Spilling the Beans! – Gateshead

By Tony Earnshaw and the people of Gateshead

A school, family and community-focused theatre project on the vital topic of ‘Food’.

Schools and community involvement, culminating in a Felling schools tour alongside public performances.

About the show

Spilling the Beans! is a theatrical adventure for all ages. Especially created by writer Tony Earnshaw based on authentic local stories, and directed by Artistic Director Darren Cheek, the show is packed full of silliness, drama, story-telling, music, clowning, installations, food and audience participation.

It offers a wide exploration of issues including the pleasure of food, the pain of hunger, food poverty, food sustainability and healthy eating.

The production also considers how feeding ourselves and others teaches us emotional skills, develops social skills and builds relationships.

Community involvement

Spilling the Beans! begins with ‘making days’ open to the local community.

Alongside that, we run creative workshops in collaboration with local community groups.

These are followed by school visits that include a newly written theatre performance.

Following these events, the performance then becomes an immersive promenade public show. Throughout, audiences are led on an engrossing journey of discovery by a cast of 3 professional actors.

Through the workshops, school visits and performance, Spilling the Beans! delivers an educational and entertaining exploration of the varied aspects of the vital topic of food.

It also:

  • builds community engagement in theatre and the performing arts
  • increases children’s school readiness and self-esteem
  • offers the opportunity for creative development across the age ranges
  • provides volunteering and work experience opportunities
  • creates new and improved relationships between individuals and groups
  • creates greater cross-cultural and cross-generational understanding

Find out more about working with us as a community partner


Damn Cheek always strives for identifiable and quantifiable legacy.

To achieve this, we apply our rigorous evaluation process – developed with Manchester University – to all our projects.

These evaluations consistently show that individuals, organisations and communities involved with these projects have increased their understanding, skills, self-belief and relationships.

We have every confidence that Spilling the Beans! will deliver the same practical, educational and developmental benefits.


We’re delighted to be supported in presenting Spilling the Beans! to the Gateshead community by our friends and hosts at Christ Church Felling – alongside our many community volunteers and partners including The Lawnmowers Theatre, Age UK Gateshead, Gateshead College, Newcastle College, RNIB, The Hope Network, Edburts House and Connected Voice.

We are also grateful to receive funding for Spilling the Beans! from The Catherine Cookson Charitable Trust and The Gladiator Trust.

Catherine Cookson Charitable Trust logo
Connected Voice logo

Want to get involved?

Want to know more about Spilling the Beans! and how you can get involved?

Or about our other projects?

Contact Darren asap for a quick informal chat on 07956 891 110.