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 Fringe Theatre of the Year

The Stage Awards 2023

Shortlisted for Fringe Theatre of the Year

The Stage Awards 2020

'Creating Safer LGBTQ Learning Spaces Award

Highly Commended

LGBTQ North East Awards 2019

Best Children’s Show Award

British Theatre Guide North East - 2017


Best New Play Award 

British Theatre Guide North East - 2016

Best New Writing Award

North East Theatre Guide - 2015 and 2016


Alphabetti Theatre is an award winning, artist led performance space in Newcastle upon Tyne, formed by Ali Pritchard in 2012. Our venue on St James Boulevard, Newcastle upon Tyne has two stages, our main theatre space can hold 80 people and is set up in thrust with raised audiences on three sides, the second is a new addition built in 2021, sponsored by and named after D'Addario is our 80 capacity music and cabaret stage in the bar.


“Not Just an essential part of the region’s theatre ecology… but the UK. Long may it continue.” British Theatre Guide


We believe great art should be for everyone, regardless of financial situation.  That’s why 43% of our performances are Pay What You Feel! The remaining 57% of performances are ticketed. There are three price categories: General, Concession (Suitable for Over 65, Student, Artist, Unemployment Benefit, Disability Benefit. With complimentary tickets are available for PAs supporting those with access requirements) and No Questions (If an audience member can't afford any of the other tickets and cannot attend a pay what you feel performance but would like to still see the show then this price bracket is for you - no questions will be asked, and you will be treated the same as all other audience members). Our Pay What You Feel ticketing scheme, means that audiences pay what they feel they can afford at the end of the show, and all ticketing monies are anonymous – with cash paid via envelopes and card paid via our “oyster card-esque" machine.


In 2020, during our forced hiatus we focused on the accessibility of the venue. According to Difference Northeast, 27% of the North East are disabled. We invested in our staff and equipment and now a minimum of 27% of Alphabetti’s programme is now accessible through captioned, audio described performances and/or relaxed performances.


Alphabetti was not opened for business, money, or personal gain but for the necessity of a fringe venue in Newcastle and the North East, ensuring the development and improvement of the ecology of the performing arts in the region.

We receive project grant from the Arts Council and other charitable organisations however the majority of our income to keep us running comes from our bar, so when you visit us make sure you sample our fine offerings!

We have a number of opportunities to get involved in such as performing in the space for theatre companies, writers, directors, poets, comedians and musicians. If you would like to be programmed at Alphabetti please visit our Programming Policy page for more information.

Alphabetti Theatre front entrance sign

Read our Half Year Report


Image of Clare Overton




Twenty years ago, Clare ran away to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival for the summer which is where her love of theatre began.  She then spent the majority of her career working in finance and admin at Live Theatre, Newcastle before joining Alphabetti Theatre as Executive Assistant in 2022.  Clare loves working at Alphabetti Theatre with the brilliant staff team and seeing fantastic artists making great work makes going to work every day a joy.  In her spare time Clare volunteers as a Brownie Leader and enjoys her allotment when the weather is good, but will often be found baking cakes in the depths of winter.


Image of Ali Pritchard.




Ali's main focus is on programming, creating and producing our productions and seasons of work. He also overseas the running of the whole charity delegating and working with our incredible small team who go back and beyond to continue evolving the theatre. 

In 2012 Ali founded Alphabetti Theatre at the age of 22, making him one of the UK’s youngest artistic directors running a venue. He has a BA honours in Drama & Scripting from Northumbria University, and a Higher Diploma in Contemporary Vocals from The Academy of Contemporary Music. Ali is a visiting lecturer at a number of higher educational organisations across the North East, and in 2013 following a yearlong graduate fellowship at Northumbria University, he won the “Best Postgraduate Lecturer” award.

Under Ali’s leadership, Alphabetti have become a crucial part of the arts ecology in the region. Alphabetti is now a fully registered charity and has just secured a 10 year lease for their current premise a 75 seater venue with its own bar, rehearsal room, studios and workshop. With their bold Pay What You Feel ticketing scheme, which is unique for the city - they have been able to engage with a new and diverse audience. The majority of their yearlong programme of 280 – 300 performances are part of this scheme. Following the first full year in the venue Alphabetti welcomed 10,000 audience members and worked with 1,100 artists. 

Ali has been involved in every Alphabetti Theatre produced production, some of his credits include: Teeth In Eggcups (2012), Three Shorts (2013), The Frights (2015 & 2016), The Rooms (2016 & 2017), Bacon Knees & Sausage Fingers (2016 & 2019), Trolley Boy (2018) and Walter (2017 & 2018). He is also producer, and writer of How did I Get To This Point? (2014), How Did We Get To This Point? (2016) Present (2019) and children’s book Keeping Time (2018). 

Email: Please direct all emails to Clare at


Image of Esther Fearn




Esther graduated from Newcastle University in 2015 with an MA in English Literature 1500-1900, and started volunteering and working with Alphabetti soon after. She took on the role of Venue Producer in 2019, and is involved in each show that Alphabetti produces. Her credits include: producer for Three Shorts (2019), Rocket Girl (2020), AWARE (2021), and Sucking Eggs (2021), and producer and assistant director for hang by debbie tucker green (2021). She has done voluntary work for QI, Seven Stories, Encyclopaedia Britannica Online and the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust to satisfy her research needs, and will not shut up about the cool thing she’s just read. When she isn’t working, you’ll find her dancing Lindy Hop with Newcastle group Swing Tyne, buried in a book, or generally bothering Rex.


Image of Sam Johnson



From a young age Sam has been involved in Theatre and the Arts. After many years grafting in hospitality ,alongside running a Theatre company, he jumped at the chance to bring these two worlds together. Sam has been following Alphabetti's progress over the last 10 years, so was really excited to join the team in August 2022. He is responsible for running the day to day operations of Alphabetti, be that the bar, working on the website or booking events and rehearsal rooms. Sam Is really excited to get stuck in, main goals include "getting a juicy vibe in the bar and cuddling Rex loads."


Image of Audrey Cook




Audrey is a live performance practitioner that creates theatre, events, and performance art in Teesside and the North East, with a focus on queer or working class audiences. They graduated from Rose Bruford College in 2020, and since then has worked mostly as an independent artist and facilitator under the support of ARC Stockton.

They began working with Alphabetti as the community engagement coordinator when they discovered a passion for combining arts and social change, and creating welcome, accessible, and vibrant spaces for lower or working class people within arts and culture.


Image of Scott Jeffery

Scott Jeffery 



A graduate of journalism, Scott has worked in marketing and communications for the past decade. Despite several forays into amateur theatre during his school and college years, his involvement today is largely centred around promoting shows as Alphabetti Theatre’s in-house marketing coordinator.


Image of Chris Foley





Chris has worked in theatres across the North-East since graduating from Newcastle College in 2009. He began as an actor moving into facilitation but finally found himself working behind the scenes, in stage management, operating sound and lights as well as being a production assistant. His work has taken him from Newcastle Theatre Royal to Sadler’s Wells and the Edinburgh Fringe to the Houses of Parliament. Working for Alphabetti Theatre has given Chris the platform to hone his technical skills and is excited by the challenge that comes with making high quality work with a smaller budget than others in the region.


A group of general assistants and Alphabetti staff huddled together and smiling in the bar.



The General Assistants are the life blood of Alphabetti, they all have their own specialist skills and are essential to our continued improvement. Their main role is to ensure the bar and cafe is running smoothly however as per their job titles they generally assist across the venue - in tech, box office, programming, marketing, engagement and anything else that needs doing!

Image of Gina Ruffin, a white, brown haired woman in her late twenties, wears glasses and holding up a script.




Gina’s recently made roots in the North East after studying under the tutelage of Jim Cartwright and producing various theatre shows across Manchester’s fringe scene.


The ethos of Alphabetti is something which she is passionate about in her own freelance career - producing work from authentic, regional voices and making it available to all audiences. She’s thrilled to be working on the programme alongside the rest of the team. 

Credits include: Sugar Baby (2022), More Blacks More Dogs More Irish (2022), Soapbox Racer (2023), Chop, Dissolve, Burn (2023), Mr Punch (2023)


Image of Ben Dickenson. A smiling caucasian man with glasses and a black hat.




Ben has been passionate about arts, culture, and social change since a taste of theatre transformed his life as a teenager. Becoming a culture convert he trained at Rose Bruford College, received a Masters in Film & Television from Westminster University, and studied for PhD at Goldsmiths College. 

His career has taken in writing for stage and screen, filmmaking, journalism, managing supported housing and youth citizenship programmes, numerous community arts projects, teaching film, and running services for disadvantaged children and young people. He has also written two critically acclaimed books, and produced a popular regional breakfast radio show. 

Ben is Executive Producer for City of Dreams leading a 10 year mission for NewcastleGateshead Cultural Venues, making Tyneside "best place to be young" by engaging everyone under 25 in culture activity. Ben has worked with Alphabetti on a freelance basis since 2014 - he currently leads up Alphabetti's Arts Council England funded Just Write scheme. 


Image of Chloe Stottt, a brown haired caucasian female.




Chloe moved from the North West in order to expand her knowledge and experience of arts venues, after studying BA Theatre and Performance at the University of Leeds. She is ticket office manager at Dance City and in our opinion one of the most exciting freelance producers in the North East. 

Chloe has worked with Alphabetti on a freelance basis since 2015 - producing Bacon Knees & Sausage Fingers, TrolleyBoy, Christmas Cabaret, The Rooms & The Frights to name but a few.


Image of Rex, a black Staffordshire Bull Terrier.




Hello I am a dog, so apologies for any typo's - typing with paws is tough! My role is all encompassing - I check the comfort of all seating areas, help focus lights by sitting in the bright patch, test the drinking water at least three times a day & I garden when the weather is nice. I like to greet people when they enter - sometimes I do get a little bit too exuberant in my welcoming and give a big bark - I can only apologise for that - I forget people are scared of me as I look like a Land Seal / Hairy Pig. Please just give me a stroke and I'll calm down again I am just so excited you're here to visit!

Email: I don't have one but I sometimes am on instagram - @pritchandpooch

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