Hilary Westlake was born in Plymouth, a daughter of a naval officer and educated at convents and grammar schools. She trained for the theatre at E.15 Acting School and performed with several avant-garde companies including Interaction's TOC and London La Mama before forming Lumiere & Son Theatre Company with writer, David Gale. The company, funded by the Arts Council, produced over fifty original shows for theatres, ferry boats, botanical gardens, castles and swimming pools. The shows used text and music together with strong visual and choreographic elements. Initially, most of Lumiere & Son's shows were written by David and directed by Hilary but latterly, she was responsible for the concept as well as the direction of the pieces.
Hilary directs existing texts, operas and cabaret and creates large-scale site specific performances. She has worked all over Europe, Australia and parts of Asia and has extensive experience running seminars and workshops for both professional and student performers, designers, writers and directors. She also coaches academic speakers for Cambridge University's fundraising and donor events. as well creative consultancy on films, corporate presentations and live performances. In recent years, she has developed work with circus, street and other multi-artform performance practitioners and works frequently as mentor and facilitator with both emergent and established artists
From 2003 to 2006 she was Creative Director of Entertainment at Disneyland Resort Paris.