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First Northumbria University and Live Theatre joint Writer in Residence announced

5th June 2015

Northumbria University and Live Theatre are delighted to announce its first joint Writer in Residence, which will launch a three-year collaborative programme.

Paddy Campbell, Northumbria graduate and writer of Live Theatre successes Wet House and Day of the Flymo, will be the inaugural partnership Writer in Residence, from May 2015 to May 2016, developing new work and collaborating with students and staff at Northumbria University to enhance research and teaching.

The appointment was announced as Live Theatre celebrated the life and work of novelist, poet and playwright Julia Darling, with Rendezvous, which runs until 6 June. Julia was writer in residence at Live Theatre from 2001 to 2003, and this year marks the 10th anniversary of her death.

Northumbria University Lucy Winskell OBE, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Business and Engagement), said: “I’m thrilled that the first Northumbria University and Live Theatre Writer in Residence will be one of our graduates, the playwright Paddy Campbell.  Paddy’s recent plays at Live Theatre have demonstrated his tremendous talent and I’m extremely excited to see what he produces next while working closely with staff and students at the University.

“This three-year collaboration will build on the University’s partnership with Live Theatre and our joint commitment to enhancing arts and culture in the region and beyond.”

Lucy added: “By working in partnership with internationally acclaimed arts organisations like Live Theatre, Northumbria will continue to invest in emerging creative talent to boost the economic, social and cultural development of the region and create new ways to inspire and engage students at the University.”

Max Roberts, Artistic Director, Live Theatre, said: “At a time when Live Theatre is remembering the legacy of Julia Darling, one of its writers in residence who did so much to encourage other writers, it is appropriate that Paddy, who has come through Live Theatre’s writing development programme, is the first partnership Writer in Residence between Live Theatre and Northumbria University.”

Playwright and Northumbria graduate, Paddy Campbell, said: “I feel greatly privileged to have been given this opportunity. Live Theatre has supported my writing from the very start and I'm thrilled to have the chance to develop new plays for the company during my residency. I moved to Newcastle fifteen years ago to study at Northumbria University and had such a good time I decided to stay. I'm hugely grateful to Northumbria for their partnership in this residency and look forward to working with them during the next year.”

Paddy’s most recent play Day of the Flymo which follows a brother and sister as they come into contact with the care system will return to Live Theatre from Thursday 12 to Saturday 21 November. The play and had a sell-out run at Live Theatre in April 2015 and was awarded 4 stars by The Guardian. Another previous writer in residence who has had a long and fruitful relationship with Live Theatre is Lee Hall whose work includes Billy Elliot and The Pitmen Painters. Lee’s latest play, Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour has its English premiere at Live Theatre from 1 to 24 October.

The joint Writer Residency Programme is part of  Northumbria’s collaborative work with a wide range of cultural partners, developing innovative ways to nurture and support creative talent across the North. For more information about Live Theatre visit

In 2012, Northumbria launched a strategic partnership with Live Theatre, following a long and successful relationship between the two organisations with many graduates going on to work with the company as actors and drama workers in Live Theatre’s education programme and youth theatre.

Northumbria offers a range of courses across the creative disciplines, including Creative Writing, Performing Arts and many more. To find out about these courses and a range of other opportunities, register for Northumbria’s Open Days on Friday 26 and Saturday 27 June at

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