The Team


Debbie Thompson
Theatre Director

Norfolk-born Debbie has been involved in the theatre’s management since 2002.

After a 10-year acting career including the West End , TV and repertory work, she returned to her home county to bring up her family, who have all been involved with the theatre over many years.

Husband Simon, a drama teacher at Paston College, has directed dramas at the theatre, while daughter Katie and son Sam have both appeared in many youth productions, ahead of them seeking careers in theatre.

In 2004 Debbie became artistic director and was promoted to theatre director in 2008.

Telephone: 01263 826171


Claire Carter

Claire Carter
Finance Manager

Claire is a certified accountant, who previously worked at a London based retail company. She has been the Theatre’s finance manager for five years. Son George has appeared in youth productions of Les Miserables and Fiddler on the Roof.

Telephone: 01263 826170


Sheringham Little Theatre Janet Farrow

Janet Farrow
Front of House Manager

Janet joined the Little Theatre in 2013 as box office assistant. She previously worked literally across the road as the manager of the Upcher Community Partnership for four years. When it closed after withdrawal of funding, she was quickly snapped up by Theatre director Debbie.

Janet, who has lived in the town for more than 30 years, ran the Claws and Paws pet shop in Sheringham for 10 years. She enjoys meeting people, and the mix of arts hosted at the theatre, adding: “I love my job.”

Telephone: 01263 822347


Sheringham Little Theatre technical apprentice Chris Sainton-Clark

Chris Sainton-Clark

Chris is the man behind the glass in in the technical box behind the audience’s heads – making sure the lighting, sound and cinema run smoothly.

The 20-year-old is a product of Paston College’s drama course, and has tried all aspects of drama, from acting with fellow students in the Peas in a Pod theatre company, to stage managing the Wizard of Oz panto at St George’s Theatre, Great Yarmouth – and even writing his own one-act play during lockdown!

Chris, from Corpusty in North Norfolk, is enjoying expanding his experience and skills at the Little Theatre and hoping to do more stage management too.

Mark Ivan Benfield
Technical Manager

Mark has been working in the entertainment sector for many years and considers himself very fortunate in his career to date. Comfortable as both an Actor and an Engineer he has a wealth of productions “under his belt” over more years than he cares to remember.   Mark enjoys the excitement and adrenaline rush of live shows and can often be found sound engineering for bands and theatres including the Royal Opera House. He is probably best known as an organised and adaptable Duty and Production Manager, facilitating shows, events and festivals, ensuring that every aspect of the project is safe and controlled. Mark is very excited to be working with this great team and helping them with the incredible work that they do.

Telephone: 07793972715


Sheringham Little Theatre Jo Church

Jo Church
Lead caterer

Jo Church the new lead caterer making The Hub’s tasty snacks and light lunches.

Jo is a Sheringham girl who went to the high school where she enjoyed Home Economics and decided to make a career from her cookery skills.

She qualified with a City and Guilds at Norwich City College and has worked in the town at the Youth Hostel and also the Kingsgate residential home where she did 25 years before it shut down.

Now she is looking forward to showcasing her skills at the Little Theatre, preparing cakes, savouries and light lunches.


Sheringham Little Theatre Wendy Paterson

Wendy Paterson
Box office assistant

Wendy began helping at the Little Theatre as a volunteer in the Hub two years ago.

She then had a Saturday job helping in the kitchen, and also did spells in the box office, where she has now switched to as assistant to manager Janet Farrow.

Wendy, who had a 35 year career in financial data in London before moving to Sheringham, is a big theatre fan, particularly musicals – and loves working in the friendly atmosphere and community vibe of the Little Theatre.


Des Barrit

Desmond Barrit

Associate Artist for the RSC, Desmond is an award winning actor who regularly performs as a lead member of The National Theatre Company.

Killian Donnelly

A West End theatre star, who has taken lead roles in Les Miserables, Memphis, Kinky Boots – and has written many of the Little Theatre’s recent pantomimes as a fun “sideline”.

The Board

Richard Ellis

Richard Ellis

Richard Ellis was elected chairman in late 2010 and has held numerous board and trustee roles in East Anglia.

He is founder and chairman of The Original Cottage Company, the largest independent holiday cottage agency in the UK whose local brand – Norfolk Country Cottages – he and his wife Lesley started in 1992.

Richard has past experience in the manufacturing, food manufacturing (Kettle Foods) and service industries. He has been involved at trustee level with the Theatre Royal Norwich and Forum Trust, and is a former chairman of the East of England Development Agency and Visit East Anglia and vice-chairman of the Holt Festival.

Mike Burrows

Mike Burrows

A Chartered Accountant and formerly a partner in Grant Thornton and non-executive director and/or trustee.

Richard Batson

Richard Batson

Former editor of The North Norfolk News, now a freelance journalist and content creator, with several honorary press officerships. Occasional performer as a guitarist in party and Blues Brothers review bands.

Peter Davies

Founder and Chairman of Breakwater IT Ltd. Founder and former owner of Worldwide Travel which grew from a start up to approx. £72 million turnover. Ex school governor and charity trustee.

Anwen Hurt

Anwen, Lady Hurt

A film producer and casting director and has lived and worked in Norfolk for the last 10 years. She was married to the late actor Sir John Hurt. Trustee of Cinema City Ltd, pro-chancellor of Norwich University of the Arts, and artistic director of the Holt Festival.

Cate McKay-Haynes

Cate McKay-Haynes

A freelance writer and digital content creator with a background in drama education, PR and film production. Her four children who are all involved with the Little Theatre’s youth groups.

Sheringham Little Theatre Trustee Suzanne Smith

Suzanne Smith

Head of People and Values at Original Cottages, and Mental Health First Aider. Previously Head of HR for Anglia Farmers Group for over 10 years.  School governor and a UEA Gold Panel Assessor.

David Ward

David Ward

Northrepps-born David is a retired police Detective Inspector, who now runs his own business. He has lived in Sheringham for 20 years. Wife Lesley, a solicitor, was an amateur actress, and went to drama school with theatre director Debbie Thompson.

Sheringham Little Theatre trustee Andrew Munden

Andrew Munden

Andrew spent his working career of just over 40 years in the railway industry at director level, the last five of which were as the general manager of the North Norfolk Railway. He has also served as chair and secretary of the Chamber of Trade.