SLYNCS Group complete Arts Award


Last night was our final session working with the SLYNCS Girls Group on their Bronze Arts Award Portfolio. For those of you who have never heard of arts award before, it’s a bit like the arty equivalent of the Duke of Edinburgh.

Over the last two months the girls have taken part in drama workshops, reviewed a touring piece of theatre, researched environmentally responsible artists, discussed the role art has in their community, helped out at our Storytelling Festival in Blackburn, chosen an artist that inspired them and shared their own art skills with their peers.

One of the biggest challenges the group faced was recognising what might be classed as art. Many of them aren’t particularly interested in drama, they don’t play a musical instrument and they don’t draw or paint, so they’d firmly placed themselves in the ‘not arty’ category.

Most of the discussions we had revolved around this. What else might be classed as art, and how might art be influencing them in ways they didn’t realise. We spoke about female actors who used their fame as a platform to raise awareness of equality. We looked at how instagram was actually an incredibly popular form of consuming art every day. And we looked at how art might be much more influential in shaping their ideas and politics than they might realise.

Then when it came to sharing their own arts skills we looked at how the things they were already interested in might be classed as art. How is hair and make up used for stage? Baking a cake might not be art but how do you decorate it.

It’s been a really interesting couple of months, and I think the girls have probably learnt more than they realised! Now I’ve got to mark up their portfolios documenting their entire experience ready for their moderation date on Tuesday.

I’m definitely more nervous than the girls are. This is our first group of young people to complete their portfolios, and my first time going through the moderation process.

Fingers crossed all goes smoothly!


Want to find out more about Arts Award and Plugged In’s work with young people? Get in touch by emailing



We’ve recently been putting together some photographs of the project so far, and we’ll be adding more as we go!

Next DLT Community Group Meeting

The next meeting for the DLT Community Promoters group will be on Tuesday 5th January at 1pm, with a second meeting being held at 7pm. The meeting will be held in the theatre foyer.

We will mainly be discussing Showstopper! The Improvised Musical, marketing plans, and

New members welcome, please email to find out more.

Matt’s Edinburgh Adventure

As you will note from the previous blog post bellow, I was very lucky to attend the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this year with our wonderful community groups. To make the best of our two days up there, we split up to make sure we saw as many shows as possible.  Below are my reviews. Some good, some bad, some semi-good/bad. Continue reading Matt’s Edinburgh Adventure

Edinburgh Fringe Festival – The community review

Hello fans of reading! Tis I, Bonny Matthew, back froom the land o’McStereotypes – Scotland. With a fried mars bar in my stomach and a Braveheart video cassette in my minds eye I present to you the best of this years community group fringe visit. What did they see? Who did they rate? Where are they now? What is a video cassette?

On the last Friday of the fringe, I met up with some of the key movers and shakers in Nelson Park Pavilions cafe redevelopment. They are helping promote Old Herbaceous at the ACE Centre in Nelson on Friday 13 November. Shows they review for us at the fringe included – Continue reading Edinburgh Fringe Festival – The community review

Preparation for ‘Instructions for American Servicemen in Britain’

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Hello everyone! How are you? I spent the weekend recovering from an amazing day on Friday promoting ‘Instructions for American Servicemen in Britain’ in Darwen Markets. The day was organised by our Darwen Library Theatre Community Promoters and was an amazing success. Continue reading Preparation for ‘Instructions for American Servicemen in Britain’

Edinburgh Fringe 2015: What Stephie Saw…


Four days I was in Edinburgh, and I’ve still managed to come back with Fringe flu (it’s a real thing), but a snotty nose and a slightly higher temperature are a small price to pay for such an amazing theatre, comedy and admittedly coffee fueled weekend.

In just over 3 days I saw 16 shows, which may sound like a lot, but I have a feeling Lyndsey, the programmer for our sister project Spot On will put me to shame with her tally when she returns. However, I will remain smug, because all 16 shows I saw were incredible. AND If you read my tips for visiting the fringe post, you’ll know that having a 100% success rate with your shows is no small feat, but enough bragging, lets get into the knitty gritty of what I saw, and the seeds of great (if I do say so myself) plans they have planted! Continue reading Edinburgh Fringe 2015: What Stephie Saw…

Open Daze

I write this in a state of tiredness usually only reserved for the recently tranquilizer gunned. I’m comfortable with the grammar of that last sentence, because I’m tired.

The reason for me feeling like this is thanks to an exhausting Open Day at Darwen Library Theatre. It was, by all accounts, an on-target type of day. Many of the little goals I had set myself were achieved and ultimately, no one took a tranquilizer to their hind legs. This is the best possible outcome.

We welcomed just over 60 members of the public in 4 hours. This may not sound like a huge amount, but with over 2 hours worth of activities, those who did come stuck around and enjoyed themselves immensely. Most took away a handful of flyers too, suggesting that the shows at Darwen Library Theatre are popular. I hope to see a few back at our Plugged In shows there. Continue reading Open Daze

A beginners guide to visiting Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Image taken from Edinburgh Fringe website.

This weekend the Edinburgh Fringe Festival kicks off. The largest arts festival of it’s kind in the world, this year there are over 3000 different shows on offer.

3000 shows, sounds like an awful lot of shows, even to somebody, who eats, drinks and sleeps theatre.

There’s no way you could see them all, and when faced with a hefty guide containing all those shows, in which every company has done their absolute best to make their show sound like the ONE TO WATCH, it can feel almost impossible to know which shows are actually worth seeing, and which maybe aren’t.

If you’ve never been to the fringe festival before, or even if you have, and still feel a bit overwhelmed by it (when I first hit the royal mile in August that is exactly how I will be feeling) then here a few handy tips of how to go about visiting the greatest show on earth… Continue reading A beginners guide to visiting Edinburgh Fringe Festival