Box of Tricks hits the road: 3 days, 5 cities, 6 theatres 09/07/2014

As part of this year’s organisational development, Box of Tricks has been getting back to our vagabond roots: hitting the road and making some new friends! Last week, we visited a number of theatres in Yorkshire and the North East.

First stop on our theatrical road trip was Hull and a trip down memory lane for AD Adam who got to revisit his heady student days. We met Kate Denby and Nick Lane at Hull Truck, who gave us a tour of the theatre spaces and chatted about their programme, our plans and the state of theatre in general.

Thursday we stepped up a gear; waking up in Hull; breakfasting in the shadow of York Minster ahead of a meeting with our lovely PR representative Duncan Clarke in the yellow and tricolore-bedecked York Theatre Royal; and ending the day in Newcastle with meetings with Jo Cundall and Katie Catling at Northern Stage and Graeme Thompson at Live Theatre. Our jam-packed day was rounded off by an energetic and entertaining preview performance of The Letter Room’s Bonenkai back at Northern Stage – catch it in Edinburgh if you’re heading up!

Inspired by York’s new yellow hue we decided to check out other preparations for Le Tour and breakfasted in Harrogate (gorgeously arrayed in yellow bunting, bicycles and mini knitted maillots jaunes) before having a lovely chat and tour of Harrogate Theatre with Kevin Jamieson. To finish the day we headed down to Leeds for a look at Slung Low’s HUB and a catch-up with Porl Cooper. While at Holbeck, we were also treated to a scratch sharing of Displace Yourself’s dystopian love story Eden so got to see the space in action.

Arriving back in Manchester relieved to have survived pre-Tour traffic we reflected on a very productive trip, and here’s what we learnt:

  • Theatre in the North is thriving.
  • There are some beautiful spaces and lovely people in Yorkshire and the North East, and we’re very lucky to have them.
  • There’s nothing like touring theatres to get the creative juices flowing; so many spaces we’d love to make work in!
  • Brunch is an excellent meal over which to discuss creative ideas and plans for world domination.
  • One can never have too much yellow bunting!

Huge thanks to everybody for their hospitality!

Hannah Tyrrell-Pinder
Joint Artistic Director, Box of Tricks