LEIGH’S Turnpike Gallery is to become a dramatic satellite of one of the North West’s most prestigious arts venues.
For Bolton’s Octagon Theatre is setting up a new youth theatre there in a bid to get more of our children treading the boards.
As of September two groups will provide young people between the ages of eight and 18 with an introduction to the world of drama, thanks to a partnership between the theatre, arts funding organisation Curious Minds and Trust in Leigh, an umbrella organisation which has taken over the running of the Turnpike Gallery.
Playwright Wayne Reedman, from Trust in Leigh, says he hopes the theatre’s arts team will uncover some of the borough’s hidden talent and help young people develop their artistic and creative skills.
Creative Leigh development officer Wayne said: “It’s excellent news we are working with the Octagon because it’s a landmark building and they’ve got a huge brand.
“I think it’s great the theatre wants to expand into the region and come to somewhere like Leigh, as it will offer young people something very different.
“There’s a lot of untapped talent around here.
“I’ve been working at a primary school in Tyldesley getting the pupils singing and dancing, and at least a dozen of them should be stepping up to the plate before they get to high school.”
Wayne says he expects the sessions to be extremely dynamic, with the emphasis on getting the young people to come up with dialogue and think about creating characters rather than simply working on drama from scripts.
The theatre will also be running a series of taster workshops in May before the regular sessions start in the autumn.
Trust in Leigh is a new charity set up to co-ordinate social enterprise in Leigh, and has taken over the running of the Turnpike Gallery from Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust (WLCT)due to loc al authority budget cuts.
For more information about the new youth theatre at the Turnpike Gallery, ring The Octagon’s learning and participation department on 01204 556501.