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Spring Forward…Don’t Fall Back in Autumn!

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Spring Forward…Don’t Fall Back in Autumn!

While we’re still enjoying the blooms of spring, we’re delighted to unveil our exciting lineup of events and activities for this vibrant autumn season. Whether you’re a fan of captivating performances, hands-on workshops, or community gatherings, there’s something special waiting for you.

Save the dates for our upcoming events and workshops starting September – because it’s never too early to start.

Be sure to check out our What’s On section for a comprehensive overview of our shows and participatory activities or have a look at our brochure guide here.

Stay in the loop as we continually introduce fresh performances and activities on our website, ones that you won’t find in the guide. Make it a habit to explore our website frequently so you don’t miss out.

Please note that the events listed on our website are accurate at the time of publication but may be subject to change. We recommend checking back closer to the event dates for any updates or revisions to the schedule.

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Welcome to Power Plays Writing Festival

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Welcome to Power Plays Writing Festival

Top creatives join The POWER PLAYS Writing Festival at Blackpool’s The Old Electric this Spring

Leading playwrights, writers and theatre makers will light a creative spark for new playwriting across the region as the official line-up is announced for the innovative POWER PLAYS Festival, which launches on Friday 22 March at Blackpool’s newest theatre, The Old Electric.


Internationally acclaimed playwright Simon Stephens (Punk Rock, The Curious Incident of the Dog in The Night Time); renowned theatre maker and academic Dr Andy Smith (Citizens’ Assembly); award-winning playwright Nick Wood (Warrior Square, A Girl With A Book); literary manager, critic and dramaturg Dr Frank Peschier; National Theatre dramaturg Stewart Pringle, and top screenwriter and performance artist Krishna Isthna (Sex Education) are just a few of the illustrious industry names who will hold a whole host of workshops and talks at The Old Electric throughout a four-month long festival of artistic activity from April to July 2024.


The aim of The POWER PLAYS Writing Festival is to support new writing for the stage, explore original perspectives on the region, and establish The OE as Blackpool’s home of new writing and comprises 48 exciting events which will all connect with new writing. The literary festival line-up will also include visiting artist Q&As, thrilling new live productions, a pioneering primary schools programme, peer to peer projects and keynote masterclass sessions.


One such masterclass will be held by the multi award-winning playwright Simon Stephens who explained why he has chosen to be a part of this inspirational new festival. “I am excited to be part of a project so committed to supporting playwrights in Blackpool. It’s a place that has meant a lot to me and a place that has inspired me to write and if, even for a brief time, I can inspire writers, well that only seems right and proper.”


Fellow masterclass host and playwright Nick Wood, added: “The theatre, playwrights, and the arts in general, are going through a tough time at the moment and I think it’s great that this festival will give new, fresh, vital, regional voices a chance to be heard. I know we’re going to discover some very exciting writers.”

Dr Frank Peschier from internationally acclaimed theatre company Headlong is also a freelance dramaturg, critic and lecturer who is passionate about new writing, creative access and shaping brilliant experiences that bring people together. She said of her involvement with the festival: “I am so excited and honoured to be asked to be part of POWER PLAYS. The Old Electric is a creative hub and home for artists in the North West, and I can’t wait to read stories from all over, inspired by right here.”


The multi-layered engagement programme also includes a supported visit to Blastfest at the Dukes Theatre in Lancaster; a practical Wild Writing session exploring ways to start writing without being limited by expectations of form, or needing to finish; a Reimagining Gothic Horror workshop; opportunities for neurodivergent writers who want different techniques to create material; fascinating Artist Q+As; an interactive spoken word event; pre and post-show talks, plus a National Theatre supported Primary Schools programme with local Year 5 pupils who will see their words brought to life by professional actors onstage.


The project is supported by Arts Council England and a host of regional and national partners and will run throughout April, May, June and July at The Old Electric. There will also be a playwriting competition launched in May as part of the festival, which will invite writers to submit scripts showcasing themes that have resonance to Blackpool to a panel of professional readers, building to a performance of the winning script in July 2024 and a tour of the production in 2025.


The Old Electric Artistic Director, Melanie Whitehead, is the driving force behind this latest venture for Blackpool’s newest theatre. Melanie said of this new festival: “POWER PLAYS is the next stage in our journey for encouraging and supporting new talent and ties in perfectly with our ethos of Community, Creativity and Culture. To have rock stars of the literary world like Simon Stephens and Dr Andy Smith appearing, along with local creatives such as the one and only Scratch DJ Rob del Terror hosting an evening of performance poetry and Blackpool born and bred writer and actress Lauren-Nicole Mayes discussing her journey as an artist on the bill, is truly inspiring. POWER PLAYS is also about changing the narrative that is so often associated with Blackpool and looking at positive change and regeneration through new creative works and we hope to encourage and mentor a new generation of writers.”


The POWER PLAYS programme has also meant The Old Electric has been able to appoint a Festival Assistant Producer, Abi Hellam, and three-month Writer-in Residence, Martha Pailing. Blackpool born Martha is a writer, spoken word and performance artist whose writing often blends personal material with fictional characters to create absurd and tender narratives. She will be hosting a Conversation Drop In during the festival and inviting artists, non-artists, creative-all-the- timers and creative-some-of-the-timers to chat and explore our personal relationships with laughter.


She said: “The Old Electric is the home of alternative art that I wish would have existed 10 years ago – it represents much welcomed creative progression in Blackpool and brings together several art forms, takes creative risks and challenges the negative.”

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Tuck Shop Team

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Tuck Shop Team

We are offering an opportunity for young people aged 16-17 years to be part of our team to open and run our Tuck Shop for an hour on week-day evenings (Monday – Thursday).

The applicants will be responsible for serving a range of hot and cold drinks and light refreshments to our session-goers.

For more information about this position and how to apply, please download the PDF below.

We look forward to hearing from you.

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Jan-NEW-ary & Jan-June 2024 Unveiled!

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Jan-NEW-ary & Jan-June 2024 Unveiled!

At The Old Electric, we’re thrilled to kick off 2024 with a bang!

Join us this January for Jan-NEW-ary, a month-long celebration of creativity and self-discovery. From DJ workshops, to Burlesque for Body Positivity and ballet sessions, each session is designed to unlock your artistic potential in a welcoming and fun environment. You can find out what we have in our Jan-NEW-ary programme here.

But the excitement doesn’t stop there! We’re delighted to unveil our January to June 2024 programme, featuring an eclectic mix of workshops and performances. We’ve curated a diverse lineup that promises something special for everyone.

Check out our What’s On section for a comprehensive overview of our shows and participatory activities or have a look at our brochure guide here.

Stay in the loop as we continually introduce fresh performances and activities on our website, ones that you won’t find in the guide. Make it a habit to explore our website frequently so you don’t miss out.

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Autumn 2023 Guide Announced

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Autumn 2023 Guide Announced

We’re thrilled to announce the launch of our guide for Autumn 2023. This edition is brimming with an array of engaging activities and captivating performances that cater to all.

Delve into the complete rundown of our shows and participatory endeavors within the guide here, or head over to our what’s on section.

Stay in the loop as we continually introduce fresh performances and activities on our website, ones that you won’t find in the guide. Make it a habit to explore our website frequently so you don’t miss out.

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The Old Electric celebrates World Refill Day

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The Old Electric celebrates World Refill Day

To celebrate World Refill Day, The Old Electric is launching the first in its new range of merchandise. To help support The Old Electric and to join the refill revolution, you can pre-order your aluminium, branded water bottle for just £6 from Wednesday 16 to Wednesday 23 June.

All orders have to be collected from The Old Electric from the start of July. Stock is limited so don’t delay and click ‘add to basket’ below to buy yours this #worldrefillday.

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Welcome

Zoltar lantern
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Welcome

Welcome to our new site covering all things happening inside The Old Electric.

We are grateful to everyone who has helped in so many different ways on our journey of transforming this empty, old nightclub into an exciting new creative hub full of possibilities for the future of Blackpool, not least National Lottery Community Fund who have made it possible through funding.

We feel sure that, in spite of everything that is difficult in the world at the moment, one day soon we will be able to open our doors fully to welcome you inside to take part in whatever may take your fancy – be that an immersive production, a self-guided tour, a professional artist networking event, as one of our volunteer crew or just for coffee, cake and a catch up!

We know that in order to recover and rebuild ourselves as individuals and as a town, we, the residents, need to drive the changes. 

Here at TheOE, we feel certain that by continuing to form connections across our communities, offering opportunities to access the creativity that’s inside us all and providing a broad range of cultural experiences that enable us to reflect on our place in the world, we can grow stronger together.

Hopefully you will enjoy having a browse around our online presence and it might inspire you to sign up to try something new, to contact us with an idea you have, or to just pop-in when you see our doors open.

There’s a bright future ahead folks – watch this space and follow us on socials to ensure you don’t miss out on anything!

Melanie Whitehead
Artistic Director, The Electric Sunshine Project