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About Bruiser

Find out more about Bruiser's rich twenty year history

and meet the our team, board members and patrons.

About Bruiser

About Bruiser

Bruiser Theatre Company is one of Northern Ireland’s most vibrant and successful arts organisations. Founded in 1997 and based in Belfast, Bruiser produces theatre that is exciting and innovative, down to earth and accessible to all.  We're committed to providing high impact theatre experiences for our audiences in Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and further afield. 

We aim to use minimal set for maximum impact, whilst further exploring the notion of the actor as the centre of the action, enforcing them as the main mechanism of performance.  This approach is echoed in all of our productions, and is the central artistic premise in all our work. 

Inspiring the next generation of talent is a core part of our vision.  We're dedicated to providing training and development opportunities to young actors through our education and outreach programmes A Day With Bruiser and The Arts Academy.

Support Us

If you're passionate about our work, and would like to support us, we'd be delighted to hear from you.  From a couple of coins, to billfold of bucks, your entire donation will be spent making exciting, stimulating theatre more accessible to the people of Northern Ireland.  You can make a direct donation using the PayPal button below, or you can discuss your donation with us on 028 9024 3731 - thank you for your gift.

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Meet the Bruiser Team

Rosie Timoney | Chair of the Board

Rosie is a solicitor in the corporate team at Carson McDowell LLP. Rosie has gained particular experience in corporate transactions, advising clients on the sale and acquisition of companies and businesses and on a number of corporate reorganisations.  Rosie regularly provides corporate governance advice for charities regarding corporate structure, compliance with the Companies Act 2006 and the Charities Act (NI) 2008, registration with the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland and the public benefit requirement.


In 2018 Rosie was appointed by Arts and Business NI to deliver their corporate governance training programme to incoming charitable trustees placed with the Young Professionals on Arts Board programme. Rosie has been delivering the training programme since then.

Rosie joined the board of Bruiser in 2016 through the Young Professionals on Arts Board programme with Arts and Business NI. She was elected as Treasurer in 2018 and then as Chair in 2019.

Rosie is a lover of the arts and is herself an accomplished performer.


She has a background in musical theatre and is involved in amateur theatre, jazz acts and cabaret shows across Belfast.

Joe Rea | Vice Chair of the Board

Joe was a professional actor for 16 years before turning to producing theatre. Joe worked as Director of Development for GBL Productions in 2010 before becoming its senior producer in 2012. Joe produced many shows including Dancing Shoes - the George Best Story, 50 Shades of Red White and Blue, History of the Peace (accordin to my Ma)

Joe formed Joseph Rea Productions in 2015 and staged its first production Handbag Positive followed in 2017 by I'll Tell My Ma. Joe has also established M&J Pantos along with Martin Lynch to produce high quality pantos in the SSE Arena starting in 2017.

Aidan Kearney | Treasurer

Aidan is the Financial Director of Duncrue Food Processors Ltd. He started working for the company in 1998 in charge of finance and IT. Following a management buyout of the company Aidan was appointed to the Board in 2009 and promoted to Financial Director. Duncrue Food Processors was taken over in 2013 and Aidan remained with the existing management team to drive the company forward.

Aoife Brown | Board Member

Aoife is Bruiser’s newest Board Member, joining in 2019. Aoife is a graduate of English at Queen’s University and a past Bruiser Graduate, completing the Graduate Academy course in 2017. She also was the president of Queen’s University Players and the Co-ordinator of the ISDA Festival. Aoife joined the Board to share her expertise in professional development in the arts for young people and to help develop Bruiser’s Youth Development Ambassadors Project.

Le-ann Campbell | Board Member

Le-ann is an associate in the corporate team at Carson McDowell. Le-ann graduated with a degree in Civil Law (BCL) from University College Dublin in 2009 and a masters degree in Human Rights Law (LLM) from Queen’s University, Belfast in 2010. Le-ann obtained her professional qualification from the Institute of Professional Legal Studies in Belfast in June 2014 after completing her legal training with a top tier law firm.

Le-ann joined the team at Carson McDowell in June 2015 and has experience in a wide range of corporate matters including company disposals, mergers and acquisitions, shareholder arrangements, corporate reorganisations and restructuring, private equity and venture capital.

In 2018, Le-ann was a key member of the Carson McDowell team to deliver the Lawyers in Schools programme (a partnership with the Citizenship Foundation) to secondary school children in Northern Ireland.


Le-ann is the secretary for the Company Commercial Lawyers Group, Northern Ireland.

Adam Knight | Board Member

Adam Knight is General Manager of the Edinburgh Playhouse, the UK’s largest theatre. Previously, he held the position of Operations Director of the Grand Opera House Belfast (where he programmed the Baby Grand Studio). During his time as Theatre Manager of the Savoy Theatre and Trafalgar Studios for the Ambassador Theatre Group in the West End he was presented with the London Theatre Manager of the Year Award by Greg Dyke.

He is a graduate of the University of Ulster where he gained a Postgraduate Certificate in Executive Leadership. Having started his career at the Connaught Theatre, Worthing, and as Education Trainee at Chichester Festival Theatre; he went on to train as an actor with the National Youth Music Theatre, National Youth Theatre and at the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art.

Adam was nominated as Board Member of the Year in the 2015 Allianz Arts & Business NI Awards. He is Chair of the Board of Dance Resource Base NI and serves on the boards of Bruiser Theatre Company and Pintsized Productions. 

Duke Special | Bruiser Patron

Duke Special has just released his second album, I Never Thought This Day Would Come - an album for sleepwalkers, skeletons and gravediggers, for those who have fallen so far down they can taste the soil between their teeth! Since the release of Songs From The Deep Forest, Duke Special has toured sold out shows across Ireland, the UK and Europe. From headlining a packed-to-the-rafters Shepherd's Bush Empire in London to stage diving at Electric Picnic, hosting five sell out nights back-to-back at Belfast’s Empire Music Hall to appearing as a special guest performer at the Cannes Film Festival, Duke Special has come further than he ever imagined he might. Crowded House invited him along on their first tour in ten years, he gave a little known Welsh singer called Duffy her first ever shows, guested for the legendary Ray Davies in London and performed at The Irish Film Boards Oscar Wilde event in LA. 

Dan Gordon | Bruiser Patron

I am delighted to have been invited to become a Patron of Bruiser Theatre Company. I have watched with admiration as this young company has matured and quickly established a highly respected reputation in the Arts Community. Blood Wedding, School for Scandal, the Three Penny Opera, the Canterbury Tales, the Secret Diary of Adrian Mole and most recently the delightful Candide are evidence of the consistently high standard of production that Bruiser audiences have come to expect and enjoy. Their excellent Education and Outreach programme I believe is a vital strand of their work and a hugely significant contribution to the development of the cultural life of the City of Belfast and far beyond. Finally what really blows my hair back is that they tour their shows in a way no other independent locally producing Theatre Company does, from Belfast to Ballina and from Strabane to Wicklow they take Theatre to the people in the tradition of Anew McMaster or Molière and that to me is the way it should be.

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Bruiser Team
Lisa May Headshot.jpg
Lisa May | Artistic Director

Lisa is the Artistic Director and Founder of Bruiser Theatre Company. In 1997, Lisa believed there was an opportunity in the market for a new, innovative touring company in Northern Ireland. The aim was to produce consistently high quality theatre, with the flexibility to specialise in outreach and education where applicable. Lisa coined Bruiser's artistic policy of "minimal set for maximum impact" and has directed all of Bruiser's previous productions bar "Two" which was directed by Karl Wallace, in which she appeared. Lisa's style of direction focuses on the actors' ability to engage the audience, without relying on elaborate sets, costume and lighting. The actor is the central mechanism of performance, and Bruiser's choice of scripts allows exploration of the essential dynamics of theatre: the actor, the audience and the space. Lisa co-ordinates all of Bruiser's education and outreach programmes and is committed to making theatre accessible to all. This is evident in Bruiser's critically acclaimed Theatre Schools and Graduate Academy programmes. Lisa is also a freelance actress, a trained playworker, workshop facilitator and consultant.

Peter Heenan | Assistant Company Manager

Peter is the Assistant Company Manager of Bruiser Theatre Company. He first joined to company working in Education and Community Engagement in 2020, having previously facilitated on Bruiser projects for several years.

He trained as an Actor at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, and has a passion for creating opportunities for others to engage with the arts. Peter is currently coordinating a two-year series of workshops on the work of Brian Friel for Bruiser in partnership with Queen's University, Belfast.

Since joining the company, Peter has been working with the Bruiser team on all aspects of our programme; helping to realise our ambitious projects and make theatre more accessible.

Meet Our Board & Patrons

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