New outdoor theatre festival to help support London fringe venue Network Theatre

UPSTART THEATRE Red Planet Revolution show CREDIT Ali-Wright-56
UPSTART THEATRE Red Planet Revolution show CREDIT Ali-Wright

A new outdoor festival of theatre and writing has been announced to help support London fringe venue Network Theatre.

With theatres still struggling from the impact of the pandemic, alumni from one venue are looking to give back.


Author and broadcaster Emma Byrne, who has spent many years directing and designing at Network Theatre in Waterloo, has organised Wild Words Festival.

Running this summer from 3 – 5 June at Colesdale Farm in Hertfordshire, the outdoor celebration of theatre and writing will help support Network Theatre by donating £10 per booking.

The lineup includes Upstart Theatre, RPGeeks, playwright Kirty Eyre, newcomer Lizzie Damilola Blackburn and international bestseller and musical theatre composer Sophie Hannah,

Festival organiser, Emma Byrne, said: “I saw the impact that the pandemic was having on small venues, small companies, and freelancers – the creative lifeblood of the sector – and I wanted to do something celebratory and safe.

“Starting an outdoor festival of theatre and writing is my way of giving back some of the joy, the connections, and the skills I have gained from working in fringe over the years.”

Network Theatre’s Chairman, Susan Small added: “Venues and companies like Network Theatre are an essential part of the creative infrastructure. Our programme supports new writers who are just starting out – Kirsty Eye, one of the festival headliners, began writing for Network several years ago.

“Shamini Bundell, one of the cast of RPGeeks, has also been heavily involved in our programming for many years. Many of the Wild Words Festival’s staff got their technical training with us. Small companies like ours act as nurseries where creative people can put down roots. Without support, the effects of the pandemic could see many of them close.”

For more information and tickets, visit

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