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Blog No. 22 - Janine Grayshon

This month, we meet Janine Grayshon. Janine is the Torch Theatre’s Artistic Programme Co-ordinator who works hard behind the scenes to make sure you see the films and productions you want to see on the Torch Theatre stage and screen ….

I’m originally from the West Midlands but I moved to Pembrokeshire when I was about nine years old. I went to Bath Spa University to do my BA Performing Arts Degree way back in 2006-2009 – it seems like a lifetime ago now! I have always been very passionate about the arts, and I am a performer at heart. I don’t do much on stage anymore, but I do like to keep my hand in as many creative projects as possible. I attend the Creative Writing workshops here at the Torch and I will be signing up for the Adult Summer School here in August too. It’s good to keep those skills alive and well oiled, not just for opening doors for opportunities but it’s good for the soul to be doing something you love isn’t it?!

I am the Artistic Programme Coordinator here at the Torch, so it’s my job to select and book the live theatre/music, cinema and broadcasts and ensure that we have a full, varied, and exciting programme of events. It’s a very busy role and I have so many e-mails from so many different companies wanting to bring their shows/events to the theatre. I also manage the Gallery here which is where local artists can exhibit their work and also manage any hires of the venue for local and further afield companies wanting to hold anything from a small meeting to a full-scale conference with all the trimmings!

When I arrive at work in the morning, I make a coffee I can actually sit down and drink after a busy morning with two little ones! Then it’ll be getting to the e-mails and checking through the show reports of the previous days’ events. Then whatever is on my to do list for the week that can involve sending out contracts, getting shows on sale, meetings with potential artists/companies, chairing operations meetings to ensure everyone is up to date with the day-to-day running of the Theatre and what’s coming up in the programme – the list goes on! No day is ever really the same and there is always something to do.

I am also learning Welsh which I thoroughly enjoy. I’ve just completed the Entry level with an exam… and it took me right back to doing my GCSE’s! I’ll move up to the Foundation level in September. We hold a Coffi Cymraeg morning here at the Torch every second Tuesday of the month which I host along with my fluent Welsh speaking co-workers, the lovely Anwen or Jackie. I love it, as it’s very informal and a great way to practice conversational Welsh in a comfortable environment with a great bunch of people. There’s always a new face along with some regular attendees and we all love a chat and a coffee… and sometimes even with a slice of something delicious! Learning Welsh is important to me as we as a venue like to be as inclusive as we possibly can be and that includes being able to speak our native language.

I’m always a year ahead of myself so I’m mostly looking at filling the 2025 programme of events! Even though we have just finalised the next film guide, I will have to make a start at compiling the next one very shortly. More excitingly, I am one of the Assistant Directors for the Torch Youth Theatre’s production of The Wind in the Willows this Summer. I’m very much enjoying working with the Senior Manager for Youth and Community and Director, Tim Howe and the wonderful young people that make up the Youth Theatre. It’s great to be part of the creative process and I’m very grateful for the opportunity. I’m really looking forward to seeing this fabulous show on our main stage this July!


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