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News: Live Theatre launches Live Tales

Writer David Almond and Hotspur Primary School Pupils Posie MacIver, Lily Whitby and Kai Medley outside Live Tales creative writing centre
Newcastle’s Live Theatre opens a new chapter as it launches new young people’s creative writing centre, Live Tales

Live Tales, a new creative writing centre for young people, launched by Live Theatre in Newcastle upon Tyneofficially opens its doors for visits by school children this week, with the first school visits taking place on Thursday 15 and Friday 16 September.

Live Tales offers fun interactive story writing in free workshops for Key Stage 2 classes and community groups. During their visit to Live Tales pupils collectively start to write a story with each child writing their own individual ending. Live Tales workshops encourage and inspire young people to explore their imagination and develop communication skills and confidence.
Christina Castling, Education and Participation Worker at Live Tales, said “Children can let their imaginations run wild to write a fantastic original story through a fun, creative story writing process. Creativity is being increasingly squeezed out of the curriculum and teachers facing more and more pressure to focus on the bricks of creative writing rather than enjoying its architecture. Live Tales workshops have been specially designed to ensure we’re allowing children to experience the fun and excitement of exploring their imagination whilst supporting teachers to deliver curriculum aims in a creative and enjoyable way.”
Key Stage 2 Teachers from St. Benet Biscop Academy visiting a pilot session to test out the Live Tales workshop ahead of its official launch, said “Live Tales provides students with an excellent opportunity to develop their storytelling skills. The fun, interactive nature of the session allowed students to gain confidence and be creative. It was great to see students growing more confident as session progressed.  Live Tales gives teachers the opportunity to allow creativity back into classrooms.”

Pupils from Hotspur Primary School have a 
preview visit to Live Tales and meet the 
writing centre’s champion, David Almond.
Pupils Kai Medley, Posie MacIver and Lily Whitby from Hotspur Primary School, Heaton, Newcastlewere some of the first young people to visit Live Tales and met writer David Almond, who is a champion of the writing centre.

David Almond, said “What a joy it is to have Live Tales here on Tyneside. This is an important and optimistic project of national significance. Children and young people are at the beating heart of our culture. They are our future. We all have a great deal to learn from their energy and creativity.”
Offered initially on Thursday and Friday mornings the workshops are available for KS2 school classes during term time. Teachers bringing a group for a free two-hour workshop also receive a free pack with practical information to help plan their visit and activities to do with their class before and after their Live Tales visit. 

A new education centre, Live Tales is an extension of Live Theatre’s successful writing and drama projects with schools. It is also part of an international network of writing centres, including Fighting Words in Dublin and the 826 group of writing centres across the United Statesthat encourage young people to develop their creative writing skills.
Live Tales is based in a specially converted historic Almshouse, located behind Live Theatre in the newly opened Live Garden. Live Tales has been created as part of the Live Works capital development which will bring new revenue streams enabling Live Theatre to grow and sustain its work in the production of new plays, the development of creative talent and in education and participation.

Photo: Jill Tate
Jim Beirne, Chief Executive Live Theatre, added “This is an important time to be launching Live Tales in which we are creating a valuable facility for young people and teachers to develop creativity, confidence and story-telling skills and even perhaps writers of the future. Launching Live Tales helps us to continue to develop and nurture creative talent which is part of Live Theatre’s mission.”
Live Tales Volunteer Writing Mentors and Illustrators are also being sought to assist with the creative writing workshops. Writing Mentors will encourage the young people to develop their ideas, whilst Illustrators will bring the young people’s ideas to life. The volunteering commitment is flexible but volunteers must be available attend the Thursday or Friday morning sessions. For more information and to apply see
Booking Details:
Live Tales is open for visits by Key Stage 2 classes between 10am and 12noon on Thursday and Fridays during term time. Sessions must be booked in advance and are now open for booking for the 2016/17 academic year. Teachers interested in booking a Live Tales workshop or finding out more can ring Live Theatre’s Box Office on (0191) 232 1232, see email       

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