Playhouse aims to fuel passion

The full cast of the up and coming Duchess High School The Crucible cast ready for their workshop.
The full cast of the up and coming Duchess High School The Crucible cast ready for their workshop.

Youngsters from the Duchess’s Community High School took part in a special workshop at Alnwick Playhouse – as part of the venue’s aim to ‘inspire the next generation of performers’.

The pupils, some of whom will be performing Arthur Miller’s classic play, The Crucible, at the Playhouse later this year, attended the session last week.

The class was held by Switchback Productions, who later performed Lucy and the Hawk at the Bondgate Without-based venue.

The workshop was part of the Playhouse’s ambition to work with youngsters throughout the region to help fuel their passion for theatre and the arts.

Playhouse manager Jo Potts said: “Our aim at the Playhouse is to inspire the next generation of performers and theatre makers.

“Young people are at the core of the programme at the Playhouse, as part of the learning and participation programme, and we want to involve schools all over Northumberland.

“Because of my background in education, I want theatre companies who come in to work with young people.

“We are trying to offer the young people a window to the wider arts scene.”

The Alnwick school’s Senior Drama Group is gearing up to perform The Crucible – a dramatisation of the Salem witch trials – for three nights in November.

Cast members took part in the workshop.

Jo said: “The whole workshop was about devising theatre and how they would create their own bit of theatre.

“The Crucible is a classic text while ‘devisive theatre’ is at the other end of the spectrum and the workshop gave the students experience of this.

“The people from Switchback Productions were very impressed with the students.

“They were impressed by their intelligence and knowledge of theatre and that is testament to the students and the work that is being done at the high school.”

Switchback Productions is a new group and the Playhouse is keen to work with new artists and theatre companies.

○ Switchback Productions is performing comedy Lucy and the Hawk at Northern Stage, in Newcastle, today and tomorrow. For information, visit