Jon Sowden
Director
(Disney's Beauty and the Beast - 2010)

Jon’s first professional job, after completing his training at the Guildford School of Acting, was as Assistant Stage Manager at the Pier Theatre, Bournemouth where he worked with Terry Scott and June Whitfield.

He went on to appear in Aladdin at the Congress Theatre, Eastbourne with Terry before embarking on a national tour of The Aspern Papers with Gerald Harper. Subsequent years saw Jon touring as a Company and Stage Manager with many theatrical productions including the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical “Song and Dance” starring Wayne Sleep and Marti Webb. It was whilst working in the West End with Song and Dance that Jon was asked to be production manager for the Gala Performance to celebrate the Queen Mother’s 90th Birthday at the London Palladium. Jon returned to the West End in 1993 with his own production of “Alfie” starring Adam Faith at the Queen’s Theatre.

Jon has stage managed and appeared in several productions at the Theatre Royal, Plymouth. Many of these subsequently transferred to other venues and included “A Dead Secret” starring Edward Woodward which enjoyed a successful run at the Richmond Theatre. An Equity member for over 30 years, Jon is on its list of Theatre Directors.

He is proud of his long association with local theatre groups. For the Tiverton Dramatic Society he has staged Run for your Wife and an award winning production of A Bedfull of Foreigners. For the Tiverton Amateur Operatic Society he has directed Brigadoon and also their 60th Anniversary production of Annie Get Your Gun.  As artistic director for the Willow Tree Theatre Company, he has been responsible for productions of Bye Bye Birdie, Alice in Wonderland, Annie, Kiss Me Kate, Guys and Dolls, Hot Mikado, Hello Dolly, Seussical, Oliver! and It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas. He also wrote and directed the pantomimes Sleeping Beauty and Babes in the Wood. Two of his creations for Willow Tree, the 2001 production of Scrooge and the 2008 premiere of Hood the Musical, have won the NODA regional award for excellence. 

Jon is the Partnership Director at Tiverton High School where he teaches Theatre Production and is currently producing West Side Story.