In August 2012 in her Guardian blog, Lyn Gardner wrote “The artists of tomorrow are not made through funding an elite, but by funding at the bottom of the pyramid… We need to work at the roots. If we don't, we will end up with the top of the pyramid and nothing beneath.” [read full article]
At Greenwich Theatre we work to support just that – the grass roots of new theatre creation. Companies like Filament (“the future of new British musical theatre writing” whatsonstage) and Idle Motion (“a brilliant emerging company” The Guardian) are supported in their development as companies, as producers, as theatre makers through their working relationship with us.
Some companies use Greenwich Theatre as a home, using the office, rehearsal space, performance space; some companies use us as an artistic sounding board and an outside eye in rehearsal; some use us as an industry mentor, taking guidance on everything from prop-buying to touring strategy. All are enhanced by their relationship with Greenwich Theatre.
That ethos runs throughout our work, whether it means casting exceptional graduate performers in our Christmas show, creating showcase moments for young companies as part of the Greenwich Children’s Theatre Festival, running our annual Emerging Artists festival or ensuring that the seasonal programme on stage features a number of high profile performances by emerging companies.
Theatre for young audiences is a huge part of our work at Greenwich Theatre. In 2008 with support from Royal Greenwich and the Docklands Light Railway we launched the Greenwich Children’s Theatre Festival with 10 performances across 2 venues. In 2012 the festival included 60 performances across 8 venues.
With ten companies currently working with us as associate, supported or developing companies, no less than four are working to create new theatre for young audiences. Our Inspiring Spaces programme focuses on creating accessible family theatre in non-theatrical spaces and this year saw a sell-out 15 performances of the new show BALTHAZAR’S BAZAAR OF THE BIZARRE by new theatre company Jagged Edge at Trinity Buoy Wharf.
GREENWICH THEATRE ON TOUR
Greenwich Theatre is one of London finest off-West End theatres, but the company is far more than the building. Our belief in pursuing excellence in theatre and supporting emerging work transcends the bricks and mortar of our building, so whether we are offering mentoring support to a new company, creating a new piece of theatre on a boat or curating a borough-wide festival, our ethos is the same. This has now developed further with the launch of Greenwich Theatre On Tour, a programme of work which has seen us work with emerging companies to co-produce theatre at a range of national and international venues, with performances in London, Brighton, Edinburgh, Dublin, Madrid and New York in the last two years.
ACCESS & OPPORTUNITY
Ultimately, theatre holds something for everyone, and Greenwich Theatre is committed to promoting equality of opportunity across all aspects of its operation. This applies to audiences, performers, practitioners, young participants and staff alike. In education, we strive to use theatre to tackle the barriers which prevent young people from accessing education, employment or training. For theatre makers we strive to offer developmental opportunities unavailable elsewhere. In programming, we offer a broad, diverse selection of productions to satisfy a wide audience. For staff we encourage training and personal development, both inside and outside of the industry. In welcoming audiences, we strive to offer accessible facilities, performances and activities throughout the year.