Warrington Borough Council, Not Too Tame and Shakespeare North Playhouse enter innovative new partnership

Tue 30 Apr, 2024

Warrington Borough Council, Not Too Tame and Shakespeare North Playhouse enter innovative new partnership which will open the door for thousands of Warrington residents to access theatre.

Shakespeare North Playhouse and Warrington based Not Too Tame have established a partnership with Warrington Borough Council to expand access to ambitious and inclusive theatre experiences. The collaboration aims to reach diverse audiences, including first-time theatregoers and communities who otherwise may not be able to afford theatre tickets, through a programme of audience development, events and workshops that will take place across Warrington in May. 

Shakespeare North Playhouse and Not Too Tame’s forthcoming production of Twelfth Night, is set to challenge traditional narratives and spotlight diverse voices. This transformative retelling promises to captivate audiences with its fresh approach to Shakespeare’s classic. The production will open at Shakespeare North Playhouse, Prescot in June but throughout May Warrington will be the location for events, performances and workshops for residents to get a taste of the show. 

A number of spoken word events and workshops including shared writing workshops and family workshops will take place in venues across the town including Warrington Museum and Art Gallery and Pyramid Arts Centre. For full listings see: What’s On – Culture Warrington 

A highlight of the taster activities will be special pop-up performances taking place in Warrington during May, giving Warrington residents the opportunity to view a sneak preview of the show ahead of its opening in June. These will be taking place on Friday 24 May at Warrington Market and Thursday 30 May at the Irish Club. Both at 7pm. 

In the development of the show,  open audition opportunities for diverse artists were held,  fostering community engagement. It was supported by Warrington Borough Council through the Government’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund, as part of its commitment to promoting cultural diversity and accessibility. 

Warrington Borough Council’s commitment of funding for Twelfth Night underscores its dedication to fostering inclusive cultural experiences for its residents. Through collaborative efforts, the production aims to achieve significant social impact, with projected outcomes including a diverse audience of 10,000 attendees and 1000 Pay What You Decide tickets for residents of priority Warrington postcodes.  

Following the resounding success of their previous collaboration, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which saw over 10,000 attendees, Shakespeare North Playhouse and Not Too Tame are gearing up for their highly anticipated sequel. A Midsummer Night’s Dream received rave reviews for its bold inclusivity, featuring emerging, working-class artists alongside established talents, and a deaf lead actor. The overwhelmingly positive reception, with 89% of audiences expressing a desire for more representative productions, sets the stage for Twelfth Night’s groundbreaking exploration. 

Twelfth Night will be a co-production infused with the spirit of the music industry, aiming to engage working-class audiences and artists while redefining conventional norms of love and life. With acclaimed artist Les Dennis headlining alongside a lineup that includes multiple Warrington-born artists and musicians, this production is poised to capture national attention. 

“We are delighted to partner with Warrington Council to bring this groundbreaking production to fruition,” said Claire Will, Director of Marketing and Commercial at Shakespeare North Playhouse. “Together, we are not only reimagining Shakespeare for contemporary audiences but also empowering diverse voices and communities.” 

Warrington Borough Council’s Head of Inclusive Economy, Leisure and Culture, Eleanor Blackburn, said: “Not Too Tame and Shakespeare North Playhouse have an excellent track record of creating innovative, high quality. theatre experiences, and we’re incredibly excited about this new collaboration, which will bring a fresh and inclusive take on Twelfth Night to audiences this June. 

“It will be a unique production, celebrating diverse voices and helping make theatre accessible for a broad audience. It’s also great news that, in the run-up to June, people in Warrington will be able to enjoy a range of performances, events and workshops. It’s a great way of connecting with people of all ages and bringing the magic of theatre direct to our communities.” 

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