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+

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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!



After a great first event with fantastic feedback from those attending we are happy to announce Chapter 2 NW DUB MINISTRY on Saturday 20th January.



NW Roots proudly presents #DUBMINISTRY#2
Reggae / Dub / Roots & Culture / Steppas – of the highest order.

Come dance, eat & drink with us at our new monthly venue the stunning Bureau in Blackburn ( formerly St John’s Church)
Sound System & Entertainment provided by “the northwest heavyweights”
#OPERATIONSOUNDSYSTEM in session with full crew: Nick Sasquash / Deeroid Deeriod / Ben Jaman / Ryan De Razzle + Special guests#SKYBANKS from
& #REDJAY #UndergroundRoots & #RunRedHIFI
Entry £5 Gate rate ….
9 until 3 AM
Food Available form the Bureau’s very own #StoneSoupCafe
Record & merchandise stall’s
A gathering of good vibes & good people
All at one of the most wonderful & unique venues you could ever wish for.
All Tribes Welcome ♥

#OperationSoundSystem] will be resident sound for these sessions, however, NW Dub Ministry will provide a platform for all like minded Dj’s, selectors, singers, artists & sound system to perform, alongside some of the biggest names in Dub & Reggae.
The intention, to create something magical again to rival the legendary sessions @ Tony Empress Ballroom in the late 90’s early 2000’s when Operation was the resident sound back then.
These sessions regularly drew large crowds of 300 & 400 + to Blackburn….
Its ALL about the PEOPLE & the MUSIC, the message… Time for Blackburn & the North West to rise! Wake the town & tell the people… tell a friend, bring a friend & lets make this a time to remember!
Bass & love ♥

Tales of Birbal- Children’s theatre for half term

Mashi Theatre, in association with The Spark Arts For Children and supported by Z-arts, presents Tales of Birbal by Sayan Kent from an original concept by Trina Haldar

Tales of Birbal

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Timeless and treasured fables from the Indian sub-continent
Step into the enchanting world of the Moghul King Akbar and his witty advisor, the legendary Birbal…
Mashi and Bhanji are travelling story-tellers, living hand-to-mouth with just a wooden cart, trinkets they have collected on their travels, and a family of mischievous crows for company.

010_Tales of Birbal_Pamela Raith Photography
Stopping one day for lunch, they recreate mythical tales of the great King Akbar and his wise companion, Birbal. How can a man survive a night in a freezing lake? How many crows are there in a kingdom? Only Birbal knows!
012_Tales of Birbal_Pamela Raith Photography

Using humour, puppetry, music and the occasional fake beard, Mashi and Bhanji bring to vivid life these famous tales that have been treasured for generations.
“Joyful, colourful, vibrant and funny.” Children’s Theatre Reviews

030_Tales of Birbal_Pamela Raith Photography“What a great show. If you are wanting laughter, to go into the imagination and connect with your inner child, then this play has it all!” Audience Member
Suitable for children aged 6+ and their families
Duration: 50 minutes

Tickets £7 adults, £5 Children

2pm start.

PLEASE NOTE – Art workshop time changed to Post show from 3pm £3 per person- make a crow mask or puppet.

Tales of Birbal



Papergirl Blackburn- We need your art work!


Papergirl is a street art project originating in Berlin in 2006, which is now produced in cities worldwide. Art is collected from the creative community, blogged about/shared on social media, exhibited, and then, in the style of American paperboys, rolled up and distributed by bicycle to random passers-by.

CALLING ALL CREATIVES WE WANT YOUR SUBMISSIONS (this is a great opportunity to get your work seen by different audiences).

Papergirl Blackburn is open for submissions. Send us your art, photographs, screen prints, paintings, pros, design, poetry, collage, drawing and doodles. You can send as much work as you want. No bigger the A3 size and we can roll it. Papergirl Blackburn is open to everyone and all submissions will be exhibited for a week before delivery. To submit work write your name, email, website and Papergirl Blackburn on the back of your submission.


Deadline for Submission by Post 1st November 2017 • Deliveries in person Tuesday 7th November 2017 afternoon

Post your work to Papergirl Blackburn, c/o Sonny Barker, 80 Avondale road, Darwen, BB31NS
Hand in to The Bureau Centre For the Arts, St John’s Church, Victoria Street, Blackburn, BB16DW


Exhibition starts at 7pm on Thursday 9th November

Music from Hannah Jessica Cecilia Small & Jimmy J.V. Dub Reggae set

There will be a bar serving refreshments

Exhibition ends on Wednesday 22rd November
Big Public Giveaway starts at 1pm on Saturday, 25th November – want to volunteer for the giveaway? Please get in touch.

Fun Palaces event – We need YOUR help!

fun palaces top


For the last two years we have been fortunate enough to have some funding which helped us run two fantastic super sized Fun Palace events. This year we haven’t got any so we are asking for help in a number of ways.

Firstly – please come and get involved- this is more important than any donation. We have a space we have a time, we need people who are passionate about arts and science to come and help share that passion with others. So if you are a champion knitter who wants to enthuse others, come and show people how to knit- we have some wool! If you are a rocket scientist, come and talk to people and let them design their own rockets- we have pens and paper. Sing a song, tell a tale, do an experiment…. there’s a space for you to pass on your passion to others, and we will help where we can. Do let us know first so we can expect you!

Secondly- help us tell people about it. We have no funds for flyers or adverts, but you are our best means of spreading the word. shout it from the rooftops, whisper it in the library, chalk it on the pavement, best not graffiti on the bus, but you get our drift. Tell your mum, your neighbour, your friends, your dog, your granny and everyone in the supermarket queue to come along and join us in having fun!!

Thirdly – if you do have some pennies to spare , and you think this is something worth funding, please consider giving us a donation here…/funpalacesatthebureau2017

Why do we need funding? Well although it is a voluntary event in a volunteer space, we still have bills and insurance to pay, it is nice to cover volunteers expenses, funding materials is helpful so we always have enough stuff to do fun stuff with, flyers would be great, and at the end of the list there are always people who put in a lot of their time and would really appreciate a small wage for their work.

If you think we are doing a good job and would like us to carry on instead of going to work at a supermarket, then occasional payment for our time helps keep things sweet!!

This is a free event and there is NO obligation to part with any money at all though, and we’d rather you joined us in community and did a bit to help out 🙂 Looking forwards to it all!!! See you soon.