Current Shows - Red Ladder Theatre Company

Red Ladder Theatre Company

Current Shows

Santa Must Die!

Archipelago Arts Collective presents Santa Must Die!

Written by Rosie MacPherson with music by Sean Ryan and Lyrics by Sean Ryan, Robin Ravi and Laurence Young. Original direction by Beth Knight and Laurence Young.

Originally commissioned by Alphabetti Theatre and supported by Bradford Producing Hub and Arts Council England.

Please sir, can I have the night off?

Nadia and Abed might just be the next big thing. They’ve started the North’s greatest band ‘Santa Must Die!’ and for one night only they’re playing their local. But it’s Christmas Eve… and Santa is a bad boss.

Unending queues of demanding, entitled customers, minimum wage, no time off, unpaid overtime, zero-hour contracts. It’s about time the elves staged a riot.

Santa Must Die! is a raucous new punk theatre show for the gig economy at the most difficult time of the year! A different kind of Christmas story about it being really sh*t when Xmas is all work and no play, about finding joy in unexpected places and fighting against that which is meant to keep you down. 

Santa Must Die! will be coming to:

Queen’s Mill, Castleford on Monday 4th December 2023 at 19:30

The Gate @ BITMO, Belle Isle on Wednesday 6th December 2023 at 19:30

St John’s Parish Hall, Barnsley on Friday 8th December 2023 at 19:30

The Grove Hall, South Kirkby on Saturday 9th December 2023 at 19:30

The Cluntergate Centre, Horbury on Sunday 10th December 2023 at 19:30

Made in conversation with people who have experience of working on zero-hours contracts at Christmas time. 

archipelago is a theatre collective led by Beth Knight, Kirsty Pennycook and Sean Ryan that makes live, daring, and generous work that brings people together. Made with communities, for communities. 

Age guidance 14+

Strong language and themes of an adult nature including references to sexual assault and racism.

Performances in Castleford and South Kirkby are funded with a Culture Grant from Wakefield Council.


Beginners’ Acting Course with Steven Busfield (6 sessions)

Join us for a free and flexible alternative to formal acting training ran by Steven Busfield at The Mallard on Moorthorpe Station.

This course covers everything from creating a character to working as an ensemble.

The course consists of 6 sessions;

Tuesday 30th January

Tuesday 6th February

Tuesday 13th February

Tuesday 20th February

Tuesday 27th February

Tuesday 5th March

Pay ​£10 now but get that back on your first session.

The Mallard Pub is wheelchair accessible.

Suitable for ages 18+

From 6:30PM to 8:30PM


Stand-Up Comedy Course with Alex Dunlop (7 sessions)

Join us for a masterclass in stand-up comedy from established comedian Alex Dunlop at the Queen’s Mill in Castleford.

The course will consist of an introduction to stand-up comedy: creating and developing material, and delivering it to audiences.

The course will consist of 7 sessions;

Wednesday 31st January
Wednesday 7th February
Wednesday 21st February
Wednesday 28th February
Wednesday 6th March
Wednesday 13th March
Wednesday 20th March (performance)

Pay £10 now but get that back on your first session.

Queen’s Mill is wheelchair accessible.

Suitable for ages 18+

From 6:30PM to 8:00PM


Clowning with Tempest Wisdom (6 sessions)

Join us for a masterclass in clowning at The Cluntergate Centre, Hornbury with Tempest Wisdom.

Covering the basics of physical comedy and clowning techniques, students of all abilities will take on the serious business of silliness!

Sunday 18th ​February
Sunday 25th February
Sunday 3rd March
Sunday 10th March
Sunday 17th March
Sunday 24th March

Pay ​£10 now but get that back on your first session.

The Cluntergate Centre is wheelchair accessible.
Suitable for ages 16+

From 10:00AM to 12:00PM



It’s about the places that make us and the places we make. It’s about growing up and moving away. It’s about where we’ve been and where we are now. It’s about belonging and not belonging. It’s about not fitting in and finding a place to fit in. It’s about here. It’s about there. It’s about me and it’s about you.

Join Phil in his journey as he recreates beer ads we have loved, the 1968 Rugby League Challenge Cup final, under-16s disco night at the Mecca ballroom, Wakefield, and his mum and dad’s silver-wedding party. This show is about the places we grow up in and the traces they may or may not leave; finding, losing and re-discovering roots.

Using popular performance forms A Good Neet Aht explores class, identity and belonging. It’s a kaleidoscope of experiences travelling through time and place with its feet placed firmly in the pit village of Phil’s youth. It’s at turns comic, reflective, celebratory and occasionally abrasive but always heartfelt.


Breaking The Mould – The Alice Gostick Story

You’ve heard of famous Castleford sculptor Henry Moore and fellow artists Albert Wainwright and Arthur Dalby. Yet have you heard of the inspirational woman behind them all? Their teacher Alice Gostick. Alice taught the boys the art of Peasant Pottery, helping fire up a movement throughout the country for hand-painting ceramics.

Now, for the first time, her story takes centre stage in an exciting new play from Empath Action CIC about her life, her convention-breaking pottery classes, and her brilliant, boundary-breaking students.

Breaking the Mould is funded by Wakefield Council as part of Our Year – Wakefield District 2024, and is part of a wider project to celebrate and blue plaque the life of Alice Gostick.


The Light House

Love is a complicated business. It gets even more complicated when the person you love doesn’t want to be alive. Tender, funny and defiantly hopeful, The Light House is a real-life story of falling in love and staying in love, even when the lights go out and you’re lost in the dark. It’s a love letter to life.


Join the emergency response as we dance in the kitchen, sing in the streets and try to turn the lights back on. It gets lonely, muddling through these days and nights. So why don’t we do it together?


Age guidance 13+


We’re Not Going Back

Coming soon! 


Red Ladder Theatre Company and Unite the Union presents

We’re Not Going Back

Written by Boff Whalley

75 Mines. 3 Sisters. 1 Cause. (And a six-pack of Babycham)

2024 is the fortieth anniversary of the 1984/85 miners’ strike, a dispute that still resonates today. But the strike wasn’t just about pickets vs police – in this hard-hitting musical comedy there are no miners and no cops. Instead, we follow the fortunes of three sisters in a pit village, hit hard by the Government’s war against the miners and determined to set up a branch of ‘Women Against Pit Closures’.

Early 1984, and Olive, Mary and Isabel are sisters whose everyday squabbles collide with a strike that forces them to question their lives, their relationships and their family ties.

This strike wasn’t just a war fought on the battlegrounds of picket line, Parliament and public opinion. It was as much a battle in the homes and families of those fighting for their communities.

We’re Not Going Back tackles the resilience of working communities, the make-and-mend fabric of family and the power of sticking two fingers up to a government hell-bent on destruction… and all with humour, song and a six pack of Babycham.

Dates TBC.

Keep an eye on this space! 

Take a look at the audience reactions from the original tour below!