Through the company and work we represent diversity and the human condition in the world as it is


The Garden: Lockdown Edition

July 2020

Written and Directed: Amy Cunningham
Design and Illustrations: Pip Leckenby
Digital Production: Penny Cunningham
Featuring music by Rhiannon Scutt

Originally intended as a play for theatres Dark Horse is delighted to present The Garden: Lockdown Edition, an exquisite online experience fusing poetry, music, script, and stunning illustrations.

Suitable for a general audience whilst also appealing to people who have a learning disability.

Tickets are available at:

On receipt of purchase, attendees will receive an email containing the video link to The Garden: Lockdown Edition on July 14th. The production will be available to watch online from 14th- 28th July.

The Garden

July 2020

Written and Directed by Amy Cunningham
Choreography by Villmore James
Designed by Pip Leckenby

When Sophie goes to stay with her brother she meets Emma, a poet who lives in the house next door. In the sanctuary of the garden and over the course of the changing seasons, their relationship blossoms and then falters as Sophie begins to question herself and where things might be going.

The Garden features Dark Horse’s final year student actors, an ensemble cast of eight professionally trained student actors with learning disabilities who take you on a story of bittersweet friendship, denial and unrequited love.

Funny and poignant the show is suitable for a general audience whilst also appealing to people who have a learning disability. #TheGarden

Lawrence Batley Theatre

Wednesday 1st July 2020
Thursday 2nd July 2020

01484 430582

York Theatre Royal

Saturday 11th July 2020


For workshops with schools and community groups please contact


Spring 2019

Written and Directed by Amy Cunningham

STIR is a performance, combining live theatre and film, created for Key Stage 3 and 4 students by Dark Horse Theatre.

STIR begins by following Thomas, the central character, and his struggle to be accepted by his peers. We see Thomas attempt to climb the social ladder, no matter the cost, and the drastic consequences that unfold. It is a story of war, love, loss and the fear of letting go.

Devised and performed by an ensemble of 8 actors with a learning disability, STIR tests an audience’ beliefs, challenging their expectations and appreciation of others.

It has been devised using a variety of stimuli including Shakespeare’s Macbeth and Rona Munro’s Scuttlers, taking on the themes of both to create a whole new narrative. An engaging tale told by a company of experienced story-tellers, STIR is not to be missed.

STIR is currently touring schools and community settings. To book, call 01484 484441 or email

You Have Been Watching

Autumn 2017

Written and Directed by Lucy Campbell
Designed by Laura Ann Price
Lighting Design by Adam Murdoch

After a false start (or two) it finally looks as if struggling actor Martin Midgley is going to get his dream role and a regular speaking part playing Detective Bob Newton in BAD, all he has to do first is solve the murder and he’s in it. But with everyone else fighting to stay on the show, rival families at war over a ‘will they, wont they’ wedding and none of the other characters willing to stay dead, it seems as if everyone is determined to get in the way of his enquiries.


Lawrence Batley Theatre, March 2015

Written and directed by Vanessa Brooks
Designed by Pip Leckenby
Original score by Loz kaye
Lighting Design by Johnny Marshall

Short story writer Mixy Maddson hangs loose at the Prairie Club and always goes way too far. With bills to pay, a deadline to meet and the last drink still wet on her lips, she’s forced by her shady cousin Dirk to dig deep and dirty into the crazed Wild West of her imagination. The lines blur as the keys on her ancient typewriter jump and the unreal becomes real, the bullets fly, the venom kicks in and high plains justice spill like sweet strong liquor all over the harsh real world that Mixy’s running from.

SNAKEBITE Premiere Ensemble Production

Sing Something Simple

World Premiere Tour Spring 2013, Greatest Hits Volume Two Tour Spring 2014

Written and Directed by Vanessa Brooks
Designed by Pip Leckenby
Digital Projection Design by Mic Pool
Lighting Design by Johnny Marshall
Sound Design and Musical Direction by Loz Kaye

“My name is Spencer Parkin and I can’t sing…Can you?”

Spencer’s Mum is a jazz singer, his best friend Bonnie plays the mandolin and his brother Kit is heading for pop stardom.  Craving the spotlight Spencer goes on his own quest for musical fame which leads all the way to the Royal Albert Hall, inspired by his late granddad, the legendary Gerry Parkin, session singer extraordinaire.

SING SOMETHING SIMPLE is a laugh out loud funny and genuinely moving play, guaranteed to chase the winter blues away, featuring live music, digital projection by Tony award winner Mic Pool…And a disappearing dog!


June 2012

Written and directed by: Vanessa Brooks
Designed by: Kevin Jenkins
Original score composed by: Loz Kaye

Abundance. Love. Happiness, harmony and peace are all put at risk when the crops fail, and the blaming begins.

September survives the unthinkable war and walks in a post apocalyptic world where ancient superstition and belief take the place of  money, work and society.

Favoured at first, she finds herself at odds with her new found family, as sister suspects sister, and fire, source of all life, becomes a much more sinister tool.

A high octane, world premiere drama in the round.

HARVEST, the next world premiere production in the round from Dark Horse


September 2011

Written and Directed by: Vanessa Brooks
Designed by: Kevin Jenkins
Music composed by: Loz Kaye
Stills photography by: Amanda Crowther

Gasping for breath, Abe is washed up on the shore of an island in the middle of a vast ocean.  The Colonists find him and offer the best of their society.  But Abe thinks he can make things better in this world strange to him and at the moons’ total eclipse two cultures clash, with tragic consequences.

COLONY, the latest extraordinary world premiere theatre production from Dark Horse


Pilot Tour 2010, National Tour 2011

Written and Directed by: Vanessa Brooks 
Designed by: Kevin Jenkins 
Music composed by: Loz Kaye 
Pilot tour stills photography by: Angus Deuchar
National tour stills photography by: Amanda Crowther

Andernach, Nazi Germany, the harsh winter of 1940, the hospital for hereditary and incurable diseases. Oskar Weltz, long time patient, digs two holes into the surface of the frozen lake outside, and a competition begins. Between heat and cold, life and death.