Playbox Theatre New Season Announcement

Playbox Theatre new season announcement

September 2017 – July 2018 

  • Playbox to stage year of festivals in Warwick at The Dream Factory to celebrate the joy, creativity and boundless energy of young people Almanac 2017-2018
  • Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport support Formula X to headline a Festival of Speed with an action packed, multimedia production
  • For Christmas, The Wizard of Oz brings the world of MGM musicals to Warwick
  • Playbox Theatre to return to Santa Monica with all new project in 2018

Playbox Theatre based in Warwick at The Dream Factory has been hailed as ‘the best children’s and young people’s theatre in the world’*. That’s quite an accolade as we announce a year of joy, celebration, wonder and applause for the boundless energy, talent, creativity and boldness of under 21s. We are proud of their achievements and hope the programme announced today reflects the unique nature of their theatre.

*President Masa Ota of Model Language Studio, Tokyo on Playbox Theatre’s work in Japan


Playbox Theatre Festival of Speed


Supported by Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport

Across The Dream Factory the emphasis will be on the high energy world of motorsport with all areas enjoying events and sideshows surrounding a large new production combining, movement, dance, circus, action sport and performance art with multimedia. FORMULA X is an immersive track event with a cast of 30 performers capturing the

essence and thrills of F1. It’s a high adrenaline performance supported by Brackley based F1 team Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, who are Number 1 in the current F1 constructors championship with Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas heading the drivers

Originally inspired by the book Chequered Conflict by Maurice Hamilton, the event is created by Mary King and Stewart McGill with hands on input from Mercedes.

Opening 20th September

We would appreciate an acknowledgement when writing about Formula X for our guest supporters Mercedes-AGM Petronas Motorsport.


Philip Pullman’s GRIMM TALES for young and old head Playbox Theatre Autumn Festival of Theatre for Children and Young People

The great literary event of the autumn is the publication of Philip Pullman’s new trilogy The Book of Dust returning readers to the characters of His Dark Materials. Our autumn festival brings to the stage Philip Pullman’s retelling of a selection of known and unknown Grimm Tales accompanied by extracts from his other plays and stories, readings from The Book of Dust, exhibitions and celebrations of the acclaimed and influential writer.

Grimm Tales for young and old will be presented as one special journey full of familiar characters and deliciously dark twists and turns, the production will bring the tales to life in all their glittering, strange and, at times, macabre brilliance for all ages, brave children and even braver adults. The arrival of Halloween will bring an appropriate climax to the festival.

Opening 2nd November


For Christmas 2017


By L. Frank Baum

With Music and Lyrics of the MGM motion picture score

By Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg

To bring warmth, joy, nostalgia and a tear to the eye, Playbox Theatre invite audiences to ‘follow the yellow brick road’ this Christmas into a spectacular production of the MGM musical, The Wizard of Oz. A cast of 50 will bring to life Dorothy Gale, The Scarecrow, Tin Man, Cowardly Lion and all the memorable and loved characters including two troupes of ‘pesky’ munchkins!

With Mary King, Playbox Theatre’s founder, directing, lavish designs by Commedia and Musical Direction by Richard Norris this promises to be a Christmas gift for Warwickshire audiences on a super scale. Surrounded by events, installations, front of house, screenings and platform performances celebrating the glorious golden age of MGM musicals. The Wizard of Oz is presented by arrangement with MusicScope and Stage Musicals Limited of New York.

Opening 20th December



Playbox Theatre WHITE NIGHTS

In the middle of winter Playbox Theatre bring a northern hemisphere inspired White Nights Festival to Warwick with our newly illuminated Dream Factory tower a shining beacon of welcome to a fantastic week. Whilst the full schedule will be announced later, the centrepiece will be a joyful and laughter filled Starry White Nights presented when 100 young artists will plunder the Playbox Theatre back catalogue for a compilation of extracts from shows, songs, dance and memories. With Playbox Theatre alumni returning to co-direct, this annual event has proved very popular and in 2018 as part of a White Nights festival it should be extra special.



A festival for Warwick at The Dream Factory and in venues across the town

From March to late April, Playbox Theatre curate the Warwick Spring bringing theatre, music, guest artists, cabaret, talks and surprises to the town in a spring festival of arts and celebration.

Playbox Theatre and Shakespeare Young Company join forces for a large scale and spectacularly designed production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream opening at The Dream Factory on 22nd March 2018. In Shakespeare’s England it was believed that portals existed to link the real world with the fairy kingdom. This production will seek to discover the portal…

Also from the theatre, SYC has been commissioned by BASPCAN 10th International Congress to make an immersive work, titled Shakespeare’s Lost Children which will debut at the University of Warwick before performances at The Dream Factory. For under 10s, our acclaimed children’s encounter with A Midsummer Night’s Dream returns – Mustardseed;s Magical Mayhem that Playbox opened in the USA in 2015.

A full Warwick Spring festival brochure will be available in the autumn.


Summer Festival of Indoor and Outdoor Theatre 2018


An outdoor auditoria will be constructed in addition to the 184-seat main house at The Dream Factory for a large scale, two-part production of Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales. A company of over 40 young actors will blend many diverse theatre techniques to recount the tales, comic, exciting, a little bawdy – always highly entertaining as our medieval pilgrims journey on the road to Canterbury. The entire production will culminate in a spectacular finale uniting pilgrims, audiences, actors, singers and musicians in a massive summer event for Warwick and the surrounding areas.

Opening 28th June (Part I) and 29th June (Part 2)


In addition…

Playbox Theatre’s Young Production Company (under 14s) will stage a new work in Spring 2018.

A studio season will run parallel to the festival events announced today under the generic title Pocket Almanac bringing new work, classical explorations and experiments to the studio.


Playbox Theatre at The Dream Factory is fully committed to making work that can be shared with as many people as possible. To discuss access programmes and facilities visit

Playbox Theatre USA Tour 2018

To conclude our 2017-18 press announcement we are delighted to reveal that a company of young people will create a programme in residence at Santa Monica Playhouse in Autumn 2018, returning to our California second home.


Notes to editors

Playbox Theatre is unique. It is committed to providing training and performance on an unprecedented scale across Warwickshire and neighbouring areas. A fully professional company based at The Dream Factory, our purpose-built arts base on Stratford Road, Warwick. With international partners in the USA, Europe and Japan, plus regional centres in Stratford-upon-Avon, Solihull, Kenilworth, Leamington Spa and Banbury over 1,500 attend weekly with thousands more joining through our education, outreach audience and touring production programme.


About Playbox Theatre

Playbox Theatre is a professional creative organisation developing theatre for and with young people. Based at its own custom-designed complex in Warwick, it aims to develop the skills talent and confidence of young people in the performance arts through exciting and innovative methods.

Founded in 1986 Playbox serves young artists and audiences across the Warwickshire and West Midlands regions with training and performance studios supporting its main creative base. Playbox Theatre places at its heart young people as artists and audience.

The Dream Factory is a creative collaboration between Playbox Theatre, Glenn Howells Architects and Sceno-Plus (Montreal). It stands on land provided by Warwickshire County Council.

Playbox Theatre is a key client of Warwick District Council and acknowledges support from RLSDAFAS.

Posted on: 28th June 2017