Sarah Boden
Business Woman of the Year Finalist

Born and bred in Coventry, Sarah was educated at King Henry VIII School, and graduated from the University of Nottingham in 1997. During her teenage years she was a county and national level golfer and was also selected to be a contestant on the hit TV series ‘Crystal Maze’.  Sarah met husband Steve at a local theatre, where they discovered their mutual love of all things theatre and pantomime.

In 2005, Sarah, Steve and their business partners founded Imagine Theatre Ltd, working tirelessly in the evenings to build what was then a small pantomime production business. During that time, Sarah also worked as a Management Development Consultant and passed her Chartered Institute of Development TPP with distinction, which provided her with some fantastic life skills, all of which she still uses today.

In 2009, Sarah and Steve bought out their business partners, and in the 10 years that have since passed, the business has more than tripled in size, selling in excess of £30m worth of tickets and playing to over 3 million people.

The business now employs 18 staff at head office and more than 400 on its productions each Christmas. Imagine Theatre Ltd has grown into a national company with productions taking place across the whole of the UK and Ireland including producing or co-producing 15 professional family pantomimes for Christmas 2019.

The business currently turns over £4m per year and Sarah oversees its business, finance, administration and marketing functions, but she is at the school gate every night to pick up her daughter Holly and take her dancing as she’s a budding performer herself!

It is the job of Sarah and the team at Imagine to entertain hundreds of thousands of families each Christmas through the medium of pantomime, and also to ensure that the company’s employees focus on their own families at the same time.

Sarah is an advocate of theatre for all, with the company holding open auditions across the country to welcome children from all backgrounds and offering them a chance to perform in one of Imagine’s productions. Each pantomime season they also stage more than 40 outreach performances to enable and encourage everyone to be able to attend. She also hugely proud of the fact that Imagine Theatre have also helped raise over £100,000 for Great Ormond Street Hospital through their productions of “Peter Pan”.

During all of this, Sarah has also managed to keep playing golf to scratch team and county level, and also to pursue her own love of performing. She’s just appeared as Mama Ogre in a production of “Shrek the Musical”!

Sarah’s proudest achievements are her amazing, funny, frustrating daughter Holly, her clever and visionary husband Steve and her wider family. Following that it’s the achievements of the team at Imagine, and how the company continues to reach and exceed its annual targets, whilst maintaining a high level of customer satisfaction and a strong, positive reputation in its industry. Sarah may be the female leader of the company, guiding the way, but it takes a strong team underneath it all to make it happen.

Sarah plans to keep her roots in Coventry, where she, Steve and the team will continue to grow a truly national company. They have ambitions to create new, market leading productions which will guide the future path of pantomime as a genre.

Her primary motivation is to show Holly that you can achieve your dreams if only you believe and work hard.

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On 12th October 2018, we honour the achievements of exceptional women – both in the world of business and personal achievement.

Join our growing list of high profile achievers and make a nomination today and submit it too info@www.womenoftheyear.org.uk whether it is for you or for someone you know.

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