New director Laura Walker ready to pick up Highland theatre company Play Pieces and create north network
TAKING over an established theatre company is daunting for anybody. But you would be forgiven for considering that Laura Walker may find the task a little more daunting than most.
The 20-year-old dramatist has stepped into the role of director for Highland theatre promoters Play Pieces, taking over the role from the company’s founder and long-standing champion Lindsay Dunbar.
But if the pressure is on, Laura isn’t showing it – even if within the first few months she has already had to contend with the resignation of then co-director Sean Gallagher.
“It’s all kind of happened quite quickly,” Laura said. “February and March have just kind of disappeared, and Sean and I only really had the conversation with Lindsay just before the New Year.
“Obviously Sean stepped down last month, so it’s just me at the head of it now – which is exciting and scary all at the same time.”
And now Laura’s first event as Play Pieces director is on the horizon – a networking gala at Inverness’s Crown Court Hotel for creative types from across the Highlands to converge upon.
It’s that desire to create a proper network for theatre across the region that first brought Laura to the attention of Play Pieces.
“Sean was saying how he had some ideas about how we could build a creative network in the Highlands and I had some ideas about that too,” she explained. “And I was like, ‘Do you know who could really help us with this? Lindsay!’
“So we went and spoke to Lindsay, and she was like, ‘Aw yeah these are all some really good ideas! It just so happens that Play Pieces is now an empty vessel!’ – because she had recently stepped down.
“And that’s pretty much how it happened, we decided we’d take on Play Pieces and relaunch it to achieve what we thought the Highlands needed, which was to build a better creative network.
“There’s so much creative work up here and there’s so many creative people here – and the Highlands is just really inspiring.
“But I think the problem that we have at the moment is just getting people connected.”
Play Pieces hosts its first networking gala on Friday night at the Crown Court Hotel, Inverness. Doors open at 7.30pm and tickets cost £16.58, available from www.eventbrite.co.uk. For more information, go to www.playpieces.co.uk