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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

Philippe Gaulier Workshop

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




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.

Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

The University of Bedfordshire Access and Outreach department and Trestle Theatre Company have joined together to bring you a thrilling performance of ‘Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’, specifically aimed at engaging GCSE students.

This 45 minute live version of Stevenson’s story brings out the drama of the mystery, giving a clear and vivid sense of the narrative and characters.

Using mask, physical performance and a specially composed soundscape, Trestle’s memorable performance will get its audience members excited by the story, intrigued by the characters and engaged by the ideas.

For further information please email

(Performances will be available from April 2017 onwards)


Trestle Theatre Company is renowned internationally for its mask work and highly effective educational programmes. Trestle is currently fundraising to be able to offer workshops and resources to accompany the performance of Jekyll & Hyde; details will be available in February 2017. | @TrestleTheatre


The University of Bedfordshire works with schools and colleges across the region, and further afield, to ensure that there are opportunities for everyone to access higher education and reach their potential.

Through their Outreach Programme they provide lots of outreach support and activities for teachers and trainers, parents and carers, and community groups to raise awareness, aspirations and achievement so that groups that are otherwise under-represented can successfully progress to Higher Education. | @uniofbeds

Merry Christmas from Trestle Theatre Company

Thank You so much for your continued support of Trestle through 2016, which has been such an exciting year for the Company. If you have a moment in between mulled wine and mince pies do click here and have a read of what we have been up to, but here are the best bits:

  • Nina Conti performing with Trestle Masks 
  • Two BBC appearances – Trestle on Arts Night and Flog it! 
  • Herts Hidden Heroines discovering numerous amazing women 
  • Numbers: 440 workshops with 7,000 participants. 642 mask sets sent across the world
  • We welcomed Morris our Office Dog to Trestle Arts Base.

Trestle Arts Base Christmas Opening Hours

Saturday 24th December 2016 – Monday 2nd January 2017 | Closed
Tuesday 3rd January 2017 | Trestle Office Open
Week commencing 9th | Most classes resume, please be sure to check with your class provider for details.

Wishing you all a very merry festive season,

– The Trestle Team

PS. You can check out our Christmas video featuring our office dog Morris and his photo shoot here

The Yarico Education Trailer

Yarico Education Programme Trailer from Trestle Theatre on Vimeo.


‘…The slave trade is probably one of the biggest blights in the history of this sceptered isle and is something that is very rarely mentioned. That has all changed now with…“Yarico” a powerfully emotional story of love and betrayal in the 17c.’ –London Theatre 1

The programme includes:

– A professional performance presentation
– Interactive workshops
– High quality educational resources
– Brand new mask sets

Yarico is the true story of an 17c. Amerindian woman who saved the life of a British merchant; after falling in love and sailing to Barbados, he sold her into slavery. The issues within the story include ideological and theatrical exploration of ‘being enslaved’ in both historical and contemporary contexts, culturally diverse relationships and the power of music as a tool for expression in response to adversity.

Curriculum Links:

Themes include devised theatre, ‘living in the wider world’, ‘tolerance and respect’, ‘social, historical and contextual’ elements of ‘past and contemporary culture’ (PSHE Non-Stat). With specific focus on embedded, metacognitive and integrated learning processes through creating links to the wider curriculum.

The educational programme is available either in full or part at your school/organisation.

To discuss your requirements e: t: 01727 850 950 or visit for more information

Sustainable St Albans 2016

Trestle Theatre Company are delighted to be involved for the second year running with this year’s Sustainable St Albans Week. Throughout the week there will be events and workshops supporting the event as well as information about how you and your community can get involved throughout the week and beyond.

What is Sustainable St Albans Week?


Individuals, organisations and groups around the district run their own local events during the week –  events which suits their interests and is related to one of the then themes of the  environmental sustainability framework.

  •  A week of exciting activities/events all about environmental sustainability; waste, natural habitat, heritage, water, transport, energy, health, happiness… See ideas for events click here
  • An opportunity to demonstrate we care for the environmental sustainability of our unique historic district
  • Connecting individuals and communities of all ages, faiths and diverse interests

On Sunday 20 November Kathryn Holt from Story Tent will be running a family junk modelling session “Replay!”

Come and let your imagination be fired by exploring all sorts of recycled materials and transforming them into art rather than sending them to landfill!


Also in the theatre between 10.30am to 4.30pm there will be a craft fair featuring crystal and recycled jewelry, wool fairies, giftware, picture frames and much more.




On November 23 between 10.30am – 11.30am members of the Sustainable St Albans team will be on hand in Trestle’s Gallery Cafe to answer questions about…

Playing Out… What it is and how you can get started with a street partyplaying-out-approved-for-future-visions

Come and have a coffee with the Herts Playing Out Team and find out how to enable your children to safely play out in your own street.

Would you like to have a street party in your road?street-party-picture

Come and meet the Our Street Party team and get information and help on how to set up a Street Party in your street.

Morpurgo Magic at Trestle Arts Base this Christmas!

Christmas comes early as Skewbald Theatre bring’s Michael Morpurgo’s Mimi and the Mountain Dragon to Trestle Arts Base this December!


Join us as Skewbald magically bring to life this beautifully atmospheric tale, packed full of festive adventure, snow and dragons! With lively songs, magical puppets and plenty of audience interaction.

The shows will take place on:

Friday 9 December, 10.30am & 1.30pm
Saturday 10 December 2.30pm & 4.30pm
Tickets: £10 / £8 Concessions* / Groups 1 ticket FREE with every 10 purchased

*All ticket holders under the age of 16 will receive a complimentary ice cream after the performance.

Suitable for families and children aged 3+ and everyone who loves stories

For more information or to book tickets please follow this link