Artistic Directors

Peter Clerke - The Occasion Theatre

Peter Clerke

Peter studied at the Ecole Philippe Gaulier in Paris and was a founder member and Co-Artistic Director of benchtours (1991-2009) directing or performing in all of their productions.

Prior to benchtours, work included the co-founding and artistic direction of Lung Ha’s and five years at Edinburgh’s Theatre Workshop. From 2009 -16 Peter was the Artistic Director of Blue Apple Theatre, Winchester, one of South-west England’s leading learning disability arts organisations.

Peter has directed all of The Occasion’s productions to date.

Catherine Gillard - The Occasion Theatre

Catherine Gillard

Catherine studied at Sydney Acting School and the Ecole Philippe Gaulier in Paris. She was a founder member and Co-Artistic Director of benchtours (1991-2009), directing or performing in all of their productions.

Major roles included Grusha in ‘The Caucasian Chalk Circle’, Aase in ‘Peer Gynt’ and Mother Courage. Previously, she worked for three years as a performer and sign language interpreter with Theatre of the Deaf, one of Australia’s leading inclusive companies.

Recent major projects include ‘Kill Me Now’ (Melanie Stewart Dance Theatre/ Philadelphia Live Arts Festival) as well as ‘Apocalypse’, ‘The Taking of Zena Charbonne’ and ‘The Monster & Mary Shelley’ with The Occasion.

Associate Artists

Ali Maclaurin

Ali trained in theatre design in Edinburgh and Croydon and has since designed, devised, facilitated and taught all over the country.

Work includes designs for the award winning Shadow Syndicate, Battersea Arts Centre, Hull Truck, Belgrade Theatre in Education Company, TAG, The Traverse, Grid Iron, Scottish Opera, Dogstar, and Licketyspit as well as designing community plays in venues from East End churches to Scottish mansions.

She also designed ‘Apocalypse’, ‘The Taking of Zena Charbonne’ and ‘The Monster & Mary Shelley’ for The Occasion.

Kirsty Rough

Kirsty graduated from the University of Teesside with a BA Hons Degree in Tourism Management. From there she went on to study a Professional Diploma in Marketing and a Diploma in Digital Marketing, both with the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) of which she is an Associate Member.

Kirsty has worked in various marketing roles in a number of industries including publishing, finance, travel and theatre, and has lived and worked in Australia and Canada. Prior to her move to YDance in January 2017, she worked as Marketing Officer at the Mercury Theatre in Colchester, Essex.

Kirsty runs all of The Occasion’s marketing and publicity campaigns.

The Occasion Theatre - Rich Williams

Richard Williams

Rich is a graphic / web designer and musician. He began playing guitar, bass and drums at an early age, and also playing around a lot with Letraset and glue. After a succession of bands that ranged from hardcore punk to jazz fusion, he formed Trip, who went on to be signed by MCA Records and were featured in the Oscar-winning Terry Gilliam movie ‘The Fisher King’. Rich wrote the music for The Occasion’s production of  ‘The Monster & Mary Shelley’, and has written all the music for The Occasion’s productions since. 

Rich has designed websites and printed material for a whole range of people and organisations, these include The National Youth Dance Company of Scotland, University of Winchester, Blue Apple Theatre, Hampshire County Council, Ayuntamiento de Salobreña (Spain), The Hungry Cat (Berlin), Winchester Film Festival, Skye Loneragan, Peter Bruntnell and many others. Rich does all of The Occasion’s print and web design.

Alongside the design and the music, Rich has also set up a small podcast network and has recently been editing a lot of video… mainly for The Occasion.

The Occasion was founded in 2010 by Peter Clerke and Catherine Gillard. Previous to this they had both shared the Artistic Directorship of the Scottish touring theatre company, benchtours (1991 – 2009).

With extensive experience in creating brilliantly innovative touring work and ground-breaking, fully inclusive, community performance The Occasion’s artistic programme focuses on:

The Occasion is fully committed to widening access and participation in the arts, to working with artists who share our theatrical style and to keep our own work refreshed. We are aware of the need to be open to new influences in order to develop and stretch the company artistically.

The Occasion Theatre
the occasion – exciting and entertaining; challenging and deliciously different. Dynamic touring and innovative community projects.



To join the mailing list and keep up-to-date with all The Occasion’s latest news, please send us your name and email address. Thanks.