ETT to take outdoor performance space to Newcastle and Keswick

Last Updated on 15 June 2021 by Showcall Editorial Team

ETT’s Trailer Story will bring an outdoor performance space to Newcastle upon Tyne and Keswick with Northern Stage and Theatre by the Lake this summer

ETT Trailer Story
Artwork showing how ETT’s Trailer Story will look

ETT, the leading touring theatre company, is going back to its roots to take an outdoor performance space to communities in the north of England.

Trailer Story will tour to Newcastle and Keswick in Cumbria in July and August 2021, in partnership with Northern Stage in Newcastle upon Tyne and Theatre by the Lake at Keswick.

It will host weekend-long programmes of performances, featuring artists that are local and from around the UK, as well as community events.

The project is inspired by ETT’s origins as Century Theatre, one of the first touring companies founded after the Second World War, which toured the UK in a pop-up space in a trailer called The Blue Box.

Trailer Story will present performances housed in a touring truck, usually used to tour production sets around the country. Designed by Jon Bausor with Tina Torbey, it is being reimagined as a space for artists and audiences to meet, built with sustainability at its core and allowing for socially distanced performances.

It will begin with a residency in Newcastle city centre from 30 July to 1 August, with support from NE1 Ltd, and then be at Crow Park in Keswick from 5 to 8 August, with support from the National Trust.

ETT (English Touring Theatre) will have some programming that travels with the truck but it will also offers a platform for local artists in each area to take over the space, making the festival unique to each location. Programming and full list of artists involved are still to be announced.

In a statement, artistic director Richard Twyman and executive producer Sophie Scull said: “Trailer Story sits at the heart of our plans for 2021. It’s a project that harnesses ETT’s rich history, transformed and re-invented for the present day.

“Our touring truck is inspired by the company’s origins – when Century Theatre toured to towns and cities in a fleet of trucks converted into a performance space called The Blue Box – but responds to the impact of the pandemic on our communities.

“We want to provide a safe and joyful space to come together and celebrate live arts, and the immense diversity and talent of our country’s artists.

“We hope to make Trailer Story an annual platform for national and local theatre-makers, performance artists and musicians to share their work with audiences outdoors – empowering communities and celebrating imagination.”

This year, ETT have also released Children’s Children, a series of five monologues curated by Amber James exploring the interaction of the past with the present and celebrating black history, and That Podcast, a 12part magazine-style podcast series that tells the story of a nation and a world in rapid transition.


About Mark Ludmon 318 Articles
Mark Ludmon has been a journalist for over 20 years, specialising in theatre, hospitality and drinks after starting in regional daily newspapers. He has an MA in early modern literature and history, focusing on Elizabethan and Jacobean drama, and a theatre studies MA from Royal Central School of Speech & Drama. He is a former panellist for the Olivier Awards. He tweets at @MarkLudmon.