Barbican Theatre announce improved access to performing arts for young people in Plymouth

​Theatre Junction (ages 12 – 16) performing extracts from ‘Second Person Narrative by Jemma Kennedy

Barbican Theatre, Plymouth is thrilled to announce exciting changes to our Performance Training classes, which offer greater opportunities for young people in ages 12 – 25 to engage with performing arts.

Young people, emerging artists, and the development of talent are at the heart of all that Barbican Theatre do. Our ambition has been to raise the standard of dance and theatre performance being produced by, with and for young people. We seek to challenge what traditional notions of theatre and dance are and liberate the imagination of young people to create fresh and exciting work that comes from new and unusual voices – voices that are often unheard.

We believe that creativity belongs to everyone, so we work hard to ensure our performances and workshops are affordable and accessible. So one of the exciting changes we’re making is to dramatically reduce the cost of Performance Training membership;

Dance Junction and Theatre Junction for ages 12 – 16 now cost just £50 per year per class (approx. 30 weeks of training / performance opportunities) which equates to less than £1.67 per 90 minute session. COMPANY b Dance and COMPANY b Theatre for ages 16 – 25 now cost just £60 per year, per class (approx. 30 weeks of training / performance opportunities) which equates to just £2 per 3 hour session. Their annual membership also offers participants access to discounted ticket prices for nominated performances at Barbican Theatre and The Plymouth Athenaeum and 10% discount on food and non-alcoholic drinks in The B-Bar.

COMPANY b Theatre (ages 16 – 25) performing Moliere’s Don Juan (image credit Dom Moore)

Barbican Theatre Performance Training sessions run Monday to Wednesday during term time. Due to the popularity of Theatre Junction classes (which always have long waiting lists!) we’re introducing an extra session from September;

  • Dance Junction (ages 12 – 16) Mondays 5:15pm – 6:45pm. £50 per year. Free tasters Monday 16 September and Monday 23 September.

  • Theatre Junction (ages 12 – 16) Mondays 7pm – 8:30pm. £50 per year. Free tasters Monday 16 September and Monday 23 September.

  • *New class* Theatre Junction (ages 12 – 16) Tuesdays 4:30pm – 6pm. 50 per year. Free tasters Tuesday 17 September and Tuesday 24 September

  • COMPANY b Dance (ages 16 – 25) Tuesdays 6:15pm – 9:15pm. £60 per year. Workshop auditions Tuesday 24 September and Tuesday 1 October (you need only attend one)

  • COMPANY b Theatre (ages 16 – 25) Wednesdays 6:15pm – 9:15pm. £60 per year. Workshop auditions Wednesday 25 September and Tuesday 2 October (you need only attend one)

There are also some exciting changes to our FORCE Arts Leaders programme. From October the age limit will change to ages 18+ with no upper age limit. For an annual fee of just £5 FORCE Arts Leaders members will have access to our training programme for aspiring arts leaders to develop skills in dance or theatre facilitation and teaching, technical production, lighting, stage management and arts management, producing, fundraising and marketing. FORCE members have the opportunity to receive accreditation through Arts Award. There is a FORCE open evening on Thursday 17 October from 7pm – 8:30pm for potential members to find out more about the programme.

COMPANY b Dance performing ‘The Games We Play’ (image credit Gemma Ward)

Barbican Theatre Performance Training has a highly experienced and professional team of Practitioners and Assistant Practitioners working with our young people to create and develop skills in theatre and dance to create performances. Meet the team:

COMPANY b Dance Lead Practitioner: Daisy Harrison

Daisy is a freelance dancer, choreographer and teacher currently based in the South West, creating work as part of her company The Prism Project. She is also a Barbican Theatre FUSE Diverse Dance Team Member.

Daisy trained at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, and graduated with BA (Hons) in Dance Theatre. She has performed in works by Lea Anderson, Tony Thatcher, Gary Lambert & Rosemary Butcher in the UK and in Israel. She has a Masters degree in Dance Performance from Transitions Dance Company, where she danced in work choreographed by Bawren Tavaziva, Zoi Dimitriou and Miguel Pereira in an international tour.

Daisy has taught professional and open contemporary dance at Exeter Dance Academy for the past three years. Her most recent performance experience includes work by; The Prism Project, Chhaya Collective, Spindrift Dance Collective, Nadjeschda Shaefer Dance, Andrew Race Dance Company, Dartington International Music Festival, and Interwoven Productions.

Daisy will be assisted by Harry Scott, who has been an Associate Lecturer in Dance at Plymouth University and performed with Exim Dance and Spindrift. He has a first class BA Hons degree in Dance & Performance from Falmouth University.

COMPANY b Theatre Lead Practitioner: Kevin Johnson

Kevin has worked as a practitioner, actor trainer and workshop leader for the past 15 years. He is an associate artist for Theatre Royal Plymouth and led Plymouth Marjon University’s BA Hons acting degree for 6 years. He has managed and curated festivals and outdoor performance work for Barbican Theatre, and was Artistic Director of Symbiotic Theatre.

Kevin has also worked as a director with the National Theatre, British Youth Music Theatre and worked with Theatre Royal Plymouth’s Young Company on many performances including Blackout, which they performed at the National Theatre. Kevin is a founding director of The Wheel Actor Training Company and will be directing Barbican Theatre and The Wheel’s alternative Christmas production of A Grimm Christmas this year.

Kevin will be assisted by Emma Baskeyfield, a freelance theatre-maker, practitioner, performer, producer and puppet-maker who has been a theatre practitioner at Theatre Royal Plymouth. She has a BA Hons degree in Drama from University of Exeter.

Dance Junction Lead Practitioner: Emma Pendle

Emma has a BA Hons degree in Dance Theatre which she obtained at Plymouth University. She is also a Barbican Theatre FUSE Diverse Dance Team Member. Emma has recently taught dance full time for both Primary and Secondary aged children at Plymouth School of Creative Arts. She has a wealth of experience in areas such as working with young people with autism, physical and learning disabilities, vulnerable children and adults and teaching dance in the community sector.

Emma has performed nationally and internationally in work by Adam Benjamin for Exim Dance Company, where she also worked as a lead practitioner from 2012 where she developed and refined her practice in inclusive dance and working with young people.

Emma will be assisted by Lauren Pomfret who has worked as a dance lead, assistant and choreographer with Far Flung Dance and Theatre Royal Plymouth.

Theatre Junction Lead Practitioner: Charlotte Kransmo (Mondays)

Charlotte is a committed and engaged theatre practitioner with skills in directing, devising and movement based practice. She has both performance and devising/directing experience in a variety of contexts, these include small scale theatre, large scale events and outdoor environments. Charlotte has previously studied and worked in Sweden, where she obtained an Associate Degree in Education Studies (focused on Drama Pedagogy) and worked in both schools and arts organisations, working both as a teaching assistant and a theatre practitioner.

Since moving to Plymouth she has obtained a First Class BA Honours in Theatre and Performance from Plymouth Conservatoire. She has also spent the past year working as an Assistant Practitioner for Theatre Royal Plymouth as well as being a founding member of Theatre Royal's 2018/2019 Lab Company – RunRagged.

Charlotte will be assisted by Hayley Bentley, who has experience in theatre movement and has recently graduated from Plymouth Conservatoire with a BA Hons degree in Dance Performance.

Theatre Junction Lead Practitioner: Rosie Woodham (Tuesdays)

Rosie graduated from Central School of Speech & Drama in 2011 with a first class BA Hons degree in Acting. She has had a varied career on stage and screen and you may remember Rosie from our acclaimed, sell out production of Rope Walks, an immersive walking theatre experience back in the summer of 2017. She has also performed and worked with Royal Shakespeare Company and as a facilitator for a number of theatre groups in London.

Rosie is assisted by Danny Laine, a graduate from Plymouth Marjon University’s BA Hons Acting degree. Danny also performed in our professional #BardInTheYard productions of Macbeth (2018) and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2015)

Dance Junction performing ‘Five’ (image credit Gemma Ward)

James Woodhams, Barbican Theatre’s Young People’s Officer says,

“We’re really eager to get going on our new year of Barbican Theatre Performance Training. We really feel our new lower prices make performing arts truly accessible to everyone. With exciting opportunities to perform in areas around Plymouth and get involved with professional productions that Barbican Theatre is producing, there has never been a better time or place for young people to expand their performance skills, grow as an artist, make friends and have fun.”

Here are just some of the exciting opportunities for BTPT members during the 2019-2020 academic year, which continues to expand:

  • Traverse Youth Dance Festival at The House (Oct 2019)

  • Chhaya Collective Residency (Sept – Oct)

  • Barbican Theatre & The Wheel’s production of A Grimm Christmas (Nov - Dec 2019)

  • Alleyne Dance Residency (Sept - Feb)

  • RESPECT Festival (Sept 2019 & 2020)

  • FUSE Performance (Feb 2020)

  • Plymouth Fringe Festival May (June 2020)

  • Barbican Theatre Performance Training Summer Shows (July 2020)

  • Barbican Theatre’s summer production (July – Aug 2020)

To sign up for a free taster for Dance or Theatre Junction (ages 12 – 16) or to attend a workshop auditions for COMPANY b Dance or Theatre (ages 16 – 25) visit or email James Woodhams at


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