On Wednesday 3rd July, the West End lifted the curtain on careers in theatre to inspire young people.
A year since the launch of Inspiring Future Theatre theatres, arts organisations, and industry professionals across the UK celebrated the wide range of offstage theatre activities.
The campaign – a joint initiative with Society of London Theatre (SOLT), UK Theatre, and Education and Employers – was officially launched on 11th July 2018 to showcase the range of careers available in the theatre, highlighting the number of offstage opportunities. By encouraging and strengthening the relationship between theatres and schools nationwide, children and young people have had the chance to engage with volunteers from the world of work to raise their aspirations and broaden their horizons. (For more information about this campaign, please click here.)
Theatres across the capital raised their curtains to encourage young people to explore job opportunities within a sustainable and representative theatre workforce. Hundreds of young people got an exclusive insight behind the scenes of London’s world famous West End.
Working with Westminster City Council’s young culture programme, City Lions, SOLT and UK Theatre helped show nearly 500 13 to 16 year olds behind the scenes. These students, from Westminster schools rarely get a chance to engage with the world-leading theatre right on their doorstep, discovered the range of offstage careers that are available for young people.
Workshops were held in nine theatres across all the major London theatre owners, from speed networking sessions to technical insights into staging a large-scale show.
Then the students watched extracts from two hit British musicals: Tudor pop sensation Six at the Arts Theatre and the uplifting true story Everybody’s Talking about Jamie at the Apollo Theatre.
The Theatre Royal Haymarket, the Cambridge Theatre, the Vaudeville Theatre, the Aldwych Theatre, the Piccadilly Theatre, the Prince of Wales Theatre, the Gillian Lynne Theatre, the Donmar Warehouse and the Royal Opera House all participated throughout the day.
Several local and national politicians attended the events, including the Rt Honourable Jeremy Wright, MP and Secretary of State for Culture, Media, and Sport, who was at the Gillian Lynne Theatre to observe the workshops and meet everyone taking part.
Jeremy Wright, MP said:
“The West End’s theatre offerings are rightly regarded as being amongst the very best in the world. We can only maintain this success if the UK’s incredible pool of theatre professionals is sustainable, with young and new talent nurtured and encouraged. The Inspiring Future Theatre Day is a fantastic initiative and I congratulate all those involved for their work in reaching out to young people and letting them know about the amazing theatre jobs on offer behind the curtain.”
President of SOLT, Kenny Wax, started the call for Ambassadors at last year’s Oliver Awards on Wednesday 8th April:
“Our goal is to sign up 1,000 Ambassadors from across the industry to include technicians, designers, actors, creatives, and administrators – with particular emphasis on roles behind the curtain – to commit to visit a local school once a year to talk about what they do – to open the eyes of children and inspire them to consider a role in theatre.”
The day’s events marked the culmination of year on of the Inspiring Future Theatre activity between schools and theatres across the UK, which has recruited over 1,000 Theatre Ambassadors, and reached over 51,000 young people across 800 schools.
Our partnership with SOLT and UK Theatre started in April last year. For more information about this partnership, please click here.
The official launch of Inspiring Future Theatre was almost a year ago, on Wednesday 11 July 2018, at Northstead Primary School in Scarborough. If you are interested in finding out what an Inspiring Future Theatre event looks like in a school, please read about it here.
If you are a theatre professional and would like to become a volunteer to show children and young people future possibilities, please sign up to become an Inspiring Future Theatre Ambassador.Sign up now