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Queen’s Theatre to work alongside National Theatre on initiative to get communities involved in productions

PUBLISHED: 12:30 06 October 2017 | UPDATED: 10:05 09 October 2017

Queen's Theatre

Queen's Theatre

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A theatre in the heart of Hornchurch has formed a partnership with the National Theatre on a new initiative to get communities involved in the arts.

Queen’s Theatre, Billet Lane, Hornchurch, will be taking part in Public Acts, a nationwide campaign to celebrate communities and create extraordinary theatre, inspired by Public Works, The Public Theatre’s programme of participatory theatre in New York.

The borough’s community venue is the first theatre partner for Public Acts involved in a two-year partnership with the National Theatre (NT) and a number of community organisations across greater London.

Through these partnerships, members of London’s diverse communities will be invited to take part in regular creative activities and join in the creation of theatre productions.

Director of the NT Rufus Norris said: “I’ve been passionate about making theatre with communities since long before I became director of the National Theatre in 2015, and one of the first decisions I took was that this work should become part of our DNA.

“We’re really excited about Public Acts and working with all our partners over the next two years, coming together as a community of people and of organisations who might otherwise not have met, sharing experiences and learning together through the act of creating theatre.”

Community partners for Public Acts over the next two years will include the Havering Asian Social Welfare Association (Haswa), Three Faiths Forum (3FF) which works with people to build good relations between different faiths and beliefs and London-based charity Thames Reach which helps homeless and vulnerable people find decent homes.

The first of these will be a new production of Shakespeare’s Pericles which will be performed on the NT’s Olivier stage in August 2018.

It will feature a small cast of professional actors together with a large community ensemble, who will be cast through their connection with the numerous community partner organisations.

The project is supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies and The Sackler Trust, founding supporters of Public Acts.

The first three years of Public Acts is also supported by Arts Council England’s Strategic Touring Fund.

Learning and participation producer James Watson said: “The Queen’s Theatre is thrilled to partner with the NT on “Public Acts” as a result of our long-term commitment to large scale community engagement.

“This project is a brilliant chance to represent communities of outer London who have fewer opportunities to engage with the arts.

“We are already seeing the joy of participants finding freedom in creativity and look forward to seeing the impact grow over the next two years.”

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