Our Team



Artistic Director & Writer Ann Balaam


Having been involved in amateur dramatics since the 1960’s, I have been lucky to play a vast number of roles, some very iconic, in plays and musicals. I have painted scenery, made costumes, stage managed and been Artistic Director.

Since joining The Poole Passion in 2013, I have taken on the emotive role of Mary, the mother of Christ, three times. One of my main subjects during teacher training was Drama and I have attended many and varied drama courses over the years to continue learning. As a teacher, with responsibility for drama, I have taught drama, and written and directed many school productions and have had pupils go on to become professional actors. I feel very honoured to be the Artistic Director for TPP and to continue the wonderful work of our previous director, Sharon (Muiruri) Coyne. I look forward to working with both existing and new members on our new play “Footsteps”.


Chair of TPP Clive Balaam

My interest in Amateur Dramatics started 52 years ago while I was serving in the Royal Army Medical Corps. I have been active ever since as an Actor in numerous plays and operettas. Together with my wife I have also written and directed pantomimes. My main love is directing and I have directed plays written by Noel Coward, Alan Aykbourn and Anthony Booth amongst others. In 2013 I joined The Poole Passion play, which I heard about through my church, and was fortunate enough to be cast as Caiaphas, the High Priest. I thoroughly enjoyed the rehearsals and performances and am delighted to have made so many new friends among the cast and crew.


Treasurer Jan Miller

I moved to Poole in 2011 after over 30 years in Birmingham.

In 2010, I produced the Moseley Mystery Plays, based on the Canterbury Mystery Plays by Ken Pickering. Through our two amazing young directors we performed 10 of the plays starting with The Fall and finishing with the Wise Men. Both performances were a great success, one in Moseley Park, a beautiful lakeside setting, and the second in St. Mary’s Church.

This brilliant community activity was great fun, and although hard work produced an amazing result. After moving I heard about the Poole Passion Play and decided to learn more. A wonderful friendly group of people, from all ages, abilities, and faith; they made me feel very welcome. I played a few small parts in the 2012 production and was then asked to become producer for 2014.

Through the workshops my acting has hopefully improved, though RADA has yet to call!

Wardrobe Gillian Marais


Friends of The Poole Passion
Bob Garratt
Faustine Robert
Wendy Williams

Venue Co-Ordinator Robert Southam

Committee Member Manina Trickett

I have been passionate about drama since appearing in school plays as a child. I acted with the Wimborne Drama Group and then the Broadstone Players in my late teens and early twenties. My acting debut with the Poole Passion Players began in 2012. I have thoroughly enjoyed acting in 4 ‘Through The Eyes Of A Child’ Passion Plays since then. I look forward to being part of the new 2020 Passion Play ‘Footsteps’ as well as meeting new members to TPP, and, joining with my friendly fellow thespians once more.

Musical Director Richard McLester

Richard has been involved with The Poole Passion since the beginning as Musical Director in 2009, assistant Musical Director in 2010 working alongside pianist and broadcaster David Owen Norris and Musical Director again from 2012-2018.

His soundscapes which are performed live by Richard on varying instruments accompany the play throughout the 160 minute performance across two locations.

The soundscapes have all been performed live for Poole Passion via piano, keyboards, drums, and renaissance shawm. Added to that mix, Richard has also been able to add not only his own vocals to the performances, but has involved other musicians including the church choir of St Peter’s Parkstone, for which he has held the post of Musical Director since September 2009.

As an artist & composer, other diverse works have included ‘The Light’ in Salisbury Cathedral, a giant remembrance themed Advent Wreath called ‘Lumin-Essence’, Piano In The Sea performance art and a beautiful hanging sculpture called As The Star Appears

For more information about Richard, you can visit his website at www.richardmclester.com.

Publicity Paul Stillwell

After a career as a professional portrait artist, I decided to follow a life long passion to be an actor. I have enjoyed 2 lead roles in television commercials (for Screwfix, aired during the 2018 World Cup). My first stage lead role came as Sydney Carton in Charles Dicken’s ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ at The Regent Centre in Christchurch in 2016. In 2018 I co-founded a new theatre company, Scaramouche, and played the lead role of Elyot Chase in Noel Coward’s sublime play ‘Private Lives’ across various theatres in Dorset and Hampshire. www.Scaramouche-Theatre.com

I have also enjoyed small background roles in the BBC’s production of ‘Howard’s End’ and the feature film ‘Happy New year Colin Burstead’.

I have received voice acting training from Jacquie Crago of The Royal Shakespeare Company, and am currently studying the Meisner acting technique with Mark Cassidy.

I joined The Poole Passion in 2018, playing Joseph of Arimathea in “Through The Eyes Of A Child” by Sharon Muiruri Coyne. In 2020 I was honoured to be chosen to play Jesus in the new Passion Play “Footsteps” by Ann Balaam.

Tim Drage

In November 2017 Tim met Sharon Coyne at a party in Christchurch and over the course of a couple of glasses of red wine he was recruited into the cast of the 2018 production of “Through the Eyes of a Child” playing the role of Peter. This was Tim’s first introduction to the stage and he loved it.

Tim took early retirement in early 2016 after a long career in Social Work specialising in the protection of children and more recently, the protection of vulnerable adults from harm and abuse. Tim has thrown himself into post retirement life actively avoiding helping his wife Julia with the management of their allotment and garden and seeking refuge from such duties in the Swanage Railway where he wears a rather silly hat working as a Porter at Corfe Castle Station. Together Julia and Tim have a love of travelling and over the past ten years or so they have visited all four corners of the world travelling independently and experiencing first hand how others live. When at home Tim enjoys the attention of their two cats, Ethel and George which he assures me were not bought to replace their two adult children who have long left home. Tim enjoys reading, the arts in all its forms, the sharing of food and wine with friends and family and listening to the works of Brian Eno. He also plays the Ukulele which Julia hopes someday he will be able to do without causing discomfort to others.

Tim is a strong supporter of The Poole Passion especially in the way that it brings people together from all walks and corners of life and encourages them to discover new skills and strengths. He also likes Poole Passion because it is fun.

Beryl Bariana

Founder Sharon Muiuri


Originally TPP was to be a set of tableau’s inspired by an exhibition of Bill Viola called The Passions that Sharon had seen in London. However, after conversations with Nigel Lloyd and Jonathan Martin, this idea developed into her writing a full-scale play Through The Eyes of a Child. Roger Bayldon later joined the fledgling group as producer and so began TPP.

Sharon is an Associate Lecturer at Winchester University in Applied Drama and Theatre in Education (TIE).

Much of her freelance practice involves the use of Applied Drama with disaffected young people and adults in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction She was a founder of Vita Nova. She is also co-director of State of Play an reincarnation of Bournemouth Theatre in Education Team and an accomplished freelance director & facilitator.