Trowbridge Town Hall joins National Theatre-led Theatre Nation Partnerships

Trowbridge Town Hall Trust joins National Theatre-led Theatre Nation Partnerships network to build audiences for theatre across the UK.

  • 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 including Wiltshire 
  • 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

Trowbridge Town Hall Trust is joining the Theatre Nation Partnerships (TNP) network today. 

TNP is a collaboration between 14 organisations across 13 areas, combining local expertise with nationally-delivered activity to build and sustain audiences for theatre across England. Activity includes touring to local venues and into schools, participatory opportunities and in-depth engagement with community groups. 

Three productions will tour directly into schools over the next three years, with a touring production of new play Shut Up, I’m Dreaming visiting secondary schools from January 2023, as part of a national tour 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.

Already announced, an epic multi-version production of The Odyssey will be retold in five episodes created and performed by artists and communities, with the Trowbridge Town Hall Trust episode taking place in the Town Hall in April 2023. The production marks the fifth anniversary of Public Acts, the NT’s nationwide initiative to create extraordinary acts of theatre and community. 

The other 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.

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 outside London 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”.  

Alan Wright, Director of Trowbridge Town Hall Trust. “It is an extraordinary honour for the Trust to be part of such a wide-ranging national initiative. In just ten years, the Trust has grown from a small volunteer-based, community group into an organisation that has demonstrated its value as a community asset, providing the opportunity for people of all ages and backgrounds a platform from which to express themselves. 

Our partnership with the National Theatre will serve to amplify this voice throughout north-west Wiltshire and beyond. We now look forward to our major refurbishment programme with even more anticipation as we aim to make Trowbridge a beacon of creativity the town can be truly proud of.”