Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone! Guess what my new years resolution is? To blog here more (and not to let Matthew edit my blogs, to make them sound like he wrote them)!

Well, Christmas is over and done with, and yesterday was the first day back at school for us. Quite literally, in that we spent the afternoon, with one of our Children’s University Classes. This season we are working with the Children’s University to bring Rapunzel to King Georges Hall, which means we get to work with 4 different local primary schools on the run up to the show


I know what you’re thinking? 4 different schools? That is a lot of kids! And you’re right it is, but we only work with the year fives – the best year if you ask me – you get to be top of the school without having to worry about exams or look at Secondary Schools yet.

Of course, when we work with school groups the project is a little different to when we work with one of our other community groups. I worked with the headteachers to find an appropriate show for the children to work with rather than let them choose it themselves and then we deliver 6 sessions into school teaching them all about the theatre. Everything from what happens back stage to how to work out ticket prices. It is a really interesting way of combining the arts with other subjects like, Maths, English and Technology.

Yesterday was our second session and we looked at how we market a show in particular persuasive writing and poster design.

We set the kids a task, to write a blurb and come up with a title for a show based on just a few main points of a story. But the twist was that these stories were actually well known films. It was really good fun, and when they realised what we had done, well you should have seen their faces!

Want a go yourself? Here is one example from yesterday’s class…

What happens in the show:

An astronaut moves to the wild west and falls out with the local sheriff. After an arguement the end up lost in the wilderness and have to work together to get home again. There are also giant lizards, talking vegetables and soldiers.

What title would you give it?

Lost Friendship

Write a blurb to go on the back of a leaflet:

Two men who fall out with each other, get lost in the wilderness all because of an argument. As they walk forward they will experience minor difficulties.

This is so heart warming it will blow your mind. This will persuade you to watch this show with your family. I will ensure you that this is a five star rated show. You should not miss this show. GET YOUR TICKETS NOW!!!! You shouldn’t miss out!!!

Did you guess which well loved film this was based on? An astronaut and a cowboy? It was of course Toy Story!

We left them to design their posters, I can’t wait to see what they come up with!




Is it time for an intervention?


Hi everyone, it’s Stephie here, the other plug! I thought it was about time I stepped in and introduced myself – not to mention the fact that Matt does seem to have gotten a little addicted to blogging. He is thorough though, I’ll give him that, and has covered all our adventures. So I thought I would post something a little different today. We’ve just sent out our first press release, and it got me thinking about what it is exactly about the Plugged In project that is so important.

Just as a recap, in a nutshell, Plugged In gives local communities the chance to hand pick the shows they want to see in their local theatre. Whether that be, music, theatre, contemporary dance, children’s theatre or magic, if I can find it, they can programme it. So far my favourite part of this project has been the conversations with people and not just because I am a chatterbox. Initially when we approach a group, the conversation can be a bit hesitant, I think they may think that we are looking for them to give us the right answer. There is no right answer, or wrong answer, and once we get going it is so interesting to hear peoples opinions on their area, their venue, and what art and theatre means to them. I’m yet to meet a group who have no opinion whatsoever.

People may start off telling you that theatre isn’t for them, or that they aren’t into art, but ten minutes later you’ll find that they are passionate about murder mysteries or historical novels or have an unexpected talent for Origami. They might not be interested in theatre as a stand alone art form but they would love to see Agatha Christie on stage, or a historical retelling of the life of Anne Boleyn, or even to just come along to see how an entire set was crafted from paper.

Part of the reason this project exists is because Pennine Lancashire is seen as an area of low engagement.  That means, statistically people aren’t getting involved with the arts. But after three months of working on this project I can’t help but feel it might be that the arts aren’t getting involved with people. We meet with a lot of groups who are already in some way shape or form engaging with art, whether that be through cake decorating or painting. People in Pennine Lancashire are taking it upon themselves to make, create and appreciate art, they just aren’t necessarily doing these things in your traditional arty places, like our theatres.

My biggest hope for this project is that by having these conversations with people, and finding out not only what show they would like to see but also about individual artistic interests we can gradually get people to see our theatres and venues as places for them.

What do you think? What area of art are you interested in?


ps. If you are looking for something to get the little’uns interested in theatre, be sure to check out all our Autumn shows, I’ve just finished getting them all up on our Facebook page!