Meet the Beacon team

Everyone who works with the Beacon – staff, volunteers and visiting artists, producers and creators – is committed to delivering our fantastically diverse programme of shows, our youth theatre work and our outreach and engagement activities here and out in the community.

Pauline Kane Director | 01475 460260 | 

Karen Townsend Creative Producer | 07722093389 | 

Lesley Davidson General Manager | 

Tessa Calder Finance & HR Officer | 01475 460271 | 

Lisa McRuvie Marketing Officer | 01475 460269 | 

Kevin Jannetts Community Engagement Officer | 07563607291 | 

Poppy Kohner Community Programme Co-ordinator | 07999318364 | 

Alice Wilkins Creative Ageing Co-ordinator | 07563607289 | 

Ian Swinscoe Technician | 01475 460261 | 

Angela Bryson Box Office Administrator | 01475 723723 | 

Janis Puckrin Box Office Administrator | 01475 723723 | 

Karri Sorley Box Office Administrator | 01475 723723 | 

Claire Crisp Box Office Administrator | 01475 723723 | 

Kirsty Pennycook Creatability Co-ordinator | 

Cara Smith Trainee Arts Co-ordinator 01475 | 723723 | 

Alex Ellis Facilities 

Robbie Peden Facilities 

Leonora Erskine Facilities

Lorraine Murdoch Facilities

Karen Townsend

Creative Producer

I have always been interested in working in Theatre, but when I was younger, I didn’t know what jobs there were apart from acting. My careers teacher told me that I would never make a living in theatre and that I should apply to join the army (I like to think it was my leadership potential 😊 ).

I am glad to say she was wrong, and I have worked all my professional life in theatre from production to marketing, London’s West End to Glasgow. Creating stories with both home-grown talent (think Elaine C Smith) and international talent such as Peter Brooke and Robert Lepage.  I am delighted to be working at the Beacon as Creative Producer where we will create fantastic things with you here in Inverclyde.

Alice Wilkins  

Creative Ageing Co-ordinator

I am a Dancer, Choreographer, and Creative Arts Co-ordinator. My experience on stage taught me the value of 'service with a smile' and I have carried this positivity into life! I am consistently enthusiastic and determined to create high quality arts opportunities for people and I feel strongly that the arts can enhance health and wellbeing. I have worked professionally for 10 years internationally, and I am now excited to be here in Inverclyde.

Poppy Kohner

Community Programme Co-ordinator

I am our Community Programme Coordinator. I am always interested in what communities would like to see at the Beacon, and how the Beacon can be involved in local communities, so if you have any ideas please contact me for a chat. I am passionate about the potential of the creative arts as a catalyst for personal growth and social justice. I am also a researcher and a person-centred counsellor-in-training. When I’m not at the Beacon I love to be in nature, especially climbing hills and wild swimming. My creative joys are dancing and cooking – sometimes at the same time.

Kevin Jannetts

Community Engagement Officer

I am a Producer, Director, Writer and Performer. I came to be working in theatre through being in numerous productions of plays, musicals and pantomimes in school, youth theatre and amateur companies. I continued performing and directing while studying law and eventually plucked up the courage, took the leap and moved to Newcastle to study directing. I then worked in the studio and learning department of Newcastle Theatre Royal and made my professional acting debut. I am passionate about theatre and the arts as a way of bringing communities together and building confidence, empathy and resilience. 

Meet the Beacon board

Fans of the Beacon, lovers of the arts and theatre, and highly skilled in various business and creative sectors, our board of trustees help to shape and guide the future of the Beacon and share governance duties with our Director, and the senior management team. 

Alex Reedijk | Chair
Alex joined Scottish Opera as General Director in 2006, following four years at the helm of the NBR New Zealand Opera. Prior to this, he worked for the Wexford Festival Opera and the original Garsington
Opera and was the Deputy Executive Director of the New Zealand Festival with particular responsibility
for brining the Edinburgh Military Tattoo to Wellington in 2000.

During his tenure with Scottish Opera, the company has flourished and introduced an array of new
initiatives for young people and also for people living with dementia, including the world first dementia friendly opera performances in 2016. He works in close partnership with Music Director, Stuart Stratford, to sustain and develop a strong commitment to both 20th century opera and new commissions.

In 2011, Alex was awarded a Fellowship of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. He is currently Vice
Chairman of the Citizens Theatre, Glasgow, and became Chair of the Beacon Arts Centre in 2019.

Joanne Walmsley | Vice Chair
Executive Producer at Barrowland Ballet, Joanne is an arts professional with over 15 years’ experiences in
strategic planning, programme management and producing. She has a particular focus on socially engaged practices within the creative and cultural sector and joined our Board in 2018.

Councillor Elizabeth Robertson | Board Member
The first female SNP elected member of Inverclyde Council, Elizabeth is an arts and theatre enthusiast,
well known in the region for her commitment and support to a number of local theatre groups. She has
been on the Beacon’s Board since 2016 so is currently serving a second term in office.

Councillor James Clocherty | Board Member

James Haworth | Board Member
Starting his career with Apollo Leisure in 1992, James now works for The Ambassador Theatre Group and
has held various management positions with theatres across the UK including the Liverpool Empire,
Manchester Apollo, Birmingham Alexanndra, Edinburgh Playhouse and Theatre Royal in Glasgow. Hejoined the Board in 2019.

Martin McCluskey | Board Member
Labour’s leader for Inverclyde, Martin was born and raised in Inverclyde and lives here today, campaigning about issues affecting people who live and work in the region. He has over a decade of experience in politics and public service, working in both Edinburgh and London. He holds an MA (Hons) from the University of Oxford and is currently working for a PhD at the University of Edinburgh. Joining our Board in 2018, Martin’s lifelong interest in the performing arts was sparked by his very first experience of theatre - the Greenock Arts Guild Theatre’s Christmas panto in 1947.

Michael Hughes | Board Member
An experienced corporate and restructuring lawyer, Michael joined our Board in 2019 and has a keen
interest in performing arts and live venues. With over twenty years’ experience in restructuring and turning
around businesses in various sectors, he also has significant experience as a non-executive director of
businesses focusing on rapid change in competitive markets.

Meet the Beacon community ambassadors

Kevin Adair, Richard Gallacher, Thomas Harkins, Helen Lyons, Kira McCarthy, Emma Scott, Deirdre Small, Sharon Thomson, Ross Thomson, Teruko Tissera

Meet the Beacon patrons

Mr & Mrs Aitken, Elizabeth Armour, Gordon Armour, Martin Axford, Neil W Barlow, Ruth E Bennett, Dr & Mrs Ian and Janet Campbell, Elizabeth Dixon, Dr H S Dunsmore OBE, Margaret & Ian Dyer, Kathryn Ellaway, Margaret Harron, Mike Howorth, Raymond Jack, Marie Kean, Jacquie and Duncan MacIntyre, John & Ann MacLeod, Ian F Milne, Mo & Matt Neilson, Geoff & Jackie Orr, Douglas Pilkington, Allan Robertson, Susan Robinson, Murdoch Rodgers, Robert Ross & Victoria Cookson, Mairi Surtees Cameron (Afro Celt Productions), Daniel & Zeinab Temiaka, Richard Wilson, Rosalind & Geoff Woolard, Frances Wrath and three Patrons who wish to remain anonymous.

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