Studio Theatre West Cumbria: Heritage Lottery Project


John Lake Prism Arts (11 of 108)

About Studio Theatre West Coast:

From September 2013 Prism Arts has been running weekly arts workshops for young people and adults with learning disabilities in Cockermouth. We are currently working on Studio Theatre West Coast Discover the Vikings in West Cumbria with Distington Community School and Mayfield SEN School

We take a multi art form approach; this means that you will learn a range of new skills including filmmaking, movement, drama, visual arts and music.

During the year, the group have worked towards a performance called Dragon’s Lantern, which they will perform at the Georgian Theatre Royal in Richmond, Yorkshire in February.

The group have also created a giant three-headed dragon, which featured in Cockermouth Live and Carlisle Pageant, and was exhibited in Carlisle Library. They also worked with Haltwhistle Film Project to create an animation of Dragon’s Lantern, which was shown at Cockermouth Live and during C-Art. (You can also watch it below.)

Workshops run from 9:30am – 3:30pm on Wednesdays during term time, and are based at Distington Community School, where Studio Theatre acts as the school’s Company In Residence.

To make an enquiry or book your place please email us or call us on 01228 587691.

Paperwork and information:

Studio Theatre West Coast Leaflet

Term Dates West Coast 15-16

Studio Theatre West Discover the Viking of West Cumbria

In a new project, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, members of Studio Theatre West are researching their Cumbrian Viking legacy, visiting Viking sites at St. Bees and Gosforth Cumbria, plus Peel Castle, Manx Museum, House of Manannan and Balladoole on the Isle of Man. Working with pupils from Distington School, Local Viking heritage experts and heritage partner, Manx National Heritage are supporting the group’s research, find out more about their journey.

In the first half of 2015, Studio Theatre West Cumbria toured Dragon’s Lantern a puppet performance inspired by Georgian popular street theatre. Find out more about it here.


Images of Studio Theatre West Cumbria

Click to enlarge:


Quiet Street

Developed by Studio Theatre West members with Distington Community School and Holme St Cuthbert’s Primary School children. Funded by Curious Minds and supported by Haltwhistle Film Project and Prism Arts Artists.

Dragon’s Lantern

Created by Studio Theatre West Cumbria in 2014, with the help of Haltwhistle Film Project. Funded by Heritage Lottery Fund.


About the Heritage Lottery Project:

Prism Arts has received a £10,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for an exciting project, ‘Animating The Georgians’, based in Cockermouth. The project will provide an opportunity for young people with learning disabilities to learn about Cockermouth’s Georgian heritage, and then to create and develop two Georgian inspired performances: a Georgian street puppet performance and a digital animation.

This project is engaging Studio Theatre participants with Cockermouth’s restored Georgian town through reinterpretation of Georgian culture, as well as discovering more about Georgian performance techniques and design. The travelling puppet booth was a popular art form of the period and allowed the public to share and enjoy stories in an exciting and anarchic way.

Commenting on the award, Lead Artist Ali McCaw said: “This is marvellous news, as it’s going to create wonderful opportunities for our young people to research, learn about and devise an exciting piece of theatre inspired by the Georgian heritage and culture of Cockermouth.”

Sara Hilton, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund North West, said: Through this project, Prism Arts are providing wonderful opportunities for local young people in Cockermouth to delve into and learn about their Georgian heritage in exciting and interactive ways. It will take them on a real journey of discovery enabling them to make new friends and pick up valuable new skills along the way.

Advocacy work: films:

As part of our Studio Theatre advocacy work in West Cumbria we ran a number of short taster courses at the Rosehill Theatre, Whitehaven, The Kirkgate, Cockermouth and worked alongside staff at Mayfield School.  The following short films were created in association with Haltwhistle Film Project.

The Story of Dragon Island – Studio Taster, Rosehill Theatre

The Shapes of Mischief – Studio Taster, The Kirkgate


Making of….. The Princess and the Flying Boat – Mayfield School


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