About Us

What is Second Side?

Second Side was set up in 2009. Our mission is to create innovative theatre experiences that question, educate and inspire new audiences and young people.   

We set up the company as a response to the infrequent offer of exciting and engaging new writing that is rarely staged in our region.  Often the new writing that we do get in Norfolk is not always reflective of the myriad of issues that young people face in their everyday lives.

Our performers and theatre makers work as a collective ensemble, with the belief that all members make an artistic contribution in creating relevant theatre that is a mix of storytelling and new writing, blended together with visual imagery, physicality, and music to create dynamic, thrilling and entertaining performances.

The aims of Second Side Theatre Company will be:

  • To support and challenge young people aged 18-26 who are looking to work in the Performing Arts
  • To create and direct innovative work for young people with young people
  • To offer professional opportunities and support to young people seeking to embark on the next stage of training or work.
  • To foster the creative partnerships and promote wider participation in the arts
  • To undertake any activities that promotes theatre, performance and cultural activities within the UK, particularly rural areas.
  • To employ and contract any groups or individuals, for the delivery of creative and cultural activities and their promotion in the UK, particularly rural areas.
  • To undertake any other activities that enables the promotion of creative and cultural activities in the UK, particularly rural areas.

Ade Slack (Co-Artistic Director)

Ade Slack was born and educated in Norfolk, and is joint Artistic Director of Second Side Theatre Company. He studied Drama and Theatre Arts at Middlesex University before training to be a teacher. He was previously a lecturer in Performing Arts at City College Norwich and an Associate Lecturer for the University of East Anglia. He has also taught in both private and short stay schools (formally known as pupil referral units.)

Ade has over 9 years experience of working with young people in creating and developing contemporary theatre, and has helped a number of his students gain places at some of the top drama schools in the country, including LAMDA, Mountview, East 15 and Rose Bruford. He has also taught drama and directed theatre for The Norwich Young People’s Theatre Company, The Garage, Aspire Dance and Stagecoach. His theatre credits include; Mr Eliot’s Journey into the Wasteland, Love Bites, Peter Pan, Motel Chronicles; The Blue Room; The Hairy Ape; Find Me and This is a Chair. He has written Pub Love, The Unthinkable, There’s Something Wrong (but we don’t know what) and #Awkward which was performed at Latitude Festival.

For Second Side, Ade  has directed Overspill by Ali Taylor, Love Steals Us From Loneliness by Gary Owen and When You Cure Me by Jack Thorne. He has undertaken consultancy work the The Garage and Norwich Theatre Royal.

Leanne Fridd (Co-Artistic Director)

Leanne Fridd is joint Artistic Director of Second Side Theatre Company. She has lived in Norfolk her whole life, apart from a brief spell in the bright lights of Wakefield, where she studied a BA (Hons) in Theatre (Acting) at Bretton Hall. After Drama School, Leanne completed a PGCE in Post Compulsory Education and began working as a lecturer at City College Norwich, where she has been inspiring young minds for the last 14 years. Throughout this time she has worked with young people, developing classical and contemporary theatre, with specialisms in Physical Theatre and Commdedia Del'Arte.  Many of her former students have gone on to have careers in the performing arts industry, both on stage and screen and back stage too.  Former students have gained places at LAMDA, LIPA, Mountview, East 15, Rose Bruford, Guilford and Guildhall.

Her theatre performance credits include; Dancing at Lughnansa, The American Dream, Love Steals Us From Loneliness and When You Cure Me. She has directed numerous plays including in 2015;  There's Something Wrong (but we don't know what it is) at the Latitude festival, When You Cure Me, Metamorphosis and Earthquakes in London. 

When not performing or directing, Leanne can be found spending time with her vast family.

Second Side Alumni

Jack Bannon worked with Second Side 2009-10, performing in Overspill by Ali Taylor, he played the part of Potts. A talented performer, Jack had already worked in TV aged 12 in the Giblet Boys, a CITV programme. Jack didn’t go to Drama School, instead impressing agents with his natural ability. He is represented by United Agents. His acting credits include The Imitation Game, Fury, Kids in Love and the TV series Endeavour where he plays Sam Thursday. He has also performed in The Sweethearts (Finborough Theatre) and Foxfinder (Gest).

Tom Cox worked with Second Side 2009-10, performing in Overspill by Ali Taylor, he played the part of Baron. Tom was successful in his pursuit of a career in theatre, he trained at LAMDA for three years. He is currently performing in Peter Goes Wrong at the Apollo Theatre in London.

Cora O’Connell performed in two Second Side productions, Love Steals Us From Loneliness and When You Cure Me. Cora currently attends East 15 Drama School.

Nick Fretwell played Scott in Love Steals Us From Loneliness (2014). Nick went on to train at Mountview Drama School.

Poppy Stevens joined Second Side in 2014 performing in Love Steals Us From Loneliness. Poppy currently trains at East 15 Drama School.

Jake Setters joined Second Side in 2015, he played Peter in Jack Thorne’s When You Cure Me. After one production with us he gained a place at the Rose Bruford Drama School
  • Jack Bannon

    Jack Bannon

  • Tom Cox

    Tom Cox

  • Cora O'Connell


How did Second Side Theatre start?

Ade: Second Side Theatre began in October 2010. I created the company with Warren Cathrine. We wanted to create a company that was about supporting young people in their pursuit of careers in theatre, whilst creating engaging and thought provoking contemporary theatre to a high standard. After two projects with Warren, he left the company to pursue a career outside of theatre and Leanne agreed to take his place.

Leanne:  We knew that we worked well together and shared the same vision so it seemed like a logical step.

Where is Second Side Theatre based?

Leanne:  Second Side Theatre is mainly based in East Anglia but we won't rule out touring further afield.

What have Second Theatre members gone on to do?

Ade:In the four shows Leanne and I have worked on together with Second Side most of the young actors have progressed on to Drama School. From Love Steals Us From Loneliness, Nick Fretwell went to Mountview to study Acting, Poppy Stevens went to East 15 (Foundation, then 3 year Community Theatre). The When You Cure Me cast includes Jake Setters who is now at Rose Bruford studying the 3 year acting pathway and Cora O'Connell is at East 15 studying Physical Theatre (3 year course). It's very hard getting into Drama School. Second Side  creates an environment where cast members can work with people with the same ambitions and work ethic.

Where have Second Side Theatre performed?

Ade: We have performed at the Garage in Norwich, Kings Lynn Arts Centre, Sheringham Little Theatre, The Seagull in Lowestoft, The Wells Granary and the Platform Theatre in Norwich. We have also performed in London at the Old Red Lion Theatre and most recently at Latitude Festival in Suffolk. We are always open to performing in new spaces and hope to develop our touring network.

What opportunities does the group offer to participants? Please list three key opportunities.


1.  Professional work experience: our participants work with professional directors performing contemporary plays in professional theatre's, presenting work of the highest quality 

2.  Personal Career Action Plans:  our participants receive feedback on their rehearsal and performance work from visiting actors and other industry professionals, so that all company members and audiences receive a rich vocational learning experience, which through mentoring is developed into a personal action plan

3.  Development of Vocational Employability Skills: Our participants are placed at the heart of all we do, as we believe in empowering emerging young talent to create and produce their own work whilst developing essential future employability skills

How many shows will Second Side Theatre do in a year?

Leanne:  Second Side  aim to perform at least two times a year at various venues and with various casts.

How can I work with Second Side Theatre?

Leanne:  We will hold open auditions for all of our performances to give as many young people the chance to apply as possible.

Ade: We aim to give detailed feedback on the auditions to each auditionee, so that even if they are not successful with us this time, they can learn something from the experience.

Leanne:  We will publish audition dates on this website and also on Twitter and Facebook so make sure you follow us!

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