Derby Theatre Highlights of 2015

Derby Theatre highlights for 2015


January: Derbyshire-based Jake Waring announced as the second recipient of The Brian Weaver Fellowship – a fellowship launched to provide a local aspiring actor with the chance to appear in two professional productions at Derby Theatre – as a result of a generous personal donation from Buxton Resident, Doreen Weaver, in memory of her late husband, Brian and his passion for theatre and the arts.

Jake Waring.

Plus One, the citywide ticket donation scheme which provides free experiences for children in care to see and participate in theatre, film and workshops in the city, takes over £12,000 through bucket collections during the run of A Christmas Carol at Derby Theatre, which ended its run during January.

February: Solace of the Road, a Derby Theatre production which tells the story of a young girl in care who goes on the road in search of her birth mother, opens to great critical acclaim. The production was supported and complemented by an 18-month project working with young people in care from the region and key partners, organisations and schools in the region.  The Guardian awards the production 4 stars and calls it a “A fast moving and fluid production, a runaway success”.

Ruby Glaskin appointed as new Creative Producer for In Good Company, the professional development programme for artists making work in the East Midlands.

March: Derby Theatre officially achieves Arts Council England National Portfolio status which confirms support for three years and offers a significant uplift in funding to support the production of theatre. #culturematters

Penelope RETOLD, part of the Theatre’s RETOLD series, which cracks open the classics from the perspective of the female characters, hits the road for a national tour. “A compelling monodrama” The Guardian.

Derby Theatre, Graeae and Dundee Rep Ensemble present an exciting, contemporary version of Lorca’s Blood Wedding.

April: Derby Theatre hosts the National Theatre Connections Festival for a third year, a festival for young people of theatre, performance, new writing and workshops.

May: Derby Theatre hosts a sell-out An Evening with Michael Morpurgo as part of the Derby Book Festival.

June: The Cultural Campus is further developed – where learning is co-produced with arts organisations across the city in
partnership with key organisations from the city and county, for the benefit of schools and students in the region. The Cultural Campus aims to ignite imaginations and inspire new ways of working.

July: Derby Theatre hosts DEparture Lounge, a summer festival of cutting edge theatre and performance, for a third year. The festival includes A Nation’s Theatre Develop Panel Discussion presented by Derby Theatre in association with Battersea Arts Centre and The Guardian and chaired by Lyn Gardner. Following DEparture Lounge, Lyn Gardner said: “Derby Theatre….increasingly one of the most important theatres in the region”

Derby Theatre and Milk Presents present JOAN, another production from the Theatre’s RETOLD series, performed by Lucy Jane Parkinson aka LoUis CYfer, Drag Idol Champion 2014. The production opens to an amazing response, from press and audiences alike, and is destined for a UK tour later in 2016. “An off-the-wall but highly intelligent piece of theatre, that swings from one perfectly executed mood to another” QUAD Youth Review

Derby Theatre announces the In Good Company associate companies and artists for 2015/16 – Egg Box Theatre, Zoo Indigo, Jack Britton, Impulse Collective and PAD Productions plus 4 individual graduate artists.   These emerging companies will benefit from mentorship, seed funding, rehearsal space and development.

new lights

Derby Theatre hosts the Schools Festival, a festival to showcase young talent from schools across the region.

August: Theatre Unwrapped is launched at Derby Theatre – a scheme which shares, for free, the theatre making process with members of the public.

September: Derby Theatre presents highly acclaimed, box office breaking production of Brassed Off. Local brass band, Derwent Brass and a young company of local actors, perform alongside a professional company of actors.

Derby Theatre hosts a Gala Performance of Brassed Off to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Theatre being at its current site.

Sarah Brigham

Sarah Brigham becomes Chief Executive, as well as Artistic Director, for Derby Theatre.

Derby Theatre is once again one of the artistic partners in Derby Festé – the festival returns for a spectacular 9th year in 2015.

Rachael Thomas
Rachael Thomas

November: Rachael Thomas joins Derby Theatre as Executive Director (Financial and Commercial) and a member of the Theatre’s senior management team.

Lekan Lawal is awarded a paid director residency at Derby Theatre as part of the national RTYDS (the Regional Theatre Young Director Scheme).


December: Cinderella, Derby Theatre’s inventive Christmas production for 2015/16 with live music, opens to fantastic responses from audiences and the press alike. “Exudes joy and happiness” The Stage.

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Look Back in Anger, John Osborne’s ground-breaking classic is officially announced as Derby Theatre’s big production for spring 2016. This revival production, directed by Sarah Brigham, will celebrate the 60th anniversary in a co-production with Octagon Theatre in Bolton.

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