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We will decorate a van, with a pop-up stage inside, and entertain schoolchildren across the city. Following the news that many pantomimes will be cancelled, a group of professional performers will travel across the city, bringing joy, creativity & laughter into our schools and communities. After a summer of frustration and difficulty for so many families, we want to lift their spirits and bring some joy back to their lives from the safety of the school hall or playground. Our aim is to reach as many children as possible, giving them the chance to see a pantomime this year. The old Liverpool Everyman company had a similar project in the 70’s, called VanLoad, where actors would travel to pubs and communities bringing theatre and comedy to people. Dame Julie Walters said of it, “ My first professional job was with Vanload, the touring wing of the Everyman. I loved the feeling that this was theatre for the community we were performing in.” This ethos would be our blueprint.
What we'll deliver:
Why it's a great idea:
- Lifting people’s spirits. - Making children smile. - Employing Locally-based creative people. - Taking theatre into our communities. - People will forget their worries. - People will be moved and inspired. - We will make a note of people who would like to take part in future events. - We would hope to create a fleet of these pop-up theatres or extend dates and numbers of shows, perhaps bringing future productions to schools next year. - Our project will provide the council with a useful resource for the future. The pop-up theatre will be able to present entertainment and learning opportunities for future City Council and Culture company events. - We will have apprentices and volunteers to support our work. - We would tell local stories and showcase local talent. - We will educate, entertain and inspire people who may have little hope just now. - We will improve mental health and well-being for all those taking part and our audience.
Steps to get it done:
Stephen Fletcher and Life in Theatre Productions’ are associates of The Royal Court Theatre. We would pursue a collaboration with Boroughs throughout Merseyside to bring entertainment to our young people with this and future projects- aiming to collaborate with theatres currently closed due to lockdown. Completely unsubsidised, Life in Theatre has brought Broadway plays, musicals and original writing to the city, reaching a combined audience of more than 50,000 people, and, I hope, gained the respect of the people we have worked alongside or employed. It is time to build on that work and reach out to undiscovered and untapped younger audiences who may have felt that the theatre was never meant for them. One of our company's actors said, “you should make it swing where you live”. That has to be our focus if the theatre is to remain popular and relevant. Our pop-up project will employ, hone and develop talent, and showcase new and vibrant work across the city's schools.
About the space
Liverpool City Council