In Spring 2018 five North East-based theatre companies and makers were invited to join our first cohort of NORTH companies.

NORTH companies receive tailored support throughout the year to create a new piece of work. This includes a week of R&D time in our Byker rehearsal space; a day with our Associate Director Mark Calvert to support the R&D process; and six essential skills workshops throughout the year covering Finance, Fundraising, Marketing, Producing, Participation and Technical Theatre.

Want to join our NORTH scheme?

We hold open applications to join our NORTH actor training and NORTH company schemes twice a year.

Check out our NORTH training page for more information and keep an eye open for our Spring and Autumn calls for applications here.

Meet the companies:

Caroline Liversidge

Caroline is a deviser, writer and performer based in the North East. She likes to make work that is thoughtful and provoking, with a political drive and a mischievous sense of humour. As a solo artist Caroline has produced one show previously; A Living, which interrogated the predicament of the zero-hour contract generation and toured to a number of festivals, including Prague Fringe, where it was nominated for the Prague Fringe Inspiration Award for new work. Caroline’s work strives to be relevant and relatable, and therefore collaboration and gathering stories from people of all backgrounds is integral to her process.

As well as her solo work, Caroline is also a founding member of North East devising ensemble Camisado Club, and regularly performs with The Six Twenty and Mixtape Theatre.

"I’m thrilled to have been chosen for this brilliant opportunity. The world of self-producing and theatre making can feel like uncharted territory, and often the thought of taking those first few steps towards a new project can be paralyzing. I’m so grateful to be receiving the wisdom and support of Northern Stage’s amazing team and for the opportunity to learn more and develop as an artist and theatre maker. I can’t wait to get cracking on picking those brains, meeting my fellow companies and artists and starting a new project!"


Ruth Mary Johnson

Ruth Mary Johnson is a North East theatre maker who directs, performs, writes and facilitates work with and for young people and their families. She has worked for a range of different companies including New Writing North, Open Clasp, Unfolding Theatre, Kitchen Zoo and the National Theatre. Ruth's work explores the shared endeavour of storytelling with the audience and she is committed to creating experiences which value the intelligence of young people as expert storytellers. 

"10 years ago, Northern Stage was instrumental in realising my move from a full-time teaching career into this industry by supporting me and giving me the confidence to "go for it".  I also feel that I learnt a lot of my craft as a performer, director, writer and facilitator here, along with working with so many brilliant North East companies. I am really excited to be part of the NORTH Company Development cohort as I make the step to developing my own work. The fact that this is not about getting work produced but focusing on the elements surrounding getting work produced is what excites me about this opportunity and to be supported in the areas of the "business" side of things including marketing, fundraising, and finance will help me to continue to learn and to build the confidence to "go for it" in these areas."


Blowin’ A Hooley

Blowin’ A Hooley are incredibly excited to be part of the NORTH Company Support Programme. We believe that theatre is for everyone and are passionate about taking theatre to audiences that don’t usually access the arts. As a young, non-profit organisation, working with a prominent and influential regional partner with national acclaim will be invaluable in our growth as a company, enabling us to develop our expertise, raise our profile and reach greater heights creatively. Through the NORTH Company Support Programme we hope to develop sustainability so we can continue to bridge the gap between theatre and the dis-engaged.


Jake and Andrea

As emerging artists, Jake and Andrea are delighted to be a part of the 2018 North Company Development cohort. This platform provided by Northern Stage gives them exciting opportunities to develop as a company; following in the footsteps of previous North programme companies.

Jake and Andrea wish to learn more about the industry and how they can function as a team, whilst progressing with their own solo works. Their aim within the year is to have more of a foothold in the industry, contributing to the amazing work that’s being produced by theatre makers in the North-East.


Bonnie and The Bonnettes

Bonnie and The Bonnettes are a theatre company based in the North East (Newcastle) and our work is sometimes about us, sometimes about other people, but mostly about the world we live in. We like it when audiences laugh. We like it when they think. We really like it when they do both at the same time. With our work, we want to share stories, challenge perceptions, and have a good time whilst doing it.Our work is loud, fun, and unapologetic! 

We began touring our debut show, Drag Me to Love, in Autumn 2017 and this will be coming to an end this coming Autumn. We have now begun work on our second show, And She, which will celebrate the lives and thoughts of our Mums. Running alongside this we curate and host  The BonBons Cabaret, housed at Alphabetti Theatre, which is a seasonal event that looks to provide a safe platform for queer, alternative, and experimental work in the North East. 

"We are thrilled to be part of the NORTH company Support Programme with Northern Stage! Working on our second show, And She, with the support of venues behind us puts us in such an exciting place both creatively and as a company. We want to see what else we can do, still in the realms of auto/biography, but in a totally different world –our mums. We want to explore identities/relationships/communities of a different era as we tell their stories, dance to their music, and share their views on the world. This is our motivation for this programme; how can we take our mums' stories and put them in our world of performance and storytelling?"

Facebook: @BonnieBonnettes

Twitter: @BonnieBonnettes

North is supported by Esmée Fairbairn Foundation