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National Theatre-led Theatre Nation Partnerships network extends to North Devon
National Theatre-led Theatre Nation Partnerships network extends to North Devon

National Theatre-led Theatre Nation Partnerships network extends to North Devon

• Theatre Nation Partnerships is an innovative network of theatres and community
organisations founded by the National Theatre in 2017 to grow nationwide engagement
with theatre
• The new programme will reach over 500,000 audiences, artists and participants across
England over three years
• New partner areas include Leicester, North Devon, Peterborough, Stoke-on-Trent
and Trowbridge
• Shut Up, I’m Dreaming, a new play devised by The PappyShow will visit 55 secondary
schools from January 2023
• A TNP production of Roy Williams’ Sucker Punch directed by Nathan Powell and
produced by Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch will tour to 10 venues from March 2023
• Theatre Nation Partnerships is supported by the National Theatre and a £1.25 million
award by Arts Council England, made possible thanks to National Lottery players

New partner organisations joining the Theatre Nation Partnerships (TNP) network today are
Restoke, Regent Theatre & Victoria Hall (Ambassador Theatre Group) in Stoke-on-Trent,
Peterborough New Theatre with Selladoor Venues, Queen’s Theatre Barnstaple and The
Landmark in Ilfracombe, North Devon with Selladoor Venues, Curve in Leicester, and
Trowbridge Town Hall. Together, the 14 partner organisations will engage over half a million
people over three years, more than doubling the existing reach of the network.
Three productions will tour directly into schools in TNP areas over the next three years, with a
touring production of new play Shut Up, I’m Dreaming visiting 55 secondary schools across the
country for 11 weeks from January 2023, reaching over 12,000 students. Devised and directed
by The PappyShow following residencies in three schools in Sunderland, Wolverhampton and
Wakefield to bring young people’s voices into the heart of the creative process, Shut Up, I’m
Dreaming explores the ambitions, hopes and feelings of the next generation in an uncertain
world. The touring production will be accompanied by a post-show Q&A, teaching resources
and professional development workshops for teachers.
A new TNP production of Roy Williams’ award-winning play Sucker Punch, produced by
Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch, will be touring nationally to nine TNP organisations as well as
New Wolsey Theatre from March 2023. Directed by Nathan Powell, Sucker Punch is a bruising
and funny play, winner of the Alfred Fagon Award, which explores being young and black in the
80s. Further tours of landmark productions will take place in 2024 and 2025.
Already announced, an epic multi-version production of The Odyssey will be retold in five
episodes created and performed by artists and communities in Stoke-on-Trent, Doncaster,
Trowbridge, Sunderland and at the National Theatre to mark the fifth anniversary of Public Acts,
our nationwide initiative to create extraordinary acts of theatre and community. The acclaimed
National Theatre production of The Ocean at the End of the Lane will also visit five TNP venues,
opening at The Lowry in Salford in December 2022 and visiting Leicester Curve, Sunderland
Empire, Regent Theatre in Stoke-on-Trent and Wolverhampton Grand Theatre in 2023.
Speak Up which sees young people working in collaboration with local artists and teachers to
lead creative projects will also extend to 55 schools including new areas of Leicester, Stoke-onTrent and North Devon in January 2023. This dynamic programme has been developed with
Theatre Nation Partners to inspire young people to speak up about the issues that matter to
them and will reach 140,000 young people nationwide.
Theatre Nation Partnerships is supported by a £1.25million award from Arts Council England,
made possible by National Lottery players. The National Theatre will triple this investment
through further fundraising and commercial activity, and almost 90% of the total will be spent
directly in partner areas.
Rufus Norris, Director of National Theatre said, “Theatre Nation Partnerships has shown how
effectively a network of theatres can work together to inspire new audiences for theatre, deepen
roots within communities and create more opportunities for the next generation to engage in the
arts. Our nationwide work is a key part of the National Theatre’s activity and we look forward to
welcoming our new partners on board, learning from each other and creating an even bigger
impact across the country over the next three years.”
Frazer Hoyle, Theatre Director for The Ambassador Theatre Group’s Regent Theatre & Victoria
Hall in Stoke-on-Trent said, “We’re thrilled to be announced as a new partner area for the
Theatre Nation Partnerships network. This is a really exciting time both for our venues and for
Stoke-on-Trent as this partnership will bring a range of productions to our stages. It will also
allow us to engage with local communities and schools and help to provide a greater selection
of cultural offerings to the city.”