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New Writer in Residence sought by Live Theatre and Northumbria University

Northumbria University and Live Theatre have announced a call for applications for their next joint Writer in Residence to work across both organisations from September 2018.

The successful playwright will take part in a dynamic and exciting twelve-month residency, working at both Olivier Award nominated new writing theatre, Live Theatre, and Northumbria University, Newcastle, a Times Higher Education (THE) University of the Year Award 2017 nominee with a global reputation for academic excellence.

The successful candidate will receive a £20,000 fee, access to space, resources and equipment, cultural and research networks, and support from academic, creative and professional staff from both organisations. The 12-month residency will allow the writer to develop their own practice, with the potential for a further commission from Live Theatre beyond the residency period, and to share their expertise with communities at both Live Theatre and Northumbria University.

Jim Beirne, Chief Executive Live Theatre, said:

“We are delighted to be working with our partners at Northumbria University for a third year to offer this unique residency for a writer to work across both organisations, including the possibility of creating a play for Live Theatre. It is an exciting time to join us here at Live Theatre as we welcome our new Artistic Director, Joe Douglas, and have been nominated for our third Olivier Award in two years, an incredible achievement for a new writing theatre located outside of London.”

Steve Gilroy, Director of Performing Arts Programmes, Northumbria University added:

“The Writer in Residence is at the core of our creative partnership with Live Theatre and we’re really excited about the possibilities this year, with the arrival of Live Theatre’s new Artistic Director and the prospect of creating a new work in collaboration with Live Theatre.”

The Writer in Residence programme, now in its third year is the cornerstone of an exciting and innovative partnership between Northumbria University, Newcastle and Live Theatre, which began in 2015 to create cultural collaborations that connect with the people of the North East, enhance teaching and learning, inspire new research, and connect academic research with the world of professional theatre.

The first joint Writer in Residence was Paddy Campbell, writer of Live Theatre successes Wet House and Day of the Flymo, and a Northumbria University graduate. He was followed by the former Literary Associate at Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse, Lindsay Rodden who became Writer-in-Residence for 2017/18.

Potential applicants have until Friday 20 April to apply and for further information, including how to apply see

Northumbria University, Newcastle is a research-rich, business-focused, professional university with a global reputation for academic excellence.

One of the largest institutions in the UK with almost 34,000 students from more than 132 countries and over 186,000 alumni worldwide, Northumbria was shortlisted for University of the Year in 2017 and was also named 48th in the UK in 2017/18 by the Guardian – its highest league table position.  Northumbria has invested more than £250 million in its estate since 2005 to improve the student experience. Northumbria is ranked top 50 in the UK for research power and had the 4th largest increase in quality research funding (REF 2014). According to Times Higher Education, Northumbria had the biggest rise in research power of any university in the UK. Northumbria’s cultural partners include New Writing North, Live Theatre, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Tyneside Cinema and Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums.

NPA (Northumbria Performing Arts)

NPA is a vibrant research rich learning and teaching community comprising a BA Drama with additional pathways in Applied Theatre, Script Writing and Acting and Performance plus a Masters in Theatre and Performance. Our community includes internationally recognised professional practitioners working within a vibrant research culture that combines traditional scholarship and Practice as Research. Our research embraces community theatre and theatre and disability; performance and philosophy; biographical and autobiographical performance; and ethnography.

NPA has collaborative relationships and formal partnerships with a range of organisations from the arts, cultural and social sectors which impacts on teaching, research and professional practice. We have a strong international profile and relationships through research and industry practice.

About Live Theatre

Live Theatre has an international reputation as a new writing theatre. As well as producing and presenting new plays, it seeks out and nurtures creative talent.

“One of the most fertile crucibles of new writing” The Guardian

A high proportion of Live Theatre’s work regularly tours to other venues across the UK and internationally, including to Broadway and the Melbourne Festival. Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour, written by Lee Hall and co-produced with National Theatre of Scotland, won an Olivier Award for Best New Comedy and has completed a West End run in 2017 and The Red Lion by Patrick Marber, starring Stephen Tompkinson, transferred to London in winter 2017 and has been nominated for an Olivier Award 2018.

Live Theatre’s work with young people was recognised with an Outstanding Contribution Award at the North East Youth Work Awards and awarded Investors in Children status for its child-led approach.  It has the largest free drama education and participation programme in the region.

Live Theatre is British Theatre’s best kept secret. [It] has supported generation after generation of new writers, actors and theatre artists.” Lee Hall, Playwright

Located on Newcastle upon Tyne’s Quayside, theatre is based in a carefully restored complex of five Grade II listed buildings, combining state-of-the-art facilities in a unique historical setting with a flexible and welcoming theatre space, studio, rehearsal room and writers’ rooms.

Live Theatre draws on a broad portfolio of income streams and is recognised as a national leader in developing new strategies for increasing income and assets. These include The Schoolhouse, a hub for creative businesses; Live Garden, a beautiful outdoor performance space; Live Tales, a centre for children and young people’s creative writing; and Live Works, a commercial office building which has won architectural awards from RIBA and the Civic Trust.  Live Theatre receives a percentage of the income from award-winning gastro pub The Broad Chare and from Head of Steam, Quayside.

Live Theatre is funded by Arts Council England as a National Portfolio Organisation, and receives financial support from Newcastle City Council through the Newcastle Culture Investment Fund managed by the Community Foundation, and from other trusts and foundations, corporate partners and Friends. 


  • Arts Council England
  • Community Foundation
  • European Regional Development Fund


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