Things are brightening up at Blackpool's Old Electric Theatre with all new youth theatre group and shows with award-winning actress and comedian Katie O'Brien and poet JB Barrington

Blackpool’s newest theatre, The Old Electric is looking for young wannabe stage stars of the future to join their brand-new youth theatre.

Thursday, 16th September 2021, 1:15 pm
Updated Thursday, 16th September 2021, 1:16 pm
New youth theatre group is opening up at Blackpool's Old Electric Theatre pictures: Claire Griffiths

The latest project aims to bring young people from 14 to17 year olds together to work as a company, rehearse and perform new work in front of audiences.

Melanie Whitehead, artistic director of The Old Electric said the youth theatre presented a unique opportunity to work on issues that are key to young people.

She said: “There’s a great spirit of presentation in Blackpool with different organisations delivering triple-threat style activities but there’s maybe not so much for those who want to understand how to use language to develop confidence and how we can take important, big concepts and shape those into powerful stories to share with others.

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This theatre group is for those young people.

“This last 18-months has been especially difficult for young people; we need to listen to and support them now more than ever.

"We want to help young people feel safe when socialising, for them to be able to form new friendships with like-minded people, to express themselves creatively, to develop as people and as artists, and for them to know that they can have fun with their peers once again.

“It is our aspiration to connect our local young people with other theatre-makers of all ages and stages; we’re already having some exciting conversations with colleagues in Manchester, Liverpool, Brighton and London and know that for some Fylde Coast young people this chance to feel connected with high-quality theatre, is a unique and exciting opportunity come at just the right time.”

The youth theatre at the venue in Springfield Road, starts on Friday September 17 at 6pm to 7.30pm on a weekly basis.

There are also opportunities for young people who are interested in backstage and technical aspects of theatre-making.

Registering for a place is free but needs to be done in advance at No auditions are necessary.

There is also a new 18-25s Young Theatre-Makers group.

Shows coming up at the Old Electric:

Catch 22 Years

An empowering show from Katie O'Brien about her personal alcohol addiction - she actually gave up drinking alcohol before she was legally allowed to drink.

Award-winning actress and comedian Katie presents a fresh, funny, and taboo-smashing take on addiction and recovery.

She has been in a love-hate relationship with 12 Step fellowship and modern-day psychology for over two decades and has a few things to say about why it works and why it doesn’t.

Hilarious, brutally honest, heart-warming and provocative, a one-woman show that challenges perceptions of recovering from addiction, pathologizing humanity and the quest of self-discovery.

Katie will also be delivering a workshop with people in recovery.

The show is on October 7 from 8pm.

Tickets £7

Lacking Poetential JB Barrington

Cult performance poet JB Barrington unleashes his searing and satirical poetry, full of strong sentiments and sharp rhymes.

Barrington’s unique, gritty style has won him several high-profile fans including Suggs and Johnny Vegas, and the bands Sleaford Mods and Reverend and The Makers who he has supported extensively on tour.

The poet's recent work has included a commission from Sky Sports and a poem promoting mental health awareness. He also recorded a segment for Channel 4's Dispatches about the controversial HS2 high-speed rail link project. His sell-out one-man shows deliver a rollercoaster of emotions with a brilliant and imaginative display of poetic writing covering social issues, economics, class and loss.

JB Barrington at the Old Electric Theatre on October 16 from 8pm

Tickets £10