Creative Team

Most UTC Productions have been created by the following team:

MICHAEL POYNOR (ARTISTIC DIRECTOR)

Born in the Falkland Islands and educated in Argentina (St. George’s College) and England (Clayesmore School).  He read Business Management (Dip. Mgmt, MBA) at the Open University; trained for theatre at the London Academy  of  Music and Dramatic Art (L.A.M.D.A.) and started his theatre career at the CASTLE THEATRE, Farnham as Stage Manager, Designer, Lighting Designer  and  Actor. After a spell at the THORNDIKE THEATRE, Leatherhead as a lighting  designer he joined the LYRIC THEATRE, Belfast in 1973 as  Director of Productions and became Artistic Director in 1974 for one year whilst Mary O’Malley took a sabbatical. Returning to England in 1975 he co-founded the New OVERGROUND THEATRE, Kingston Upon Thames where he was Resident Director.  In 1977 he became Artistic Director of HARROGATE THEATRE, Yorkshire. Back in Northern Ireland he founded STAGE '80 THEATRE COMPANY for whom he was Artistic Director for five years as well as being Artistic Director of the ULSTER YOUTH THEATRE from 1983 to 1986.  From 1987 to 1990 he was Artistic Director of THE NATIONAL YOUTH THEATRE OF WALES.  From 1999 to 2002 he was Chief Executive of the MILLENNIUM FORUM in Derry, the largest purpose built theatre in Ireland, where he oversaw the building and opening phases as well as setting up its operational base. He was appointed Consultant General Manager for the BELFAST FESTIVAL AT QUEEN’S 2003 and 2004 and subsequently Head of Culture and Arts at QUEEN’S UNIVERSITY BELFAST (2005-2007) with overall responsibility for the operation and management of Belfast Festival at Queen’s, the Queen’s Film Theatre and the Naughton Gallery.  He has been Artistic Director of the ULSTER THEATRE COMPANY since 1991.

He has written a string of burlesque pantomimes, Alice! (a musical adaptation of Lewis Carroll's most  famous  books),  The Greening of Lord Litter for the 1991 NEWRY SUMMER FESTIVAL, The Hiring Fair for Strabane District Council's all day outdoor celebration in June, 1995 and again in 1997 together with Half-Hanged McNaghten, he wrote/adapted a new version of Gilbert and Sullivan’s best known operetta: Rockin’ Mikado (nominated ‘Best Visiting Production’ in the 1998 Manchester Theatre Awards), a new adaptation Comedy of Errors: The Musical (2013) and the 'one-man' show Jonathan Harker and Dracula (2014).

He has directed over one hundred and fifty productions, designed Sets for well over a hundred productions and Lighting for nearly two hundred and fifty.

In 1982 Michael was awarded first prize in the Bass (Ireland) Arts  awards, the first time this had been won by a theatre practitioner.

In 1987 he won three 'Peacocks' in the Ulster Theatre Awards: Best  Musical Production; Best Lighting Designer and Best All Round Theatre Person.

In 1993 he was awarded Best Lighting Designer by the Association of Irish Musical Societies for his lighting of Brigadoon for the New Lyric Opera Company.

He also works as a professional Adjudicator (GODA, ADA), an accredited Fight Director (BADC) and a Captioner.


MARK DOUGHERTY (Musical Director)

Mark was Musical Director for Riverdance for four years from 2000 touring to Europe, Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan and premiering the show in China last autumn in the presence of the irish President.

His original works include Promised Land a new opera, ( 8 opera singers, 16-piece band, large chorus) commissioned by the Canterbury Festival and staged in the Marlowe Theatre in October 2006, and The Belfast Carmen, a musical play set against the rehearsals of a production of Carmen, in Belfast, and featuring the Ulster Orchestra. BBC commissions include...Dance for the CameraTraditional Sounds, and The Homecoming - all featuring a variety of Irish and Scottish traditional instruments. Other works include Jazz Suites, TV themes and four full-scale musicals, including Rebellion, which traced the motivation behind Henry Joy McCracken leading The United irishmen during the 1798 uprising in Ireland.

He has worked with a number of artists including Van Morrison, Suzi Quztro, Johnny Mathis and Howard Keel, and has conducted and played many musicals including UK tours of West Side Story42nd Street and Cabaret. More recently, he premiered On Eagle's Wing, an epic tale of the Scots Irish, in the Odyssey Arena in Belfast.

Mark has produced numerous CDs for various artists - most recenty Broadway and Beyond for Curb Records. DVD credits include Riverdance - Live in Geneva and On Eagle's Wing.

He conducted the cast and orchestra of Les Miserables in a series of sell-out concerts across the UK, and the Ulster orchestra in several of his own works including With One Voice a seventy minute piece which featured a choir of one thousand.

For UTC he has written most of the music for the company’s pantomimes as well as for Comedy of Errors: The Musical.

He holds the degree of Bachelor of Music from Queen's Univeristy, Belfast where he studied Composition with Kevin Volans.


ELROY ASHMORE (Designer)

Studied stage design on the Motley Design Course and went on to assist various designers at the National Theatre, The English National Opera, The Young Vic and for The Stuttgart, Marseille, Australian and Royal Ballet Companies. 

Has been a Head of Design for the Haymarket Theatre, Basingstoke; The Pitlochry Festival Theatre and The Belgrade Theatre, Coventry; and I now work as a freelance designer.

He has designed for over forty production companies, theatres and organisations throughout the UK and abroad and his work encompasses all forms of theatre including Opera, Ballet, Musicals, Drama and Pantomimes. 

He designs for alternative performance spaces, open air productions and the more conventional stage space.
He has a particular passion for working on new productions and has designed the premiers of many plays, musicals, operas and ballets.

He has designed productions in England, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, Iceland, Austria, USA, New Zealand, South Africa and Japan.

Companies he has designed for include Royal New Zealand Ballet; NAPAC (Durban, South Africa); Louisville Ballet, Kentucky; Saddlers Wells, London; Asami Maki Ballet, Tokyo; Icelandic Opera, Reykjavik; London Opera Centre; Birmingham Hippodrome; Lyric Theatre, Belfast; Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury; Royal Theatre, Northampton; Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh; Theatre Royal, Windsor; Westminster Theatre, London; Duke of Yorks Theatre, London; Ulster Theatre Company.


DEBORAH MAGUIRE (Choreographer)

After beginning her training with UTC Deborah went on to train at Guildford School of Acting and the Royal Academy of Music in London.

She has worked extensively as both a choreographer and performer in theatre and television.

Deborah has worked on several UTC shows including; The Wizard of OzCinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk, Sleeping Beauty, Aladdin, Scrooge's Christmas and the world premiere of Comedy of Errors:The Musical.

Lyric Theatre credits include Cinderella, Forget Turkey … We're going to Phuket, the world premiere of Pride and Prejudice, Weddings Weeins and Wakes, The Painkiller, Dockers, The Little Prince, The Tale of the Beauty & The Tail of the Beast, HowlThe Wizard of Oz, Bah Humbug!,    The Home Place, Dancing at LughnasaSanta Claus ... What the Reindeer Saw, The Snow Queen, and The Nativity ... What the Donkey Saw.

Other theatre credits include;

The Ireland and UK tour of Dancing Shoes, The George Best Musical for GBL Productions. Little Red Riding Hood, Aladdin and Jack and The Beanstalk for The Waterfront Hall. The Tractor Show and The Ugly Sisters for Grimes and McKee, Megs Head Flaming Fables and Pride and Prejudice for Replay, The Chosen Room and Oh Carol for Youth Music Theatre UK, Form & Fusion for Coca-Cola. The Coca-Cola Talent School, The Fanta Academy  and The Talent for Pistol Ltd.

Television credits include;

"The Friday Show" Green Inc Productions, "An Engagement with Franc" Power Pictures, "The Tractor Show" Grimes and McKee, "Children in Need", "BBC Blast N.I." and the Radio Ulster Spring trail and advertising campaign all for BBC1.

U105 Breakfast show advertisement for UTV and the Hughes Insurance advertising campaign for Navigator Blue and UTV.

"Elite League Ice Hockey Show" and "The Playoffs" for Sky Sports.

"This Morning" for ITV. Deborah was also responsible for the Belfast Giants internet hit "All I Want For Christmas" which attracted media attention from around the world and had over 500,000 hits on youtube!

Awards include:

Deborah was honoured to be the regional winner of  the "Feel Good Factor" award at the Pride of Britain 2009 and was awarded Choreographer of the Year 2003 from Dance Northern Ireland.