Introducing...Louise Gilmour-Wills

This month we meet Programme Director, Louise, who is just back from Japan where she connected with delegates from across Asia at the ricca ricca festival!

How long have you been at Catherine Wheels?
For about 14 years, I was on secondment with Lyra for 3 years and came back full time in 2017.

What does your job involve?
My job focuses on the programme side of the company, what we are doing and when. We usually start making plans 2-3 years in advance of a project; some like our Japan and China tours have been in the pipeline for many years, but sometimes we receive an invitation to go somewhere that involves last minute all hands on deck work to make it happen.

What has been a Catherine Wheels highlight for you?
There have been so many highlights, and such amazing adventures at home and around the world. My highlights include walking through Sydney’s botanic gardens, looking towards the Opera House and feeling the thrill that this was going to be my walk to work for the next month. Standing on 42nd Street looking at the New Victory Theatre and knowing I was going in via the Stage Door. Following John Turturro as he walked through our promenade show Hansel & Gretel (I was only slightly stalking him, the audience was my responsibility at the time…), and seeing the Dance Captain (aka Suzie Normand) in action during The Voice Thief at Summerhall.

What’s your favourite thing about your job?
It feels like it has evolved in so many ways over the years. I love the variety of the job depending on what projects we have planned and where we are going. I’ve loved watching our schools touring grow and develop, and seeing Gill’s initial tiny ideas evolve into brilliant shows – like when an idea about voices in jars (working title: The Jar Show) became The Voice Thief.

What’s the best thing about working in theatre?
The people I work with, who are all passionate and dedicated to giving young audiences the best possible experience.

Can you tell us a Catherine Wheels secret?
We didn’t wash the mat that Robert de Niro sat on during a performance of White for quite a while….

And finally, how would you describe Catherine Wheels in three words?
Brilliant, creative, and a bit crazy!