About Us

Catch Penny Twist

Chris Glover in Catch Penny Twist 1990

Tinderbox Theatre Company is based in Belfast. Formed in 1988, it is one of Northern Ireland’s longest established and most respected independent theatre companies. Tinderbox is dedicated to new writing for the theatre, the playwrights who create it, and the artistic environment in which its work takes place.

Tinderbox produces two to three productions per year, carries out a range of initiatives to develop new writing for the theatre, and runs a year-round Outreach Programme in schools and communities across Northern Ireland.

The company performs in various venues in Belfast, and tours its productions across Ireland. Tinderbox has performed sell-out seasons in London and Edinburgh and recently performed at the Kennedy Centre in Washington DC. The company aims to develop a wider audience for new writing in the theatre, and has devised a number of initiatives in this area. See our Productions page.

The company employs a full time Dramaturg, the only post of its kind in Northern Ireland. The Dramaturg leads activities aimed specifically at the development of high quality new theatre writing, from responding to the scripts received by Tinderbox to supporting the work of professional playwrights under commission. See our Dramaturgy page.

Tinderbox has developed a highly acclaimed Outreach Programme, which offers workshops, training, participative projects, and tailor made resource packs to schools, community groups and individuals across the north of Ireland. The company also offers training and support for those interested in leading drama based workshops, in a variety of settings. See our Outreach page.

Maria Connolly and Miche Doherty in This Other City 2009

Maria Connolly and Miche Doherty in This Other City 2009

Tinderbox works alongside other companies to create a vibrant theatre culture that attracts and develops new talent and new audiences. The company is strongly committed to its local theatre community, prioritising employment opportunities for locally based actors, writers, directors, designers, stage managers, technicians, administrators and other theatre practitioners. Tinderbox is an Independent Theatre Council/British Actors Equity Approved Management and has charitable status.


Fireworks Young Writers Programme returns!

Posted on 25 September 2015 in Dramaturgy

The Tinderbox’s flag ship young writers programme returns in a new exciting version funded by the Belfast City Council. If you are an aspiring theatre writer between 18 and 25 this is for you.

Fireworks takes a select group of young writers through the process of writing a stage play, from first idea through rehearsals to a performance draft. Participants then get to see their work performed in a rehearsed reading in front of an audience.

The deadline for the applications is 12 noon on the 12th of October.

For full programme details, dates and how to apply follow this link FIREWORKS 2015.


Script reading service suspended

Posted on 8 September 2015 in Dramaturgy

It is with regret that Tinderbox has to suspend its free script reading service until further notice. We know how valuable this resource was to writers across Northern Ireland and beyond, but due to the recent funding cuts we currently do not have the resources to read and provide professional written feedback on all the scripts submitted.

We will be exploring new models of working and supporting writers and theatremakers from and living in Northern Ireland, so we still want to hear from you as we embark on many exciting upcoming projects. The Tinderbox Dramaturg Hanna Slattne will continue to be an integral part of all our processes and can be contacted by emailing hanna.slattne@tinderbox.org.uk.

New Era At Tinderbox

Posted on 8 September 2015 in Productions

NEW ERA AT TINDERBOX After 12 successful years dedicated to the development and production of new Northern Irish writing, Artistic Director Mick Duke and General Manager Kerry Woods, two of Belfast’s most experienced and respected theatre professionals, are moving on. Under their leadership, the company has flourished with a varied and ambitious programme, staging twenty new […]

See the full Tinderbox news archive »