Live Age Festival

Live Age Festival to celebrate creativity in later life


New Vic Theatre, Keele University and Age UK North Staffordshire will be celebrating age in the Live Age Festival, which returns to North Staffordshire from Friday 29 September to Sunday 1 October.

The Live Age Festival will take place at the theatre-in-the-round on Friday 29 September and the Potteries Museum & Art Gallery on Sunday 1 October and will showcase the artistic and creative works of older people in a series of free workshops, activities and exhibitions.

This year’s Festival features song-making workshops with Chloe Knibbs; a physical storytelling workshop with Caroline Wilkes; FRONTLINEdance’s Moving Stories; performance poet Leah Thorn; choral song workshop with Kate Buttolph and The Live Age Conversation, a chance for everyone to join in the discussion about the role that creativity plays throughout our lives.

Live Age will also feature linked events which will be held throughout the autumn. These linked events will include Claybody Theatre’s new play, Dirty Laundry presented at Spode Works, Stoke (performance dates and tickets available from; Stoke Film Theatre will showcase Older Women On Film! (Wed 27 September 7pm) and a whole array of other events celebrating age hosted at Keele University, Spode Works, Stoke Film Theatre, the Foxlowe Arts Centre and Trinity Church, Leek, and the Biddulph Arms and the Town Hall, Biddulph.

The Live Age Festival originated through the activities of research project Ages and Stages, a continuing collaboration between Keele University and the New Vic Theatre which began in 2009. This year, the Festival forms part of wider project, Meet Me At Live Age: a year-round programme of creative outreach activities with older people’s groups from across the community. Supported by Arts Council England and the Baring Foundation’s Celebrating Age programme, Meet Me seeks to create new relationships between artists and groups and supports older people to develop creative skills and cultural leadership.

Jill Rezzano, Head of Education at the New Vic said: “This year’s Live Age Festival will really showcase and celebrate the vibrant creativity of older people in our local area and beyond. The expansion of the Festival this year, as part of Meet Me At Live Age, has allowed us to work closely with artists and community groups to really expand the breadth of the programme, and we hope that this year’s festival will inspire audiences to enjoy, and look forward to, older age.”

For further details about the Live Age Festival programme of events, to sign up to attend and for more information about linked events (including associated ticket pricing) click here…

Live Age Festival programme of events:

Friday 29 September at the New Vic Theatre and Sunday 1 October at the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery

Workshops, performances and a chance to join The Live Age Conversation

Workshops include: drama, animation, singing and dance and movement. All workshops are open, accessible and are designed for everyone to have a go!

Workshops and events held during the Festival weekend are free.


Friday 29 September 2017

New Vic Theatre

10am – Registration

10.30am – A choice of workshops:

    Letting in the Light – Animation workshop


     Andy Barratt & The Company of Elders, Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester

11.30am – A choice of workshops:

     Leah Thorn – Spoken word performance poet


    Chloe Knibbs – Song-making workshop

1.30pm – 3.30pm – The Live Age Conversation. A chance for everyone to join in the discussion about the role that creativity plays throughout our lives, and the impact it can have on the places we live in. Chaired by Professor David Amigoni, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research and Enterprise) at Keele University, with Dr Lesley Mountford, Director of Public Health for Stoke on Trent; Claire Benjamin, Deputy Director, Education and Visitors, National Museums Liverpool; and Deborah McAndrew, Playwright and Creative Director of Claybody Theatre


Sunday 1 October

Potteries Museum & Art Gallery

10am – Registration

10.30am – Kate Buttolph – Choral song workshop

11.30am – Rachael Lines, FRONTLINEdance – Dance workshop

1.30pm – Caroline Wilkes – Physical storytelling workshop

2.30pm Film ScreeningBack to the Drawing Board –  A film by Pawas Bisht about designers Pat Albeck and Peter Rice


Linked Events

Keep checking the Live Age Festival website for more information and updated linked events to be held throughout the autumn.

Please note: certain linked events are ticketed. Please contact individual venues for further information and associated ticket prices.


Leah Thorn
Monday 25 September 2017, 7.30pm – 8.30pm
Staff Common Room, Keele University

Older Women Rock on Film!
Wednesday 27 September, 7pm
Stoke Film Theatre

Biddulph Up in Arms! presents Slaid Cleaves
Thursday 28 September, 7.30pm
Foxlowe Arts Centre, Leek

Older People’s Engagement Network
Tuesday 3 October 2017, 10am – 1.30pm
Longton Central Hall

Older Women Rock The Potteries – Poetry (E)motion
Thursday 19 October ­- Friday 17 November
Keele University Art Gallery

Ageing of British Gerontology
Thursday 19 October – Friday 17 November
Keele University Art Gallery

Biddulph Up in Arms! presents Kathryn Roberts & Sean Lakeman
Wednesday 4 October 2017, 7.30pm
Biddulph Arms, Biddulph

The Phoenix Singers’ Charity Concert
Saturday 7 October 2017, 7.30pm
Trinity Church, Leek

Biddulph Up in Arms! presents Dawson Dean (Album Launch)
Saturday 7 October 2017, 7.30pm
Biddulph Town Hall

Claybody Theatre presents Dirty Laundry
Wednesday 11 October 2017 – Saturday 21 October 2017, 7.45pm
Spode Works, Stoke.

Biddulph Up in Arms! presents Heidi Talbot
Wednesday 25 October 2017, 7.30
Biddulph Town Hall