Seven Stories partners with Northumbria University to create innovative pop-up theatre.

Seven Stories is thrilled to welcome back Northumbria University Drama and Applied Theatre students as they bring to life the National Centre with stories of Lost and Found this February half term.

Have you ever lost something? Or been intrigued by the sight of a lost glove?  Seven Stories needs your help this February Half Term to find misplaced marbles, forgotten toys and a lost penguin as visitors are encouraged to take part in funny, interactive performances and pop-up theatre all around the National Centre on Thursday 19 and Friday 20 February, 12-5pm.  Building on a four year partnership with Seven Stories, this year the work is based on two award-winning books from the Moving Stories exhibition - Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers and The Lost Thing by Shaun Tan.  Students from BA Drama and Applied Theatre at Northumbria University specialise in creating theatre for and with specific audiences in community settings.  Over the past four years, successful collaborations between Northumbria University and Seven Stories have introduced visitors to marauding Vikings let loose from the phenomenally popular Cressida Cowell exhibition and offered children the chance to take tea with the Tiger in celebration of Judith Kerr’s Retrospective.  The benefits of such a partnership between the two organisations is two-fold – providing a valuable opportunity to students to work on a live brief as well as continuing to enrich the National Centre’s public programming.  

Debbie Beeks, Learning and Participation Manager at Seven Stories says “The partnership is a perfect recipe of children's literature, theatre, emerging artists and families.  Every year it's a really special day when stories literally burst out of every corner of the building. I love seeing the performance pieces evolve from the students’ first visit to Seven Stories; the millions of ideas through to the actual performances. Families come back every year and make this part of their February half term routine.”

Matt Hargrave, Senior Lecturer at Northumbria University says, “At a time when there is so much talk of justifying the cultural value of the arts, it is a pleasure to be involved in this partnership; which, at its heart, is about the joy of imagination. It is also a great example of how partnerships between Universities and the cultural sector can work and how dramatic immersion in stories can enhance children’s experience of reading. Our students learn so much from this immersive, professional experience and they are well supported by the welcoming staff at Seven Stories.

Historically this popular piece of Seven Stories’ programming has brought visitors to the centre in their droves making them the busiest days of half term.  Seven Stories is thrilled that the partnership continues to develop and showcase quality events which highlight

 their exhibitions, ensuring they are brought to life in new and innovative ways.  The students’ imaginative interpretation of the theme of Lost and Found promises to inspire children with a new love of reading and will add a different dimension to the exploration of the exhibitions.




Media Contact:

Hannah Lambert, Programming and Marketing Assistant

Seven Stories, National Centre for Children’s Books

30 Lime Street, Ouseburn Valley, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, NE1 2PQ



Notes to Editor:

  1. Seven Stories is the National Centre for Children’s Books based in Newcastle. Their aim is to save, celebrate and share artwork and manuscripts, from first scribbles to finished books, to create their innovative programme of exhibitions and events. 

  2. For more information about the Drama and Applied Theatre BA (Hons) course at Northumbria University, visit the website:

  3. Illustration (c) Oliver Jeffers