We make bold, radical and accessible productions of classic and new plays that both reflect the diversity and multiplicity of voices in the north, and act as a catalyst for change throughout the region.



We place participation and artist development at our heart to make the work accessible to a broader demographic and nurture a greater diversity of voices on our stages. Each of our productions is made with a ‘creation squad’; a community to whom the piece is relevant to; but also people who would not usually engage in creating theatre. Quality Street is the beginning of a commitment to co-creating all of our work with local communities. This new model will transform the stories we tell together, re-invent how we make popular productions of classic plays and discover a new generation of northern artists.

Click here to find out more about our staff and board.



Our celebration of the diversity of the Northern voice makes us stand apart. We also adapt our work to any space on the venues we visit, both traditional theatres and non-velvet spaces. Our bold, accessible, unpretentious productions that have been playing to packed housed across the country (and internationally!) for 27 years give us a strong identity which has allowed us to form an unbreakable bond with our audiences. 



The Northern Voice is not a singular dialect or accent. The classics don’t belong to any one region, or voice – they’re part of our common culture. Using regional voices, in all of their forms, makes our performances engaging and immediate, allowing audiences to hear and appreciate the words like never before. Our work brings words to life by celebrating the poetry of language and creates a rapport between actor and audience. The texts have a timeless resonance, no matter when they were first written. 


2017 Executive Director Sue Andrews awarded WGGB Olwen Wymark Theatre Encouragement Award

Nominated by Writers Guild of Great Britain member playwright Deborah McAndrew (An August Bank Holiday Lark and the new adaptation of Charles Dickens Hard Times) for her support since Deborah’s first production for Northern Broadsides in 2004.

Deborah McAndrew said: “I have had eight plays produced by Northern Broadsides and Sue’s encouragement and hard work on my behalf has been fantastic throughout. She reads every draft and is unshakeable in her support of the writer.

“Sue’s determination in recent years that all new work for the company should be published has meant that four of my plays have been published by Methuen, including the 2017 production of my adaptation of Cyrano de Bergerac. I know that Sue was also behind the commissioning of An August Bank Holiday Lark, which won ‘best new play’ awards for me in 2014.

“She has made so much of my work possible from the very beginning right up to the present time and receives little or no public recognition for everything she does”.

2015 Actor and director Barrie Rutter awarded OBE for services to Drama in Queen’s New Year’s honour list

Barrie Rutter said “After weeks of zipped lips it’s a relief and a pleasure to share the news, especially with nearest and dearest. To be awarded an OBE is a great honour and one which I am delighted to receive. Huge gratitude to those who nominated and championed me and also to my colleagues, friends and audiences of Northern Broadsides whom I share this award with.” 

2015 Manchester Theatre Awards – Best New Play
AN AUGUST BANK HOLIDAY LARK by Deborah McAndrew, a Northern Broadsides production in partnership with New Vic Theatre, Newcastle-under-Lyme on tour.


Sanjeev Bhaskar OBE
Stephanie Cole OBE
Sir Tom Courtenay
Prof Edith Hall
Mike Harding
Roger Harvey OBE
Sir Lenny Henry CBE
Blake Morrison
Dame Ingrid Roscoe DCVO, FSA
The Rt. Hon. Lord Shutt of Greetland OBE, FCA
Meera Syal CBE


Chair: Rachel L Harris

Steve Bonfield, Nicky Chance-Thompson, Emma Goodway, Sarah Horne, Grant Stott, Rebecca Yorke.




2014 Manchester Theatre Awards – Best Actress in a Visiting Production
Catherine Kinsella, Rutherford & Son

2014 UK Theatre Award Winner – Best New Play
AN AUGUST BANK HOLIDAY LARK by Deborah McAndrew, a Northern Broadsides production in partnership with New Vic Theatre, Newcastle-under-Lyme on tour.

2013 A Night at the Awards – Best Actor
Barrie Rutter, Rutherford & Son

2013 A Night at the Awards – Best Supporting Actress
Sara Poyzer, Rutherford & Son

2010 The Pragnell Shakespeare Birthday Award
Presented to Barrie Rutter “For outstanding achievement in extending the appreciation and enjoyment of the works of William Shakespeare or in the general advancement of Shakespearean knowledge and understanding.”

2009 London Evening Standard Theatre Award
To Lenny Henry – Outstanding Newcomer Award – Othello

2006 Honorary Doctorate from the University of Huddersfield
To Barrie Rutter for his outstanding achievement with Northern Broadsides Theatre Company

2005 Honorary Doctorate from University of Bradford
Awarded to Barrie Rutter for his distinctive contribution as founder and director of Northern Broadsides.

2003 Shakespeare’s Globe Sam Wanamaker Award
To Barrie Rutter for his productions of Shakespeare.

2001 Honorary Doctorate from University of Hull

Awarded to Barrie Rutter for his services to theatre.

2000 Creative Briton Award
Barrie Rutter – Overall Winner.

2000 Liverpool Echo Arts Award
Best Visiting Production – Much Ado About Nothing.

1996 Prudential Award for the Arts

Commendation – Theatre.

1996 Manchester Evening News Award
Director Award to Barrie Rutter.
Best Visiting Production: The Cracked Pot.

1995 British Regional Theatre Award
Best Director: Barrie Rutter.
For Northern Broadsides’ A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Cracked Pot

1994 Manchester Evening News Theatre Award
Best supporting performance in a visiting production. – to John Branwell (Bottom) in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

1994 Shakespeare Globe Classic Award – The Tyrone Guthrie Award
To Barrie Rutter for A Midsummer Night’s Dream for Best Production.

1993 Time Out Magazine
To Barrie Rutter and Northern Broadsides for giving fresh voice to classical texts and making them more accessible to a wider audience.

1992 Independent on Sunday Stage Performance of the Year
To Barrie Rutter for his title role in Richard III.

We have also received many nominations over the years.