STUDENTS from York St John will be 'taking over' the Theatre Royal for the TakeOver2023 Festival from May 22-27.

They'll be performing their own work on the theatre's main stage as well as learning about key roles in the theatre.

"They have been working as producers, production managers, at front of house, as well as marketing the festival on their social media platforms," a spokesperson for the festival said.

The annual festival aims to give students the chance to take their first 'leap' into the entertainment industry.

And not just university students.

"TakeOver Festival also works with the wider community, making theatre with the kids at York High School and sharing the joy of theatre with families," the spokesperson said. The theme for this year's festival is In Living Colour. The aim is to get people talking about what’s important and shedding 'colourful light' onto meaningful issues.

The festival will include a 30-45 minute musical performance including songs from Pink Floyd’s album ‘The Wall’; a short play about a teenager dealing with his mum’s terminal diagnosis by diving into computer games; a 'City Dance Trail'; 'Inside Outside', an examination of loss through movement and 'verbatim text' - and much more.

David Richmond, senior performance lecturer at York St John University, said: "TakeOver is a fantastic opportunity for students to make that important first step to being professional theatre makers."

The Theatre Royal's Zoe Colven-Davies added: "It’s been wonderful to work with third year performance students, to see them bring to the York Theatre Royal stage their own work."

TakeOver2023, York Theatre Royal, May 22-27. Find out more - and book tickets - at

In the meantime, here are a few highlights:

  • The Wall by Josh Davies, Monday May 22, 2pm/ Tuesday May 23, 11am, Theatre Royal Foyer: a 30-45 minute musical performance including renditions of songs from Pink Floyd’s album ‘The Wall’.
  • Operation Hummingbird by Next Door But One, Tuesday May 23 and Wednesday May 24 and 12pm and 7pm in the main house: Teenager Jimmy deals with his mum’s terminal diagnosis by diving into computer games.
  • City Dance Trail, Tuesday May 23, 2pm: Starting at York St John’s Creative Centre and journeying through the city, a series of original dance performances which explore the promise of the unknown.
  • Stories Between the Lines by Reconnect, Tuesday May 23, 4.30pm, York Theatre Royal Studio: a performance that highlights the lives of four characters as they navigate the complexities of family life and teenage years.
  • Finding your Voice as a Playwright – Workshop by Next Door But One, Wednesday May 24, 3pm, main house
  • The Modern Maidens by Twisted Tales, Thursday May 25, 3.30pm, main house: Twisted Tales interweave women’s issues with classic fairy tales to explore themes such as jealousy, revenge, innocence, and betrayal. Suitable for 16+
  • Express your Colours Within - Movement Workshop for Adults, Friday May 26, 11am, studio: A movement-based workshop that invites the participants to engage in ways of moving that they wouldn’t normally.