GIFT: Gateshead International Festival of Theatre


We can’t be face to face this year, but here’s this year’s Team GIFT in all their digital glory (so you know who does what).


We’re a fairly motley crew of theatre practitioners, academics, design, marketing, communications and technical professionals and all-round cultural strategists, passionate about contemporary theatre, performance and the arts as a whole. This year we bring GIFT 2020 to you from homes across the North of England (complete with small people popping up with monkey masks on, who should be in a Joe Wicks PE class).


Here’s who we are and what we do:

Kate Craddock,
GIFT Founder and Festival Director

I started GIFT in 2011 to provide a platform for experimental, contemporary theatre and performance practice in North East England. Since then I have welcomed hundreds of artists from all over the world to Gateshead, and been lucky enough to travel to lots of other international festivals. This year GIFT will be one big beautiful online experiment, and I will (hopefully) be popping up on screen at various events across the three days. I encourage you to throw yourself in, and I look forward to welcoming you!

Photo: Hugh Hill at HM DigiArt Ltd

Hannah Clarke-Stamp,
Box Office Manager and Producer

I've been involved in GIFT since the very first festival in 2011. Normally I'm rushing around sorting practical logistics like catering, artist accommodation and ticketing in person but for this special digital edition of GIFT I’m running the box office virtually and helping to produce our Little GIFT House Party, full of fun, creative activities and games for kids. Check it out here.

Melanie Rashbrooke,

I’m a multi-hat wearer, who’s been involved with GIFT in lots of different ways since it first began. This year I’ve helped re-envision the festival online. I can’t wait for you to see what all the artists have in store. Outside of GIFT, I’m the Artistic Director of Newcastle based theatre company The Six Twenty. I’ll be popping up throughout the festival and helping things run from behind the scenes. I’m looking forward to meeting you all and grabbing a cocktail, or two, in the virtual festival bar!

Photo: Chris Bishop

Rachel Horton,
The Culture Vulture

A creative champion and cultural adventurer running social media for this year’s GIFT. I’m all about shouting loud and proud about people, places, projects and happenings across Northern England and GIFT is one of those lush things! Please keep tagging us into your festival chats and photos @giftfestival and use our hashtag #GIFT2020 to be part of the GIFT community.

Photo: Marion Botella Photography 

Kate Redway,
Senior Communications Consultant

I’m supporting GIFT with strategic communications that promote every aspect of the festival, from GIFT’s international artistic programme to its vision for championing and supporting artists and contemporary theatre and performance, through the pandemic and long-term. Over the festival weekend I’ll be writing and sharing news and speaking to journalists and artists. I’d love to hear all your GIFT experiences and stories too, at our digital events and on our @GIFTfest channels and

Photo: Ryan Green photography

Faye Alvi,
BSL Interpreter, Performer and CODA (Child of Deaf Adults)

After training in musical theatre with a degree in performing arts, I’ve spent more than a decade working in theatre, festivals, TV and arenas from children's plays to classical and experimental theatre, specialising in BSL Integrated performance over the past few years. Having recently performed in GIFT 2020 artist gobscure’s previous collaboration with Greyscale, national tour of 'joey', I know GIFT’s experimental, dynamic approach well and am excited about this year’s programme. I’m always looking to improve access and push boundaries by working with like-minded artists and collaborators and that’s just what we’re trying to achieve with GIFT 2020.

Photo: Navade Alvi

Jason Crouch,
Technical Agitator and Troubleshooter

I’m Jason, and I’m leading GIFT’s technical approach- helping artists to figure out how to present and tweak their work, to bring their visions to our virtual stages. In the pre-GIFT times I’m variously an artist for hire, theatre maker, producer and digital consultant. Developing my research mojo, I completed my PhD in remote or mediated performance at Manchester Metropolitan University a couple years ago, researching intimacy mediated through digital systems: empathy through a camera, a caress through a message. Was that a whisper (or maybe a mic failure)?

Wayne Gamble,
Graphic Designer

I work with arts and culture organisations on branding, and I was involved in the very first GIFT festival in 2011. Usually I'm designing brochures and promotional print, but this year’s GIFT brand is all about web, social and bringing a lot of bright yellow into people’s homes.