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ETT Reasserts Commitment to Touring and Innovation as it Celebrates 30th Anniversary

At the start of its 30th anniversary year celebrations, ETT (English Touring Theatre) is touring Macbeth and I, Daniel Blake to 20 cities across the UK and internationally, and has more stage productions in development, including the UK première of Kate Attwell’s Testmatch. Together with its foundational commitment to touring, ETT champions storytelling both in live performance and through innovative digital technology. In November, ETT will launch a new Augmented Reality project Through The Cracks and presents its co-production of award-winning mixed reality installation Museum of Austerity in Manchester, with other dates to be confirmed. 

Building on the achievements of the company since 1993 and continuing its mission to take creatively ambitious theatre across the UK and around the globe, ETT’s 30th anniversary programme demonstrates its aim to push creative boundaries and highlights its commitment to touring and innovation. Over the past 30 years, ETT has toured 110 productions to 95 towns and cities in the UK, their work has been seen by over 2 million audience members presented in 136 theatres, and ETT’s international touring has taken the company to Australia, Dubai, China, Luxembourg and Taiwan.

With two theatre productions on the road in the autumn, on 30 November ETT will launch Through the Cracks, a free Augmented Reality app which shares untold stories of people whose tales have fallen – both figuratively and literally – through the cracks. Using the app on their smartphones or tablets, audiences will see a virtual crack appear on the physical floor beneath them. Through this crack, they will watch and listen to a story unfold beneath their feet. This method of presenting stories through Augmented Reality has the quality of an intimate performance that can be experienced anywhere. More details on the first story in the series are to be announced.


‘“Happy Birthday to the wonderful ETT - a company that has given us decades of compelling, challenging, thrilling and gloriously entertaining theatre. Touring both new and classic plays, shining a light on who we are, bringing people together, they are a huge force for good. Here’s to the next 30.”’ Stephen Mangan, ETT Patron

Commenting on the 30th anniversary, Richard Twyman, Artistic Director and CEO, and Sophie Scull, Executive Producer of ETT said, “We are proud of our sustained commitment to touring over 30 years and it is a privilege to be leading this company in its 30th year. We want to take this opportunity to honour every artist, technician, partner and audience member who has been on this journey with us. We have toured to every corner of the UK – on the nation’s stages, outdoors and online and our identity is constantly evolving thanks to the artists we work with and the places we visit. Thank you to the millions of audiences who have embraced us over these 30 years. In the coming year, in addition to our touring productions and fantastic new writing projects in the mix, we are thrilled to be launching Through the Cracks, allowing audiences across the globe from all backgrounds to engage with stories in new ways.”

Alongside the physical tours, seven new podcast episodes in the F**ked Up Bedtime Stories (for Adults) audio series will be available at 7pm every day from 25 – 31 October in the run up to Halloween. Exploring the subconscious fears and terrors of our daily lives, writers include Chris Bush, Ella Hickson and Simon Stephens, and performers on the podcast include Maxine Peake, Stephen Mangan and Tamara Lawrance. 

ETT’s current production of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, a co-production with Northern Stage, Shakespeare North Playhouse and Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg, opens at Northern Stage this week, and then tours until March 2024 to New Wolsey Ipswich, Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg, Dubai Opera House, Cambridge Arts Theatre, The Landmark Theatre Ilfracombe, and in early 2024, to Bristol Old Vic, Yvonne Arnaud Theatre Guildford, Worthing Theatre and Oxford Playhouse.

The critically acclaimed production of I, Daniel Blake (A tiny dragon Productions and ETT co-production in association with Northern Stage, originally co-produced with Birmingham Rep and Oldham Coliseum) recently resumed its UK tour, and will be touring until November 2023 playing at Durham Gala, Leeds Playhouse, Oxford Playhouse, Edinburgh Traverse, Stratford East, Royal and Derngate Northampton, Belgrade Coventry, and Yvonne Arnaud Theatre Guildford.

Award-winning mixed reality installation Museum of Austerity, a co-production with National Theatre Immersive Storytelling Studio, and Trial & Error Studio, has a week-long run at HOME Manchester from 8 – 11 November 2023. Museum of Austerity was nominated for Best Digital Innovation at the UK Theatre Awards, previewed at the London Film Festival in 2021 and won International Documentary Festival Amsterdam’s (IDFA) Best Immersive Production in 2021. 

Recent nominations for ETT include the UK Theatre Awards for Excellence in Touring, and Best Supporting Performance in a Play for Bryony Corrigan in I, Daniel Blake. Denzel Westley-Sanderson’s production of The Importance of Being Earnest – in a co-production between English Touring Theatre (ETT), Leeds Playhouse and Rose Theatre – has received multiple nominations in the Black British Theatre Awards including Best Production, Best Director, Best Movement Director for Tinovimbanashe Sibanda, Best Non-Binary Performer in a Play for Phoebe Campbell and LGBTQIA+ Champion, Daniel Jacob aka Vinegar Strokes.

ETT continues the third year of its flagship playwriting programme, Nationwide Voices, in collaboration with three new partner companies: Birmingham Rep, Manchester Royal Exchange and tiata fahodzi. In April 2024, the UK premiere of Kate Attwell’s Testmatch directed by Diane Page will be presented at The Orange Tree Theatre, in a co-production with ETT and Octagon Theatre Bolton.