Our Board

Richard Lewis, Chair

Richard is a freelance conductor, vocal coach, pianist, composer and lyricist.  He is a permanent visiting lecturer to the Musical Theatre Department at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and a visiting lecturer at the Brisbane Conservatorium, Australia.  He was Convener of the Culture and Sport Committee of the City of Edinburgh Council, and Festival and Events Champion, 2012-2017.  He lives in Edinburgh and has a young family.

Andrew Baker, Company Accountant
Andrew is a qualified Chartered Accountant and a former Partner of Top 10 accountancy firm Baker Tilly.  He currently heads up the Scotland, Ireland and Craft Beer commercial finance functions at Molson Coors.

Murray Jack, Company Secretary
Murray Jack is a corporate team partner of law firm HBJ Gateley. He has experience of advising on a broad range of corporate transactions involving private and public companies of a variety of sizes. He advises businesses principally in the life sciences, technology, food and drink, software and renewable energy sectors.

Mary McGookin
A graduate of the RSAMD, Mary taught at Broughton High School, home to the City of Edinburgh Music School, where she became Principal Teacher, Music.  In 1992, Mary led the development of Lothian Region’s first arts policy and new arts unit. As Arts and Learning Manager for City of Edinburgh Council, her responsibilities included dance and drama officers, Youth Music Initiative, and the arts within informal learning. She also produced high profile events involving young performers.  Mary is a past director of Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival and a former Chair of Promote YT (now YTAS).

Jane Ellis
Jane is currently volunteer officer and trainer with Home Link Family Support, a voluntary organisation that supports families with pre-school children in Edinburgh and Midlothian.  Her previous roles include a trainer with Women on to Work, Edinburgh; Back to Work Co-ordinator with Midlothian Sure Start; and Education Officer at both Glasgow’s TAG Theatre and Edinburgh’s Traverse Theatre. Jane also has experience as a freelance writer and journalist, writing primarily about children’s theatre and creating teachers’ packs.

Robert Davidson
After graduating from Edinburgh in Mathematical Science, Robert spent all his working life (35 years) in computing – splitting his time evenly between support and software development. He was – and still is – an enthusiast for personal computing. Since retiring, he volunteers with a few different charitable organisations to help and advise on IT matters.

Andy Catlin
Andy  is a freelance photographer and communications/marketing consultant (www.andycatlin.com) whose recent clients include Youth Theatre Arts Scotland, National Museums of Scotland, National Galleries of Scotland, Modern Studies, Birds of Paradise, Cycling UK, Parkinsons UK, Assembly Festivals and the Edinburgh Festival of Cycling. He previously worked as Marketing Manager at The Queen’s Hall, Traverse Theatre and Aberdeen’s The Lemon Tree and was a board member / Vice Chairman of Puppet Animation Scotland (2012-16).

Ailis Paterson
Ailis is an aspiring writer, director and facilitator. She has recently returned to Edinburgh after studying in Aberdeen where she was awarded an MA (Hons) degree in English and History. She has worked in theatre and venue management for five years with Aberdeen Performing Arts and Summerhall, and has recently moved to join the front of house team at the Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh. Following on from volunteering with youth theatre projects and script in hand new writing nights in Aberdeen, Ailis has been with Strange Town since March 2016 and as well as working with our youth theatre groups, she leads some of the company’s outreach workshops in schools.

Kate Bayne
Kate is a teacher who works with children who have Autism and complex needs in Midlothian.  She previously worked as a primary teacher across schools in Edinburgh. Over the past 2 years she has been on the Board for Forth Childen’s Theatre. Kate has 2 children who have taken part in Strange Town’s after school drama outreach programme, are currently in the youth theatre and the young actors’ agency.

Tony Reekie, Advisor
Tony, until recently the CEO of Imaginate, has worked in the performing arts sector for twenty five years and has dedicated himself to the development of performing arts for children and young people in Scotland, with an aim of ensuring that every child has access to the highest possible quality work on a regular basis.  For his work as CEO of Imaginate he has been the recipient of many awards, including Mickey Miners Award 2010: IPAY (International Performing Arts for Youth) North America IPAY’s highest award, presented annually to a person who has made a significant impact on the field of the performing arts for young audiences and the CATS (Critics Awards for Theatre in Scotland) for outstanding achievement in 25 years of excellent programming.

John Naylor OBE, Lifetime President
John has a wealth of experience gained from 40 years in the charity sector and has been at the forefront of policy and regulation changes in Scotland’s third sector. In 2000, he was a member of the Commission to Review Charity Law in Scotland, which resulted in the establishment of the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR), of which John became the first Chair in 2006.  As well as Chair of Strange Town, John is currently President of YMCA Scotland; Chair of RSA Scotland; a Trustee of Foundation Scotland; and a co-opted member of National Trust for Scotland’s Audit and Risk Management Committee.