Theatre Delicatessen | Inspiring artists. Transforming spaces.
Arts Council support for Burgess Park Community Arts Programme

Arts Council England have pledged nearly £15,000 to support Theatre Delicatessen in creating a wide-reaching programme of arts and theatre activity focussed at young people, it has been announced today.

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The programme, ‘Performers in the Park’ will open up opportunities for people from across the local community to develop their skills and talent in music, comedy and theatre through a series of after-school and evening activities.

This pilot programme will take place at the Old Library, in the heart of Burgess Park from October 2016 – April 2017, led professional practitioners who have a wide range of experience of working in the arts and working with young people.

For aspiring actors and actresses, Theatre Delicatessen will be working with Gareth Kennerley of Scaffold State to create a the Performers in the Park company for 6 to 10 year olds, 11 to 15 year olds and 16 to 18 year olds. Meeting on Sunday afternoons, three age groups will work alongside each other to develop everything from drama, to clowning, to singing, to mask work.

Alongside this budding comics will have the opportunity to hone their craft with Hoopla – a London based improvisation theatre company. Hoopla set up the UK’s first ever Improv Comedy Club, where they produce various shows and host shows from various groups from across the UK and International improv scene. At the Old Library they will be working with 11 to 15 year olds and 16 to 18 year olds every Wednesday from 5pm-7pm.

On top of this, everyone aged from 16 to 100+ is invited to come and join InChoir – an exciting new choir making great sounds in the Old Library on Wells Way. The sessions will include high quality vocal training to improve your singing technique in a great variety of musical styles – whether it be gospel, classical, folk, world or anything else that anyone wants to bring to the evening. There are no auditions – anyone interested just needs to turn up to the first session.
To ensure these opportunities are open to everyone, there will be a number of free scholarship places available on each course which will be targeted at local residents.

Through all the activities Theatre Delicatessen aims to create a friendly, fun, sociable and supportive atmosphere in all our improv courses where people are free to play and be themselves.

Ground breaking arts organisation, Theatre Delicatessen, are working with Southwark Council take on a transform the Old Library in Burgess Park into an arts and culture hub. Alongside ‘Performers in the Park’, Theatre Delicatessen will be opening an arts cafe at the Old Library and launching a programme of evening performances incorporating theatre, music and spoken word evenings.

Roland Smith, Co-Artistic Director of Theatre Delicatessen, said:

“This Arts Council support is fantastic news for the Old Library and our plans to develop a space for arts and theatre in Burgess Park. It creates the opportunity for people from across Camberwell, the Elephant and Castle and the Aylesbury Estate to get involved in developing their skills and creating performances. Our aim is that this pilot programme will provide a foundation for building really exciting collaborations in the future.”

The Passmore Edwards Library Building is owned by Southwark Council, who have granted Theatre Delicatessen a two-year lease to work in the building. Situated almost in the centre of the park, on the one road which cuts right through, the library was built together with slipper baths and washhouse in 1903. Most recently the Old Library was occupied by theatre company Just Jones, and used as pop up arts space.

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