A new writing event showcasing playwrights from Sunderland

Thursday 2nd April 2020,  The Peacock, High Street West, Sunderland

Writehouse is a new writing event showcasing playwrights from Sunderland and beyond, and providing an opportunity for theatre makers to meet in an informal, social environment. It is open to all and not dependent on previous experience.

A selection of extracts from several submitted scripts will be directed and performed by
professional theatre makers at each event.

Writers are invited to submit scripts using the following guidelines:
• Be no longer than 10 – 15 minutes in length (Extracts or stand-alone pieces).
• Have no more than 4 characters.
• Have minimal staging/props.

Submission and Selection Process
• Deadline: 5pm, 3rd March, 2020
• Please submit your script by email to [email protected]
• In the covering email please include: your name, address, telephone number,
title of your work.
• To ensure our commitment to equality and diversity, please ensure your script
does not contain any personal identification details.

Writehouse is funded by Sunderland Culture’s Great Place Unlock programme and developed in association with Theatre Space North East and NE Script Space.

Youth Arts Exhibition 2020: Call for Young Artists

A call has gone out for Young Artists aged 11 – 19 to submit work to be exhibited at Arts Centre Washington’s Youth Arts exhibition 2020.

Arts Centre Washington’s Youth Arts Exhibition has become a staple in the main Gallery’s calendar as its reputation has built over the last few years. Each year more and more high quality pieces of artwork revived to make up the exhibition. Sunderland Culture work with a team of young curators who help to keep the exhibition sustainable and of the highest quality, showcasing the talent of young people in Washington and all across the Sunderland area.

Youth Arts Exhibition: BRIGHT LIGHTS (3 Feb – 14 Mar 2020) will be an exhibition of artwork made by promising young artists aged 11-19, curated by a group of young people, supported by professionals.

The digital submission process, from which artwork will be selected by the young curators to be installed in the exhibition at Arts Centre Washington, is now open.

All artwork, whether selected for exhibition or not, will be uploaded onto our Instagram account using the hashtag #brightlightsofsunderland and to our website as a record of achievement and so the work can be shared with family and friends.

This is a call out to young people aged 11-19 living in Sunderland or the wider Sunderland area who might like to apply to be a young curator or to submit their artwork for BRIGHT LIGHTS.

How to submit artwork:
Please download the submission form below for artwork criteria and more information. Email completed forms, along with up to three images, to [email protected]
by 12noon on Friday 10th January 2020.


The exhibition runs from Monday 3 February – Saturday 14 March



Sunderland Stages Writers’ Project is a new citywide initiative from Sunderland Culture, developed with the support of the Great Place Unlock programme, aiming to develop talent and unlock potential in the Sunderland area.

Sunderland Stages Writers’ Project targets writers new to writing for theatre and aims to provide a ‘crash course’ in writing for the stage.
Participants can get involved with talks and workshops by established writers and theatre-makers and take advantage of opportunities for work to be professionally performed later on in the year.

Talks and Workshops

Venue – The Fire Station, High Street West, Sunderland, SR1 1DT
Series of dates/times.

View the current events available here.


DRAMA, stand-up comedy, live music and an exhibition from young local artists help make up a busy spring programme at Arts Centre Washington (ACW).

Theatre highlights include I, Malvolio, a one-man show written and performed by Tim Crouch. The show explores the character of Malvolio, the pompous manservant to Olivia in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. Crouch’s irreverent and hilarious backstage expose picks up where Shakespeare left off. I, Malvolio is at ACW on Friday, February 15 and is suitable for ages 10 plus.

Later in February, ACW will host a completely different type of show – Woke, by Testament, a beatboxing, storytelling standup comedian and rapper.

Matt Blyth, Audience Development Officer, at ACW, explained: “Testament’s one-man show is about ‘wokeness’: the state of having one’s eyes opened to social justice issues. Hip hop, Testament’s livelihood and lifeblood, is about wokeness, he tells us in a freeflowing mix of narrative, rap, beatboxing and song.” Woke is at ACW on Wednesday, February 27.

Other theatre highlights include Odyssey, a hilarious new verse adaption of the most epic journey of all time (Wednesday, March 13), and The Time Machine, Stephen Cunningham’s fresh take on H.G. Wells’ legendary tale (Thursday, April 11).

There’s also drama aimed squarely at young people and families. First of all there’s Thief, Fox and Phoenix, the tale of a mischievous thief who, along with his friend the fox, goes on a quest to find the enchanted phonenix. Told through a fusion of aerial circus, dance, live singing and story-telling this is a show about the true meaning of friendship that the whole family can enjoy. Thief, Fox and Phoenix is at ACW on Friday, February 22.

Another family show is Chicken Licken: a TaleJam, the tale of a young chick who can’t decide what to do. The show is a musical storytelling experience, exploring an old fable in a new way with fun, fake news and feathers. Chicken Licken: a TaleJam is at ACW on Saturday, April 13.

The programme includes performances from two stand-up comedians – Anna Nicholson and Patrick Monahan. Anna’s show, Woman of the Year, is on Saturday, November 2, and was a sell-out show at Edinburgh Fringe. Patrick’s show, #Goals!, was also a hit at Edinburgh and will be performed on Friday, March 22.

As well as the popular, regular Davy Lamp Folk Club, held at ACW on the first Saturday of every month, the spring includes two top tribute bands. 10CCLO, who perform a brilliant repertoire of 10CC and ELO hits, are at the Centre for two evenings, Friday, March 8 and Saturday, March 9. Later in the same month, Sabbra Cadabra will perform the hits of Black Sabbath (Saturday, March 23).

A regular at ACW, the Youth Arts Exhibition, returns for its annual showing between Friday, February 1 and Saturday, March 9.

Matt explained: “The Youth Arts Exhibition has become a staple in our main Gallery’s calendar – each year we receive more and more high quality pieces of artwork from young people aged 11 – 19. This year we are changing things a little and asking young curators, supported by professionals, to select work for the best promising young artists aged 11-19 living in the city.  We will also have an online virtual art gallery featuring the work of all of the artists entering this year’s event.”

Another exhibition, A View From the Edge, will be at ACW between Thursday, March 21 and Saturday, May 4.

“This will be a really interesting exhibition,” said Matt. “A group of artists discover what a fresh start means to them. This is about the act of anticipating the future by understanding the past. This exhibition might shock, or might change your viewpoint, or even move you in some way. Whatever it does, it will make you think.

“Our varied programme has something for everyone and hopefully will prove popular with both regulars and newcomers,” he added.

ACW What’s on Guide Spring 2019