CUMBRAE'S famous toilet cleaner is aiming to put Barrfields Theatre in the spotlight ahead of its 90th anniversary next year.

Suki McGregor has taken up a role as the venue's new arts co-ordinator - and lifted the lid on her plans in an exclusive chat with the News.

She hopes she can steer the theatre to another 90 years of stage success and says building a wide and varied programme for the whole community is vital.

Suki said: "I will help with marketing and future programming and hopefully to build links with the local community and businesses and encourage them to be more involved with what's happening at the theatre.

"Ultimately we need a greater range of shows and events to ensure that there really is something for everyone.

"Barrfields is an incredible theatre and a great asset to the town."

Prior to Suki's appointment, promotional activities were handled solely by the Barrfields Users Group, who are all volunteers.

She added: "Everyone involved in the group is absolutely amazing and they all do incredible work, but it a lot to expect of volunteers. I want to help take some of the pressure from them."

Hoping that her own love of theatre will help bring people through the doors, the current North Ayrshire Citizen of the Year told the News how she developed a love of the arts.

She said: "My friend launched Hopscotch and it really started to take off, so I came on board to do some of the administrative work.

"It started out in his loving room and it quickly grew to become a very respected company.

"I went on to become the general manager but I always loved the production and everything to do with props.

"We employed people to make the scenery and props but I would always touch them up or add some sparkle because that's what I loved.

"We toured schools and small venues and the shows always had a huge impact on young people. I lived it and breathed it - and the company is still going strong.

"I love live events and would love to seem more of that back at Barrfields."

Suki says she has a few grand ideas to help celebrate the venue's 90th.

She said: "One of the problems is that people Millport like myself often can't get to see the shows because of the ferry times, so I think it would be great if we could get more matinees.

"I am hoping to carry out a questionnaire on this to see the demand for it and then try and get these going.

"The theatre itself has so much potential. The size of the dressing rooms and the amount of space backstage is incredible, you can just imagine the kind of shows that went on 90 years ago.

"There are already great tribute acts and the comedy is good but there needs to be more variety, maybe some ballet or acoustic sets, just something a little different.

"I have been in touch with other local theatres to find out more about what they want too."