Since 2011, Harrogate Theatre has developed an informal associate artist or partnership scheme that allows us to support and champion a diverse and varied range of new work by emerging and existing artists and companies. 

To date there hasn’t been a uniform package of support that we offer, but this has previously included artistic and business support, development and rehearsal space, opportunities to showcase work to industry professionals and the public, and we’ve co-produced new work.

There are no strict criteria for who we work with but our priority is to ensure that we work with the most varied selection of companies as our resources allow and those hailing from the North of England, and Harrogate and District in particular.

Following on from her acclaimed short plays Deirdre and Me, Room 253 and Project Juno, Harrogate playwright, actress, and Harrogate Theatre Associate Artist Rachael Halliwell is set to premiere her debut full length play Connection at the Harrogate Studio Theatre from 1-5 October at 7.45pm.

Produced by Rachel Halliwell and Harrogate Theatre, Connection is a Yorkshire ‘Thelma and Louise’ of an adventure where two women meet as strangers in the A&E waiting room of Harrogate District Hospital and embark on a life changing 24 hours as they try to escape their personal demons.

Elaine needs to take a trip to Scarborough to say goodbye to a friend and Catherine is going to ruin someone’s life if she stays. The unlikely pairing decide to take a road trip together. It's a liberating experience for both of them until an urgent phone call from Steve, Catherine’s estranged half-brother, demands their return to the Hospital.

Playwright Rachael Halliwell, who also plays Catherine, said about her new play:

'I'm delighted to premiere Connection at Harrogate Theatre in my home-town where I'm a very proud Associate Artist. Connection tackles legacy, the role of carers- professional and familial, mental health and how we all need to ask for a bit of help at times. My focus was to write a funny, sharp drama that puts women front and centre of its story.”

Connection’s cast will feature an exciting line up of Yorkshire talent including Cathy Breeze (Emmerdale, Still Open All Hours and Les Miserables) as Elaine, Andrew Turner (Macduff in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald and as Christian Gatley in Coronation Street) as Steve and Emma Leah Golding (Coronation Street and Emmerdale) as Yasmin. The new play will also feature original music from Rufus Beckett and Ellie Hunzinger who make up Harrogate acoustic duo, The Paper Waits.

Why not come along, support local talent, and see results of the work Harrogate Theatre does with artists? Connection runs at Harrogate Theatre from 1st-5th October, MORE HERE.


First published in the Harrogate Advertiser 19th September 2019.