Youth Theatre: Summer Applications Open

Applications are now open for the summer youth theatre courses. Below is a run down of what each group will be working on.

You can apply online, or by downloading an application form and sending it to Friargate Theatre. The deadline for applications id Monday 16th April.

Pull The Strings

Sock, shadow, table top. Bring to life a wide variety of puppets with Junior Youth Theatre this term.

Have fun while you create characters, make your own puppet, and turn a mop into your Great Aunt Mildred. Discover what it takes to become an excellent puppeteer while developing your character building and storytelling skills. This term – you pull the strings!

16th April – 2nd July
(Except Bank Holidays – 7th May, half term – 28th May & 2nd July)

Cost: £80 (Bursaries are available, please ask)


Site Works

‘All the world’s a stage’
As You Like It. Act II Scene VII (Shakespeare)

This term will challenge you to create theatre in and for unconventional spaces. Inspired by work from site-specific theatre companies such as Coney, PunchDrunk, and Blast Theory, we will head out of the theatre to find our own stages. Throughout the sessions there will be opportunities to work with existing text, sharpen up your writing skills, and devise your own site works.

17th April – 26th June
(Except Half Term – 29th May)

Cost: £80 (Bursaries are available, please ask)


Weird World

What if… we are not alone? What if… you found you had a hidden power? What if the rest of the world became disabled…but you were not?

This term, building on last term’s work, we’ll be exploring some weird worlds from speculative fiction – HG Wells, John Wyndham, and many others – dramatising surprising short stories and working towards a scripted summer show to be performed on the 11th and 12th of July.

18th April – 27th June
(Except Half Term – 30th May)

Tech rehearsal: 10th July
Performance Dates: 11th – 12th July
Additional Saturday rehearsals TBC.

Cost: £70 (Bursaries are available, please ask)

Introducing Roughshod 2018

Andrew, Beth, Esther, Jared and Martha, our new Roughshod Company are in rehearsal right now, preparing to deliver a fast paced mix of theatre, comedy and insight to the world.

Specifically they’ll be delivering in the following places…

Roughshod Bases 2018

11 March – 17 March Newcastle
18 March – 28 March Maidenhead

(Easter break)

15 April – 21 April Loreto College, Manchester
22 April – 29 April Scotland
29 April – 8 May N Ireland
9 May – 19 May York
23 May – 28 May Aylesbury
29 May – 3 June week tbc

3 June – 23 June Mini Tour (Dates still available)

24 June – 30 June Reigate
1 July – 7 July Saddleworth (tbc)
8 July – 14 July Sheffield
15 July – 21 July Newcastle

29 July – 6 August Summer Theatre School

In each of these communities Roughshod will be performing their new revue show ‘Deliver’ as well as taking workshops into schools, churches, community centres, prisons and more. If you’d like a peek into the rehearsal room and to keep up with everything Roughshod are doing we’d suggest liking their Facebook page or following them on Twitter or Instagram.

Is your area missing out?

We still have spaces on the mini-tour for one night Roughshod performances. Get in touch with Bethan on 01904 655317 and you could bring Roughshod to your community.

Where Adventure Begins: Rehearsal photos

Straight back after new year and this week we’re putting the finishing touches to Where Adventure Begins, which goes on tour next week.

Here’s a few photos from the rehearsal room:

Created in partnership with New Wine the show explores the question of why it is important to communicate faith to children, both in church and at home. Real, touching and hilarious, this is an unmissable piece of theatre to deepen our understanding of ‘family’.

Watch the trailer here, or book tickets for the tour at: 


Faith In The Questions: Tour Dates

Dates are now available for the upcoming tour of Faith in the Questions. After a very successful run in York as part of the city’s Festival Of Ideas, the event is now touring the UK in January and February 2018.

The night includes a one-act play, Counting the Clouds, which is followed by a lively panel discussion with leading scientists looking at the many questions surrounding science and faith. Tickets are free for every event, and it’s not to be missed. Best suited to ages 16 and up.

Tour Dates and Box Office

Tickets for all Faith In The Questions events are free.
You can book tickets using the buttons below or call 01904 613000.


Monday 19th February (7.30pm) St Peter’s Church, Vauxhall, London Available on
the door
Tuesday 20th February (7.30pm) St James’, Tunbridge Wells Book Now
Wednesday 21st February (7.30pm) Verwood Methodist Church, Dorset Book Now
Thursday 22nd February (7.30pm) St Michael’s, Southampton Book Now
Friday 23rd February (7.30pm) St Michael’s Centre, Bristol Book Now
Saturday 24th February (7.30pm) Exeter Cathedral Book Now


Announcing… The Big Yorkshire Youth Theatre Festival

UPDATE: The Big Yorkshire Youth Theatre Festival is in the running for the Aviva Community Fund. A successful application will help us make the festival more accessible and enable more young people, from further-a-field to take part. But, to get the grant we need you help, so could we ask you to take a few minutes to register and vote for us? Here’s the link.

We’re excited to announce that we are partnering with York Theatre Royal for the Big Yorkshire Youth Theatre Festival in 2018. Taking place on the weekend of July 21st and 22nd, get the date in your diary!

It promises to be brilliant weekend packed with workshops, performances and a chance to meet other youth theatres in Yorkshire. There will also be opportunities to bring a short performance too.

A one day pass for either the Saturday or Sunday costs £20 or £30 to take part in the whole weekend.

We’ll have more information soon, but in the meantime you can email  and we’ll add you to the mailing list and let you know when booking opens.

Gospel Street: Production Photos

Last night we had a fantastic preview of GOSPEL STREET in York and the cast are now on the road heading for their first show up in Edinburgh.

Dynamic and powerful, the show takes stories from the four gospels and drops them onto a modern day street. It’s a wild ride through issues of life, death and miraculous street food.

Want a taste? Here’s a few photos from the dress rehearsal taken by Tom Jackson

Gospel Street is touring until the end of November. You can find your nearest Gospel Street performance here.

The People’s Passion – now available

We are very pleased to announce that next week The People’s Passion is now available to download!

A powerful piece of theatre and worship, The People’s Passion brings together a whole congregation to witness the events of Jesus’ last week. There are parts to play for groups and parts for individuals, music to underscore the text and moments of reflection. Riding Lights provides the script, you provide the cast.

This is an instant passion play which any church can create, bringing people together to tell the Easter story, with just a little preparation and no rehearsal.

The resources include:

  • Organisers Handbook with full instructions for creating the event
  • Full script & licence to perform The People’s Passion
  • Powerpoint slides of the script
  • Music underscore
  • Artwork for publicity

The People’s Passion will also soon be available as a hard copy, including a printed guide and memory stick that holds all of the digital resources. The download costs £40. The hard copy version will incur a charge for postage and packing.

The People’s Passion is a great way to gather your community together for a unique experience of the Easter story. Riding Lights has performed The People’s Passion at our annual Summer Theatre School, at Spring Harvest, and with a smaller group of about 20 people at Friargate Theatre. It works equally well with different numbers of people.

You can find out more at

Gospel Street: Tour dates online

The first tour dates are now on the website for GOSPEL STREET.

Take a look, and if you spot a performance near you please help spread the word!

Tell your church and invite your friends, GOSPEL STREET is a bold modern day telling of the gospel and we’re particularly keen for the show to encourage young people or those exploring faith.

If you think GOSPEL STREET could be perfect for your community, we still have a few performance dates available to book, including:

  • 22 October – 26 October (SE or SW England)
  • 29 October – 2 November (Wales and Midlands)
  • 19 November – 22 November (North England)

To find out more about hosting call Beth on 01904 655317 or email

Tour Dates

Here are the current performance dates, with more still to come. You can find out more about the show at or call us on 01904 613000.

No shows booked at the moment.

Where Adventure Begins: partnering with New Wine

We are very pleased to announce that in 2018 Riding Lights will be partnering with New Wine to produce a new show all about growing faith in the family.

Touring the UK from January to March 2018 Where Adventure Begins is a brilliantly entertaining show – real, touching and hilarious – an unmissable piece of theatre to deepen our understanding of ‘family’.

Here’s the trailer which is being show at New Wine events this summer:

Meet Jake, Jasmine and Ellie as they re-live their childhood and teenage experiences of Christian faith at home and at church.
Nobody knows how it will turn out, but everyone’s agreed that we need to keep together on the adventure of faith.

To find out more about hosting a performance for your church contact Jo Foster on 07855 403029 or email

Head over to to find out more and see the performance dates already booked in.

Summer School 2017: Tutors announced

We can now announce the tutors for all seven of our courses at this year’s Summer Theatre School.

There’s lots of familiar faces for any of you who are returning for 2017, though we are also very pleased that Abigail Oscroft, our new youth theatre director, will be leading Riding Lights Express along with Summer School regular Sally Maddison.

Here’s a quick summary of the courses and tutors:

Tutors: Sally Maddison & Abigail Oscroft

A dynamic, fast-moving, physical theatre production all in one week. This year the Express company will bring their energy and comic imagination to George Orwell’s satire Animal Farm.

FACE THE MUSIC (age 14-18)
Tutors: Erin Burbridge, Tim Burnage & Edith Kirkwood

Sing, dance and act your heart out all week with a production of the 1961 Broadway classic How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.

Tutors: Jonathan Bidgood & Owen Kingston

This course will not only create and perform some topical comedy sketches and stand-up routines but it will also learn how to film them. Devise it, script it, perform it, film it.

STAGE BY STAGE (age 19-90)
Tutors: Jon Boustead & Kelvin Goodspeed

Join this ambitious ensemble as they stage a play in a week, focusing on vivid characterisation and story-telling techniques. Stage By Stage will collaborate with members of Riding Lights Express to deliver a climactic production of George Orwell’s Animal Farm.

THE FULL WORKS (age 19-90)
Tutors: Rich Hasnip & Peter Hutchinson

For those who enjoy the fun and freedom of devising their own performance, through improvisation and exploring comic characters and situations. If you would like to create a sharp show, poking ‘serious’ fun at some of our current follies and foibles then this is the course for you!

Tutors: Paul Birch & Paul Burbridge

Calling writers: three short comic plays will be written at the beginning of the week. Calling actors: performing skills will be honed in readiness. Calling directors: who will learn some trade secrets and practice them by staging these new plays… written, directed and performed by Three Enterprise.

Tutor: Ollie Brown

This highly practical courses returns! Discover how to stage-manage a show successfully, rig and operate lighting and sound, as well as work with a director to bring one of the Summer School shows to life and to light.

So, has a particular course caught your eye or peaked your creative interest? If so, you can apply here.