Project information

norfox Young People's Theatre Company

The norfox Young People's Theatre Company delivers a programme of drama workshops with young people from socially and financially disadvantaged background across Manchester. Supported by theatre professionals, it aims to improve participants' self-confidence, self-expression & communication skills.

Six months

Charity information: Manchester Library Theatre Development Trust

Manchester Library Theatre Development Trust
  • Need


    We want to provide access to a regular drama group for young people who are otherwise unable to take part because financial constraints leave them unable to afford the fees charged by drama schools for young people, e.g. Stagecoach.

    Our work in some of Manchester's most deprived areas demonstrated that there was a real enthusiasm for a group of this kind to be established and our productions to date have proved that some genuine talent would have been missed.


    The norfox Young People's Theatre Company auditions potential participants on the basis of commitment and enthusiasm. We target young people in Manchester districts of highest deprivation and other frequently overlooked groups, such as looked after children and those leaving care.

    The group provides a postive outlet for self expression and build self confidence and teamwork skills as the group work towards staging a production with the support of the Library Theatre Company technical staff.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To enable young people to develop their performance skills


    » Delivery of a weekly drama workshop in which participants have an opportunity to develop their speech, performance & movement skills.

    Success will be...measuring the increase in participants' confidence from the first tentative workshop to being a performer in the final production via a participant questionnaire

    Aim 2

    Target work at young people from the most deprived areas of the City


    » We target young people from Manchester area's of high deprivation & other often overlooked groups, e.g. looked after children and those leaving care.

    Success will be...monitoring the postcodes of all participants to demonstrate a spread across Manchester districts of multiple deprivation.

    Aim 3

    Develop drama groups within community settings and the City centre


    » Whilst the main group meets at a convenient, easily accessible city centre location, we also offer taster sessions in local community venues.

    Success will be...measuring the number of workshops delivered with the main group in the city centre, and the number of taster sessions delivered in community venues.

    Aim 4

    To enable young people to take part in performances


    » The project will culminate with three performances in a professional theatre setting with full technical support and in front of a paying audience.

    Success will be...staging the three performances at the end of the project. Word is out about how good these shows really are - the audience numbers grows with every production!

    Aim 5

    Enable young people to meet other like minded young people from Manchester and the region


    » The groups consists of young people from across all Manchester districts and reflects the cultural and religious diversity of the city.

    Success will be...bringing together a group of young people from a mix of backgrounds and postcodes who share a passion for drama.

  • Impact


    The group was initially set up to offer a positive diversionary activity for young people in areas of multiple deprivation with the intention of improving self-confidence, self-expression & communication skills that are all essential life skills. However to date we have found a very high proportion of participants have choose to make a career in acting and the performing arts. Our longer term aim is to make the group more accessible to young people with disabilities.


    The key risk is drop out rate amongst participants. Our "audition" process focusses as much on enthusiasm and passion as it does for raw talent, we also approach schools for recommendations from teachers of young people who they know would be committed to taking part.


    Donors will be kept informed via an online blog and a video diary kept by the young people and the director during the rehearsal period. They will also be given priority booking for the performances at which they will have an opportunity to meet the young people after the show.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £15,775

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £4,425 Project leader Project planning, workshops delivery etc.
      £2,250 Lighting & set design Designers' fees & expenses
      £4,800 Venue hire Workshops, rehearsals & performances
      £1,300 Wardrobe Costumes & dry cleaning
      £3,000 Set Set build & construction costs (incl. props)
  • Background


    Manchester is renowned for innovation, industry & creativity that belies is position as the fourth most deprived district in England (2007 Index of Multiple Deprivation).

    The creative & performing arts offer a valuable outlet for young people that enables them to both participate in a positive diversionary activity and also project a message that challenges Manchester's reputation for gang, gun & drug culture. It also sends out a positive message to their peers.


    Participants: through increased self-confidence, improved self-expression & better communication skills.
    Manchester audiences/residents: a chance to see exceptional theatre brought to the stage by young people growing up in their communities.
    Other young people: an opportunity to see that amazing things can be achieved through commitment & hard work.
    Us: working with these young people is inspiring & infectious; seeing them develop both personally & as performers is simply awe-inspiring.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We really do know what we're doing! The Young People's Theatre Company has been running for four years now, delivering two shows each year. The Company's reputation for excellence is such that we now welcome a number of theatre critics to performances & received reviews that many professional performers would envy. Whilst the initial motivation to establish the group was the personal development opportunities it offered, we have now seen several "graduates" successfully apply to drama school.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Liz Postlethwaite

    As the Library Theatre Company's Community & Education Director, Liz will be project leader and will also direct the final production.

Interview with two cast members from the last show