Inclusive. Interactive. Imaginative
Immediate Theatre’s vision is for a society where questioning, articulate and motivated people create and collaborate to build thriving communities
Our mission is:
To engage young people (especially those at risk of marginalisation or exclusion) in high quality artistic projects which involve creative and personal development, training and employment that equip them with the skills of enquiry, collaboration and communication needed today to shape the thriving communities of tomorrow.
Our company aims are:
- To provide inspirational participatory theatre programmes enabling young people at high risk to reach their potential
- To offer a theatre programme for young audiences which explores social issues and enables them to engage in the process of change
- To improve employability for young people and create pathways to employment in the arts.
- To support the involvement of young people in decision making and to develop future community leaders
We not only give people a stage on which to perform, we give them the confidence to stand on that stage and have their voice heard. Nurturing this new found confidence is important to us. Therefore, we create supported pathways across our projects so participation is not just an isolated experience but an ongoing journey.
Immediate Theatre was established as a charity in 1996 and our offices are based in Hackney. We currently have a staff team of 14 and are governed by a board of trustees.
Find out what young people think of working with us - watch our video below.
Immediate Theatre was set up by Jo Carter in 1996 in response to Hackney’s Agenda 21 consultative process...
Agenda 21 brought together the council and community to develop practical ways to tackle economic, social and environmental problems and achieve sustainable development.
From the outset our vision was to work closely with locally based organisations and community groups to create theatre which engaged people in the process of change. The combination of participatory projects and professional productions was designed to bring local theatre practitioners together with the community to create inspiring work with high artistic standards for specific audiences. The term "immediate" implying "right here" on your doorstep and the "right now" of being responsive to current issues affecting local people.
Whilst we have refined our purpose and aims over the past 13 years we have always remained true to our initial intention.
A brief history of our company
Click a date below to see more information
2007 - 2008
Continuation of, Pathways, Meet The Parents, and Healthy Lifestyles.
Interactions - expansion of project to engage young people at risk of school exclusion in Tower Hamlets and Hackney.
Estate Based Youth Theatre – development of partnership with Elevate improving model to include outreach and six week taster programmes. Supported by Hackney Youth Service.
Building Bridges - project on Woodberry Down Estate bring together older and younger residents.
AfroReggae UK Partnership –working on behalf of Shoreditch Trust to deliver drumming, dance and drama workshops influenced and supported by the cultural movement which grew out of the favelas of Rio de Janeiro promoting the “culture is our weapon” message.
Now You See Me; Now You Don’t – contracted by Transport for London to tour to 8 London boroughs in Spring 07 with an additional 12 week tour from January 08 – July 08.
2006 - 2007
Staff team of eleven.
Continuation of, Meet The Parents, Top Gear, Thoughts Allowed and Healthy Lifestyles.
Interactions - new funding achieved from Deutsche Bank and Government Office for London, research into expanding the project to Newham, Tower Hamlets and providing preventative work with young people at risk of school exclusion.
Theatre Pathways – funded by London Development Agency for three years to provide employment support, placements and training for young local interested in developing a career in the theatre and creative sector.
The Gingerbread House - created with the Healthy Lifestyles Group, a professional touring production for primary schools exploring the experience of being overweight and trying to establish a healthy lifestyle.
2005 - 2006
Vision and aims of company clarified.
Continuation of Interactions, Meet The Parents and Healthy Lifestyles.
We All Fall Down – second tour in East London.
Establishment of Estate Based Youth Theatre model funded by Arts Council England, initial work on Gascoyne Estate and Guiness Trust Estate in Stamford Hill.
Now You See Me; Now You Don’t – commissioned by Camden Road Safety Team funded by Transport for London, production developed with and for year six students looking at safety on the roads during the transition from primary to secondary education.
Top Gear – peer led drugs education programme established in partnership with Sub 19.
Thoughts Allowed – peer led mental health awareness programme created in partnership with Young Minds and Mellow.
2004 - 2005
New three year plan in place. Staff hand book in place.
Additional staff recruited.
Continuation of WDYT and Interactions
Feeling Bad – continued partnership with Off Centre looking at emotional wellbeing and mental health issues for Interactions client group and staff of alternative education providers.
Queensbridge Community Arts Partnership culminates in day long festival at Queensbridge Centre
Healthy Lifestyles – start of work with Primary Care Trust using drama to explore the experience of being overweight.
Meet The Parents - new project created in partnership with CHYPS (City and Hackney Young People’s Services) training young parents to deliver Sex and Relationship Education to young people.
Creative Partnerships – production created working across year groups at Stormont School for young people with special needs.
2003 - 2004
Staff team of Jo Carter, Rebecca Wolsey, Rob Watt and Charmain Humphrey in place.
Hackney Theatre Partnership – regular meetings established.
Continuation of QCAP and WDYT, repeat tour of Hoax to year 6 students in Camden.
Interactions - awarded second phase of three year funding with additional funds from Connexions to support estate based work.
Can You See Me - commissioned by Camden Public Safety Team to create a play with and for older people about road safety issues.
Wellbeing – working with Off Centre (Hackney Young People’s Counselling Service) to create a emotional wellbeing curriculum for year 7 students using drama.
2002 - 2003
Continuation of Interactions, WDYT, further tour of We All Fall Down in Camden.
Hoax - working with theatre professionals and year ten students to create a play for young people aged 10 –14 about the dangers of making hoax calls to the emergency services, commissioned by Camden Community safety team led by Fire Brigade.
The Street Experience – conference designed to build bridges between older and younger people in the Kilburn area.
Cracked – recommissioned to explore the particular issues of working with young people with potential dual diagnosis.
Queensbridge Community Arts Partnership (QCAP) - new partnership established with local housing trust to provide arts activities for young people and adults including women learning English.
2001 - 2002
Increase to four salaried posts. Full range of policies established for the company.
Continuation of Interactions, SHYPT, further tour of We All Fall Down and Who’s That at The Door in Kilburn area.
Cracked - commissioned by East London and the City Mental Health Trust providing twenty days of training using a large installation created at Trinity Buoy Warf. Winner of Community Care Award 2002.
Establishment of Woodberry Down Youth Theatre (WDYT).
Phone Jack – film created about young people and street crime with the Woodberry Down Youth Theatre and the Metropolitan Police.
Tudor Hackney – A professional performance based on the story of John and Jane Daniels and their house in Hackney, toured to schools in Hackney and used to develop an interactive film as part of a website with Hackney Archive. Hosted by the National Archive.
2000 - 2001
Three part-time salaried posts established.
Management training provided for key staff.
Continuation of SHYPT and tour of We All Fall Down.
Interactions – awarded three-year funding from the National Youth Agency to provide drama and arts activities for young people in alternative education settings.
Cracked – Commissioned by Homerton Hospital East Wing to create an experiential training day raising awareness about people with a dual diagnosis of mental health issues and problematic drug or alcohol use.
This Land, Our Lives – Participatory performance commissioned by the Regeneration Team on the Woodberry Down Estate in Hackney to look at the past, present and future of the estate.
1999 - 2000
Awarded London Borough of Hackney voluntary sector funding.
Continuation of SHYPT and tour of We All Fall Down.
Drama for people learning English – using drama activities to support women learning English, run in partnership with Hackney Community College.
Sweeten The Ocean – Experimental production reflecting the experience of being a mental health nurse. Commissioned by Homerton Hospital East Wing as part of training initiative.
1998 - 1999
First Business Plan written.
Office base established at 62 Beechwood Road, Dalston.
We All Fall Down – touring production forolder people about preventing falls in the home, created in partnership with the Mobile Repair Service and older people from Hackney and Newham.
Stamford Hill Young People’s Theatre (SHYPT) – youth theatregroup established, with meetings on a weekly basis leading to an annual summer production and youth arts day.
Dot & Chip – Energy saving project created for Hackney Council.
Back to the Future – intergenerational projectworking with younger and older residents on the Trowbridge Estate in Hackney to look at the past, present and future of the area as part of regeneration initiative.
The Enormous Now – Continuation of the ‘Architects Big Idea’, creating an open air performance on six estates to raise awareness about stock transfer.
1996 - 1998
Company and charitable status achieved October 1996.
Who’s That at The Door – production about bogus callers toured to older people’s lunch and social clubs and Sheltered accommodation across Hackney, in partnership with the Metropolitan Police.
The Architect’s Big Idea – open air performance created with residents on Northwold Estate to raise awareness about the Comprehensive Estate Initiative. Performed on six estates across Hackney.