Curve joins National Theatre-led Theatre Nation Partnerships network to build audiences for theatre across Leicester

Mon 10 Oct 2022
  • 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 Leicester
  • 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

Leicester’s Curve is joining the Theatre Nation Partnerships (TNP) network.

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 in Leicester over the next three years, with a touring production of new play Shut Up, I’m Dreaming visiting secondary schools across the area 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.

A new TNP production of Roy Williams’ award-winning play Sucker Punch, produced by Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch, will also be touring to Leicester 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.

Speak Up which sees young people working in collaboration with local artists and teachers to lead creative projects will also extend to schools in Leicester 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.

The other new partner organisations joining the Theatre Nation Partnerships (TNP) network 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, 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.

Curve’s Chief Executive Chris Stafford and Artistic Director Nikolai Foster said:

“We are thrilled Curve has joined Theatre Nation Partnerships, collaborating with the National Theatre and theatres across the country. Getting into schools and community settings is vital right now. Engaging young people, future theatre-going generations and local communities is a large part of who we are and what we do. This initiative helps drive this area of our work forward with added momentum and it’s great the National Theatre is supporting work like this, which will make a real difference to our communities here in Leicester.”

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”.   

The acclaimed National Theatre production of The Ocean at the End of the Lane will also visit Curve 31 January to 11 February 2023 as part of a national tour, with tickets on sale now. To find out more and book visit, call 0116 242 3595 or visit Curve’s Box Office in-person.