News, blogs & updates

Autumn Winter Season 2019 announced


  • Anniversary production of STRIKES, the very first Dream Factory show

  • Greek Odyssey brings Euripides’ MEDEA to the stage in riveting contemporary version

  • Immersive Shakespeare for under 8s

  • For Christmas, a new commission by writer Toby Quash, GRETEL

  • Plus cabaret evenings, studio R&D projects, new front of house and state of the art technical facilities HERE IN WARWICK!

Playbox Theatre founded in 1986 arrived at The Dream Factory in 1999 with funding from The Arts Council of England, King Henry VIII Trust, Warwick County Council and the many thousands of supporters, friends and members of the unique young people’s theatre that has developed since early days the skills, talent and confidence of many, countless young people, many of whom are now leaders in the creative world.

As summer rains itself away, thoughts move to a celebratory Autumn/Winter season at The Dream Factory, having completed a £150,000 major redevelopment which has enhanced all the technical infrastructure, created an extensive new front of house ‘village’ provided new studios and storage facilities, together with a new office for administration. With the new extended car park providing sole access from Stratford Road, The Dream Factory is a superb theatre and studio complex in the heart of Warwick.

The Season


After 20 years Playbox Theatre return to the school strikes of 1911 with a spectacular documentary show with songs, STRIKES. Originally presented as The Dream Factory’s opening production in 1999, Strikes is a panorama of 1911 Coventry when school children across the city went on strike, a protest against the appalling treatment from their teachers in a time of extreme poverty and poor social conditions.

Strikes is performed by an ensemble of 45 young people from across the region directed by Founding Director Mary King in a new staging. She comments, “When we opened The Dream Factory in 1999 Josh McGuire, now a familiar National Theatre and television actor, played the lead. It’s one of our favourite productions and it will be exciting to bring it to our new generation. Strikes opens on 5th October 2019.

Greek Odyssey 2019-2021

Euripides’ MEDEA

In a new version by Mike Bartlett

One of the great classical tragedies, Medea, is the first in Playbox Theatre’s cycle over the next two years of reinventing classical Greek dramas. Medea is one of the most fascinating and complex characters in the whole of Greek mythology. She is the ultimate heroine and victim, all rolled into one.

Mike Barlett is one of the UK’s most in-demand writers, with plays including Earthquakes in London, King Charles III and the television series Doctor Foster on BBC1. Stewart McGill, Consultant Director creates the production which opens on 7th November 2019.

For our very young audiences and their parents


Inspired by Shakespeare’s The Tempest

Created for 2019 Stratford Literary Festival by Playbox Theatre, we are delighted to present further performances in our Jinks Studio of the interactive creation that takes children on a journey with Ariel to Prospero’s magical world. Using text, song, movement and craftworks. Emily Quash and Mary King follow their Midsummer Night’s Dream work for under 8s seen both here and in the USA with the brave new world of The Tempest.

For Christmas


An original Playbox Theatre commission by Toby Quash

We are thrilled to end 2019 with a brand-new interpretation of Grimm’s tale. Playbox Theatre take Gretel on an extraordinary adventure as she battles to save her brother and herself. This is promising to be an extraordinary piece of multidisciplinary theatre to set The Dream Factory alight this winter.

Written by Toby Quash in collaboration with the Blank-Shift Writer’s Workshop, Emily Quash directs a fresh and illuminating perspective on this well-loved story. Gretel opens 20th December 2019.

In addition to the core ‘on stage’ season, Playbox Theatre offer workshops for 3-19 year olds in all aspects of theatre, circus, movement, musical theatre, writing, extensive under 5s programme, film and digital media and advanced work in Shakespeare and his contemporaries, voice and the young actor, professional training programme at The Dream Factory and regional studios in the area, Solihull, Stratford-upon-Avon, Leamington Spa, Kenilworth.

The season will include late-night cabaret and studio performances of original new work alongside open R&D (Research & Development) performances inspired by contemporary and classical themes.

Early in 2020 Shakespeare Young Company will stage a touring project inspired by Early Elizabethan playhouses and Playbox Theatre will announce in the autumn a blockbuster musical for Easter.

In 1999, the artistic landscape of Warwickshire was enriched with the opening of The Dream Factory. This building was the UK’s first custom designed and built theatre centre exclusively for young people. 20 years later, it has been upgraded and refitted to become state-of-the-art for a new generation of young artists.

As we face the decline of arts education in schools, Playbox Theatre – and its home, The Dream Factory – is proud to reaffirm an unwavering commitment to children, young people and their families across the town of Warwick and the wider region. We are delighted to provide an artistic hub for everyone to enjoy.

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, providing artistic quality and experience for young people in the region.

Source: Nikki Claire Cross Playbox Theatre Ltd Tel: 01926 419555 Email:

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The Dream Factory

Stratford Road

Warwick CV34 6LE

United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)1926 419555

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