What people have to say about Hope Street

Over the years, Hope Street has collected feedback from a cross section of its Peers, Alumni and Audiences.



"As the only organisation in Liverpool solely dedicated to developing emerging artistic talent, the cultural sector benefits enormously from HSL. The Bluecoat has worked with HSL since 2010. Each time the creative team has produced inventive, accessible and entertaining high quality performances by professional, emerging and community artists. There are few small organisations that cement exceptional, meaningful partnerships with the larger organisations in the city. HSL is the exception, having initiated partnerships with the Bluecoat, Everyman/Playhouse, Unity, FACT, Tate, NML, Biennial."

Mary Cloake, CEO - The Bluecoat


"Since arriving in Liverpool, I've been struck by the seemingly quiet but oh-so-vital role that Hope Street Ltd has in the cultural life of Liverpool and beyond.  So many of the artists and creatives we work with here at Unity have been involved or touched by Hope Street in one way or another (often through the EAP).  And then there's the fact that in their brilliant and maverick way, Hope Street manage to engage with so many COoL and LARC organisations in genuine partnerships.  On the Verge, their site-responsive festival is raw, edgy and exciting.  From being handcuffed in a toilet to experiencing the life of a blind person through a beautiful sensory performance, you quite simply don't know what will happen next.  All in all Hope Street's work is ambitious, invigorating and always punches above its weight. Bring it on."

Matthew Linley, Artistic Director/CEO - Unity Theatre


"As ever your project was amazing and very enjoyable . A great big thanks to the whole team."

“Hope Street  worked with the Tate Community Collective in making and using masks for The Many Faces of Francis Bacon, (July 2016, EAP) and they’ve become so enthusiastic about the masks that they insisted in using them for their next project, a musical.”

Lindsey Fryer, Head of Learning - Tate Liverpool


"You have supported me since I first came to the city. Very proud to be associated with an organisation that is able to use its energy and resources to help people thrive. Without Hope Street I think that the cultural landscape of the city would look very different. You give space for creativity in a way I haven't seen in many other organisations and I think your open ethos has influenced the way the artistic scene operates here." 

Aleasha Chaunte, Associate Artist, 2016/17


"Hope Street is the perfect creative producer. They nurture artists, train them to be brilliant, and then employ them to create amazing performances. We have commissioned Hope Street often. They are exceptional." 

Charlotte Corrie, Director - Open Culture


"Liverpool Biennial values Hope Street both as a partner and a unique part of the region’s cultural life. The innovative, cross genre work that Hope Street produces has helped the Biennial to reach new audiences and to present work in different formats, such as an immersive gaming experience and has advanced the dynamic of the arts that are available to people across the city. We are particularly pleased to recognise Hope Street’s work with emerging artists." 

Paul Smith, Executive Director - Liverpool Biennial


"It was great working with Hope Street again - another successful collaboration!"

Alison Jones, Programme Manager: Public and Community Learning - Tate Liverpool


"I know that previous 20StoriesHigh participants have gained a lot from participating in Hope Street projects. One of our youth theatre members Manoka Mbolokele was a performer in 'The Last Utopian'. He talked to me about how much he loved working with the young people from other companies, as well as the emerging artists and established professionals from Hope Street. He felt it really expanded his horizons and his links in the industry. He said that he's had opportunities since the project which have come via those networks and links. He felt it was a really valuable addition to his experience, and is really glad he took the opportunity to get involved.

I look forward to our other youth theatre members being able to engage in your next project!"

Julia Samuels, Co-Artistic Director - 20 Stories High




Audience feedback - On the Verge, 2017:

"Fantastic use of dance and football to articulate the dynamics of interpersonal relationships, gender divides, preconceived notions of gender etc. Beautiful choreography, tender moments, tension, conflict and humour"
(The Match)

"This was absolutely fantastic. Honest, humble, beautiful storytelling in a fantastic immersive setting. I loved it!"
(Karaoke Tales)

"Probably the most powerful, emotional performance I have ever seen"

"Unique, engaging and incredibly strongly performed.This is one of the best things I've ever seen. Please keep doing it all over. Brilliant concept, SO well executed. I thoroughly enjoyed the evening."

Audience feedback - HeartBrokers/On the Verge festival, 2015 


Audience feedback - On the Verge, 2015:

"Unusual and intimate, amazing experience, playful, fun and just a bit weird; innovative, provocative, nurturing and shocking."



"Wonderful immersive experience, touching, funny and visually beautiful."



"Loved how you incorporated the environment, difficult to imagine it happening in another location."

(Flowerpot Women) 


"Very moving and insightful experience. Very clever switch. Very well looked after. Brilliant audience experience. Felt held and in safe hands. Brilliant."



"The actors made this experience truly magical. A lovely time tour throughout the magical forest. The children were mesmerised the entire the time. Great job Blakemere."

Audience feedback - Blakemere's Christmas Woodland, 2015


“You leave university thinking and hoping you can walk into a job. This is not the case, however this is the case with Hope St. You are practising what it is like in the industry constantly whilst being supported to explore yourself as an artist. I would not have the confidence, skills and experience to become a theatre director if it wasn’t for Hope St believing in me and reassuring my dream can become a reality.”

Samuel Erskine, Director - Emerging Artists Programme, 2016


"The Emerging Artists Programme is an integral part of the theatre ecology within Liverpool and fits incredibly well as a partner organisation for Young Everyman Playhouse.  It has provided performance opportunities for our young actors enabling them to experience styles of theatre that they would not encounter with us, therefore increasing their skills set and employability within the city.   One of our Young Directors was fortunate enough to become the trainee director on the Emerging Artist Programme.  This hugely aided his development and has enabled him to start gaining employment in both our theatres and the wider Liverpool theatrical community.  This type of progression route is also very strong when it comes to our young producers course with our young people becoming industry ready through the Hope Street Ltd programme." 

Matt Rutter, Young Everyman Playhouse Director / Actor - Physical Theatre Programme, 1999 - Endorsed by Deborah Aydon


"Hi Peter and gang. Just letting you know I have made a small donation in support of all the amazing work you do. Back in 1995 I moved to Liverpool with a bunch of mates because we had heard what a fabulous city Liverpool was for the arts and Hope Street was our first port of call. Everything I did from then on was because of the work I did with you and the connections I made. You guys trained me on the physical theatre course, sent me to Madrid and employed me for 2 TIE tours. You also supported me and Ciaus to set up Major Motion giving us advice and space to work. The community arts work I went on to with Splatterdays, setting up Unity Youth theatre with Helen, Lantern workshops, Aspire and so much more all started with you. I then had to move away but went on to run youth theatre and work in community arts in Dorset and London but I still thank you for making it possible. I now work in special effects and for a puppet education company and still draw on skills I learnt with you and the network I made. Hope Street is the heart and sole of arts in Liverpool and I wish you all the best for the future. x x Bianca."  

Bianca Judd, Facebook message


"Keep the beautiful spirit of the programme. It was refreshing to be reminded how special the experience is for all involved. This was the most successful year/project I have worked on with integrated volunteer performers. As always I felt fully supported by the Hope Street staff." 

Adam McGuigan, Lead Artist - Emerging Artists Programme, 2016 / Director - Emerging Artists Programme, 2004


"This company championed / mentored me as a young person before I went to Drama School...many moons ago...and when I left Drama school I updated my skills with their workshops and expertise...20 years on I still participate in their workshops and have worked on truly amazing projects and productions. I continue to learn from their amazing team...They have always a been a valued source to me and my career...and I consider them as dear friends as well as well as treasured life coaches. Thank you, Hope Street." 

Keddy Sutton, Facebook message


“I learned that it was okay to have fun and play, even at the grand old age of 43. I left feeling more confident about my skills, and about myself. Thank you for the best six months of my life that have taken 20 years off me; maybe not in appearance, but definitely in the way I feel!” 

Jackie Byrne, Actor - Emerging Artists Programme, 2012


“The programme is really, really great. I am getting more out of it than I could have imagined. And Hope Street as a company fills me with only enthusiasm going forward with my career.”

Steffi Sweeney, Actor - Emerging Artists Programme, 2016


"Hope Street is key to the city as it retains and trains emerging artists, developing an excellent community of artists over the past 25 years. I originally trained at Hope Street and it has been invaluable in my development and that of Tmesis and I was very happy to be invited to be a lead artist of one of the excellent EAP projects in 2016. As a festival, we have worked with many fantastic local artists who trained at Hope Street, and who may not be in the city creating work if it were not for the training and community Hope Street provides." 

Elinor Randle, Artistic Director - Tmesis / Emerging Artists Programme, 2002


"I finished university (theatre design) and moved back to Liverpool realising I had no practical skills or local knowledge or connections - university was very theory based. I participated in the Hope Street Emerging Artists Programme (about 15 years ago!) and I gained an amazing amount of practical experience and skills, as well as links with organisations and professionals within the arts. The relationship did not stop there. Hope Street Ltd have continued to mentor me and develop my career through hiring me to design shows and puppets, to giving me unscheduled advice and assistance with funding applications, practical issues, space to work in and practical help. Also indirectly utilising the huge network of connections I have made through Hope Street within the arts, from hiring making assistants, designers and performers, to the contacts who hire my company for work. I was taught to make my first giant puppet as part of the Hope Street Emerging Artists Programme. I now run my own giant puppet company, making and touring shows to huge events, nationally and internationally, as well as running workshops within the local community. Returning to Hope Street as a professional artist to mentor their current students has been a recent highlight, as well as running workshops around the globe (including to homeless children in Zambia with Barefeet Theatre (another Hope Street connection). None of this would have been possible without Hope Street’s continued support through my career."

Rowan Watts, VIP Puppets / Designer - Emerging Artists Programme, 2003


“Definitely the most valuable experience I’ve had as an artist and maybe as a person in my life”

“Pushed me to be better than I thought I was”

Jake Szuplewski, Actor - Emerging Artists Programme, 2016



Hope Street is a charity and we rely on public funding to deliver our exceptional programmes for free. Please show your support by giving what you can: