Life in a Northern Town Logo

Four leading theatre companies in the North have announced a unique collaboration to support young people to develop their playwriting skills. The project will focus on reaching young people in places that have often been overlooked, inspiring them to explore and reflect on their experience of growing up in their hometowns. The ambition is to create a bold new programme of touring work that represents the hopes, frustrations and imaginations of a diverse group of new writers growing up in the region.

Life in a Northern Town is a playwriting programme created by Northern Broadsides, Barnsley Civic, Blackpool Grand Theatre and The Customs House (South Shields) and is supported by Arts Council England.

What will young people get from the programme?

Young people aged 14 – 29 will work with their local theatre partners through workshops, a writing residency, peer to peer learning, mentoring and masterclasses. The focus of the programme will be on how the places we live make us who we are and how to transform those experiences into bold, accessible theatre. It will be shaped by Manchester playwright Chris Thorpe, working with each partner venue on the delivery of the programme and acting as mentor and dramaturg.

Life in a Northern Town is free to join.

“We want to hear what life is like for young people growing up across the north, creating a platform with our partners in Barnsley, Blackpool and South Shields to champion voices from places that perhaps have been overlooked. As a national touring company based in Halifax, we are passionate about how theatre can connect people and hope this programme will result in a bold programme of touring work by a generation of new writers from across the region that reflects how their hometown has shaped them.”

Laurie Sansom, Artistic Director and Joint CEO of Northern Broadsides