A Theatre Trip for Every Child, Lewisham is a new giving scheme to provide a free theatre ticket for every 5-year-old in the Borough of Lewisham. ‘Every Child’ enables businesses and individuals to give a local child the chance to experience the magic of theatre. Jude Law has been revealed as patron for the campaign, funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation and Arts Council England, and with the support of founding sponsors, L&Q. A parallel project will launch simultaneously at ARC in Stockton-on-Tees.
Law is a multi-award-winning actor who grew up in Lewisham and went to John Ball school. His TV, film and stage career spans three decades. His exceptional talent and versatility, from leading roles performing Shakespeare in the West End to playing the Pope and Dr. Watson, make him a perfect exemplar for the power of the arts. He commented:‘I am delighted to support this terrific initiative which has the potential to positively impact the lives of young children in Lewisham. It is crucial for the future of our communities that we find creative ways to nurture and support the next generation. Theatre has the power to inspire children and we must encourage them to follow their dreams, no matter how big.’
Lewisham is one of the 25 local authority areas in England where poverty and deprivation were found to be greatest with child poverty effecting 34% of children. Those on low incomes often have least access to opportunities in Lewisham, and that includes arts engagement. A Theatre Trip for Every Child is a tangible strategy aimed at improving access to the arts for children across the borough from an early age.
Gavin Barlow, Chief Executive at the Albany said:‘We are passionate about every child having the chance to enjoy high quality theatre in their local area. Early access to the arts contributes significantly to a child’s development, sparking their curiosity and giving them new perspectives on the world. We believe very child should have the opportunity to benefit from that experience.’ Annabel Turpin, Chief Executive at ARC, Stockton Arts Centre added: ‘Giving children access to incredible arts experiences on their doorsteps creates a sense of possibility and a very special sense of place locally. Discovering the thrill of theatre at an early age is inspirational for many children as they grow and develop, and life changing for some.’Paul Nehra, Community Investment Manager at L&Q said: ‘By the L&Q Foundation working with ‘Every Child’, we hope to contribute to supporting future entrepreneurs, artists and leaders to reach their full potential. We’re passionate about the area and delighted to invest in the future of this community.’The campaign has benefitted from considerable support from both Lewisham Council and Vicky Foxcroft, MP for Lewisham Deptford.
Sir Steve Bullock, Mayor of Lewisham said:‘We’re lucky enough to have a thriving arts ecology in Lewisham. This campaign provides a brilliant opportunity for local businesses and individuals to support all of our community to access it and be part of it from a young age.’Vicky Foxcroft, MP added:Having experienced firsthand the impact of early access to the arts, I’m delighted to be able to support A Theatre Trip for Every Child. It has the potential to make a huge difference to some 400,000 children in our borough each year and to influence their futures in a uniquely positive way.’A donation of just £10 enables a child to come to the Albany and experience world-class theatre at their local venue and, contributes to making the whole borough of Lewisham a healthier and happier place to live, work and play. There are opportunities to support a whole class, year or even a postcode to experience the magic of theatre.
To support the campaign, visit the crowdfunding page at www.crowdfunder.co.uk/a-theatre-trip-for-every-child.
Casting for the first two events in the National Theatre’s Queer Theatre series has been announced. The series marks the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in England and Wales and runs from 6 – 10 July 2017.
The first in the series of rehearsed readings is Sarah Daniels’ Neaptide. Directed by Sarah Frankcom, Neaptide was the National Theatre’s first full-length play by a female playwright. It presents a ferocious but funny account of the public and private battles of a lesbian mother in the 1980s, alongside the ancient myth of Demeter & Persephone. Having recently come out to her family, Claire now faces a bitter custody battle and uncertainty over her teaching career.
Neaptide is on stage in the Lyttelton Theatre on 6 July at 7.30pm, cast includes:
Ronke Adekoluejo (Val), Adjoa Andoh (Beatrice), Simon Armstrong (Sid & Cyril), Thomas Arnold (Colin & Roger), Maureen Beattie (Joyce), Morfydd Clark (Poppy & Terri), Karla Crome (Diane), Helena Lymbery (Anette & Marion), Sarah Niles (Linda) and Jessica Raine (Claire). The reading will be followed by a free discussion with Sarah Daniels and Sarah Frankcom about the play.
Wig Out! Is the second in the series of LGBT+ rehearsed readings at the NT. Written and directed by Tarell Alvin McCraney (Moonlight), Wig Out! tells of the fiercest battle in New York as the House Of Light compete with the House Of Diabolique for drag family supremacy at the Cinderella Ball. When Eric meets Wilson, it’s a good old-fashioned boy meets boy fairy tale. However, when Wilson reveals his drag alter-ego Nina, questions of masculinity and gender come to the fore. In the tradition of Paris Is Burning, this big, bold and riotous play looks at gender, drag and fabulousness.
Wig Out! is on stage in the Lyttelton Theatre on July 7 at 7.30pm, cast includes:
Tarell Alvin McCraney (Rey Rey), Arun Blair-Mangat (directions), Tunji Kasim (Eric), Alexia Khadime (Fate), Kadiff Kirwan (Ms Nina), Abiona Omonua (Faith), Jonjo O’Neill (Serena), Tom Rhys-Harries (Loki), Ukweli Roach (Lucian), Cat Simmons (Fay) and Craig Stein (Venus).
The rest of the programme includes:
Certain Young Men written and directed by Peter Gill, Saturday 8 July, 7.30pm
Bent by Martin Sherman, directed by Stephen Daldry, Sunday 9 July, 2.30pm
The Drag by Mae West, directed by Polly Stenham, Monday 10 July, 7.30pm.
The Old Vic have announced the next One Voice at The Old Vic which will take place on 7 July featuring new monologues written by Mark Watson and Amelia Bullmore performed by Katherine Parkinson and Niamh Cusack as well as a monologue by Yasmina Reza.
The programme on 7 July features Statuesque written by Mark Watson, performed by Katherine Parkinson and directed by Annabel Bolton, Anyway written by Amelia Bullmore, performed by Niamh Cusack and directed by Max Webster and Robert Toscano from Happy Are the Happy by Yasmina Reza, directed by Chelsea Walker.
One Voice celebrates the rawest of theatre forms – a single voice on a stage without scenery, without costume and with nothing to rely on but words. This series of monologues is specially commissioned by The Old Vic with one-off performances from renowned actors.