Meet The Puppet Masters
to Nov 4

Meet The Puppet Masters

A day of masterclass talks, hosted by Ric Michael, with leading lights from the worlds of animation and puppetry. Featuring:

  • Nina Gantz (animator and director, Edmond, Best Short Film BAFTA)

  • Vivien Halas (Halas & Batchelor), one of the UK’s leading animation companies and makers of the acclaimed feature Animal Farm, among other legendary work.

  • Bridget Phelan (art director, Night of the Trampires). Bridget has also worked on Chicken RunWallace and Gromit: Curse of the WererabbitMax and CoCoralineParanorman and The Boxtrolls.

  • Kitty Taylor (animator & director, whose work includes Tree Fu Tom, Bitz and Bob, along with BAFTA award-winning productions of Charlie & Lola and BAFTA nominated Angelina Ballerina).

This promises to be a special day for animators and animation fans.

There will be an opportunity to view a selection of items from the Cosgrove Hall Films Archive at Waterside at this event - see details below.

In addition, we will be screening the newly restored version of Ian Mackinnon’s acclaimed The Sandman short film.

Book online here or call 0161 912 5616.



Animator & Director

Amsterdam-born Nina Gantz, grew up in Rotterdam. From an early age, as the daughter of a theatre technician and an actress, she spent much of her time backstage and watching theatre productions. From these early influences, she developed a keen sense for visual storytelling, something which can be seen in her current style.

Whilst attending St Joost Art school in Breda, Gantz discovered her passion for animation and produced her first notable hand drawn film, Zaliger (2010), which went on to be selected at 37 festivals winning the Golden Panda for best student film at the Sichuan Festival in China.

After setting up Studio Gantz in Rotterdam, she was commissioned, to be head of animation for a live action feature film in the Netherlands, Toegetakeld door de liefde (dir. Ari Deelder).

In 2013 Gantz began a Masters in directing animation at the National Film and Television School where she filmed her first stop motion film Edmond.

Edmond has received overwhelming acclaim thus far and since its premiere at Zagreb International Animation festival, it has won prizes including the Short film Jury award for animation at Sundance and a BAFTA for best animated short. Since graduating, Gantz has been working freelance on a variety of projects. Having recently signed to London production company BlinkInk, she is currently developing a number of scripts for television shows, shorts and a feature length film whilst exploring new ways of combining live action and animation techniques.


Halas & Batchelor Animation

Halas & Batchelor Cartoon Films occupies a unique place in British cinema. The studio was formed in 1940 and produced films for the next fifty years. It was the country's largest and most influential producer of animated films from the early forties until the mid seventies, ranging from Animal Farm, to the Jackson 5 to Kraftwerk’s Autobahn 1980.

Vivien has enjoyed a successful career as a graphic designer, before taking over the running Halas and Batchelor and organising its film archive in the mid 90s. She donated most of the physical collection to the BFI and its best loved films are distributed in many countries with the latest in HD/Blue Ray with Network Distributing.

She is co-author of Halas & Batchelor, an animated history (2006) with Paul Wells and A Moving Image, Joy Batchelor (2014) and has contributed to numerous animation and design publications 

For more information see


Art Director, Chuck Steel: Night of the Trampires
Bridget has over 18 years’ experience in the animation industry and has worked on 6 stop motion feature films - Chicken RunWallace and Gromit: Curse of the WererabbitMax and CoCoralineParanormanThe Boxtrolls and Chuck Steel: Night of the Trampires

Having returned from the USA after working at Laika she brings further experience from her work on half hour specials such as Robbie the Reindeer and Hamilton Mattress.


Director & animator

Kitty has directed and animated commercials, promos and short films for a diverse range of companies including BBC, HIT Entertainment, CITV, Tiger Aspect, Blue Zoo and Jellyfish Pictures.

For the last 20 years she has concentrated on developing and directing series for children.

Her series work includes directing 13 x 10 minutes of Percy the Park Keeper and 26 x 10 minutes and one 48-minute Christmas Special of Angelina Ballerina (original 2D series) both for Grand Slamm Children’s Film and Hit Entertainment.

Kitty Taylor worked within Tiger Aspect to develop Charlie and Lola for television. She has directed 3 series of Charlie and Lola including the Christmas and Autumn Specials, which have earned her three BAFTAs.

Meet the Puppets from the Cosgrove Hall Films Archive

In between the masterclass talks, attendees are able to view a selection of items from the Cosgrove Hall Films Archive which is held at Waterside. Our archive manager Rosy Whittemore will be on hand to discuss her work and show artefacts including:

  • Noddy

  • Postman Pat

  • Bill & Ben

  • The Cyclops (designed by Ray Harryhausen)

  • Lavender Castle Characters

  • Cinderella Characters

  • Dangermouse animation cels

  • The Wind in the Willows

  • Original paintings by Brian Cosgrove OBE


11:00- 17:00







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Breaking Ground
7:00 PM19:00

Breaking Ground

Tickets for this event are pay-what-you-feel but due to limited capacity, we advise booking in advance.

Breaking Ground is our showcase of four of the region’s emerging and innovative theatre-makers, companies & performers as they break ground and give you a sneak preview of their current works-in-progress.

Bric-a-Brac Theatre - Mustard Doesn't Go With Girls

Mustard Doesn't Go With Girls, Bric-A-Brac’s new show, is a Roald Dahl-inspired musical breaking the convention of girls being "sweet" and boys being "hot" (as mentioned in his poem The Crocodile). Journey to the surreal town of Bow-on-Tie in a dark adventure to find out the wicked secrets of the beloved Mayor, Madame Croque. Will the rebel children be able to prevent their horrific fate, and by doing so change the town's divide of boys and girls?

Mark Croasdale - Staying In

Staying In is a comical, sometimes unsettling, contemporary performance exploring people’s perception of identity; who owns it and how do we manipulate it? What happens when your identity label doesn’t match our own understanding of ourself, and why are some labels celebrated whilst others are put in a safe place, hidden and discarded.

Nathaniel Hall - First Time

Can you remember your first time? Nathaniel can’t seem to forget his. To be fair, he has had it playing on repeat for the last 15 years. Queer artist and activist, Nathaniel Hall presents a funny and frank one-man show about attempting to stay positive in a negative world.

New Vision Theatre - A Part of Me

It’s Derby Day. How are Stewart, Shell, and Angel going to spend it? An immersive piece of theatre following the lives of three characters whose identities are not quite what they seem.


Expect an exciting evening of fun, bold and risk-taking work from a range of artists & companies – with a chance to for audiences to feedback and contribute towards turning the projects into something really special! If you’re looking for something different – this scratch night is for you.

We'll also be holding an informal 15 minute chat about our upcoming platforms and opportunities for theatre-makers. There will also be a chance to meet the Creative Industries Trafford & Waterside teams and learn more about how we support artists and our forthcoming projects. If you miss this - you can always catch us in the bar after!

At the end of the evening, you pay what you feel in return for your evening’s entertainment – booking is free but advised so make sure you don’t miss out!


A scratch night is a platform for artists, theatre-makers and performers to ‘test’ out their ideas in front of a live audience. Most often, the projects are works-in-progress and offer artists a chance to gain invaluable feedback which assist theatre-makers in the development of their piece.





If you’re a theatre-maker and would like to present a developing piece at this event, please e-mail

Details will be announced shortly on how to apply.




19:00 - 19:15: An informal chat with our Creative Industries team

19:15 - 20:15: First Half

20:15 - 20:35: Interval

20:35 - 21:35: Second Half


@WatersideArts @CITrafford


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Developing Migrant Artists - with Amani Creatives
2:45 PM14:45

Developing Migrant Artists - with Amani Creatives

Part of Journeys Festival International 2018.


Come along for an African afternoon concert and meet Amani Collective; a dynamic group of professional and upcoming musicians of African genres supporting each other and showcasing the complexity and variety of contemporary African music. 

The collective takes you on a journey to discover and experience African music though irresistible grooves and beautiful melodies from DR Congo, Cameron, Zimbabwe, Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone, Rwanda, and more.

Expect music and conversation that will give you an insight into the background of these musicians and the experience of migrant artists making music in the UK today, including advice for those seeking to collaborate with artists from migrant backgrounds. This will all take place in an informal atmosphere with the chance to ask questions. 

This session profiles inspiring and thought-provoking work from refugee and migrant artists with a special performance from Amani Creatives, an African -led arts organisation.

Amani Creatives develop and promote artists of African genres and creates professional platforms to showcase their work, using the arts and culture as a tool for wellbeing, cohesion and social change.

Part of the Sentinel project funded by Arts Council England. Part of Journeys Festival International by Art Reach.

This is a free event, please call 0161 912 5616 to register your place or book here.


14:45 - 16:15

Amani Creatives develop and promote artists of African genres and creates professional platforms to showcase their work, using the arts and culture as a tool for wellbeing, cohesion and social change.

This is a free event - book online here or call 0161 912 5616.

Part of the Sentinel project funded by Arts Council England.

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TV Script School
to Jan 31

TV Script School

  • 6.30 - 9pm
  • 24th Sept 2018
  • 1st Oct, 15th & 29th Oct 2018
  • 12th Nov 2018
  • 3rd Dec 2018
  • 31st Jan 2019 (Meet The Producers event)

An intensive six-week course for scriptwriters with Ric Michael (ex-Head of Development, Baby Cow Manchester - makers of Ideal, Gavin & Stacey). 

In-depth sessions will cover different aspects of the script development process including:  Refine your script ; Understand character ; Develop narrative arcs ; Pitching your work ; Learn how the TV industry works for scriptwriters

Participants also receive one-to-one surgeries with commissioners from production companies at a special Meet The Producers event on 31st January 2019. 

Places on this course are limited to ensure quality for participants. If required, we can arrange payment by instalment please contact us for details.

Price: £200 / £175

An instalment plan is available:

First payment (due now) - £70

Second payment (1st Oct) - £65

Third payment (1st Nov) - £65

Book tickets here or call 0161 912 5616.

If you require any further information, please email

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Northern Lights Writers’ Conference 2018
10:30 AM10:30

Northern Lights Writers’ Conference 2018

Tickets: £35 / £30 - book here or call the Waterside box office on 0161 912 5616.

The Northern Lights Writers’ Conference is CIT’s annual event for writers, from early career (and earlier!) to already established and out there.

Bringing together leading authors, poets, editors, agents and publishers, the day-long programme focuses on both the craft and the business of writing, combining creative sessions with industry talks and encompassing everything from tackling writers’ block and performing to pitching and marketing yourself and your manuscript. The roster of keynote speakers at the conference, which has been running since 2013, has included leading writers such as Sarah Dunant, Louise Doughty, AL Kennedy and Will Self.

For our fifth incarnation, this inspiring day includes masterclasses, panel discussions, industry talks and creative workshops.

This year’s event features acclaimed author Joanne Harris MBE (Chocolat) as our keynote speaker, along with sessions on adapting scripts for radio, spoken word, writing short fiction as well as advice from leading publishing industry figures.

Individual talks and workshop session do not need to be booked in advance.


10.30am - registration

11:00 - introductions

11:10 - Keynote with Joanne Harris MBE 

Inspiration, insight and advice from one of the UK's most celebrated writers in this year's keynote speech.

12:00-16:00 - Writers drop-in sessions in Sup Bar.

Come and discuss your work in informal advice sessions with

- Tania Hershman - literary mags & competitions, developing art & science stories
- Amy McCauley - poetry
- Adam Farrer - creative non-fiction

These are 15 minute slots available in Sup Bar

Choice of Talks

12:00 - New Platforms for Writers
A panel discussion with Ric Michael (producer of 4 Laughs, Channel 4 - BAFTA and RTS Award nominated), Alison Boyle (Arts Council England) and Richard Evans (writer/director Aeon: Miracle app) looking at emerging platforms for writers - apps, immersive audio, augmented reality and virtual reality. What are the challenges and opportunities for writers in these new digital spaces?


Short Story Writing
Featuring acclaimed writer and writing tutor Sarah Schofield (Comma Press) alongside renowned short fiction author Tania Hershman, this session looks at the short story genre, its recent rise in popularity and the techniques authors need for successful short fiction writing.

12:45 - lunch

13:30 - 

An Audience with Joanne Harris
Join this look at Joanne's career, ranging from the novel Chocolat (1999), which was made into an Oscar-nominated film starring Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp, to 15 more novels, two collections of short stories, a Dr Who novella, guest episodes for the game Zombies, Run and three cookbooks.
14:20 - Choice of Workshops

Developing Scripts for Radio
A practical session with BBC Radio's Emily Demol, looking at how radio productions are developed, with insights into the creative processes that writers need to be aware of when writing scripts.


Spoken Word Performance Skills
Celebrated writer and performer Fat Roland leads this creative session on the skills writers need to deliver book readings and take part in spoken word events.

15:05 - break

15:20 - Career Development for Authors Panel Talk
Kate Feld facilitates this panel talk featuring Alison Boyle, Literature Relationship Manager at Arts Council England, literary agent Sinead Heneghan and author, editor and publisher, Richard V. Hirst. This session looks at how writers can make sustainable careers in a challenging publishing environment, in the context of the recent ALCS report on author's earnings.

16:10 - Choice of talks

Approaching Literary Agents
Manchester-based literary agent Sinead Heneghan, of the Sinead Heneghan Literary Agency, joins us for this session on the vital advice writers need in the all-important search for representation.


Spoken Word Events
Join Fat Roland, Ella Gainsborough (of the Evidently Spoken Word night) and writer and spoken word night host Kate Feld, for this look at the spoken word scene in and around Manchester. What events are happening and how do writers and poets get involved?

17:00 - Book signings and networking

Join us in the bar for book signings and the chance to meet our speakers.

18:00 - Close


For tickets, call our box office on 0161 912 5616 or book online here use link:





About the Speakers

Emily Demol

Emily has been working in BBC Radio for over 6 years, starting off in Factual programming and working across a variety of roles such as Production Coordinator, Researcher and Producer where she made two Arts documentaries for BBC Radio 4, ‘The Still Life Poet’ and ‘Music On Hold’.  She eventually moved into Radio Drama, having had a stint on The Archers, and has worked on a huge variety of both studio based and location projects including the Radio 4 digital drama and VR experience, Quake and a live performance of A Clockwork Orange with the Philharmonic orchestra for Radio 3.

Adam Farrer

Adam is a writer, spoken word performer and humourist, specialising in creative nonfiction. He is the Managing Editor of The Real Story, an Arts Council England-funded publisher and reading series, working to nurture emerging creative nonfiction talent in the UK. He has appeared at events across the North West, including Sheffield Doc/Fest, Rochdale Literature and Ideas Festival, The University of Salford’s Festival of Research and the Manchester Literature Festival.

Ella Gainsborough

Ella is co-coordinator of Evidently, the award winning spoken word and poetry night in Salford.

Joanne Harris

Joanne Harris (MBE) was born in Barnsley in 1964, of a French mother and an English father. She studied Modern and Mediaeval Languages at Cambridge and was a teacher for fifteen years, during which time she published three novels, including Chocolat (1999), which was made into an Oscar-nominated film starring Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp.

Since then, she has written 15 more novels, two collections of short stories, a Dr Who novella, guest episodes for the game Zombies, Run and three cookbooks. Her books are now published in over 50 countries and have won a number of British and international awards. She is an honorary Fellow of St Catharine's College, Cambridge, has honorary doctorates in literature from the universities of Sheffield and Huddersfield, and has been a judge for the Whitbread Prize, the Orange Prize, the Desmond Elliott Prize and the Royal Society Winton Prize for Science.

Sinead Heneghan

Sinead is a Manchester-based literary agent. She has spent the last five years working at the heart of the London publishing industry and moved to Manchester to discover exciting authors and help launch the careers of writers in the North.

Tania Hershman

Tania's third short story collection, Some Of Us Glow More Than Others, was published by Unthank Books in May 2017, and her debut poetry collection, Terms & Conditions, by Nine Arches Press in July. Tania is also the author of a poetry chapbook, Nothing Here Is Wild, Everything Is Open, and two short story collections, My Mother Was An Upright Piano, and The White Road and Other Stories, and co-author of Writing Short Stories: A Writers' & Artists' Companion (Bloomsbury, 2014). 

Tania is curator of short story hub ShortStops (, celebrating short story activity across the UK & Ireland, and has a PhD in creative writing inspired by particle physics. 

Hear Tania read her work on and find out more here:

Richard V. Hirst

Richard is a writer from Manchester. His work has appeared in The Guardian, The Big Issue and Time Out. He is the co-author of The Night Visitors, an award-winning ghost story co-written with Jenn Ashworth and told entirely via emails. His latest book is We Were Strangers, an anthology of short stories by Sophie Mackintosh, Eley Williams and others, each of which takes its title and inspiration from a track on Joy Division’s U Unknown Pleasures.

Amy McCauley

Amy McCauley is a poet, editor and performer based in Manchester. She is a Contributing Editor for MAI: Journal of Feminism and Visual Culture and her first book of poetry OEDIPA is published by Guillemot Press. You can find out more about Amy’s work here:

Fat Roland

A standup spoken word artist who has been likened to “Johnny Vegas devouring Sam Simmons… on a rollercoaster…. driven by a depressed buffalo”. His third solo show Seven Inch made its debut at The Lowry in 2018 following two previous shows at the Edinburgh Fringe. He is champion of Literary Death Match Manchester and co-runs Bad Language, voted the UK’s best spoken word night two years in a row.

Sarah Schofield

Sarah’s stories have been published in LemistryBio-PunkThought XBeta LifeSpindles and Conradology (all Comma Press)Spilling Ink Flash Fiction AnthologyBack and Beyond Arts Publication, Litfest’s The Language of Footprints, Synaesthesia Magazine, Lakeview International Journal, Woman’s Weekly and others. She has been shortlisted on the Bridport and the Guardian Travel Writing Competition and won the Orange New Voices Prize, Writer’s Inc and The Calderdale Fiction Prize. An excerpt from her story ‘The Bactogarden’ featured on BBC Radio 4’s Open Book. Sarah is an Associate Tutor of Creative Writing at Edge Hill University and runs writing courses and workshops in a variety of community settings.

Richard Evans

Writer/ director of the Aeon project, which encompasses a free smartphone app - Aeon: Miracle - alongside popular immersive theatre experiences that expand the story.

Event Facilitators

Northern Lights is hosted and facilitated by Kate Feld (writer, journalist and journalism lecturer) and Ric Michael (media producer and lecturer).

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Contemporary Arts Portfolio Surgeries
11:00 AM11:00

Contemporary Arts Portfolio Surgeries

In partnership with Castlefield Gallery, CIT presents our popular portfolio surgeries for visual artists wishing to discuss their work with leading arts professionals. 

Get advice on your work, career path and portfolio in a one-to-one session. Artists can bring their work either in digital form on laptop or tablet, or in print form up to A3 size.

There are 20 surgery slots available and appointments will be made on the basis of our best being able to match artists with viewers suitable to their work.

Portfolio Viewers

Emma Dean, Curator, BALTIC

Paul Moss, Co-Director, Workplace 

Matthew Pendergast, Curator, Castlefield Gallery

Helen Wewiora, Director, Castlefield Gallery

Book now for a session to get feedback for your work and/or get advice on progressing your development as an artist.

To request a surgery session: Email with a brief description of your work (50 words) and  your reasons for booking a surgery (50 words) along with any relevant web links. This information will be used to select successful applicants and to best match applicants to a portfolio viewer.

Key Dates

Deadline Monday 2nd July, 12pm

Selection made by end of play Tuesday 3 July

CIT inform outcome to successful applicants Wednesday 4 July

Please note

Artists selected for the portfolio reviews will be asked to make payment before the event - we will let you know how to pay when the slot is confirmed. We cannot make any exceptions to this as we do not have facilities to take payment on the day of the event.

Previous portfolio viewers have included: Bryony Bond, Curator of Temporary Exhibitions at Whitworth Art Gallery; Ceri Hand, Founder and Director of Ceri Hand Gallery; Paulette Terry Brien, Co-Director at The International 3; Sarah Brown, Curator at Leeds Art Gallery; Rosie Cooper, Curator at Liverpool Beinnial; Clarissa Corfe, former Castlefield Gallery Deputy Director/Curator, currently Exhibitions Officer at Harris Museum and Art Gallery; Lorenzo Fusi, Artistic Director at Open Eye; Clare Gannaway, Curator at Manchester Art Gallery; Cheryl Jones, Director of Grand Union, Birmingham; Deborah Kermode, Deputy Director at Ikon Gallery; Kwong Lee, Director at Castlefield Gallery; Helmut Lemke, artist and educator; Richard Parry, Curator at Grundy Art Gallery; Sara-Jayne Parsons, Exhibitions Curator at Bluecoat; Matthew Pendergast, Programme Manager at Castlefield Gallery; Jane Rolo, Director at Book Works; and artist Elaine Speight; Tony Trehy, International Art Curator and Poet and Manager of Bury Art Museum.

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CIT Artists Advice Sessions
6:00 PM18:00

CIT Artists Advice Sessions

Free (booking required)

Our open sessions for artists are an opportunity to discuss a range of arts issues, great and small - anything from your artists' statements, funding questions, project development and contacts- with a member of the CIT team. We have specialists in theatre, visual arts, photography, fundraising, animation & literature. Slots are 30 mins each - booking essential. 

Please send an outline of what you’d like to discuss to

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Commission Café (Theatre)
4:00 PM16:00

Commission Café (Theatre)

Free - booking essential

Meet with our Theatre Commissions Coordinator to discuss your proposal in more detail for our upcoming theatre commission opportunity. 

To book a 30 minute slot, please email or find out more information at 

Please note this is a not a mandatory session to attend in order to submit a proposal.

For more detail on our commission opportunity please see here.

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Commission Café (Augmented Reality & Sound)
12:00 PM12:00

Commission Café (Augmented Reality & Sound)

Meet with Mario Popham, Waterside’s Visual Arts Coordinator, to discuss your proposal in more detail for our upcoming augmented reality and sound art commission opportunities.

To book a 30 minute slot, please email, remember to tell us about yourself (up to 100 words) and whether your proposal is for AR or sound. Please also include any relevant web links to previous similar work.

This is a not a mandatory session to attend in order to submit a proposal.

For more detail on our AR commission opportunity, please see here (add link to AR commission information) and for sound, see here (add link to Sound Commission information).

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CIT Scratch Night
7:00 PM19:00

CIT Scratch Night

This is a pay-what-you-want event – make a donation on the night if you wish – but to help us plan numbers, please register here, or call Waterside’s box office on 0161 912 5616.

Join us for the return of our popular Scratch Night. This is a two-part event featuring the chance to see work-in-progress performances from some of the region’s most innovative theatre-makers as they test out new ideas and new stories.

We’ll also be launching an outline of CIT’s forthcoming commissions scheme for theatre-makers (previous commissionees include Square Peg Theatre, Mighty Heart and Thick Richard).

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