David Napthine

Primary Art Form: Writing & Performance

Years of Experience in Primary Art Form: 27 years

Professional Training & Experience

As well as writing extensively for theatre, radio , film and opera I have led and been part of a number of projects in non-arts settings including educational establishments, community groups, corporate and industrial environments.   Organisations worked for include Equal Arts (Arts with the elderly), Creative Partnerships (work in schools), Local Authorities (all ages, abilities & backgrounds), Youth Music,  Business  & Industry,  NHS (Including professional staff, patients in clinical environments from Stroke to Mental Health), and Durham University (Community engagement in Spennymoor, County Durham). I have run writing workshops/courses with early years, youth, elderly, professional and amateur writers, and university students.

Approach to the work/professional ethos

My approach is interactive, working with people to create an experience that is engaging, stimulating, appropriate and challenging.  I want people to “find their voice”,  to confidently say what they want to say and express how they see the world.  The experience of writing should be enjoyable and part of that enjoyment is people being given the space to grow, develop, challenge and be challenged. I use a variety of techniques implementing them as needed. These can be visual (drawing, painting, photos), aural (sound, music) and tactile (objects, fabrics, puppets etc.)

Project Example 1

EQUAL ARTS.  A project funded by Heritage Lottery to work with elderly residents of Winton Court, Gateshead and children from the local primary school.  Using creative writing, song, music, dance & movement, visits and photographs the project explored how changing landscapes (urban, industrial, coastal and rural) affect our sense of who we are. The work was marked by a celebration at Winton Court that included residents, friends & family, staff, children and parents from the school.

Project Example 2

CREATIVE PARTNERSHIPS at Victoria Infants school and Victoria Road primary school, Workington, Cumbria.

I was one of a team of artists who ran a number of projects at both schools. The catchment area of both schools is one of high unemployment, casual work (inc. zero hours), poor health, and housing.  The projects were designed to support both schools in raising the expectations of children who were economically and socially disadvantage. A number of Ofsted reports made particular note of the arts projects and their positive impact on self-esteem and school work.


‘If David could go into every school, the world would be better’ – Scotby Primary School

‘He needs to know he has really helped everyone and is going to be missed’ – Warwick Bridge Primary School

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