Box Office: +44 (0)1727 850950

Super Summer Schools and Wonderful Work Placements

M-ask and Arts Award Success!

Philippe Gaulier Workshop

Trestle School of Drama opens its doors this September!

15Festival: Workshops

Spies, lies and A Machine they’re Secretly Building at Trestle Arts Base as part of the 15Festival

MÓTUS Dance Lineup Announced

15Festival in full swing!

Life Drawing | Specialty Workshops | Soft Pastel and Clay

Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

Merry Christmas from Trestle Theatre Company

The Yarico Education Trailer

Sustainable St Albans 2016

Morpurgo Magic at Trestle Arts Base this Christmas!

Calling all illustrators and graphic design artists!

Trestle Theatre’s FUN PALACE 2016

Herts Hidden Heroines @ Verulamium Museum, this Summer!

Hidden Stories

Bringing Trestle to the Workplace

Hertfordshire Hidden Heroines on Film

VIDEO: Trestle Masks on BBC 2 Artsnight

Help Highfield Park Raise additional funds for a brand new play area!

Arts on Prescription

INSET Training for Teacher’s & Practitioner’s

Trestle on BBC TV this week!

Christmas Box Office & Opening Times

Legendary Violinist, Peter Knight (Steeleye Span) presents Gigspanner | Sat 7 Nov

Trestle Big Draw 2015 | Sat 31 Oct, 1pm | FREE

Sustainable St Albans Week 21-28 Nov

SAMs Refugee Appeal | Sun 18 Oct, 10.30am – 2pm

Trestle Masks come to Cambridge

Getting involved with this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival?

What would make your list of brilliant things?

Are you happy?

Learn to love your shelf this Mother’s Day

Trestle Artistic Director Emily Gray to Direct NEW Jodie Kidd musical ‘Yarico’

Merry Christmas from Everyone at Trestle

Win tickets to see Hansel + Gretel this December

Horse + Bamboo Returns to Trestle this Christmas

Trestle Wins Award for Most Innovative Business

Marvellous Masks returns in September

The Deadlies: Trestle’s Yorkshire Adventure

Thadows Loom

The Rite of Spring/Romeo and Juliet; featuring Trestle Half Masks

Philippe Gaulier Clown Workshop

Hopelessly Devoted by Kate Tempest

Lost Dog in Edinburgh

June 2013: 30 Days, 50 Workshops, 300 Trestle Masks and 610 participants…

The Snow Queen National Tour

New focus for Trestle: Expansion of mask work and emphasis on youth provision

The Man with the Luggage R&D

Author Blog On Burn my Heart




Trestle School of Drama opens its doors this September!

We are delighted to announce that following on from the launch of our Trestle SUMMER Schools, Trestle School of Drama will kick off this Autumn with weekly classes for all young people aged 4 – 21.

Spearheaded by Trestle’s Learning and Participation Manager Helen Barnett and Trestle workshop leader Karene Horner-Hughes our fully inclusive youth theatre will create a stimulating and professional environment within which its participants can find their own creative expression and grow their understanding of professional theatre practice.

With nearly 40 years’ experience in arts and education and a wide range of expert specialists at our finger tips Trestle is the perfect place to start your journey with drama and grow with us.

w/c 11 SEPT until w/c 4 DEC
There will be no sessions during half term w/c 23 OCT

SATURDAYS 9am-9.45am
For ages 4-6
Get started with drama and learn key skills through creative play.

SATURDAYS 1.30pm-4.30pm
For ages 7-10
Build your skills and begin to explore creating your own stories to share on stage. Gain experience in text, movement and ensemble vocal work.

EVOLVE (Create)
FRIDAYS 5pm-8pm
For ages 11-15
Learn more about creating your own performances with a focus on movement and devising.

SATURDAYS 10am-1pm
For ages 11-15
Develop your acting skills with a focus on text and voice.

For ages 16-21
Develop your artistic process in intensive cross art sessions tailored to your needs be it, drama school prep/ text work /movement or advanced skill development.

Click here for more information and to download a booking form 

Super Summer Schools and Wonderful Work Placements

This blog was written by James Bailey who was with Trestle on a work placement from the 2nd year of his Community Theatre degree at East 15 Acting School. We’ve loved having James on board and can’t wait to hear his thoughts on our Summer School.

Friday 14th August marked the end of Trestle’s Summer School workshops and after a week of hard work we gathered in the theatre to share what we had created. The younger group took us on an adventure around the world, inspired by some of Trestle’s international partnerships. The performance started in Spain with an energetic flamenco dance, complete with fans the children had made themselves. We were then quickly whisked away to India and told the story of a hungry crocodile and the cheeky monkey who outsmarted him. The final stop of the show was Africa, where we were treated to a Congolese folk song played on the children’s own handmade African drums. Although I didn’t work closely with the younger group this week, it was always great to get a taste of their energy and enthusiasm at lunch time and this energy was very clearly on display in their showing.

After a delightful trip around the real world, it was time for the older group to take us to an alternate world; a world where children are in charge! Through some fantastic mask work, we were shown the wonders of a world where there are theme-parks on every corner, sweet shops aplenty and it’s illegal for parents to tell children off. However, soon the cracks began to show in this world: the theme parks all break down, everyone is ill from eating too many sweets, and children who were never told off have grown into adults who have no idea how the world works. Eventually the Party Party (this world’s government) decide that they need to focus on things that will actually help everyone, like better train infrastructure, more electric cars and a bigger focus on healthy food in shops.

This week has been such an eye-opening and creative experience for me and it was the perfect way to spend the second week of my drama school work placement. Whilst working with the older group it was great to see how they all individually responded to the workshops and games we’d planned (a particular favourite being “Wolves”, I’ve never played so many rounds of that game in such a short space of time!). Over the course of the week, the group’s mask and drama skills improved immensely and we created and played with some very interesting characters, from evil witches to rebellious children. However, It wasn’t all fun and games, and what will stay with me most after this week were the mature and insightful conversations we had about the theme “If I Ruled the World”. All the ideas used in the final performance came directly from those conversations with the young performers and they managed to create a great performance that showed the repercussions of the fun policies of their ideal world and ended with solutions that would actually help everyone in the long run.

Finally, thank you to everyone who took part and made the summer school such a memorable experience. We hope you had as much fun as we did! 

For more information on upcoming projects with young people at Trestle Arts Base please go to

M-ask and Arts Award Success!

Early this year we had the delight of running the second cohort of our twelve week M-ask Well being drama programme at Hemel Old Town Hall. A wonderful group of participants joined us for weekly sessions where we explored the idea of “I may be young but”. We also learnt lots of new drama games and worked to develop our acting skills with the Trestle basic mask set.

The project looks to help participants grow in confidence and create a new community of friends through drama, mask and play. Some of the things they enjoyed most were.

“Working with people I wouldn’t normally get a chance to work and perform with.”

“Being able to express ideas and present them through acting”.

The group also really enjoyed watching a performance of Trestle’s production of Jekyll and Hyde that is currently touring schools. Reviewing this show formed part of their Bronze Arts Award that they worked towards throughout the project.

The twelve weeks culminated in a sharing of the work at Hemel Old Town Hall with a visit from the Mayor! Everyone’s friends and families loved the sharing and said how it was wonderful to see their ideas on stage.

Part of the programme is to equip the young people with new life skills but they also received a qualification through the Arts Award. Having recently had our moderation we are thrilled to say that everyone achieved their Bronze Arts Award. Our moderator said.

“…your choice of topics sets the bar so that students from a mixture of backgrounds are engaged with the issues.”

Huge congratulations to all! The project has been a huge success and a lot of fun.

“…a great approach that is so open that the students feel confident to dare and go to new places. Well done.”

We can’t wait to do it all again, the next cohort starts up in September, so keep an eye out for the chance to sign up!

Click here for more information 

Philippe Gaulier Workshop

Philippe Gaulier is back for his fourth intensive workshop at Trestle Arts Base.

DSC_0409 - copiePhilippe Gaulier – July 31st – 4thAugust 2017 – Clown Workshop.

This workshop is now full – Please email to be added to a waiting list

Philippe Gaulier will be running his famous Clown workshop for us again at Trestle Arts Base, St Albans in August 2017.

The workshop will run from 10.30 – 16.30 and Philippe will be teaching for the whole of the workshop.This is the third workshop that Small Nose has run with Philippe and we are really happy he is returning to run his distinctive and fun workshop.

There will be 32 places available. The workshop is perfect for anyone interested in Clown, has already completed some clown training, or is considering training at Philippe’s school.

15Festival: Workshops

During our Trestle Arts Base 15 Festival, amongst the shows and events, we ran a number of workshops designed for community groups to see Trestle for the first time or to experience the building in a new way. We were delighted to welcome the year six class at Camp School to Trestle Arts Base; most of the children hadn’t been before and they loved the tour which took them into parts of the building unseen by public eyes – the tower up to the flag pole, the cowsheds where numerous old puppets and masks are stored, back stage where giant animal puppets hide and the mask making workshops where Trestle’s renowned masks are handmade. After seeing a mask being made the group took part in a workshop in the theatre, where everyone put on a mask, created a character and entertained their classmates and teachers. Adult Supporter ‘Great afternoon thanks. Children loved it, as did adults!’

Next it was the turn of Earthworks, a charity which runs horticultural training for adults with learning disabilities, who came to Trestle Arts Base as a group for the first time. Earthworks are our neighbours, so after a short walk across Highfield Park, the Monday group enjoyed a tour of the building, lunch in the cafe and a workshop in the studio. Those who took part showed off their dance skills, acting prowess, larger than life characters and scary caricatures. One of the group leaders said:

‘I just wanted to say a huge thank you for yesterday. We all had a really good time – it was very interesting and informative tour and the workshop was fun. As you can see we have some Earthworkers that are really in their element with drama and it’s lovely to see them so confident and natural. We hope this is the start of an ongoing partnership between Trestle and Earthworks.’

The Daylight Club are regulars at Trestle Arts Base, following the fantastic projects we have enjoyed together, such as Herts Hidden Heroines and Hidden Stories. However, during the Festival we met new people and set up a new type of workshop for the participants. After a gentle warm up in the morning, we had lunch outside as it was a beautiful May Day, then Dawn Hudson ran a Singing Workshop. The group rose to the occasion, with everyone joining in in their own way and a really strong chorus of regular members who moved and sang with fabulous energy. In the Jungle, (Wim-oh-Weh) was a hit with the group, as was an aboriginal call and response number and a superb piece of improvised blues singing. The participants left smiling, their spirits lifted by a happy afternoon. Participants said: ‘We had a sing song and everybody enjoyed it, it was good fun.It would be good to do more theatre and acting at Trestle!’

Links Academy came to us twice during the Festival, the second time was a return with two boys who were particularly interested in Trestle masks. They engaged in an hour long workshop all about the superpowers that the Trestle masks could have and developed their own super heroes; they discussed whether the masks were good or evil and how two masks might work in partnership or become each other’s arch nemesis. Workshop leader Karene said ‘It was lots of fun and the guys worked really well together with our work experience student, playing games and trying out the masks’.

We asked everyone who came to the Festival what they would like to see happening at the Arts Base and as a result we are aiming to set up both a youth theatre and a regular weekly song and drama session for disabled and non-disabled adults.

Spies, lies and A Machine they’re Secretly Building at Trestle Arts Base as part of the 15Festival

A MACHINE THEY’RE SECRETLY BUILDING by Proto-type Theater is a wry expose of spies, lies and surveillance and will be coming to Trestle Arts Base on Saturday 27 May, 7.30pm + Q&A.

Taking their title and inspiration from a quote by Edward Snowden, the company have combined original text and classified intelligence documents with film from digital artist Adam York Gregory, and music and sound design by Paul J. Rogers, to vent their frustration at the insidious machine of surveillance.

Written and directed by Andrew Westerside, the show charts a course from the ‘Top Secret’ secrets of WWI intelligence (via the moon, 1972’s Chess World Championships, a disco in Oklahoma and the cafeteria at CERN) through to 9/11, Edward Snowden’s revelations and the terror of a future that might already be upon us.

From what might be a news desk, an office, a bedroom, a bunker under a mountain or a theatre, two people – reporters, senators, freedom fighters, or just… well… concerned citizens think about what it is to speak up, speak out, blow the whistle and lift the veil…

Described as “an articulate wail of anger” by the British Theatre Guide, A MACHINE THEY’RE SECRETLY BUILDING is a powerful performance about how we got to the point where our governments are spying on us, and how that’s changing who we are. Tickets are available below:

Book now

ALL TICKETS £5 | Suitable for 14+ | Runtime 60mins (no interval) | #AMTSB

MÓTUS Dance Lineup Announced

Sunday 21 May, 6.30pm + Q&A
Presented as part of the Trestle Arts Base 15Festival
All Tickets £5 (additional donations welcome)

MÓTUS is a celebration of all forms of Dance. The Company aims to engage anyone and everyone in a diverse programme of dance opportunities. On May 21 MÓTUS will team up with Trestle Arts Base to bring one of their renowned Work In Progress platforms to St Albans.

Caldonia Walton – ‘Noise Control’ – a dance theatre solo following a young woman’s battle to deal with the chatter in her head. It disrupts her space and affects her body and explores the desire to find a quick fix.

Piedad Seiquer – ‘IN-MEMORIA’ – three dancers represent different parts of the self – their movement, voice and connections representing the struggle within the self.
Tora Hed – ‘Between Horses’ – Based on the subject of loneliness, this solo explores how much of this feeling comes from within and how much is shaped by society’s norms.
Tickets for the showcase are £5 and can be purchased here

15Festival in full swing!

Trestle Arts Base 15Festival has been met with some wonderful feedback so far and with events all the way until 31st May there is still plenty to get involved with!

Events still to come…

Wednesday 17 May: Lost Dog present Paradise Lost (Lies unopened beside me) | 8pm + Q&A | Ages 14+

Saturday 20 May:  Divya Kasturi Company | Echo from the Past| 7pm + Demo & Q&A | Indian Dance

Sunday 21 May: Motus Dance Showcase | 6.30pm

Tuesday 23 May: A Evening with Nina Conti | Trestle Fundraising Gala | 7pm

Saturday 27 May: Proto-Type Theatre present A Machine They’re Secretly Building | 7.30pm + Q&A | Ages 14+

Sunday 28 May: To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar | 6pm | FREE | PG-13

Wednesday 31 May: Story Tent Spectacular | 1.30pm – 3.30pm

Trestle Arts Base 15Festival from Trestle Theatre on Vimeo.

As part of our 15Festival Exhibition resident digital media company VIDEOFEET have created a beautiful video of the Arts Base.

Trestle Arts Base 15Festival Brochure NOW ONLINE

Come to life, come to Trestle Arts Base… and join the party!

Whether you are one or 100, throughout May you are invited to help celebrate Trestle Arts Base 15th Anniversary. Our 15Festival brings together some of the best new theatre, dance and film alongside amazing backstage experiences, taster classes, family events and much more…

Events run from the 1 – 31 May. Full details are available via the links below, but be sure to follow us on twitter @trestletheatre or for the latest updates and special offers!

Saturday 6 May:
Gomito presents Chester Tuffnut | 1.30pm & 3.30pm | Ages 2+

Sunday 7 May:
History Walk with Highfield Park Trust plus Out of Sight, Out of Mind Exhibition
Flute recital | 3.45pm | FREE
I Daniel Blake | 6pm | FREE | 15+

Saturday 13 May: 15Festival Family Funday* | 10am – 5pm | FREE

– Yoga Taster Session | 10am
– Pilates taster Session I 1130am
– Creation Station Arts and Crafts Taster Session |10am – 12pm
– ActNow Academy | Children can try out a drama class and watch a showcase | 12.30pm & 4pm
– Guided Tours | Experience the Past and Present of Trestle Arts Base with the Keeper of the Stories | 11am, 1pm, 3pm
– ((BOUNCE))™ St Albans Taster Session | 1.30pm – 2pm
– Try on a mask in our theatre, 215pm, 315pm
– Choir- listen and join in if you’d like, 330pm-4pm
– Figure drawing with Life Drawing St Albans| 4.30pm – 5.30pm

*Bring your festival flyer with you and sign up to our mailing list, to receive a free hot/cold drink (non-alcoholic)

Wednesday 17 May: Lost Dog present Paradise Lost (Lies unopened beside me) | 8pm + Q&A | Ages 14+

Saturday 20 May:  Divya Kasturi Company | Echo from the Past| 7pm + Demo & Q&A | Indian Dance

Sunday 21 May: Motus Dance Showcase | 6.30pm

Tuesday 23 May: A Evening with Nina Conti | Trestle Fundraising Gala | 7pm

Saturday 27 May: Proto-Type Theatre present A Machine They’re Secretly Building | 7.30pm + Q&A | Ages 14+

Sunday 28 May: To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar | 6pm | FREE | PG-13

Wednesday 31 May: Story Tent Spectacular | 1.30pm – 3.30pm

Trestle Arts Base 15Festival has only been made possible through the support of Arts Council England. Tickets have been priced to be as inclusive as possible, however if you feel you are able or the quality of the shows/events are worth more than the standard ticket price please do donate via the booking link or in person over the course of the festival. Trestle is a charity that receives no regular funding and all proceeds will go to support the building and the work we create.

Life Drawing | Specialty Workshops | Soft Pastel and Clay

Join Life Drawing St Albans, run and tutored by illustrator Bob Wright for two special workshops.

pastel-workshop-with-jessie-rayat-february-27th-wSoft Pastel Workshop with Jessie Rayat

Sunday 26 February, 2.30pm – 6pm 
Cost: £35 paid in advance (inc booking fee)

Join local artist Jessie Rayat for three hours of portraiture at Trestle Arts Base on Sunday, February 26th, using soft pastels.

Pastels are a fantastic medium for illustrations and portraits. They’re ideal for sketching, capturing light and creating tone. There will be the opportunity on the day to experiment with pastels and to produce more developed pieces. The focus will be on developing your skills and techniques, as well as encouraging you to explore your own style. This is a good taste of the type of workshops that Jessie holds regularly in Harpenden, so if after the session you feel that you would like to develop your pastel work further there is the opportunity to do so.

Jessie is a painter and art educator with over 10 years experience in teaching. She has exhibited at multiple galleries and venues across Hertfordshire and London. You can visit her website here.

Price includes refreshment.  Materials are not provided there will be some paper available but a list of recommended materials will be supplied.  Four artists to a model, DSLR photography will be supplied should you want to add finishing touches to your work after the session

Head over to Meetup now to book your space or e-mail with your request and further details will be sent to you directly. Cost for this session is £35 (Includes booking fee) paid in advance.


5c431e2a-3f02-4936-8919-72b70b2be4d3Full figure sculpture session with Ben Twiston Davis

Sunday 19 March 2.30 pm – 6pm
Cost: £46.75 (Includes booking fee) paid in advance

Join illustrator Bob Wright and artist Ben Twiston Davis on Sunday, March 19th for 3 hours of sculpture.  In this session, we will be creating a fully standing figure.

Ben Twiston Davis has taught at the Art Academy in London, exhibited at a wide variety of private and public exhibitions, has a permanent installation in Covent Garden and worked with the Henry Moore foundation and Turner award-winning artist Keith Tyson.  You can see example of Ben’s work here,

All tools will be supplied as well as the armature needed to create a standing figure and give your sculpture the strength and rigidity needed to set.

Head over to Meetup now to book your space or e-mail with your request and further details will be sent to you directly. Cost for this session is £46.75 (Includes booking fee) paid in advance.

You can find samples of work produced from previous workshops on Meetup or Facebook here.