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Royal Visitors for first Live Tales story writing workshop at The Fire Station, Sunderland as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge join in

Pupils at the very first Live Tales story writing workshop in Sunderland were joined by Royal visitors, as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge officially opened The Fire Station, Sunderland’s new music and arts hub.

Children from Hudson Road Primary School, Sunderland were the first class to take part in a Live Tales workshop at The Fire Station and were creating their story ‘The Adventures of Stuart and Weeni’ when the Royal visitors dropped in, and took a hands on approach to joining in the creative writing session.

Christina Castling, Creative Associate at Live Theatre was at The Fire Station to talk to William and Kate about the Live Tales workshops, and said:

“What a wonderful celebration of the opening of The Fire Station and the start of Live Tales in Sunderland. The Duke and Duchess were fantastic with the children - sitting at their level and talking with them enthusiastically about their writing. One of the children wants to frame her jumper because the future King sat on it.”

Live Tales workshops were launched in Newcastle by Live Theatre in September 2016, to inspire young people to embrace creativity and build confidence through story-writing. Through a mixture of drama and writing activities, classes collaborate to create a completely original story. Each child continues the story individually and receives an illustrated storybook to complete at school. Live Tales workshops attracted over 1,500 pupils from 50 classes in its first year in Newcastle.

Live Tales workshops will run from April onwards for Key Stage 2 Classes at the Fire Station, Sunderland, where Live Theatre has a studio as one of the hub’s anchor tenants.

Live Tales workshops are delivered by Live Theatre with the support of volunteers who provide encouragement, one-to-one and in small groups, and help the children to improve their writing and storytelling, whilst volunteer illustrators create drawings to accompany the children’s stories. Anyone interested in finding out more about volunteering opportunities at Live Tales, in Sunderland or Newcastle can come to a FREE Volunteers Drop In Day at the Live Tales Studio, The Fire Station, Sunderland on Wednesday 28 February between 10.30 and 12noon. No need to book, just turn up.

Live Tales is supported by a grant from Virgin Money Foundation, and other local foundations including the Barbour Foundation and the Shears Foundation.

FREE Live Tales story writing workshops for Key Stage 2 Classes can be booked for Newcastle for the Spring and Summer terms, and for Sunderland for April to July by calling Live Theatre’s Box Office on (0191) 232 1232. Workshops for Key Stage 3 classes will start at both locations in September 2018. For more information on Live Tales Workshops see

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


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