The Invisibility Hat- Swedish Troll Tales by Dominic Kelly 

Saturday 2nd June 

Pre Show workshop 1pm – Performance starts at 2pm 

e-poster_hat-web-(1)The Swedish forests are filled with the strangest things…
When a brother and sister find an extraordinary hat, they are plunged into the world of the trolls, where things quickly spin out of control. But help sometimes comes from the most unexpected places….
Join Dominic on a storytelling journey into the vast northern forests: through mystery, suspense and a great deal of fun. On the way you’ll find out what to do should you ever come face to face with a troll!


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Dominic’s dynamic, warm and witty e-flyer_-invisibility-hat-(1)-2.webperformance style has enthralled school, festival and theatre audiences in fifteen countries on three continents. He has lived in Scandinavia for six years, teaching storytelling at Sweden’s Royal College of Music and directing storytelling performances for Norway’s national stage for folk arts. Dominic personally translated from Swedish the legends on which the show is based.

Suitable for all ages over 7 years to adult.

Pre show workshop from 1pm £2 per person- Make a troll


Tickets £10 Full, £8 Concession, £5 child.

Special Family Ticket (2+2) £25

“A master storyteller” BBC Radio

“Breathless and enthralling” The Hindu

Captivating… consistently engaging” A Younger Theatre
Created and performed by Dominic Kelly


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Festival of Making at The Bureau


festival of makingWe have lots and lots of fantastic things going on over the Festival of Making weekend- here’s a bit of a run down, but there will be more so come along and join in the fun and look out for posts and updates on Facebook and Twitter. 

Find out about all the other events at the Festival of Making HERE



waste less taste more

Get stuck in with the award-winning Cracking Good Food team and cook up a festival feast-for-all.

We invite you to the The Bureau for an extra-special cook up – learn how to get the best from healthy ingredients and cook up taste sensations that won’t break the bank with our sustainability experts Cracking Good Food.

Learn top tips on:
How to avoid food waste
How to transform dinners with distinguished flavours
How to add your own magical imagination to meals!
There’ll be plenty of food to go round and you can walk away at the end of the day with an armful of healthy ingredients and a wholesome recipe.

Join us on a journey of cooking & eating good tasty affordable food together. Delicious!

Creative eating and meeting space
The Bureau FEAST
Come along and meet new neighbours, make new friends, find out about the people you share the town with, dress up and have your photo taken in our photobooth,  join in with the fun and games in our outdoor eating area,  just hang out and listen to the sounds from our People’s Platform, or book a slot to play, sing, or perform!
The world is full of friends you haven’t met yet!
Community FEAST!
IMG_20170611_121501With funding from a  Near Neighbours grant, The Bureau will be holding three community FEASTs over the coming months, and the first one will be on this weekend for the Festival of Making in our outdoor creative dining area !
Our Feasts! are shared meals for the communities of Blackburn to come together, eat, talk and meet new people, and at the Festival of Making you can make some food with Cracking Good Food inside The Bureau, bring some food to share or just come and join us in conversation and fun.
The FEAST itself will run on Sunday from 2-4pm


photobooth2Local photographer Matt Ainsworth is bringing along a pop up photo studio to our Creative Dining area for the weekend.

Come and join the fun – we will have some dress up stuff available or bring your own!

Have your photo taken with new friends or old friends.




  People’s Platform


Want to have a moment in the limelight? Get in touch with us to book a slot on our People’s Platform at the Festival of Making. Sat 12 & Sun 13th May 11-5pm . Sing a song, tell a story, recite a poem, do a dance- the stage is yours!
Basic PA, small stage platform and event shelter.
Sign up board available on the weekend, but let us know sooner to book your ideal time, and give us some idea of what you want to do. Time slots will be limited.

Film Screenings


Films from local artists and about local makers are on a rolling programme throughout the weekend in our community cinema. Come and have a relaxing break watching some fantastic short films.


2 Man Exhibition-presented by Francis Charlton. 

exhibitionAn exhibition of works from Chris Crawshaw and James Lawrence- Surrealist meets illustrator, in the Gallery at The Bureau is open for viewing over the weekend.






cakeOur cafe will also be open over the weekend serving delicious fresh homemade cake, and a range of teas, herbal teas and coffee.

Power Trip: Fracking in the UK

Free Screening- Donations welcome

Power Trip: Fracking in the UK (63mins) takes you onto the frontlines of UK resistance in the battle to stop the controversial energy extraction process known as Fracking. Watch the Full Movie here

Undercurrents productions show what happens beyond the few seconds glimpsed on the mainstream TV news. We follow grandmothers who set up a campaign group (Lancashire Nanas ) and teamed up with younger activists (Reclaim the Power) to shut down the Fracking sites of Cuadrilla. Blackpool (Lancashire) and Balcombe (West Sussex) became the frontline of Fracking resistance as trucks are occupied and gates are blocked.

We also explore how social media is being used by both Fracking companies and activists. We hear from energy experts, journalists and key politicians amongst the voices of local residents and councillors.

The film has been supported by the Lush Film Fund
Interviews include (amongst others):

  • Prof. Andrew R. Barron, Director Energy Safety Research Institute
  • George Monbiot, Columnist and author
  • Caroline Lucas MP, Leader of Green Party
  • John McDonnell, Shadow Chancellor
  • Tamasin Cave, Spinwatch
  • Tina Louise Rothery, Lancashire Nanas
  • Anna & others, Reclaim the Power
  • Paul Mobbs, Ecological Futurologist
  • Dale Vince, Founder Ecotricity
  • Kevin Blowe, The Network for Police Monitoring (Netpol)
  • Ruth Hayworth, Drill or Drop
  • Jamie Kelsey Fry, New Internationalist
  • John Vidal, Environment editor The Guardian

power trip

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KALI: The story of the World’s Wildest Goddess- Emily Hennessey & Sheema Mukherjee

Saturday 28th April Doors 7pm for 7.30pm Start

Recommended age 14+

From demure housewife to bloodthirsty goddess, gurgling infant to elephant man, meditating sage to cosmic fire-eater, Hindu mythology
illuminates a mind-blowing world of radical transformations.
Kali is one of the wildest shape-shifters of all. Demon-slayer, Life-saver, Supreme-Mother, Destruction-dancer; this goddess is truly Awesome.
When an evil power spreads its clawed hands across the world, Kali’s time has come…
Join storyteller, Emily Hennessey and sitar player extraordinaire, Sheema Mukherjee, for a white-knuckled tuc-tuc ride through sun-kissed
palaces, fiend-infested forests and every cacophonous saffron-scented marketplace in-between.

Tickets  £10/ £8 and £6

Book now

KALI - Emily Hennessey and Sheema Mukherjee Tickets are £10/ £8 and £6

Book now

Big Bands meet- Off The Rails and The Jam Factory at The Bureau

Jam Factory and Off the Rails join forces to celebrate 20 years of Big Music.

OTR bburn final 3dIt’s Lancashire long-term community jazz institutions Jam Factory and Off the Rails’ 20th anniversary in 2017/8 so it’s time for a big band summit in the north. Over the years this 1997 initiative has enabled a lot of younger and older players to get further involved in music and generally just been out there building audiences and grass roots players in the Northwest.

30+ players performing World-Jazz with everything from Rai to Ragtime & Hip-Hop to Horas; not even The Bad Plus cover more ground, and there’s literally 10x more of us. Both groups with unashamed personality-filled interpretations and originals, and leading-from-the-front, hi-NRG, arm-waving and blowing along musical direction in the form Richard Ormrod and Ben McCabe. Time to celebrate 20 years of good times!

This will be a most special get together featuring a celebration of 20 years of material, players and projects. Over the years the bands have featured Andy Sheppard, Tim Garland, Lianne Caroll, Femi Temowo, Claude Deppa, Steve Buckley, Chris Batchelor, Ian Shaw, Gerard Presencer, Mike Walker, Iain Dixon, Mark Bassey, Corey Mwamba, John Paricelli, Nikki Iles, Pete Churchill… to name but a few.


Buy Tickets here

Black & Gold – Soul & Motown – POSTPONED!



***POSTPONED*** Unfortunately this event has had to be postponed. Black and Gold will however be with us later in the year, date to be confirmed. Please message us on facebook or email if you wish to be kept in touch with regarding a new date. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Chorley-based 10 piece Soul & Motown outfit Black & Gold make their first visit to The Bureau,  on Saturday 3rd March 2018 to play a set list packed with classics from the Motown era mixed with contemporary gems and a few Northern Soul favourites thrown in for good measure.

Their fast moving set list includes numbers by Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, Martha Reeves, Stevie Wonder, Al Wilson and many more. You’ll be on your feet before you know it!

Doors at 8-00 pm

tickets £10 online HERE

or simply call 07961 940976.

National Youth Theatre Auditions

NYT Find your Stage


2018 auditions and backstage interviews are now open
(For ages 14-25)

Whether you’re looking for a place you can finally be yourself, or you’ve always loved escaping and being somebody else, we can help you find your next stage.

On March 17th the National Youth Theatre team will be heading to The Bureau to meet undiscovered young talent to join our celebrated company of talented individuals. Join us.

What can the National Youth Theatre do for me? Find out more about why you should apply and where the experience may take you at

Audition Requirements

– Take part in a three hour workshop led by an NYT associate theatre director
– Bring a 2-3 min speech of your choice
– Take part in a short informal interview about yourself

Monthly Circus Skill share

Ever wanted to run away and join the circus?!?!

Then we have really exciting news!

Circus skills share

Announcing the return of our monthly Circus Skill share with Dimitri from the internationally renowned FLAME OZ,  and special April session with the one and only fireman Dave!  First session Tuesday 13th February. £3 concession £5 full price. 7-8.30pm. Suitable for adults and older children. Come along and join in!

Trickster- Dominic Kelly

Saturday 3rd February sees favorite storyteller Dominic Kelly return with his fantastic telling of Trickster at 7.30pm . Doors open at 7pm. Age 12+

Layout 1

15th July 1910

John Henry Williams walks out of school. His classmates, teachers, and the local doctor have already fallen foul of his trickery.

Ahead are fun, fortune and a hundred more serious ruses to try. Little does he know he’ll soon be hunted as the most wanted man in the country.

Harbouring deviously disguised global trickster tales and real-life story, Storyteller Dominic Kelly embarks on an audacious tale of trickery and deceit; a tale where truth and hearsay, history, folktale and myth flicker like shadows in sunshine. Come journey on a trickster’s side of the road…

“Wickedly Wonderful” Tom Thumb Theatre, Margate

“Feedback has been absolutely glowing. Everybody who was there said it was amazing” Litfest,Lancaster


Dominic Kelly is an English performance storyteller with a dynamic and engaging style that has captivated audiences in hundreds of schools, theatres and festivals around the world. Appearances include London’s Barbican and National Theatre, and international festivals from Wales and Ireland to Stockholm and Delhi. He has helped countless young people tell stories through community and education projects.

Length 60 minutes, for adults and age 12 and above

 Need more convincing? – Read this review from Erica Wagner in The Times, Saturday 7th July 2012

“Then there was Dominic Kelly’s new show, Trickster, a compelling,funny and heartbreaking construction drawing on the life of Percy Toplis, who towards the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th seemed to fool everyone he met. Kelly’s performance gave this character from history aspects of Anansi, Coyote, and Crow, eternal, mythological tricksters without whom human culture can’t seem to survive. We need the tricksters, particularly in tough times.”


Please note Tickets on the Door are £10 full;  £8 concession and £6 under 16’s – save money and pre book now!