Theatre Peckham announces appointment of its new chair

Theatre Peckham has announced the appointment of its new chair Dr Anni Domingo.

Domingo, who is an actor, director, author and lecturer, will be succeeding Sioban Whitney-Low who is stepping down from the position after six years.

The London-based theatre company noted: “Domingo’s appointment is significant as she represents one of only a handful of women and even fewer from the global majority to be in a top leadership position in the performing arts industry.”

Domingo said: “Theatre Peckham brings together new ideas, new stories and new partnerships.

“There is a genuine feeling of family in this truly multi-cultural venue that is doing so much to open up conversations, nurture young people through its Academy and embrace its community.

“Theatre Peckham is a home, a place where people feel like they can belong.

“I am thrilled to be part of its continued growth alongside the artistic vision and leadership of Suzann McLean (the theatre’s CEO and artistic director).”

Domingo, who has featured in a number of TV shows including EastEnders and Doctors, also holds a range of positions on boards and panels across various sectors.

According to a 2020 survey conducted by the entertainment news outlet The Stage, 92% of the country’s top theatre jobs were filled by white leaders.

She added: “You can’t make a difference unless you have a seat at the table. I’m here to encourage and to say that you can punch your way through.

“I want people to stand on my shoulders and to surpass what I have achieved.

“I rejoice in being able to do that because that means we are progressing.”

The Arts Council funded cultural venue has won awards for its cultural commitment and social change efforts.

Patrons for the theatre company include Star Wars and Small Axe star John Boyega, a Theatre Peckham alumnus, The Railway Children actress Jenny Agutter and theatre director Paulette Randall.

John Boyega
Star Wars actor John Boyega is an alumnus of the theatre group (Isabel Infantes/PA)

Their signature productions and festivals include the award-winning play Extremism by Anders Lustgarten, directed by McLean, as well as their annual festival Young, Gifted and Black, which promotes Black theatre makers and artists.

McLean added: “My arms are wide open welcoming Dr Anni Domingo into the Theatre Peckham family.

“She is an inspirational powerhouse, bringing a wealth of experience and valuable insight.

“The dedicated stewardship of Sioban Whitney-Low increased the credibility and visibility of Theatre Peckham’s work for, with and by young people.

“I cannot thank her enough for championing the vision and driving Theatre Peckham to become the forward-thinking inclusive cultural hub that will be a joy for Anni to hold.”

Whitney-Low said she has been “inspired and uplifted” by the young people at Theatre Peckham and felt grateful to be a part of the theatre group where she had “learnt so much” during her time.

She added: “I couldn’t wish for a better person than Anni to succeed me as chair. She brings her passion and experience, and I can’t wait to see where this brilliant collaboration will go next.”