We regularly respond to requests from statutory and voluntary sector organisations to use our innovative theatre approach to tackle complex issues
We were very pleased to be invited by Shelter to create a user-led piece of theatre as part of their 50th birthday events in December 2016. During the Autumn, Jo Carter and Jonny Wright gathered stories from Shelter users, the emphasis being not on street homelessness but on the hidden homeless, people living in inadequate housing and caring for sick relatives, families sleeping of friend’s floors or in police cells, and people living in terror of their landlord and eviction.
These very powerful stories were used as a starting point for Shelter Stories, Live in London. We worked with a company of nine performers, including Shelter service users and staff, Youth Theatre members, a Trustee, volunteer professionals and MA students, in order to create a thought-provoking and moving performance presented at Arcola Theatre and followed by a very powerful discussion.
“The performance today was absolutely wonderful. Powerful, compelling, emotional, and beautifully telling the stories of our service users.” - Connie Cullen, London Support Services Manager, Shelter.
The work reached a far wider audience through Shelter’s Facebook live video link: 3,525 video views, 48 peak live viewers, 3,370 unique viewers, 125,309 people reached, 228 reactions and 34 comments.
Immediate Theatre facilitated a character-based workshop for Hackney Council Chief Executives exploring the particular problems facing young black men. The work was extremely well received demonstrating the effectiveness of our innovative approach to solving critical social issues. A further session was commissioned using two characters to explore the key transition points for young black men. This was attended by 50 local decision makers representing early years strategists to employment and housing leaders. The session enabled our young people to communicate directly about what interventions work and where help is needed.
Since ‘Cracked’, our award-winning project in 2001, we have provided a range of interventions using our unique character-based methodology and training programme to raise awareness about mental health issues for both young people and the practitioners they work with. In 2016/17, we led an initiative in partnership with Hackney CVS and City & Hackney Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAHMS) to train staff working with challenging young people and provide regular group clinical supervision.