NORTH is a three-strand training programme to help support the development of North East-based performers and theatre companies. It is comprised of:

  • Actor Training: sessions to develop and improve performance skills
  • Small Scale Touring: each year Northern Stage will present and tour a small scale production performed by local, emerging actors
  • Company Development: a 12-month programme of support to help create a step change in the development of independent theatre companies/theatre makers

Please note: Applicants to our NORTH programme must be aged 20+ at the time the courses begin. For younger creatives, we provide opportunities through our Young Company and Open Stages courses.


Actor Training

Are you training to be an actor or have you finished training and want to top up your skills?

Whether you want to enhance your current skills, learn new ones or gain valuable insight into the world of professional theatre, NORTH Actor Training is for you.

Throughout the year, Northern Stage will run courses in professional performance training, giving you the opportunity to boost essential skills including text, movement and creativity in the Autumn term; and specialist skills such as puppetry, clown, commedia and mask across the Spring and Summer terms.

Each course is for a maximum of 15 participants, and you can apply for more than one course.

Stage Combat

Wednesdays, 6-9pm

Learn these essential actors skills in a fun and challenging environment while gaining the confidence to handle yourself on stage or behind the lens in a physical conflict. You will cover the fundamentals of stage combat including unarmed and small sword, and work towards performing a fight scene. 

This course is accredited by the British Academy of Dramatic Combat at Foundation level. The BADC is the oldest established stage combat institution in the UK.

The course will be led by BADC teacher Neil Tattersall, provided by True Edge Ltd

True Edge stage combat specialises in choreography and workshops worldwide. Founded by Rachid Sabitri and Jessica Hrabowsky, True Edge creates exciting and innovative ways for individuals to master creating the illusion of physical combat.

www.trueedge.co.uk @trueedgecombat

Acting for Screen

Thursdays, 6-9pm

Acting for Screen is a ten-week course that looks at performance for both film and television. You will examine and explore various techniques including - auditioning on camera, self-taping, continuity and acting for single and multi-camera shoots. The course is delivered by television actor and film director Kris Deedigan.

The courses are 10 weeks long (a 3hr session each week) and will run from w/c 4 Feb 2019 through to w/c 15 Apr 2019 with a break halfway through. 

Each course costs £10 per 3-hour weekly session (totaling £100)

There will be an additional £5 fee for the Stage Combat course. This is for the training booklet for the BADC Foundation qualification. Participants must be available for all the sessions of the strand(s) chosen.

We are able to offer a limited number of bursaries to those who wouldn’t be able to take part otherwise. Please note bursaries will be rewarded to those in greatest financial need.

Closing date for applications: Mon 14 Jan 2019

Auditions will be 22, 23 and 24 Jan 2019, 6-9pm

How to apply:

Please download and complete the application form and email it to Annie McCourt at [email protected]. Alternatively you can post it to Northern Stage, Barras Bridge, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 7RH.

If you require information in a different format, or the standard application format is not accessible/suitable for you, please telephone 0191 242 7205 or e-mail Annie.


Small-scale Touring

Each year, Northern Stage will produce a small scale touring production, featuring emerging North East actors.

Our first small scale NORTH tour was a new version of H.G. Wells’ The War of The Worlds in Spring 2018, adapted by Laura Lindow and directed by Elayce Ismail. 

The War of The Worlds returned to Northern Stage after it's sell-out opening run in September 2018.


Company Development

North East-based theatre companies or individual theatre makers in the process of making a new piece of work are invited to apply to become a NORTH supported company. Companies/Artists will receive:

  • One-week R&D time in our Byker rehearsal space (does not include tech support)
  • One day with our Associate Director, Mark Calvert, to support your R&D. This can be split into a half day supporting preparations for your R&D and half a day during your R&D week.
  • Six essential skills workshops throughout the year covering: Finance, Fundraising, Marketing, Producing, Participation and Technical Theatre.
  • Four additional hours with a member of Northern Stage staff to support you in a particular area as identified by you (e.g. two additional hours with the Producing team to look over a G4A application and two additional hours with Finance to look over budgets)

How to apply to be a NORTH supported company:

Applications to join the NORTH supported company scheme for 2018 are now closed - applications will open again on Mon 14 Jan for our 2019 cohort.

Details of how to apply will be posted here in Autumn 2018.


North is supported by Esmée Fairbairn Foundation