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Taking Part

Taking Part: Feed the Scrum

A West Cumbrian Rugby League project

Rosehill Theatre in collaboration with comedian Stephen Armstrong present a new cultural initiative for West Cumbria.

‘It's the first time I've been cold for seven years. I was never cold playing rugby league’
Jonathan Davis

The challenge
Rosehill and Stephen Armstrong have teamed up to explore all things rugby league and its importance to the communities of West Cumbria. Over the next six months Stephen will be in residence at Rosehill and across the community and we will be embarking on a project that will engage with communities to explore the stories and unearth West Cumbria’s connection to this beautiful game.

Through the use of comedy / improvisation and any ideas you bring, the project will creatively explore and talk about the shared love of rugby league and its importance within West Cumbrian communities. We will also touch upon the challenges of mental health and wellbeing within our areas and use comedy and sport, as a vehicle for exploring this and creating some light relief for our situations.

We are looking for communities across West Cumbria who have a vested interest in rugby league to get involved and help us tell this story and share it to the world. You could be a fan, a player, a coach, a club secretary or even a ref (if you’re brave!). We are encouraging people and abilities to take part and you do not have to have previous experience of the arts or even like the arts to get involved! We are hoping this will be a shared journey and we are looking for ideas from the community to help us shape this project and bring your ideas along the way.

We have produced this fantastic short video and accompanying podcast series to explain a bit more about the project, the work of Stephen, his links to Rugby League in the area and his comedy journey.



Both videos and podcasts have been produced by Steve Wharton Arts and Media.


How do I get involved?
If you are interested and would like to get involved then please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . We will be kick starting the project in January and February 2022. The project is open to participants aged 18 or over but if you are 16 or over you can also come along with parents.

What will it entail?
We will start with introductory sessions whcih will be led by Stephen Armstrong and will introduce the project, set the challenge and also start to explore some of the skills and devices of comedy and improvisation which might help us along the way. It is hoped that from this we will develop a team of people who can work collaboratively to develop the project.

When and where will the project take place?
The first phase of the project will take place in January and February 2022 and more details will be avaiable soon.

Where do I sign up?
For more information and to let us know that you would like to get involved and join a session please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

About Stephen Armstrong:
Hailing from West Cumbria (born in Copeland General and lived in the heart of Hartley’s Ice Cream Country) with a family connection to rugby league (Dad trained with Wath Brow Hornets and played for Barrow and Great Britain), Stephen has been a stand-up and improviser for over 10 years with numerous visits to the Edinburgh Festival; travelling miles going up and down the nations telling tales and being daft.

Gigging as far afield as the Maldives, Dubai and even London, and a veteran of radio and recently online content, Stephen and his ‘Second Rower’ frame use improvision and storytelling to tackle issues around mental health and wellbeing along with helping others through the technics and skills he has gathered and developed while delivering workshops to a range of audiences.

He's looking forward to adding the fine sport of rugby league to the range of (M)arras in his delivery style. He’s game if you are to explore how, through rugby, our communities and their fine folk can come together for both fun and games.

Performance times and tickets

  • Contact us for details
  • Tickets
    Free but must book in advance - email daniel.whitehouse@rosehilltheatre.co.uk

We are grateful to the following organisations for capital funding:

We are grateful to the following organisations for revenue funding:


We are grateful to the following organisations for their in kind support: