About Big Imaginations

Big Imaginations is a region-wide group of venues and promoters dedicated to bringing brilliant children’s theatre to the North of England. From grand auditoriums to rural village halls and everything in between, our mission is to spark the imagination of children aged 0-13 with the wonder of theatre. Big Imaginations has brought together 21 venues to make the North’s children’s theatre offer bigger, better and more affordable.


Our objectives are:

Audiences: To develop and nurture longer-term relationships with audiences and market a programme of touring work for children and families in order to ensure as many people as possible experience and are inspired by great art.

Promoters: To drive and strengthen a consortium and touring circuit in the North West enabling quality children’s shows to come to the region more readily, making it more cost-effective and sustainable.

Artists: To develop and nurture longer-term relationships with artists making excellent work for children, specifically work of a diverse nature to reflect the communities we serve.

To support and encourage cross-venue partnership consortiums to support and share resources and skills, developing CPD for children’s theatre especially in the areas of programming, marketing and audience development, by visiting festivals and showcases and sharing best practice.


Founder members:

  • Liz O’Neill (CEO) – Z-arts, Manchester
  • Fay Lamb (CEO) – The Citadel, St Helens
  • Janine Waters (Artistic Director) – The Edge, Manchester
  • Claire Smith & Jen Henry (Rural Arts Officers) –  Cheshire & Lancashire Rural Touring Networks
  • Mandy Precious & Karen Barnes – Burnley Youth Theatre
  • Julia Brown (Producer & Communications Manager) – The Dukes, Lancaster
  • Matt Fenton (Director) – Live at LICA, Nuffield, Lancaster
  • Emma Lloyd (Marketing & Programme Manager) – The Atkinson, Southport
  • Claire Bigley (Arts Development Team Leader) –  The Brindley, Runcorn
  • Rosie Scott (Development Manager) – Waterside Arts Centre, Sale