Meet the team

Phil Hewitt Chairman

As founding chairman, I have loved watching our festival grow to become the major event it is today, rich, rewarding, fun and fabulous. My day job is group arts editor for Sussex Newspapers, but in my deluded mind, I am an athlete, having run 40 marathons.

I have also written 12 published books including Outrunning The Demons and Keep On Running, plus three books on Chichester. My vices include a tragic addiction to the Rolling Stones, balanced by undying love for The Beatles. I am married to Fiona; our children Adam and Laura are both NHS doctors working in Newcastle.

Anne Scicluna Vice Chairman

In 2012, when I was Mayor, a small group created the Festival of Chichester – Phil, Barry and I have been on the committee from the start, and are still very much involved in what we believe to be an annual exciting and excellent feast of culture by and for our community.  I am immensely proud of this achievement.

Having spent my working life in youth work, and having been Mayor of Chichester three times, I now continue to give my time as a City Councillor, as well as being tour guide of our city, the City Walls, and the Cathedral.

Barry Smith Festival Co‑ordinator

As the festival co-ordinator and one of the founding members, it has been a great pleasure to work over the years with performers, artists and organisations, putting together the heady brew of the best the local area has to offer together with welcoming visiting national and international stars.

I have worked in education, as a theatre director and critic and currently as director of both the South Downs Poetry Festival and Chichester Poetry. My new poetry collection, Performance Rites, is available from Waterloo Press. I was shortlisted for the Bread & Roses Award 2021 and I edit Poetry & All That Jazz magazine.

Nick Sutherland Treasurer

As a treasurer, I keep a close eye on the financial side of the festival. We are self-funding and rely mostly on valuable participants’ donation and local advertising. It’s essential the festival generates sufficient funds to run each year. In my day job, I run a local hospitality and property business.

I have watched the festival grow it adds to the rich culture offer in the Chichester and surrounding areas. I am proud to be a volunteer on the committee. In my spare time, I enjoy the lovely Sussex countryside or spending the odd afternoon at my beach hut in the Witterings.

Dan Inman Link to Chichester Cathedral

I’m Canon Chancellor at Chichester Cathedral, where I have a particular responsibility for education, art and culture. Alongside my duties at the Cathedral, I’m a Governor and Visiting Fellow at the University of Chichester, a Director of the Oxmarket Gallery, and a governor of the Prebendal School.

The Cathedral has a long association with the Festival and it’s huge fun and a great privilege to sustain this venerable friendship between these two great institutions of our city.

Simon O'Hea Committee Secretary and Marketing

My day job is as a freelance translator but my background is marketing and one of my hobbies is choral singing. I run musicinportsmouth.co.uk, a local classical music events and news website. Along with others on the Festival committee, I set up the Chichester Fringe in 2021 in response to the pandemic.

I’m the architect of this new website, which was re-launched in March 2021.

It’s great when we are able to communicate excitement about any of the events we are promoting. It is wonderful working with a supportive and effective festival team.

Katie Bennett Social Media

I’m the most recent addition to the commitee, joining in the midst of the pandemic in 2020.

I work as an actor, videographer & producer. With a variety of theatrical and screen experience under my belt, including working as one of the founding producers of the new Chichester Fringe.

My recent credits include Princess Rose in Jack & The Beanstalk, Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz (Spillers Pantomimes. The Alexandra Theatre, Bognor Regis), Kate in UK Tour of CBeebies Stage Show Kate & Mim Mim (Freemantle Media) and co-creator of Quirks & Foibles (Finalist of The Funny Women Awards – 2021), releasing weekly comedy sketches online.