Middle Child appoint Amanda Smethurst as new chair

Award-winning Hull theatre company Middle Child have appointed arts consultant and facilitator Amanda Smethurst as chair of their board of trustees.

She succeeds managing director of Eurovision 2023 and former Hull 2017 UK City of Culture chief executive, Martin Green CBE, who has held the position since 2018.

Amanda Smethurst was previously the director of Artlink in Hull and director, London for Arts Council England.

She will chair the Middle Child board through the company’s second term as an Arts Council England national portfolio organisation (NPO).

Amanda said: “I’m delighted to be the next chair of Middle Child and ever since I met the team and saw their fabulous work in breaking down barriers to attending theatre, I knew I wanted to be a part of their story.

“I’ve been blown away by Middle Child’s passion, ambition and genuine commitment to the city and people of Hull.

“Hull was the city I chose to study in and begin my arts career 30 years ago. I’m so thrilled to reconnect with the city and community I was proud to call my home.

“I want to say a huge thank you to Martin Green as he steps down from the chair role, for supporting Middle Child’s growth over the past five years and securing NPO status.

“I am excited to work with the fantastic board and team as the company continues to make gig theatre that excites, challenges and tells the untold stories that need to be heard, creating accessible spaces for people to hear those stories and have a good night out.”

Artistic director Paul Smith and executive director Lindsey Alvis, joint-CEOs of Middle Child, said: “We are delighted that Amanda has joined us as chair. She brings her skills and experience as a consultant, coach and facilitator working in the arts, as well as a genuine love for Hull.

“Amanda shares our values and her craft and care at bringing out the best in organisations and people make her the perfect person to lead Middle Child through the challenges and opportunities ahead.

“We would also like to thank Martin for the five years he has spent at the helm. From joining the Arts Council’s National Portfolio in 2018 to navigating the Covid-19 pandemic, he has led the organisation with ambition and vision.”

Martin Green said: “I have loved being the chair of Middle Child, seeing their profile and work grow in every way and steering the company through Covid-19 and their successful second NPO application. 

“After five years it’s time for fresh eyes and energy and I am thrilled with Amanda’s appointment. The company is in safe hands.”

The current board of trustees includes Jane Fallowfield, Jack Heaton, Rozzy Knox, Jay Mitra, Magda Moses, Emma Tucker and John R. Wilkinson.

In addition investor Chris Tonge has joined as a trustee.

Paul Smith and Lindsey Alvis added: “We are thrilled that Chris Tonge joins Middle Child as a trustee, bringing experience of corporate and commercial sectors to the organisation after years establishing and running a successful business.”