Our Team


Arts and Heritage Education professionals who love Scottish history and have a talent for communicating with, teaching and nurturing a wide range of audiences 


Where it all began

A shared love of history and learning

We each have many years experience in heritage, tourism and education but with different specialisms. This allows us to offer our customers tailor made projects that can incorporate many different aspects including visual art, drama, writing, storytelling and world of work skills

Knowledgeable and reliable

The Team

Karen Kyle McKenzie


Karen set up Illuminate UK in 2006 seeing an opportunity to use her drama training and experience working in heritage and tourism, in learning settings.

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Karen trained at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland as an actor and drama educator and appeared in a variety of theatre productions before taking drama skills into heritage and museum learning.

Karen has established and managed Junior Tour Guide programmes for Historic Environment Scotland, Rosslyn Chapel and the Scottish Seabird Centre. She has also developed a range of learning programs and activities for learners, visitors and staff at Historic Environment Scotland and the National Trust for Scotland amongst others.

She has managed the community learning and outreach program at Trinity House Maritime Museum which includes everything from project managing and overseeing multi-partner projects to draping the museum in fake spider webs at Halloween!

She has also designed and delivered world of work, back to work and careers workshops and events for Springboard Scotland and Skills Development Scotland.

Karen is a qualified Mental Health First Aider and Arts Award assessor.

Nicola Wright

Storyteller, historical interpreter, tour guide and trainer

Nicola is a storyteller, historical interpreter, tour guide and trainer who combines her passion for history with a love of dressing up.

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Nicola trained in History and Politics at the University of Warwick and her career has spanned education, tourism, support work for vulnerable adults and their families and training, including training tour guides for Mercat Tours.
For Illuminate UK she provides workshops, training and tours at Trinity House Maritime Museum, Craigmillar Castle and Linlithgow Palace.  She has driven forward the outreach program at Trinity House, delivering programs to develop links between school pupils and homes for older people, developing a family program of trails and activities and taking her storytelling session out to early years centres.
Nicola is a qualified Mental Health First Aider and Arts Award assessor.

Hannah Ayre

Artist, educator and creative producer

Hannah is a participatory artist, educator and creative producer. She works with audiences to create socially engaged artwork, ranging from small-scale crafts to large-scale installations and events.

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Throughout her career she has worked with a wide range of audiences of all ages, in both formal and informal learning settings. Hannah has always been passionate about creating accessible cultural experiences. 

 Her Illuminate portfolio includes heritage themed arts and craft projects and creative garden design. Projects start with participants discovering historic sites, objects and archives. Groups then go on to create individual or collaborative art works which respond to the themes they have been engaged with.

Victoria Bianchi

Theatre maker, educator & researcher

Victoria is a theatre maker, facilitator and researcher based in Glasgow.
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Her work explores feminism, history and autobiography, and she has created several site-specific theatre performances in addition to more traditional works.

As writer-in-residence for South Ayrshire Arts Partnership, she created three new plays exploring the interplay between space, gender and heritage in performance practice. She has worked as a writer and facilitator for a number or organisations including, amongst others, the National Trust for Scotland, MacRobert Arts Centre, A Play, A Pie and A Pint and the Tron Theatre.

In addition to her theatre work, Victoria lectures in Drama and Performance at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh

Callan MacCormick

Actor, drama workshop leader and script writer

Callan is a presenter, acting tutor and production manager who adapts scripts, directs and creates productions with both training students and in professional theatre.

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Her passion is to see sparkling eyes whether that is those participating in a drama workshop or watching a piece of theatre. Callan loves finding creative solutions to present any subject.

Callan trained in Psychology at the University of Stirling and her career has spanned education, tourism, training, and theatre work. She has worked with children excluded from school, young carers, inclusion in the arts projects, adult mental health groups and women’s groups on drama based projects for confidence and wellbeing.

For Illuminate UK she provides workshops and training at Claypotts and Huntly castles. She has presented character led tours in first person in Stanley Mills and in schools as Mary Queen of Scots and a WWII teacher.  She also led a drama project at Queen’s gallery, Holyrood Palace, bringing to life Canaletto’s Venice with groups of visiting school children.

She works closely with SQA Acting and Musical Theatre courses at various centres in Scotland.

Lindsey Gibb

Storyteller and Workshop Leader

Lindsey is a professional storyteller with over 10 years experience, telling in a variety of places from historic buildings to woodlands.

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She spent many years working in education in the environmental sector leading and teaching a huge range of groups from pre school to older people.

More recently she has become involved in working in history, heritage and archaeology and joining Illuminate UK fulfils her ambition of working in heritage education.

She looks forward to working with the schools and believes anyone can tell a story and be a storyteller.

knowledgeable and flexible

Delivering high-quality work with a friendly and knowledgble team

We pride ourselves in our flexibility – approaching each new client and project with open minds and an open manner.  It is important to us that clients know they are in experienced hands yet with a fresh, creative and dynamic approach.


If you have any questions please just get in touch.