Creative Producer appointed for Northamptonshire Young Artists Festival

Creative Producer, Abbey Wright has worked at the Donmar, National Theatre and on the West End! We caught up with her about the first ever Northamptonshire Young Artists Festival and how she will empower our Young Producers to plan, steer and lead the festival!


Where did you learn to do what you do?
I am a theatre director, maker and producer. I had amazing training working as an assistant director at the Donmar and the National Theatre and I have learnt a lot from just getting on and doing it.

What are you most excited about with the Northamptonshire Young Artists Festival?
I am excited that the festival is being conceived and delivered entirely by a group of young producers. and I'm excited to see such a range of fantastic young artists in the spotlight.

How did you hear about Warts and all Theatre’s work?
I heard about the amazing reputation of Warts and all Theatre for nurturing and showcasing the most exciting young talent from the region.

What’s your claim to fame?
My claim to fame is .... hmmm... I met the queen and she came and had a look at my bedroom when I was at university. She particularly liked the power shower. 

What’s the favourite piece of art you’ve experienced (that could be theatre, film, music, visual art, we mean it in the broadest sense!)
Wow. That's a hard question. Because I change my mind all the time depending on how I'm feeling. I always go back to the music of John Martyn, the poetry of Louis MacNeice. I loved James Dacre’s production of ‘Our Lady of Kibeho’ at the Royal and Derngate recently. Their work is exceptional and just up the road.

You are a freelance artist and producer - what does that mean?
Well. It can mean so many things. I am currently co-writing a new musical, directing a revival of a classic play, and producing this festival. My day-to-day is very varied. It means that I have a very varied life.

You are going to be working with the young producers group to empower them to deliver and manage the festival? How is that going to work?
Ha - yes, that's a good question. I am hopeful they will tell me that. We will meet regularly, and I will lead workshop sessions with the young producers to develop their skills in particular areas. We will work as a team to book artists, market the festival to the community, and to create the programme for the weekend. It will be an extremely friendly and lively festival culminating in a party with everyone involved.

What skills do you think you need to be a young producer?
I think all you need is the curiosity and interest to take part, the commitment and discipline to see it through and the passion to step forward and work creatively within a team.

If you think you might be interested, please don't be shy. Come along and see if it is your cup of tea. We are extremely friendly and respectful and welcome anyone aged 12-21!

What skills do you think the young producers will develop by being involved?
The young producers will be agents of social change. They will contribute positively to their own community. This element of the festival is being funded by Northamptonshire Community Foundation through their #Iwill fund. So it's about empowering young people to make decisions and training them to become leaders. The young producers will learn what it takes to make something happen. By developing their skills as young leaders, they will develop communication and inter-personal skills. They will learn confidence and life skills - as well as insight into marketing, press, and career paths within the cultural industries.

What can visitors expect at the festival?
The festival will be a lively, jam-packed weekend of performances, workshops, events, art, drama, music, poetry, and food. It will boast a programme which platforms local and national talent. It is an opportunity for the various communities in Northampton to come together and celebrate the talent of the next generation of artists.

For someone who might not be sure about coming to the festival what would you say to encourage them?There is something for everyone at the festival. So if you are tempted, please come along. Come and support us.

What would be your top tip for any young artists wanting to work in the arts or cultural sector?
The arts is an incredibly rewarding sector to work in. I would encourage young people to gain experience across the sector and to research the many different roles involved. It would be a great start for any young people who think you may pursue a career in the arts to engage with this festival. 

If you want to be part of our Young Producers group, email for more information. 
The Northamptonshire Young Artists Festival will take place 31st May-2nd June 2019 at Cripps Hall, Northampton School for Boys. 

newsJames Gorry