October 2020

We have received support from Thames Valley Police, Arts Council England, Oxfordshire Community Foundation and Cherwell District Council to adapt our 2017 E Safety play 'The Web' into a film this winter.

The film will be disseminated to Cherwell primary schools, with accompanying online workshops led by actor-facilitators in Spring 2021.

The first phase of our project however, took place in October half term. Young people aged 11+ joined us online over half term to work with 4 actors, a playwright, director, sound designer and animator to reimagine our script for 2020 and we later performed rehearsed readings for 2 Cherwell Schools over Zoom.

Though filming dates have had to be postponed due to COVID-19 restrictions, our R&D phase was a great success, the script is in re-development and we look forward to completing the production soon.

The film will be disseminated to Cherwell schools with free live workshops in March 2021.

September 2020

We're excited to begin socially distanced workshops at Banbury College once more, though due to demand we will also continue to provide free online opportunities over the coming weeks. 


It's been good to reflect at the start of this new term on all our young people have achieved since May. We've created an online murder mystery, various short films, even devised, scripted and recorded original radio plays for broadcast on BBC Radio Oxford. Click below to hear and see just some of the excellent work created!

“I really liked how we'd start something in the session then have the week to finish it off. I really found myself being more independent, taking myself off and finishing off things because I really enjoy it. I could fill my whole week and then present [the work] and share it the following week. I liked that continuous way of working together and seeing other peoples work it was really nice”- Participant of online workshops

June 2020

Having undertaken a research and development process exploring online drama workshops with young people in May, our weekly workshops are now up and running and we're having a huge amount of fun!

Thanks to a generous advertising grant from Oxfordshire station JACK FM, we embarked on a fun project in June, creating and recording 8 radio adverts, which will be broadcast over 100 times on JACK FM in June and July.

The adverts were produced with support from Adrian Banks, who also composed original music. Listen out for our young people on the airwaves over the coming weeks!

Online workshops supported by...

Coming soon...

We have received support from Cherwell District Council and the Charities Aid Foundation to present a new play for young people 'The Changing Room' by Chris Bush.


This interactive theatre experience will take place at Woodgreen Leisure Centre and is suitable for ages 8+.

At present, this production has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please check this page for further updates and we will keep you informed:


Set in and around a swimming pool, The Changing Room follows a group of teenagers full of excitement, impatience and uncertainty. They know change is coming, but not what it'll look like.


This hilarious yet thought provoking production explores transition and the onset of adolescence and will be presented in partnership with North Oxfordshire Music Service choirs and Vibes Fitness cheerleaders! 

The audience will be guided around "promenade style" in small groups and scenes will take place in changing rooms, fitness studios, on the bowls green, in the outdoor play area, finishing around the outdoor pool itself.


The production will be presented as a 'play in a week' holiday project, directed by Tristan Jackson-Pate and Sophie Beckinsale, with movement direction from Diana Christie and songs and sound design by Daniel Pate.

March 2020


We received funding from Arts Council England to continue research and development of our new Dungeons and Dragons inspired play for young people 'Sam and Zoe Vs Evermore".

The play explores communication in relationships and mental health issues with a light, comedic touch, as our heroes Sam and Zoe battle to save their relationship, with the help of a willing audience.

We rehearsed at Banbury College between 2-16 March from 12.30pm-8pm each day, and welcomed young people with an interest in fantasy gaming and theatre to join us, dropping in and out of the process, working in collaboration with professional actors, directors, designers, movement and fight directors and an award winning game theatre expert as we explored this new play.


We were hosted by local comedy club Rock the Atic, Banbury on March 2, where we performed a stand up, sketch comedy and improvisation evening!

We've been preparing for the event since the start of January, exploring improvisation and comedy in our Monday night workshops. We even had a wonderful professional skills session with Stand Up comedian Alex Farrow, where he helped us craft our own comedy routines, sharing all the tricks of the trade.

35 people took part in the performance, which was attended by family and friends- the Atic was full to the brim! Not only did we enjoy playing improvisation games with our audience, a whopping 10 young people performed their own stand up routines, which had us rolling in the aisles!

Thanks indeed to Rock the Atic for making this a unique and special experience for our participants. We're sure we'll return there soon!

February 2020

Over February half term we ran two 'play in a week' style projects at Banbury College.

In the Shakespeare Sessions, 20 young people explored six different Shakespeare plays practically including 'A Midsummer Night's Dream', 'Henry V', 'Macbeth' and 'Romeo and Juliet'. The process was led by Artistic Director Tristan Jackson-Pate with actor-facilitator Eloise Secker, and Diana Christie. A variety of approaches to the plays were used, from movement to improvisation, bringing the text to life with young people in the lead. We saw a Macbeth set variously in a zoo, on a rollercoaster and a world war one trench and heard a version of 'To be or not to be' performed in Arabic, sharing our work in the drama studio and at Sophie's Barn at the end of the week.

"My daughter didn't like Shakespeare until participating in this week"- Parent of participant

Sophie Beckinsale and Emily Butler led 'The Park Ranger' a week long environmental arts workshop in which ages 7-11 became trainee Rangers, made bird feeders, did some gardening, visited the park, made collages and devised theatre and dance pieces, sharing their wonderful work with family and friends on the Friday.

This project, generously supported by Cherwell District Council will pop up in primary schools and at local playday events in green spaces this summer- more details to follow soon!

January 2020

We completed another short research and development period for our interactive game theatre piece for young people 'Sam and Zoe Vs Evermore'.

Writer and CTC Artistic Director Tristan Jackson-Pate worked with actor/writers Jess Lloyd-Jones and Krage Brown on this Dungeons and Dragons inspired comedy, presented in co-production with new offshoot collective 'Butterfingers' at Sophie's Barn.

The play explores communication in relationships and mental health issues with a light, comedic touch, as our heroes Sam and Zoe battle to save their relationship, with the help of a willing audience.


 The process culminated in the Oxfordshire Theatre Makers 'Emanate' Showcase on 29 January, where we shared our work with an industry audience at the Old Fire Station Theatre. Plans are afoot to tour the play in May 2021, so watch this space!

From Setpember to January we completed an exciting film project with our friends at Let's Play Banbury, who do wonderful work with young people with additional needs.

Over the weeks participants are creating a short film with lots of dancing, acting and more costume changes than a Lady Gaga Concert!

We co-hosted a red carpet event at Rock the Atic Banbury in January to premiere this wonderful piece, produced by Fresh-FX. Huge thanks to Diana, Jonny, Tracey and her team of amazing playworkers!

 ‘We had no expectations leading into this project as it’s the first of its kind that we have run at Let’s Play. The young people have responded better than we could ever have anticipated. They arrive every week with a huge smile on their face ready to get to work which is a million miles away from where we started. During the first week our amazing CTC facilitator Diana started with a warm up game as a gentle introduction. The young people seemed self-conscious, nervous, and a little unsure of what to do. Fast forward to week ten; they are in costume, following instructions, confident, focused and having a huge amount of fun.'

Tracey Owen, Operations Manager, Let’s Play Project

Autumn 2019

Presented in partnership with...

Summer 2019

Last summer CTC undertook a community theatre project involving 35 participants, a professional creative team of 7 and a combined audience of over 1,500.

Our members came up with the idea of creating an outdoor performance exploring Greek mythology, designed to inspire and bring together communities. Every young person who wanted to get involved in this free activity was encouraged to and participants explored acting; devising; puppetry and costume; assistant stage management and directing.

In devising ‘Myth’, young people examined classic tales and considered their modern relevance, supported by Artistic Director Tristan Jackson-Pate and Movement Director Emma Webb in classes from April-July. In August, participants were joined by three professional actor/facilitators, stage management and designers and undertook a two week intensive rehearsal process before embarking on a six date community tour.



“I like the way the actors work with you, it’s not just “I’m an actor, you’re a child”

MYTH Participant

“I think it’s made me a lot more confident because we had to perform to people I’ve never seen before. It’s the first time I’ve done that.”

MYTH Participant

"We particularly like that CTC is so inclusive. The professional actors were such warm friendly and enthusiastic people.  They got on so well with the young people and they were very encouraging, giving gentle nudges to try out new things in a way that empowered people."

Parent of MYTH Participant

“Some of the houses around our village green can seem imposing, and I think we claimed the space. We took it over from the construction crew and made it fun, which we’ve been waiting a long time to do!"

Chair of Residents Association, Heyford Park

This project was funded by the National Lottery Community Fund, Cherwell District Council, The Victoria Wood Foundation, Doris Field Charitable Trust, The Ormonde Foundation, The Lynn Foundation and Bartlett Taylor Trust

Our Supporters...

© 2020 Cherwell Theatre Company