What is Release The Hounds

Experimental theatre in unlikely places...


Release the Hounds is a performance company showcasing the best talent in the Northern region.

What is it all about?

Release the Hounds was born in 2013 in the medieval market town of Knaresborough. The brainchild of Artistic Director Steph Jones, her vision was to bring to the North new and contemporary acts from around the UK which may have been previously inaccessible to those in her home town before.

Previous Release the Hounds events include; 3 day performance art festivals in Knaresborough in 2013, 2014 and 2015. Here we showcased not only big names in the world of performance poetry and devised performance (Molly Naylor, Hollie McNish & Mike Garry for example!), but fresh, emerging artists too. We’ve hosted the total legend that is John Cooper Clarke, an exceptional & unforgettable night! Not to be constrained by the spoken word, we’ve also supported up and coming local singer songwriters.

Why was Release the Hounds created?

We wanted to encourage young people to engage with the arts of the 21st century and show that a successful festival can be put on in an area that tends to float under the cultural radar. We want to give people hope, inspiration and above all, belief in their small town. Ultimately, we want to communicate to young members of the community that you do not have to move away to big cities to be a part of innovative theatre or to achieve a career in the arts. Release the Hounds wants to be proof of this.

The original festival format has evolved and expanded and we now aim to spread the spoken word love throughout the year! We are currently trialling a series of pop up events in a variety of locations.


Release the Hounds has been very lucky to have the opportunity of working closely with Kevin Jamieson, former Executive producer and deputy chief executive of Harrogate Theatre, now Senior Theatre Producer at Home Manchester. Kevin has been a wonderful mentor, helping us shape the festival to make it the best it could be. He is beyond brilliant! Homes Together Ltd, a company that provides care homes for young adults with learning difficulties and visual impairments have supported and sponsored us in the creation of the original festivals and experimental theatre ventures of the future! In 2015 we were delighted to receive support from the Arts Council England in the shape of Lottery funding.”


General Enquiries:

For Performers or people who want to get involved:

Artistic Director:

Release the Hounds HQ
22 Victoria Avenue

Call Us:
01423 545087

01423 545 087