Plugged In – What does it mean to you?

Over the past couple of months, you may have noticed one or two events at Darwen Library Theatre, have had the word ‘Plugged In’ next to them in the brochure, or if you attended one of these events, you may even have met one of the Plugged In team. So what is Plugged In and what does it mean to you?

Plugged In is a new pilot scheme we’re trying out at King Georges Hall and Darwen Library Theatre, in a nutshell, we ask community groups and local people what they would like to see in our programme. We don’t want to change any of the great things that we already have on, we just want to add to it, and we figured what better way than to go to our audiences directly and let them have their say.

We’re halfway through our second season and we’ve already had some great successes.

We launched last October with The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark, and we couldn’t have dreamt of a better start! Working with local nurseries and childminders, we delivered free craft packs to centres in Darwen, and held workshops in the library, so every child could make their own Owl Puppet, before coming along to meet ‘Plop’ (the star of the show) on the day.  ‘Plop’ wasn’t the only owl to be met on the day, we also invited the Protection for Owls and Wild Birds down on the day, who brought along a selection of live owls for the audience to meet and learn about. We had a full house on the day and the show was fantastic. This success has prompted us to start programming Children’s shows more regularly, particularly on School Holidays, so if you’re stuck for ideas of what to keep the little’uns busy with, be sure to check out our What’s On guide!

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Children’s theatre isn’t the only thing we’ve been working on. We’ve also been looking at including matinee performances of theatre shows, to cater to our regular audiences who don’t want to venture out at night, and last season, t mark the Centenary we had an afternoon performance of Each Slow Dusk, a piece of new writing written specifically for areas and communities like ours!

Moving on to this season, we worked with the East Lancashire Hospice to programme two very different events back in March. Firstly we had, hard hitting drama, The Shape of Things to Come, followed by extraordinary juggling from Circus Geeks with their show Beta Testing. Not only did we introduce some new audience members to Darwen Library Theatre, but we also managed to raise £500 for the hospice!

Looking forward to next season, we are now working with two great community groups, made up of crafters, friends and library lovers! And our menu of shows for them to choose from will be finished by the end of the month, so look out for Plugged In shows next Autumn. Or even better, there is still time for you to get involved and have your say, if you’d like to join in visit the Plugged In website. Can’t wait till September to see some exciting theatre, did you know we now host National Theatre Live screenings?