James Cundall has had a unique career which has combined private banking at the highest level in Australia and Asia as well as producing the biggest global brands in live entertainment.
In 1992, concurrent with his career in finance as Director of Global Asset Management (GAM) and later as Chief Executive of the Asian/Japanese business of Rothschild Asset Management, James founded Lunchbox Theatrical Productions in Hong Kong, which over the next six years created a reputation for presenting quality international productions such as Les Misérables and the acclaimed Alegría from Cirque du Soleil. In 1998 the company expanded its reach to Singapore.
In 1999 James moved to Sydney to take up the role of Director of Arts and Entertainment for Australasia with IMG, where he was responsible for over 30 productions in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia during his four year tenure, including Cats, Miss Saigon, Cabaret, Chicago, Oliver!, Riverdance, Andrea Bocelli, Shirley Bassey, Ricky Martin, Bryn Terfel and Kiri te Kanawa, to name but a few. In 2003 James joined International Concert Attractions (ICA) as Managing Director, a publicly listed company on Australia’s stock exchange based in Sydney, where his productions included The Blue Room, The Soweto Gospel Choir, The Sydney & Melbourne Affordable Art Show, Clive James and Pam Ayres.
James returned to the UK in 2004 to re-establish Lunchbox Theatrical Productions, which now has companies in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore and The Philippines. Also at this time he and artistic director Tony Mercer established The Imperial Ice Stars, and have since toured The Sleeping Beauty on Ice, Swan Lake on Ice, Cinderella on Ice and The Nutcracker on Ice to worldwide popular and critical acclaim.
James spent the first five months of 2010 based in Shanghai, as Producer of the Outdoor Opening Ceremony of Expo 2010 Shanghai China, on behalf of David Atkins Enterprises.
Since 2004 Lunchbox Theatrical Productions has brought musicals, boutique shows, plays, international artists, concerts, spectaculars, ice shows, outdoor events and children’s shows to many millions of theatre-goers in 22 countries across five continents.
DIRECTOR OF CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS
Prior to establishing Lunchbox Theatrical Productions UK in 2004 with her husband James, Rebecca Cundall (nee Jackson) worked in television and consumer goods as a communications professional for 14 years in Australia, New Zealand and Asia. After working in Parliament for the former Prime Minister of New Zealand, Rebecca joined Television New Zealand in Auckland in 1990 as Corporate Affairs Executive. She then moved to Hong Kong with Star TV, a new pan-Asian satellite TV company, handling corporate presentations.
In 1994 she joined Coca-Cola China, based in Hong Kong, as the ‘number 2’ in external affairs, responsible for protecting and promoting the reputation of the company and its brands through media relations, crisis management, consumer promotions, community programmes and corporate hospitality. She also produced the company’s quarterly Asia-Pacific magazine.
In 1999 Rebecca moved to Sydney with Coca-Cola where she was responsible for consumer marketing communications and media relations across eight beverage brands in Australia and New Zealand. During her seven years with Coca-Cola, Rebecca managed the company’s hospitality programmes at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, the 1998 Soccer World Cup in Paris, the annual Rugby Sevens Tournaments in Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Handover in 1997, the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics and the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.
In 2001 Rebecca joined the Australian Olympic Committee in Sydney as Sponsorship Manager, working to secure new sponsors and build relationships with existing sponsors, including hosting key executives at the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics.
She then joined International Concert Attractions (ICA) in 2003 as General Manager, responsible for establishing their Sydney office and managing marketing/PR for a number of theatrical productions.
Rebecca and James returned to the UK in 2004 and set up Lunchbox Theatrical Productions’ UK office in Yorkshire. As Director of Corporate Communications, Rebecca oversees PR and marketing for the company worldwide, and is also a freelance consultant in PR and marketing.
DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS AND OPERATIONS
Graduating from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in 2004, Paul Mansfield started his career in theatre at the Almeida Theatre, London whilst continuing to freelance for various venues and work on a range of events. In 2005 he moved to Northern Ballet Theatre where he toured as part of their lighting department for four years. During that time he was involved in two tours of China as well as numerous UK tours. Progressing from lighting programmer to relighter, Paul was fortunate enough to relight Madame Butterfly, Midsummer’s Night Dream, A Christmas Carol and Hamlet.
In 2009 Paul joined The Imperial Ice Stars as their No.2 Electrician, before taking over as Production Manager. During his time with the company Paul worked on Cinderella on Ice, Swan Lake on Ice, Sleeping Beauty on Ice and Nutcracker on Ice, staging the various shows all over the world, from New Zealand to Australia, Asia and Europe, as well as their three highly successful seasons at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
Paul Mansfield joined Lunchbox Theatrical Productions full time as their Technical Director in January 2013, though he’d already worked on many of their productions including Riverdance, Mamma Mia, Phantom of the Opera and Dirty Dancing. In March 2014, Paul became an Executive Producer and has since been involved in over 40 shows that Lunchbox have produced worldwide. Particular highlights have including the Barry Humphries Farewell Tour; Eat Pray Laugh! which toured the UK and included a season at the London Palladium, Cirque Adrenaline in Hong Kong’s Asia World Expo and Nutcracker on Ice at Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland.
In January 2017, Paul became Director of Business and Operations.
Maria Farrugia moved to Yorkshire in 2003, having lived in London for nearly 9 years, pursuing a career in event management.
In 1995, Maria joined the Department of Health in Whitehall. Here, Maria worked as Diary Manager for 3 Ministers, including Tessa Jowell, where she was responsible for coordinating the Ministers’ diaries, meetings, invitations, correspondence, visits and travel, as well as liaising at the most senior level with key advisors to the Prime Minister and offices of the Secretaries of State.
In 1998, she joined Punch Taverns, the largest independent pub company in the UK at the time. As PA to the Property Director, Maria established a ‘mystery customer’ scheme within the company, and project managed the refurbishment of the pubs and their accommodation.
In 1999, Maria joined Invensys plc, a FTSE 100 company, within the Marketing and Communications department. Starting as PA to the Senior Vice President, Maria quickly established herself as a key events co-ordinator, which later became her main role. As organiser of all events worldwide, Maria has successfully hosted the PGA Championship in Las Vegas for 700 customers; internal conferences in Miami, Washington, Boston and Orlando; financial presentations to the City, including the AGM for 3 years; corporate hospitality at both Sunningdale and Wentworth golf courses; and a tall buildings conference with guest speakers HRH the Prince of Wales and former Mayor of London Ken Livingstone.
Maria joined Lunchbox Theatrical Productions in September 2004 as Associate Producer and became Executive Producer in 2005. Having been involved in over 50 shows that Lunchbox has produced worldwide, Maria has found her most enjoyable projects to be the Treasure House Tour of Sleeping Beauty on Ice in the UK, Cinderella on Ice at the Royal Albert Hall and Rick Stein’s Food Odyssey in both New Zealand and Australia, in particular the performance at the Sydney Opera House.
Rachael graduated from Lancaster University in 2008 with a 2:1 in French and European Studies. Beginning her career at Lunchbox in October 2008 as Assistant Event Manager of The Ice Factor, York’s Christmas outdoor ice rink, Rachael went on to become the Event Manager between 2009-2013. During that time the event won ‘Visitor Attraction of the Year’ at the York Tourism Awards in 2010, 2012 and 2014.
Following her first season with The Ice Factor, Rachael was appointed Associate Producer and has since worked on numerous shows including Cats, West Side Story, Riverdance, Grease, Stomp, Chicago, The Phantom of the Opera, Wicked, and The Sound of Music to name a few.
In 2010, Rachael spent four months living in Shanghai as Executive Assistant to the Producer of the Outdoor Opening Ceremony of World Expo in Shanghai, for David Atkins Enterprises.
Over the last few years, the company has taken many large scale musical productions over to New Zealand, including Annie, The Sound of Music, Singin’ in the Rain, CATS and Priscilla Queen of the Desert. During this time, Rachael was relocated to New Zealand looking after the day-to-day running of these shows.
Imogen graduated in 2010 from Sheffield Hallam University with a 2:1 in Nutrition, Health and Lifestyles. Immediately following her degree, Imogen went travelling for three months around South East Asia and Australia before returning to the UK and joining the team at The Ice Factor, York’s outdoor ice rink, as Assistant Event Manager.
Imogen was invited to stay on at Lunchbox after the seasonal event to become Assistant Event Manager but has since progressed in all aspects working on not only The Ice Factor but also shows including Swan Lake on Ice, Thriller Live, One Night of Queen, Annie the Musical, Burn The Floor, The Mousetrap, Louis Pearl The Amazing Bubble Man, Potted Potter, Starlight Express, Dirty Dancing and Barry Humphries Farewell Tour ; Eat Pray Laugh!. In 2012 Imogen became Assistant Producer and in March 2014 became Associate Producer.
PERSONAL ASSISTANT TO JAMES CUNDALL | ASSOCIATE PRODUCER
Georgina graduated in 2011 from Liverpool John Moores University with a BSc with Honours in Sport Science with Physiology. During her degree she worked as a Fitness Instructor in a Specialist Sports College, as well as coaching young children on weekends and during the summer periods. Returning to Yorkshire, she joined the team at The Ice Factor, York’s outdoor ice rink, as administrator to the event for the 2011/12 season.
Georgina was invited to stay on at Lunchbox as Administrative Assistant for the company. In 2013 she became Personal Assistant to Chief Executive, James Cundall. Over the last few years Georgina has been Production Assistant on the company productions such as The Mousetrap, Ennio Marchetto, STOMP, Beyond the Barricade, Jeeves & Wooster in Perfect Nonsense, along with her firm favourite The Bootleg Beatles.
In 2017, Georgina become an Associate Producer at the company, a position alongside Personal Assistant to James Cundall.
MARKETING AND PRODUCTION ASSISTANT
Hayley Forrest (nee Hutchinson) comes from a music and entertainment background. After completing a diploma in Media Studies, she toured as a professional musician and songwriter for fifteen years. This involved playing venues like the London Barbican Centre, the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, The Sage in Gateshead and music festivals such as Glastonbury and SXSW in Austin, Texas.
During this time Hayley gained experience in marketing and PR as she self-released albums that were warmly received by publications such as The Independent and The Guardian. Fans of Hayley’s music included the likes of Terry Wogan, Bob Harris, and David Bowie who Hayley’s father performed with during the 1960s and 1970s.
Hayley’s promotional efforts led to airplay on respected US radio stations like KCRW, a playlisted track on BBC Radio 2, and even the opportunity of having a song appear on the hit American TV show Grey’s Anatomy.
Hayley went on to co-create an independent record label which regularly releases music from artists from all over the world. She also organises exclusive music events in York that showcase the best in emerging songwriting talent, and continues to work as a musician and session singer/songwriter on various projects.
Recently, Hayley has completed a diploma in Children’s Book Illustration, produced the artwork for a theatre programme for a successful show at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and had her first illustration exhibition in Tokyo.
In 2012 she joined an interior design team in North Yorkshire where she gained further skills in marketing and PR as well as visual merchandising and set design. Hayley oversaw the rebranding of the business, designed the new logo, and project-managed the creation of the company’s new website.
Hayley joined the Lunchbox team in 2017 as their Marketing and Production Assistant, and she looks forward to using her creative energy whilst being involved in the arts and events industry once more.
Chloe always had a great love for all things theatrical, starting her career within the Hair and Make-up industry. Completing Levels 1-3 in hairdressing, to then graduating with a 1st class honors in Make-up Artistry for Tv, Theatre and Film. Specialising in Asian make-up where she completed an international internship program in Japan in 2015.
In 2016 Chloe began working in Harrods in London for the well-known make-up brand Estee lauder for a short while as well as working freelance on individual projects. Chloe’s love for the industry grew and she wanted to progress further within the production side of theatre.
Shortly after relocating back to Yorkshire where she worked freelance as a makeup artist, successfully gaining a position with the Lunchbox team in July 2017 Chloe is keen to learn and progress in all aspects of production for theatre and events.
GROUP FINANCE DIRECTOR
Peter Taylor has over 20 years’ experience in accountancy, although he started his working life as a nurse. He changed course in 1986 to pursue a career in accountancy. He studied towards the Chartered Association of Certified Accountants examinations for 10 years up to the final stage. Peter has worked in a variety of organisations, both commercial and not-for-profit, including North Yorkshire Emergency Doctors, Barratt Homes, VHA computer services, The Ward Group plc and Alcoholics Anonymous.
Peter joined Lunchbox Theatrical Productions in December 2005 and manages the company’s finances across a broad portfolio of productions in four continents. In 2013, he became Finance Director at Lunchbox. Peter is also a keen photographer and lives in York with his wife and two sons.
Originally from a farming background in North Wales, Seimon graduated from York University in 2004 with a 2.1 in Economics. Seimon moved to London following the completion of his degree and took on a variety of temporary administration roles before deciding to study towards an accountancy qualification, which was facilitated by securing a position as Trainee Management Accountant at Mirror Group Newspapers based in Canary Wharf. Seimon completed his CIMA accountancy qualification during his three years at Mirror Group Newspapers and also progressed to Management Accountant and then to Senior Management Accountant. After becoming a Chartered Management Accountant Seimon moved on to SAGE Publications Ltd, a publisher of academic and professional books and journals based in the City of London. Here, Seimon worked as a Financial Analyst and progressed to become a Senior Financial Analyst after taking on increased levels of responsibility.
After almost five years at SAGE Publications, Seimon relocated to York and joined Lunchbox Theatrical Productions as Financial Accountant in August 2013.
Graduating from York University in 2006 with a 2:1 BSc Honours in Mathematics, Emily joined Lunchbox Theatrical Productions at the beginning of 2007 as Accounts Assistant/Administrator.
In 2009, Emily took a sabbatical and travelled to New Zealand on a working holiday, visiting Hong Kong, Australia, Fiji and the USA along the way. During her time in Wellington, Emily worked at Government House and the Ministry of Education.
Emily returned to the UK in 2010 and was welcomed back to the Lunchbox team as Management Accountant and is responsible for producing the company’s show accounts. She is also studying towards her ACCA to become a qualified accountant.
Sophia moved to North Yorkshire from Cheshire in August 2013, following graduation from Manchester Metropolitan University with a 2:1 BA Hons degree in History and entered into an admin/accounts role at a local company. It was here that she began studying to improve her accounting knowledge.
In October 2015 she joined Lunchbox Theatrical Productions as Accounts Assistant, and is continuing her studies towards the AAT qualifications. Sophia is new to the theatre world but looks forward to Frozen the Musical becoming a reality.
ASSOCIATE PRODUCER, HONG KONG
Kamille Wong joined Lunchbox Theatrical Productions in January 2008 as Project Manager and has worked on various shows such as Cats, Chicago, We Will Rock You, Grease and Abba Mania. Graduating from the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts in 2001 with a major in violin performance, Kamille went on to work at the Leisure & Cultural Services Department in HKSAR Government as Assistant Music Officer, teaching violin classes and conducting string orchestras for training students. In addition, she also participated in various gigs and pop concerts.
PROJECT EXECUTIVE, HONG KONG
Helen joined Lunchbox Theatrical Productions Ltd in October 2015 as Project Executive, having graduated from the HKU Space Community College in 2012 with a Higher Diploma in Corporate Communication and Management. During her study, Helen undertook work experience as a Registrar in a Computer Exhibition and Electronic Fair, gaining valuable business skills. After graduation, Helen worked in Sun Fook Kong Construction Ltd for almost two years, a large construction company in Hong Kong. In September 2013, Helen travelled to Australia for a working holiday for two years before returning to Hong Kong and working for Lunchbox.
AUSTRALIAN AND NEW ZEALAND CONSULTANT PRODUCER AND MANAGING DIRECTOR OF JON NICHOLLS PRODUCTIONS PTY LTD
Jon has worked extensively in all facets of the entertainment industry. He trained as an actor and came to Australia in 1970 where he helped establish Adelaide’s second professional theatre company, Theatre 62. He returned to England to study arts administration through the Arts Council of Great Britain. He was General Manager of Crewe Theatre and Director of London’s Bubble Theatre.
Jon returned to Australia in 1976 as Director of Programming for the Arts Council of South Australia.
In 1980, Jon formed the Promcon Corporation with Adrian Bohm and they quickly became one of Australia’s major concert and theatre producers. In 1989, the pair decided to go their own way and Jon formed his own company Jon Nicholls Productions Pty Ltd.
Jon’s concert tours include Frank Sinatra, Witney Houston, Rowan Atkinson, Clive James, Elaine Page, Hale and Pace, The Fureys, The Chieftains, Christy Moore, Pam Ayres, Jasper Carrot, The Kings Singers, Foster and Allen, Julian Lloyd Webber, Steeleye Span, the annual Guinness Celebration of Irish Music, Mary Coughlin, Max Boyce, Bill Bailey, Pam Ann, The Dubliners, Stomp, Sleeping Beauty on Ice, Swan Lake on Ice, Cinderella on Ice and the Abba celebration Abba Mania.
His theatrical productions include HMS Pinafore with Paul Eddington, A Streetcar Named Desire with Martin Shaw, Stepping Out, The Nerd, Are You Lonesome Tonight, Piaf, Steaming, Up and Under, Jack the Ripper, The Rocky Horror Show, Summer Of The Seventeenth Doll, The Browning Version, Me and My Girl, Jolson the Musical, The Buddy Holly Story, Oh What A Night, Always Patsy Cline, We Will Rock You in Auckland and Bangkok, and Grease in Auckland.
In 2005 Jon presented the Lanzhou Song and Dance Theatre in Sydney and Melbourne and this led to an association with the Chinese Government to present the first visit to Australia by the National Ballet of China.
Jon was the Event Co-ordinator of the 1986 Closing Celebrations for the 150th South Australian Jubilee.
He was Associate Producer of the opening of Sanctuary Cove celebrations.
In 2009 Jon was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts of Great Britain.
He was the Executive Producer of Australia’s Helpmann Awards for seven years and is on the Helpmann Awards Advisory Committee. He is also the Chair of the Musical Theatre panel.
He was an Executive Councillor of Live Performance Australia for 18 years.
In 2009 Jon was made a life member of Live performance Australia.
Born in Canada, Bob first came to the Philippines in 1982 as the country manager for a major international commodities trading company. After a long career which culminated with assignments as Regional Manager in East Africa (Nairobi, Kenya) and Wichita, Kansas he decided to return to the Philippines and launch a career as a private entrepreneur. In 1995 Bob founded TicketWorld (TWI), providing computerized ticketing and box office services to the major venues and promoters in the Philippines. Using state-of-the-art software as its backbone TWI has developed a reputation for ingenuity and integrity and has become the ticketing company of choice for most ticketed events. Concurrent with his TWI business, Bob administers the Lunchbox Theatrical Productions office in Manila.
Bambi Verzo – 1964 – 2016
The team at Lunchbox Theatrical Productions remembers with much affection and respect Bambi Verzo who passed away suddenly in August 2016.
Drawing on her 15 years’ experience in corporate communications and event management, Bambi established her own business Concertus in 2005, a marketing and entertainment company specialising in both local and international musical concerts. Concertus has brought Manila’s entertainment scene to new levels through its innovative live music presentations. Since 2010 Concertus has partnered with Lunchbox Theatrical Productions in bringing Cats, The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber, Stomp (twice), Potted Potter (three times), Barney the Dinosaur, Phantom of the Opera, Mamma Mia, Chicago, Wicked, Beyond the Barricade, La Soiree, Louis Pearl the Amazing Bubble Man, Singin’ in the Rain and Blue Man Group to The Philippines.
James Cundall, Chief Executive of Lunchbox Theatrical Productions said “Without a doubt, it has been a real privilege and joy to have known and worked with Bambi. As a producer, Bambi was integral in changing the face of Philippine entertainment forever with her work on the major West End and Broadway shows. She was a master of marketing and planning with an attention to detail that was world class. Her energy, utter enthusiasm, infectious laughter, glamour and, above all, loyalty and deep friendship will be missed by all of us who were lucky enough to walk, all too briefly, with her. Her talents were unique and Bambi was the best of the best.”