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barrel organ is pleased to announce our 2022 programme

8 Apr 2022

Barrel Organ is pleased to announce:


In collaboration with NSDF, MIND Doncaster, Leighton-Linslade Town Council, ACCA Collab, supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

National touring company Barrel Organ today relaunches with details of a jam-packed programme of work and a new-look website. With a focus on work made in collaboration with communities, underrepresented artists and young people, the 2022 programme of work will take the organisation all over the country, empowering participants to take an imaginative leap and tell the stories they want to tell.

At NSDF in April, Barrel Organ will launch the third year of its bespoke mentorship programme for young companies working in collaborative theatre-making, Barrel Organ and Company. After successful programmes in 2020 and 2021, which supported companies Thunk-It and Votive, an emerging company will be supported for one year in the development of their first piece of work, as well as providing mentoring and organisational development support throughout. At NSDF 2022, Votive will present Choose Your Fighter, supported by Barrel Organ and Company.

In May, the company launches Town Squared, Barrel Organ’s brand-new civic participation project. Each year, the company will work with the population of a different small- to medium-sized town in England to find new, collaborative ways of making theatre and building community. After a series of weekly open-access workshops with brilliant artists and theatre-makers, those involved will work together to write, direct, design and perform in their own short plays, to be presented for anyone who wants to join in the fun. This year’s Town Squared project will be taking place in Leighton-Linslade, in Central Bedfordshire. The University of Sheffield’s Transforming and Activating Places programme, will support a student to work with the company to develop skills within the arts sector and explore what placemaking means for touring theatre.

In July, Barrel Organ will begin working with groups of young people in Yorkshire to explore what the legend of King Arthur can tell us about leadership in 2022. These workshops will form the basis of a mid-scale show, Arthur, made in collaboration with these groups.

In Autumn, Barrel Organ will return with LIVE, the company’s development programme for underrepresented artists. After two successful hybrid events in London and Holbeck, which supported artists including SpeakUp, Category: Peach and demo theatre collective, LIVE will return to Yorkshire later this year, with partnerships including Bradford Producing Hub and Barnsley Civic. Also in Autumn, Barrel Organ will collaborate with MIND Doncaster on a brand new participation project, Campfire.

Barrel Organ also today announces Ethel Maqeda, Jack Perkins and Kate Wasserberg joining as inaugural trustees. Individuals interested in joining as additional trustees are encouraged to contact the company for further information.

After the success of Tess Young Company in 2020-21 Barrel Organ continues the development of mid-scale production Tess in partnership with English Touring Theatre & a group of young people from all over the country who feel they don't have control over their own story.

The company is also excited to be starting a new creative collaboration with Leeds-based dance collective ACCA Collab on the development of a new dance project.

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