Who We Are

Upstairs At The Western is a fully equipped 40-50 seat multi-genre arts venue in Leicester’s west end (off Braunstone Gate), with 150+ shows per season. It is operated by a not-for-profit social enterprise (Upstairs At The Western CIC) which has two objectives to be:-

Our programmes run from September to June each year – We promote events and shows through this web site, a printed brochure, local listings, our mailing list and social media (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter).

Writer, playwright, poet, founder of Fishhouse Theatre, Alison’s work has been published – including by Virago – and broadcast on BBC Radio 4. Fishhouse has been producing work by and about women since 2016 & have recently produced Arts Council funded Ruby & Cedar.

David is a freelance strategist, planner, business case writer and project manager. He can usually be found in a theatre, concert or art gallery somewhere in Leicester.

Originally from Essex, Drama and Creative Writing graduate, Gina-Rose has been involved with the theatre since she moved to Leicester. Starting off as a volunteer she then progressed to Front of House Manager and now Company Director.

Jessi Wilson is a director, producer, stage manager, writer and performer. She honed these skills whilst completing her MA in Collaborative Theatre Making, working with Frantic Assembly. Having supported the original company who started ‘Upstairs at the Western’, Jessi is thrilled to be on the board of Directors, and is looking to support new writing and local talent in Leicester.

Kit Fordham studied Stage Management & Technical Theatre at East 15 Acting School where she realised her love of lists and mother hen tendencies could lead to an actual job. Since graduating in 2014 she has frequently worked at her hometown Curve Theatre, including three children’s touring shows (The Twits, George’s Marvellous Medicine & Cat in the Hat) and several new writing & community theatre productions.
Kit has a particular interest on working with new writing. She was a founder committee member of Story City, Leicester’s festival of stories. She is extremely excited to be a part of Upstairs at the Western’s new board of Directors and can’t wait to get stuck in!

Lesley was bitten by the acting bug at the age of 7, when she played Alice in Wonderland in the school play. She dreamed of going to drama school, but her dad said she should get a proper job, so
Lesley qualified as a solicitor and set up the first female led firm in Leicester. However, Lesley knew she had to pursue her dream. She went to Birmingham School of Acting and graduated as a professional writer and performer in 2011.
Since then she has toured extensively bringing to life the stories of ordinary women. Since 2016, this has been with Alison Dunne as Fishhouse Theatre, taking work to fringe and rural venues. Lesley is passionate about theatre and supporting new writing particularly by women.

She is very excited to be a director at Upstairs at the Western and is looking forward to playing a part in making it a centre of excellence and a hub for the local community.

Will Breden is a writer of theatre, poetry and prose. He’s currently pursuing a PhD at De Montfort University. He lives with five cats and one wife here in Leicester.

Super excited to have @EveryEggABirdTC with us for 3 nights, with their Richard III comedy Car Park King. Tickets online and on the night (7.30pm start). pic.twitter.com/C0qXHkHXc9

About 15 hours ago