben Cahill-Nicholls

Chair

Ben founded RicNic in 2004 when he put on Guys & Dolls in the summer holidays with 40 other teenagers. He has been honoured to serve as a Trustee since then, and chairs the Board. Ben began his career as a civil servant, and then held senior roles in education and corporate philanthropy. Currently he is Chief Executive of Clergy Support Trust, the largest and oldest benevolent charity for Anglican ministers. Ben completed his Anglican ministry training and was ordained in summer 2021. Ben lives with his wife Ellie, son Hector,  and cats Rodgers & Hammerstein in Surrey; as the cats’ names suggest, musical theatre remains a bit of an obsession.

Ed Goble

Treasurer

Ed was a participant in the first three RicNic productions, becoming one of a select group to tread the boards, play in the band and take a role on the Production Team.  He then studied PPE at Magdalen College, Oxford where he sang in the Magdalen College Choir and produced student drama.  He started his career in corporate finance and now works in private equity investing in London.

Nick Morris

Nick first got involved in RicNic aged 16 as a participant, producing two of RicNic’s early shows, and became a Trustee in 2012 after studying at Edinburgh University. He has spent his career in the technology industry, founding and leading a number of businesses including two in the arts and charitable sector, and has also chaired a learning disability charity. He is currently CEO of a cyber security business operating in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Alongside RicNic, Nick fulfils his love for the arts by singing with The Bach Choir.

Helen Dutta

Helen Dutta is a lawyer with over a decade’s experience in the arts sector, having held roles in legal and business affairs, policy and corporate governance. Helen is currently a senior manager and company secretary to DACS, a not-for-profit artists’ rights organisation. Helen’s commitment to the arts stems from her own background as a musician, having studied flute at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and later an MA in ethnomusicology. Helen has worked previously as a flautist on numerous outreach projects (including with the English National Ballet) and is also a Trustee of Music in Hospitals and Care.

Sam Oladeinde

Sam’s RicNic journey began in 2006 performing in shows including Oklahoma! Kiss Me Kate, Calamity Jane and My Fair Lady, then producing and choreographing West Side Story. His musical life continued at Cambridge University, as a choral scholar at St John’s College where he studied law. Since graduating, Sam qualified as a lawyer in London, and subsequently pursued his dramatic, musical and artistic hobbies by training at the Royal Academy of Music. He joined the West End company of Hamilton as a swing and principal understudy, before enjoying runs in The Book of Mormon and The Prince of Egypt. Sam has recently finished performing as Bob/Others in the West End production of Come From Away.

Ellie Cahill-Nicholls

Ellie is currently an agent at The Galton Agency, representing numerous performers across the entertainment and theatre industry.  Previously Ellie worked as an agent supporting theatre clients at Noel Gay Ltd and representing comedians at Avalon.

Ellie also directs youth theatre in Guildford.

Ellie MacPherson

Having performed in two RicNic musicals in sixth form in her hometown of Winchester, Ellie now works for a media agency, planning marketing and advertising campaigns for some of the biggest West End shows.

Natalie Haslam

Natalie is a Dance Artist, Choreographer and Arts Manager based in the West Midlands. She is currently Operations Manager at Lichfield Festival and is passionate about developing young talent and building creative skills.

– Our Associates Board

RicNic Associates are alumni of our projects who continue to support our work and current participants.

The current members are:

Autumn Beddoe

Rosie Peters

Mannikka Marchant

Adela Rajnovic

Lavender Rodriguez

– Our Ambassadors

We are grateful for the ongoing support and guidance of our industry ambassadors.

Damien Thantry

Artistic Director / Baritone

Hannah Lindsey

Actor

James Henshaw

Condutor

Leo Munby

Composer / Musical Director

Scott Bird

Marketing Manager

Sharon Rose

Actor

Stephenson Arden-sodje

Actor