We envisage a world where everyone is invested in the future of their environment. We see theatre as having a role to play in nurturing that engagement.

We collaborate with North Devon-based and regional agencies to create a powerhouse that can effect change.

A second "take it to the next stage" weekend

28 – 30th April 2023 Bridge Chambers, Barnstaple

Are you a recently graduated performing artist from higher education or practical theatre training? Or will you be graduating shortly? Then here is an opportunity to create, plot and network for the next stage of your career!

The first Theatre Workhouse weekend in July 2021 was a massive success - including generating opportunities for paid theatre-work - so we’ve scheduled a second weekend (April 28th-30th)

North Devon-focused theatre companies/theatre practitioners will be offered the time and their own dedicated working space for concept development of a new piece of theatre for North Devon.

multi story theatre company will lead the weekend with support from Beaford and Selladoor, plus input from other organisations and practitioners with relevant experience.

For a more detailed description of the weekend and how to be part of it, email office@multistorytheatre.co.uk or contact us via the website

In the meantime, explore this page to get an idea of what theatre workshouse is about.

Where To Begin

Two generations of professional North Devonian theatre makers join forces to respond to the question, “what if the climate changed in North Devon?”

How to begin the conversation? With facts and figures? With personal stories? With music and song, giant leaps of the imagination? With calls to action? Maybe all these things. But what’s going to be most useful?

multi story is North Devon’s longest established professional theatre company and Theatre Workhouse is its newest. They have joined forces to frame a response, along with award-winning writer Daniel Bye.

performance schedule:

  • Sat 22 Oct. Landmark Theatre, Ilfracombe. 7.30pm
  • Sat 29 Oct. Jubilee Hall, Swimbridge. 7.30pm
  • Thu 3 Nov. Bridge Chambers, Barnstaple. 8pm
  • Thu 10 Nov. Isaac Hall, Braunton Academy. 7pm
  • Fri 11 Nov. Atherington Pavilion. 7.30pm
  • Sat 12 Nov. Bradworthy Memorial Hall. 7.30pm
  • Fri 18 Nov. Chulmleigh College. 7pm
  • Sat 26 Nov. Parracombe Village Hall. 7.30pm

Commissioned and promoted by Beaford. Funded by Arts Council England and the Edward & Anne Jefcoate Memorial Charitable Trust. Supported by Selladoor Theatres and Barnstaple Bridge Trust.

A bit of history:

Theatre Workhouse emerged from a concept-development weekend back in July 2021 that was exploring how to help early-career theatre-makers in North Devon. You can see the outline document for that weekend below.

Since then we have held regular Monday workshops, hosted for the most part by Selladoor at the Queens Theatre.

The companies involved in the initial weekend all developed productions for Fringe TheatreFest and individuals in the group have also taken part in other initiatives in the South West and have been employed both locally and further afield.

In December '21, Theatre Workhouse were invited by Beaford to participate in a Climate Change Theatre Action event at Barnstaple Bridge Chambers. On the strength of this perfromance, Beaford commissioned multi story and Theatre Workhouse to develop a village touring production broaching the subject of Climate Breakdown in North Devon. We made a successful funding bid to Arts Council England which included a dramaturgical role for Daniel Bye.

Daniel led a weeklong workshop in May 2022 that generated ideas that were then developed into scripts or scenarios by members of the team alongside research that included exploratory meetings of various kinds in the communities where performances had been scheduled.

Outline for the original concept-development weekend - “take it to the next stage”

16-18 July 2021 in venues in Barnstaple town centre

An opportunity for three North Devon-focused theatre companies to create and to plot.

Each company will have the time and their own dedicated working space for concept development of a new piece of theatre for North Devon.

Companies will pool their experiences of North Devon’s theatre scene to identify how best to extend opportunities for theatre makers and audiences in North Devon.

The weekend will be led by multi story theatre company with support from Beaford and input from other organisations and practitioners with relevant experience.

programme outline:


  • 5 – 6.30pm dinner and intro including an overview of Rural Touring in North Devon
  • 6.30 – 8.30pm individual project development
  • 8.30 – 9pm sharing reflections on the day’s work


  • 9am – 1pm individual project development
  • 1 – 3pm working lunch to plot a brighter future for ND theatre-making – with guests
  • 3 – 8pm individual project development
  • 8 – 9pm working dinner to share reflections on the day’s work


  • 9am – 1pm individual project development
  • 1 – 3pm working lunch to plot a brighter future for ND theatre-making – with guests
  • 3 – 7pm individual project development
  • 7 – 9pm working dinner to plot a brighter future for ND theatre-making – with guests

There is no cost to companies, and we will be providing lunch and dinner for all participants.

This is not a residential course, so we are expecting participants to breakfast in the comfort of their own homes!

It’s up to companies as to how they use the time allotted to individual project development. multi story will be available throughout if people want to bounce ideas around but we’re not offering formal mentoring at this time.

The weekend is particularly aimed at companies or individual theatre artists with an ambition to produce new work and a willingness to engage in creating circumstances for such work to flourish in North Devon. There is strong support from many quarters for this ambition and we hope that this will be one of many steps along the path.

We anticipate that many participants will have recently graduated from higher education or practical theatre training – or will be doing so shortly – and would benefit from the opportunity to share and reflect on their experiences and ambitions along with their peers and guests whose experiences might provide a broader context.

At heart, the weekend is focussed on the practical business of creating performances and considering the circumstances in which they could successfully be promoted. Beaford would be delighted if work emerges from the weekend that could, at some point in the future, be offered to village promoters. But, at this stage, all options are open and the centre of attention is creation.