Headlong and Theatre Centre partner with TikTok to present TikTok Shocks

TikTok Shocks

New partnership between Headlong, Theatre Centre and TikTok will give 13 young freelance artists a voice and platform to experiment in making theatrical, horror-themed performance this Halloween. 

Headlong and Theatre Centre have joined forces with TikTok, the leading destination for short-form mobile video content, to help inspire and connect the next generation of theatre makers. Combining digital theatre making with an exploration of form and dissection of the horror genre, TikTok Shocks will look to equip young artists with the necessary tools, experience and practical skills to support them in beginning a career in the performing arts.

Thirteen artists aged 18-26 from across the UK, have been selected to take part in the programme. The artists are: Alice Flynn (She/they – Wokingham), Bodhrán Mullan (He/they – Aberdeen), Caitlin Magnall-Kearns (She/they – Belfast), Dan Morrison (He/him – Largs), Daniel Raja (He/him – Llanfairpwllgwyngyll), Eleanor McKenzie (She/her – London), Elizabeth Logan (She/her – Manchester), Hannah Balogun (She/her – London), Leo Shak (He/him – Labert), Leonisha Barley (She/her – Liverpool), Milla Sutton (He/they – London), Stephanie Soh (She/her – London), Tiah-Paige Burrell (They/them – Great Yarmouth).

Over the past two months the artists have worked with leading industry professionals receiving weekly Skillshare workshops and bespoke mentoring sessions. These Skillshare sessions have covered everything from the dramaturgy of horror and building tension through sound design, through to how to utilise platforms such as TikTok in their creative practice and the practical skills to help them navigate a career as a freelance artist.  

In the eight weeks leading up to Halloween, the artists have been given a series of 24-hour creative challenges to respond to using TikTok. Each challenge will see the artists create 30sec – 2min videos demonstrating the skills they have learnt over the course of the programme. The creative challenges and the artists’ responses will be published on the discovery homepage on TikTok which will launch on 16 October. Community users will be encouraged to join in, share and upload their own creative video responses to each challenge.

The programme will culminate in an event on 31 October at 180 The Strand that will bring together and showcase the work produced by the thirteen artists over the past two months. 

Holly Race Roughan, Artistic Director of Headlong said:

The last 18 months have been  a ‘horror show’ of sorts, and it has been more difficult than ever for young people looking to begin a career in the arts. Together with Theatre Centre and TikTok we are looking to empower young artists from across the UK, helping them forge connections and  learn new skills whilst they create fun, theatrical content in the very medium they are native in. Using the horror genre the young artists are exploring new ground on the intersection  between live theatre and the digital auditorium as they scare and thrill our audiences in time for Halloween…”

Rob Watt, Artistic Director of Theatre Centre said:

It’s been truly inspiring to have worked with 13 young and diverse artists from across the country. They have embraced experimenting with form, liberated their ideas and essentially, scared the wits out of us all!

James Stafford, Head of Partnerships & Community TikTok UK said:

“Halloween is always a huge moment on TikTok with creators coming to the platform to share everything from ghoulish beauty looks to spooky bakes, so we are thrilled to be able to support the next generation of young artists as they take this one step further, exploring the horror genre in app.”

“On TikTok, we have seen a community of theatre makers, institutions and audiences stay truly connected, sharing their creativity and passion for performance through a digital lens. We are excited to collaborate with the Headlong and Theatre Centre to support emerging theatre makers along their journey into the arts; we cannot wait to see what TikTok shocks has in store for us all this Halloween!”