In her Guardian column, 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.”
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, co-producing with emerging companies to enable them to tour, or ensuring that the seasonal programme here at Greenwich Theatre 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 2014 the festival included more than 70 performances and participatory activities across 8 venues and open spaces.
With up to twenty companies currently working with us as an associate, supported or developing companies, many are working to create a new theatre for young audiences and our annual programme on stage includes a high-percentage of family work. We have also developed a pop-up performance space which exclusively hosts performance for young children. In all work for children, we are committed to adhering to the national Family Arts Standards.
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.