Lady Studholme: Chair of Exeter Northcott 2014-2021
Lucy Studholme has been Chair of Exeter Northcott Theatre since 2014. Stepping into the role at one of the most challenging points in the theatre’s history, she steered the organisation through huge changes, working indefatigably to ensure that Exeter’s flagship theatre could continue to deliver excellent shows to the people of Devon and beyond. She finishes at her term as both trustee and Chair with the charity in a strong and stable position, renewed support from its stakeholders and audiences, and bold plans for the future.
We’re welcoming six new trustees to our board!
As Lady Lucy Studholme steps down as Chair of Exeter Northcott Theatre after seven years at the helm, Becky Chapman and Ben Qasim Monks join the company as Co-Chairs to jointly lead the charity along with ten current trustees and four more new to the team: Sarah Elghady, Swati Gola, Joseph Leyland and Alice Smith.
It’s going to be a comedy-filled Summer at the Northcott!
This August and September, we’re thrilled to present three back-to-back comedy theatre shows!
First up is the return of Mischief, with The Play that Goes Wrong. Didn’t get a chance to see Treasure Island over Christmas? Local comedy favourites Le Navet Bete are reprising the show. And the fun doesn’t end there! We’re also bringing back their sell-out success The Three Musketeers – A Comedy Adventure.
Good News: We’ll Receive Support from the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund
We’re very happy to share that we, along with many of Exeter’s arts and heritage organisations including DMF Music, Exeter Phoenix, Le Navet Bete, Kaleider and the Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery (RAMM), will receive support from the Cultural Recovery Fund to help us recover and reopen in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Antigone – Cast announced and tickets on sale now!
A rarely-performed version of Antigone by Bertolt Brecht, this production is being made exclusively for digital streaming. Staged in the theatre with a full professional cast alongside a chorus of students from The University of Exeter Drama Department. Originally planned as a live show, we decided to pivot to a digital event when the second lockdown was announced.
Community Commissions Announced!
We’re delighted to support two community initiatives, bringing people together to get creative.
Amy Hopwood’s Duryard Songwriting Project will draw together a group of residents living in the Duryard area, and support them to write, sing, record and share their own neighbourhood song.
Johanna Korndorfer’s Seeding Ideas Kiosk, is a co-commission with Exeter Seed Bank which will enable seed-swapping and seed storytelling to take place in schools, parks, festivals and on any street.
In Search of Rainbows: Call-Out for Lockdown Footage and Images!
Part of The Time (for change) Is Now, Hannah Baxter-Freeman is creating a short film looking back on lockdown experiences; moments of happiness captured throughout this whirlwind year. In Search of Rainbows will showcase a reflective monologue, original music and… your videos and photos!
Delving into the Past to Shape our Future
Dating back to 1967 the extensive Northcott archive includes posters, programmes, board minutes, photographs and many other artefacts that convey a range of perspectives of the theatre’s story so far. A number of interns have been working closely with Special Collections at the University of Exeter to identify items that resonate with them and would be compelling conversation-starters about the role of theatre now. With the archive as a starting point, we have planned a number of events to explore our history and spark debate about emerging themes.
The Time For Change Is Now: Three New Digital Projects
We’re pleased to have commissioned three South West artists to create digital projects that reflect on what the last year has taught us about ourselves, our society and the changes that are needed when we finally emerge from this crisis.
LGBTQIA Loneliness and Exclusion Project Is Taking Shape
We’re collaborating with Exeter University, The Intercom Trust and artist Nathalie McGrath to help create a new play with people living in the South West, exploring the long history of LGBTQIA loneliness and exclusion.
Mistreatment and exclusion from society has meant LGBTQIA communities have created their own spaces for solidarity, creativity, and dialogue. Dr Charlotte Jones and Dr Fred Cooper from the University of Exeter will work with organisations and individuals in Devon and Cornwall to discuss and investigate the issues LGBTQIA people are facing. Playwright Natalie McGrath will write the new play together with LGBTQIA communities, through a series of creative workshops held in collaboration with the Intercom Trust, the main charity in the South West supporting LGBTQ+ people through training, activities, and legal issues.
The performance will be part of a week-long festival, with corresponding events, workshops, discussion forums, and stalls.
Yusuf Niazi Appointed Associate Director
We’re thrilled to announce that Yusuf Niazi will join the Northcott team as Associate Director. Yusuf is a Theatre Director, Movement Director and Workshop Facilitator from Birmingham, who graduated from Mountview Academy, trained at Middlesex University and has directed shows in theatres across the UK and internationally.
Passionate about taking important themes and embedding them into good stories, Yusuf is also dedicated to increasing representation of members of the LGBTQ+ community, Black, South Asian and East Asian people in his work.
Treasure Island will be streamed online!
Le Navet Bete’s version of Treasure Island at the Northcott Theatre was one of the few productions nation-wide able to play to a live socially-distanced audience over the Christmas period. With standing ovations and rapturous applause, audiences praised the show for offering much-needed laughter and some escapism after a difficult year. Unfortunately, when Devon was placed into Tier 3, the run was cut short. But not before it was filmed and made ready for global online release through a trailblazing partnership with Creative Industries Federation.
A heart-felt thank you to our friends at SLX Hire & Events
We’d like to say a huge thank you and acknowledge the generous support of SLX Events and Hire who have supported the production of Treasure Island.
SLX offered a large quantity of additional lighting equipment for the production with a hire value of £14,000.
SLX started from the back dock of the Exeter Northcott in the 1970s when a friendship was born between Maurice Marshall MBE and David Whitehead. Maurice was Chief Electrician at the time and David, his Deputy. The two friends took a decision in November 1979 to become business partners. Maurice pursued a dual career as a partner in SLX and also as chief electrician at the Northcott Theatre in Exeter, where he launched the careers of a number of the country’s top stage lighting designers and technicians. His services to drama and his commitment to training in theatre resulted in him being awarded an MBE.
Three New Northcott Productions Announced
We’re excited to announce that three new productions will be made and presented in Devon in 2021.
The first to open in March is The Honey Man, an absorbing tale about an unlikely relationship between an ageing West Indian recluse and a fiery sixteen year old heir to a country manor house. Written by Tyrone Huggins, it will be directed by Devon-based Director Alix Harris.
Antigone, Brecht’s version of Sophocles’ gripping political thriller, hits the stage in May. A collaboration between the Northcott’s professional team and an ensemble of Exeter University students, it pits a teenage girl against the power of the state, in a topical story of ‘strong man’ leaders and citizen power.
An adaptation of Michael Morpurgo’s Friend or Foe will be directed by the Northcott’s Artistic Director, Daniel Buckroyd, in June. Following two boys as they’re evacuated from London to Devon during the second world war, this adventurous tale for all the family will feature a mixed professional/community cast drawn from across the County, with information about how to get involved to be published soon.
We’re offering a COVID-safe chance to escape to Treasure Island this Christmas
Breaking Exeter Northcott Theatre box office records back in September by exceeding sales for all previous on-sale dates for Christmas shows at the venue, Le Navet Bete’s Treasure Island is a comedy adventure set to provide audiences with a pure dose of escapism this festive season.
Daniel Buckroyd, Artistic Director & Chief Executive of Exeter Northcott said:
‘We all know that Christmas is a time for coming together, and this year, perhaps more than any in recent memory, I’m sure we’re all yearning to put the last twelve months behind us and celebrate our hope for a better year ahead. Which is why we’ve been determined to strain every sinew to get the Northcott open again and Covid-safe in time for families and friends to gather and share in the joy of watching a Christmas show together.’
New Opportunities, Commissions and Projects
With investment from the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund, we can now announce ambitious plans to support and celebrate local talent through 2021! With a range of creative opportunities for artists, young people and communities to kickstart a year of change and creative renewal.
Good News! – Culture Recovery Fund
The Northcott wins investment from the Culture Recovery Fund!
We’re re-opening for Christmas! And other news
Over the next few months, we’ll be bringing you a number of events, including support for up-and-coming South West artists through our continued Futures programme, theatre-making classes for young people and a swashbuckling family adventure for Christmas. Treasure Island: Booking…
Life In Suspension – A Collaboration Invite (Zoom chat)
We received loads of amazing submissions from so many people and Hugh Malyon and his associate artists are devising interesting ways of framing the second film: a community documentary on COVID-19, the lockdown and unique ways the community has subverted…