Staff & Trustees

The Mowlem Theatre is run by a board of Trustees and employs a small team of staff to run the day to day operations including the theatre, cinema, Box Office and The Show Bar.


Operations Manager: Thomas Curtis (
Administrator: Bev Churchill (
Technician: Dan Welsh (
Bar Supervisor: James Gallear (


Paul Angel

Paul grew up in Wimborne and has lived in Swanage since 2005, along with his wife and two children.

His family business runs two award-winning bookshops and a record store in Bournemouth and Wimborne. He was Chair of Education Swanage between 2009 and 2015, successfully leading negotiations with the Department for Education which led to the opening of The Swanage School. He acted as Chair of Governors for the first two years of operation.

Laura Dickens

Laura is a Theatre Producer working in new writing in the subsidised theatre sector with an emphasis on female-led work, untold stories and carbon-conscious theatre. 

From 1994 - 2011 she worked in casting for TV, Film and Theatre; Credits include; About a Boy, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, The Bill, Holby City, Casualty and Doctors. She was then Industry Liaison and Professional Development Manager at the drama school LAMDA for seven years and has recently graduated from Central School of Speech and Drama with an MA with distinction in Creative Producing. As a regular visitor to Swanage for 40 years, she is delighted to be joining The Mowlem as trustee at this exciting time in its history.
Andrea Etherington
Programme & Marketing sub-committee Chair
Andrea has worked in colleges and universities for over 30 years and was for 10 years post -16 advisor with Dorset Education Authority.

She was Head of Creative, Performing Arts and Media before becoming Vice Principal at Bournemouth and Poole College. She has been a trustee for the Wessex Youth Orchestra and for the Study Gallery, Poole, and for 14 years has been chair of the Purbeck Film Festival. As a long-time resident of Swanage, whose children were born and educated here and now live locally, she is excited to join the board of trustees of The Mowlem.

Nick Field
Finance, Operations & Building sub-committee Chair
Having grown up in the West Midlands, Nick has now lived in Swanage for over 20 years and is a big fan of live music.

Nick is employed on behalf of the Department for International Trade giving export advice to South West businesses. He attends a wide variety of concerts and gigs and prior to joining the Mowlem trustees he ran a regular acoustic music night, bringing up and coming singer songwriters from both the UK and USA to an intimate venue in Swanage.

Nick is often to be found backstage in the theatre helping the different companies and societies with the production aspects of their shows, be it stage management, set construction, scenery building and more.

A former chairman of the Swanage Sea Rowing Club charity, Nick is also the Deputy Station Officer of the Swanage Coastguard Rescue Team having served as a volunteer Coastguard Rescue Officer in the town for in excess of 10 years.

James Kessler
James’ family links with Swanage go back 80 years to when his mother was at Newton Manor school.  
He is a KC and an expert in the law of charities and taxation.  His passion is cinema.  James was for 10 years a trustee of the Purbeck Film Festival and the Rex Cinema, Wareham. 
Dawn Morley
Vice Chair & People sub-committee Chair
Dawn is a Principal Academic in Adult Nursing at Bournemouth University.

She has lived with her family in Swanage for 15 years and is passionate about the development of a greater range of facilities within the town. Dawn has always had a particular interest in film and theatre; supporting in, particular, the Swanage Rep seasons and the Purbeck Film Festival. She believes both present a unique opportunity for work experience for local students.  In her previous home in Hampshire, Dawn led initiatives to reinstate the village fete and chaired the local playgroup and the Community Centre Association.

Ashley Nicholson

Whilst a Mancunian, Ashley and his family have been based in Swanage for approaching 40 years.

He comes from a property background specialising in re purposing multi use buildings and regeneration , with a particular focus on community . Whilst many projects have been based in London and Bristol , more local schemes include the former Debenhams store and Avenue shopping centre in Bournemouth. Ashley is also a trustee of SAVE Britain’s Heritage , a charity set up to save and re purpose architecturally important buildings at risk of demolition

Robin Sutcliffe
Development sub-committee Chair
After Architectural and Management training, Robin has spent his life setting up and running different organisations in the Charitable, Public and Private Sectors.

First in 1970 a Housing Association in London, then in 1975 an experimental design build section of Direct Labour in Haringey and finally since 1980 a private family business designing and manufacturing playground equipment, where, following the sale of the business to its employees in 2008, he has remained as Chairman. From 1989 until 2008 he was Founder Chairman of Square Chapel Performing Arts Centre in Halifax. He is now retired and lives in Swanage with his wife who is a conservation Architect and the daughter of the Swanage Photographer, Helen Dunman.

Joy Walton
Honorary Company Secretary

Joy grew up in the Midlands and has lived in Swanage since 2008...

She is a qualified company secretary and her most recent role was as Head of Governance & Company Secretary at Scope, the national disability charity. Prior to that she held a range of managerial roles in four large London local authorities. Joy is also currently Deputy Chair of a secondary housing co-operative on London’s South Bank. Joy has a particular interest in cinema and is a member of the BFI.