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Artform Board

Sheila Arden (Artistic Director and Chair)

Sheila joined the Board in 1985, soon after Artform's inauguration, and has remained a serving member ever since. 

As a performer, she has enjoyed a wide range of principal roles:  Eliza Doolittle, Anna, Dolly, Nellie Forbush, Velma Kelly, Roxie Hart, Mrs Lovett, The Beggar Woman, The Baker's Wife, and Miss Hannigan. 

She has been directing for Artform and other local companies for over twenty-five years and has won two NODA flame awards. Productions include A Little Night Music, Avenue Q, Into the Woods, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to The Forum, Assassins, Sweeney Todd, Jesus Christ Superstar, Cabaret, Annie, Oliver, Camelot, Kiss me Kate, King and I, The Music Man, South Pacific, Oklahoma, Fiddler on the Roof, Crazy for You, Hot Mikado and she especially enjoys the challenge of presenting shows and plays in the small intimate space of The Broadway Studio.

Chris Arden (Treasurer)

A long-time member of Artform, Chris is currently the Treasurer and is pivotal in co-ordinating all our productions.

Over the years Chris has played many lead roles with several societies, mainly at the Churchill Theatre and Bob Hope Theatre, starting with romantic leads and then developing into the more mature roles. Recent favourites include Tevye (Fiddler), Emile (South Pacific), Petruchio (Kiss Me Kate), the Baker (The Baker’s Wife), Judge Turpin (Sweeney Todd) and Molokov (Chess).

 He also enjoys performing in Artform shows- most recently as several characters in 'Oh What a Lovely War'. He has previously played  roles in  Assassins, Into the Woods, A Little Night Music,  A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and Sweet Charity.

Caroline Essenhigh

Caroline joined the Artform Board in January 2013. She is an experienced dancer, and has performed in numerous competitions and productions, including winning the Rhythm Section competition at Her Majesty's Theatre, and performing at the South Bank Centre, in Turned On Tap. Caroline has also choreographed 'Crazy for You', 'The Boy Friend', 'Hot Mikado' (which won a 2011 NODA Flame award for excellence in theatre) and co-choreographed 'Singin’ In The Rain', all for RLOS, and 'Chess', 'Lend Me a Tenor' and 'Hairspray' for Bromley Players.  As resident choreographer for Artform, she has choreographed 'A Little Night Music', 'Into The Woods', 'A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum', 'Assassins', 'Sweet Charity' and 'Oh What a Lovely War'.  Caroline also enjoys the 'behind the scenes' work involved in producing a play or musical, with her fellow board members. 

Paul Stone

Ben Essenhigh

Benjamin graduated from Leeds College of Music with an honours degree in Jazz Studies and is currently Director of Performimg Arts at Ewell Castle School in Surrey. He has also worked as a          percussionist on national tours and in and around the London area since the age of 14.

Benjamin was a member of the  National Youth Theatre (2003-2006), where he trained and    performed as Arthur (The York  Realist, Peter Gill); Aase (Peer Gynt, Henrik Ibsen), and  Gerald (An Inspector Calls, J.B Priestley). Benjamin’s recent musical theatre roles have     included Judas (Jesus Christ Superstar) for WWOS; Leonard (Yeoman of the Guard), Pish-Tush (Mikado) for Opera Options;   Henrik (A  Little Night Music), Baker (Into The Woods) and Hero (Forum) for Artform, and Freddie Trumper (Chess) and Sweeney Todd (Sweeney Todd) with the Bromley Players. Benjamin also  enjoyed a ‘straight theatre’ outing as  Willie  Mossop (Hobson’s Choice) for Phoenix Players.

Ron Dixon

Ros Philp

Ros's love of theatre began as a child, going to the Stable Theatre's youth group in Hastings. She subsequently performed in many plays, musicals and operas, and studied Drama for her degree, before the working world consumed her.  After working at the GMC, the Prince's Trust and Westminster Abbey, she began a career in Artist Management, looking after classical musicians. Then motherhood consumed her!  Ros's enjoyment of all things theatrical has been reignited in recent years and she has performed in several of Artform's productions. She is delighted to now to be on the Board and thinks access to theatre, from whichever side of the stage, should not be undervalued.