Theatre Peckham have joined the 21st Century! We decided we needed to make a few changes to keep pace with advances in technology and make our service to all our members and friends more user friendly and efficient.
You can now BOOK ONLINE, where all information about our classes and courses is easily accessible and once you’ve created your customer profile enrolling students will be quicker each term from now on.
We’ve also been working with UNIFORM a branding company in Liverpool who have been working with us (for free) on our image and how we present ourselves. This has been a fantastic partnership and we have come up with some exciting new ways of introducing ourselves and as you may have already noticed – a new logo. The logo with font letters designed by our members is now being introduced and you will see it appearing on any new branded items throughout the year. We hope our students have fun spotting which of their own letters appears where!
Whilst Theatre Peckham continues to grow and goes from strength to strength with over 400+ students attending 30 weekly classes we are having to compete more and more for grants from Trusts and Foundations. Theatre Peckham offers supported places with partial or full bursaries to over 5% of its students. Help us to continue supporting the young people of Peckham and South East London by investing in their future. You can donate here (LINK) just £4 supports a child to have one free lesson with us.
Thank you to everyone for all your continued support of Theatre Peckham.
Artistic Director and Founder
Taster Day at Peckham Academy Saturday 7th
New Timetable! Term 3 2013
Theatre Peckham Newsletter 2013
Newspaper boy and Origami girl
A few days ago I went to Theatre Peckham see the Opening of “Newspaper boy, Origami girl” a musical adaption of Michael Foreman’s book, which starred a few home educated kids I know plus a cast of professional actors alongside students from Theatre Peckham’s performing arts school. I love a good musical but have stayed away from the west end for a while due to it’s reliance on rehashing old stuff. So I was very eager to see something fresh and new. I was so impressed with the performance I just had to write about it and hopefully encourage some of you to see it before the run ends.
Briefly, the story is about a hard-up newspaper boy who is robbed one night while sleeping on the cold london streets with only his chelsea scarf as a pillow. Cue the arrival of Origami girl, played by Ayishat Babatunde, a super shero made out of newspaper who is a don at tai chi and kung fu, zenlike and eternally optimistic. From this point the story unfolds and we learn about peer pressure and being an individual, we learn that children always see the truth their parents refuse to believe and that bankers are always the villains and belong in the dustbin head first! Then after all adventure and drama, Origami girl and newspaper boy fly away on a white origami swan. Kind of like the end scene in Grease where Sandy and Danny ride of in the super car “greased lightning” but more believable.
I mean, where the hell are they going?!?!
Now I fancy putting on a bit of T-rex….. I’ll finish writing this first though!
So where was I…. Oh yes! So, Origami girl helps newspaper boy develop a more positive attitude and also elegantly kicks the butts of those who try to harm him. Her timing and skill in the fight scenes is quite astonishing as are the histrionics and physicality of the gang of goons she goes up against. Her newspaper print costume is amazing too and must not go without a mention (props to costumer maker Lydia Crimp).
The cast work together tremendously well and despite the odd bit of nerves and stumbled lines were overall very convincing. The actor playing newspaper boy reminded me of a young Mark Lester especially during his solo song, the musical’s signature piece whose title I don’t know although it has been stuck in my head all week (“sometimes when you feel as if your heart could break, it’s hurting….”). Roger Goslyn’s score is catchy yet original, full of pentatonics that really give you that special “oriental” feeling.
Another of my favourite characters was Ri-dic-u-lous the clown played by Rrenford Fagan. He was hilarious, his moves were tight and he was excellent in the role.
Theatre Peckham is a great space for local children to train in the performing art- they offer classes in dance, singing, musical theater and more. I couldn’t believe it was my first visit and that I’d not previously heard of the place. The quality of the production was so good and I feel that Theatre Peckham deserves to be considered as an important cultural space. I’d urge anyone to get themselves down there and support this fabulous show and it’s young, dynamic and impressive cast.
So forget the West End and get down to Peckham if you want cutting edge, unique theatre!
Begin, Progress, Perform, Become Professional.
Our new brochure has just been released - its central page lays out what we aspire to enable our young people to do.
Anyone can print things like this on a poster, or write a blog about how amazing they are. It’s quite another thing to make a difference for young people for over twenty five years.
But Theatre Peckham have achieved this - and here are some of the young people who prove it, of whom we are quite rightly very proud.
Kyle appeared in many shows whist at Theatre Peckham he’s an amazingly focused and driven young man and we always knew he would be capable of great things.
So it was no surprise when we found this review; http://www.fringeguru.com/reviews/edinburgh-2012/rainbow.html of Kyle starring in his first Edinburgh show. It’s a rave review and we know there’s still lots more to come from this very very promising young performer.
Ron was at the forefront of the more adult shows that we’ve produced over the last few years. We’ve seen him develop and mature as a performer in that time and earlier this year all that hard work was rewarded with a place in East 15 drama school, a fantastic achievement! Ron recently performed for Harriet Harman who recently visited Theatre Peckham and offered him these words of encouragement and support:
We agree, good luck Ron, we know you’ll go on to do great things.
John attended our workshops from an early age and starred in Angel Point as well as many other shows. We always knew he was a talented performer and would go far. But acting can be a cruel world and just being talented isn’t always enough. John, however, knew exactly what he wanted and set out to achieve it right from the very start. As a result John recently starred in hit film: Attack the Block and will soon be back in cinemas in Half of Yellow Sun starring alongside Thandie Newton. His talent was recently recognised with a best actor award from Black Reel (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Reel_Awards_).Its richly deserved, we’re really pleased about John’s success, we wish him well for the future, and we are very proud that we were there at the beginning.
Begin, Progress, Perform, Become Professional
it’s what we do best.
What to say about the 2012 Olympics that hasn’t already been said?! Well, we can point out that our head of dance Jereena Green was one of the choreographers on the NHS section of the opening ceremony! And we can point out that the Jiving Lindy Hoppers (a company Theatre Peckham works closely with) featured as well!
Aside from these amazing things we think it’s worth showing you some of the pictures we took of Peckham the day the torch came through. The pictures are great because they show a side to Peckham which we all know is here but that a lot of people don’t see (or even look for sometimes)
Look through the pictures and you will see a modern community - all races and cultures, trades and professions, coming together to celebrate a once in a lifetime occasion. At times like this it’s easy to see the community spirit that makes Peckham such a special and inspiring place to live.
However when the cameras go away and the Olympic torch and games are a distant memory it will be easy for people to forget about this spirit, to go back to thinking of Peckham as a harsh part of the South East London Where indifference and aggression are on open display
Our job is to challenge this perception, we’ve known about the positive side of Peckham for years its why we work so hard to promote our community and shout so loud when our students and teachers are involved with things like the games, and all of the many smaller events that we are running all the time in and around South East London
Like the rest of the country we were all amazingly proud, not just of our performers that were in the opening ceremony but also of the Britain the ceremony portrayed. It felt like the Britain we live in, not all saccharine and sanitised as some of us feared but with challenging elements as well. It felt wonderful to see the ceremony acknowledge that we get past our fears by working together for everyone’s benefit.
What the Olympics’ have allowed us to do is to show the best of our country, and our communities to the world. The challenge the Olympics puts to us is to keep showing the best of ourselves when no-one else is looking and when we are just doing it for each other.
We know we can do it, we are looking forward to it! And we know you are too.
All the best
A very special visit!
We’ve had loads of great people want to come and see what we do at Theatre Peckham over the years, from local politicians:
Through to some terrific acting talent!
and this week we’re going to add another distinguished individual to the list of people visiting Peckham’s talented youth.
Tonight, we’re expecting our local MP and deputy leader of the Labour party Harriet Harman to come and see a selection of our fantastic performers. The kids are very excited but also very determined. As everyone knows times are tough and our politicians have to make very hard choices about how best to spend their budgets. We’re incredibly keen to show Ms Harman that what our kids do here is positive, brave and one of the best ways that children in a tough area of London can get ahead and achieve their great potential!
We’re not going to get political, we’re not interested in parties, left or right, private or public etc etc etc. What we care about is giving our kids the very best start in life. We passionately believe that every child should have the chance to achieve all that they can, wherever and however they grew up.
We know that’s something Ms Harman believes in too and we’re very keen to show her that it’s something we help kids do, twenty four hours a day seven days a week. Together we can make a difference.
Hot off the press news - Newspaper Boy and Origami Girl the new book by Michael Foreman and our groundbreaking new Christmas show is shaping up to be fantastic! We have a cast of Theatre Peckham young people already on-board and the other day we worked out that this year (to accommodate the amazing projections we’re planning) we’re going to be using the theatre in a totally different way from previously. We can’t go into any details yet. But even if you’ve come here every year for the last twenty five years we think you’ll be surprised this time!
Over at the theatre a big box filled with batteries and battery chargers has just arrived. We need these because we’re once again taking our kids and some boom boxes out onto the streets of Peckham to participate in Big Dance! It’s great when we get a chance to show how far all of our teams have come over the years and we really want to get you all involved as well! So come down to Peckham Library this Sunday from mid-day and be prepared to dance!
As always, whilst all that excitement is happening our dedicated and hardworking team of actors, dancers, musicians, support staff and volunteers are still working hard training the next generation at our workshops. Without them Theatre Peckham would not exist and we’re really proud of all the good work they’re doing.
Last but certainly not least, our computer geniuses are grafting hard to put the final touches on one of most significant changes we’ve made over the last few years namely our new digital booking system – this will allow our many parents to book, renew and review their subscriptions and classes online, and through their mobile phones. This is all happening alongside a snazzy new website that’s in the final design stages so we’ll be dominating the web like never before!
Despite the weather, the economy, the banks and our budgets we’re staying positive. We’re going to put on a great show for Harriet Harman tonight, we’re planning a fantastic Christmas show and we’re going to keep working tirelessly to train the next generation of artists and arts leaders that will showcase all the wonderful things that kids from Peckham have done and will continue to do long into the future!
All the best
CALLING ALL YOUNG ACTORS!!
We’re not holding a Summer show this year instead focusing on creating a fantastic Christmas show. For various legal reasons we’ve not been able to tell you what the show is, but confirmation from the publishers came through a hour ago and so we are now very excited to be able to tell you that our Christmas show will be:
Newspaper Boy and Origami Girl is a AMAZING book which is funny, exciting, and looks fabulous, and best of all we’re getting to start work on our adaptation before it’s even been published!! We’ve had a incredibly strong relationship with Michael over the years and right from the point he started to write “Newspaper Boy and Origami Girl” there was always a very high chance that this would become Theatre Peckham’s third staging of Michael’s work.
Because this is going to be the very best show Theatre Peckham has ever produced (we promise! we have some amazing ideas in place) we’re getting started now, Teresa Early, our Artistic Director and writer, is working incredibly hard with our fantastic composer Roger Goslyn on his days off from the Jules Holland Band, to put together a marvellous score with a real oriental influence, and George Maddocks the tech man has been experimenting with various new forms of projection and lighting.
But all of this work will be for nothing unless we have our team of twenty odd amazing and talented young people to become the stars of the show! So this and next week are Audition Weeks, where we will be looking for the very finest and strongest talent that Peckham has to offer.
We don’t mind if you’ve performed before or not, if you love theatre or don’t know anything about it we just want to see if you can imagine, believe in yourself and tell a story to the audience. So if you can do that, or know someone who can then contact email@example.com to book yourself an audition. We’d love to see you here at the theatre.
This promises to be an amazing opportunity for young people to perform on a cutting edge theatre production so get involved and get in touch, our door is always open and we can’t do this without YOU.
From the team here at Theatre Peckham, all the best and hope to see you soon!!
Performances, new buildings and VIP's!!!! and we need your help...
We don’t like to brag here at Theatre Peckham but we have just completed a hugely successful week of shows and thought it was only right that we should congratulate our young performers on the fine work they did!
On Thursday night we put on a show for Catherine McDonald from Southwark Council who is Cabinet minister for children’s services. A great number of performers from many of our workshops were on display. The evening was started by the five to seven year olds of Musical Theatre who performed an adorable number about sandcastles, and continued with an acrobatic urban performance from our Street Fusion 2 group (eight to eleven year olds!). Singing Two then gave us a fabulous rendition of ‘Heres where I stand’ and Lysia Gregory and Chisara Agor followed with a dynamic and stunning tap piece set to ‘You need me but I don’t need you’ By Ed Sheridan. Finally our BTEC Level 3 performers finished off the evening with a piece from ‘The Living Room' (more about that later in this article!).
Catherine was certainly impressed:
and of course we were extremely proud of our talented and hard working performers. We also had more cause to celebrate when Teresa (our artistic director) publicly revealed that two of our students (Malachi Green O’Shea and Chisara Agor) have been given converted roles in the National Youth Theatre’s latest production (competing against four thousand other young hopefuls!) many many congratulations to them, their successes are richly deserved.
You might be forgiven for thinking that all this hard work would be enough for one week, but not for us! The next day we were straight into final rehearsals and technical preparation for our latest in-house production ‘The Living Room’. Written and directed by our artistic director Teresa Early the Living Room was a dynamic piece about a family in South East London and formed the final stage of the performers BTEC Level 3 assessments. If the reactions of the audience are anything to go by then the cast should have nothing to worry about and we will be well on our way to having secured five more BTEC qualifications to add to the fifty four we have helped local teenagers secure over the last few years.
Exciting times, and there is still more to come - we’re hoping to be a big player in some of the local regeneration happening in and around Southwark Town Hall with a view to making sure that the community and our determined and talented kids are well served by everything that occurs. We can’t say too much now, but watch this space for regular updates just as soon as we know more!
Some of you may have noticed that in and around all this frenetic activity there’s been no mention of a summer production this year. Unfortunately, the governments budget cuts have put us in a difficult place, and our management team decided that it would be more valuable to focus our efforts on improving our workshop programme and showcasing the talents of our members through our very own performance festival!
The Performance Festival is on the weekend of 15th and 16th June and will showcase all our talent from our Level 1 members (as young as 5!) right up to our BTEC graduates (up to age 18) and provides entertainment from the whole spectrum of the workshop programme! Tickets and more information are available at the office or from the website or workshop staff. This is a fantastic opportunity to see the huge amount of talent our members have and is absolutely not to be missed!
Alongside the festival we are also making an early start on a winter show that will break new ground for the company, and promises to be the very best Theatre Peckham show ever! And with that in mind we would like to ask you for some help. Our technical manager George has been working around the clock in the theatre, improving things, tidying up the rough edges and basically ensuring the space is spick and span! George is a scruffy slightly strange looking bloke but it turns out he’s pretty great at his job and the theatre is now in a fabulous condition and available for use.
We really want to get lots of groups into the theatre either for performances or just to rehearse so that we can put the money towards making this Christmas show something really special. We would really appreciate it if you could spread the word for us! Retweet us! pop our advert (the post below this one!) on your Facebook pages and tell your friends! The theatre is great space to perform or rehearse in, and because we’re all about bringing up young talent we often offer significant discounts to community groups, so spread the word! We know (its what we do!) that there’s loads of talent out there and we would really like to help it create the very best work it can.
Its already been a massively busy and successful year for us, but we really want to bring in some money so we can make up for the lack of a summer show by staging a fabulous christmas effort for our fans and the local community. So please help us out! As always, keep checking back here for updates and if you have any questions or suggestions let us know.
From the team here at Theatre Peckham, all the best and really hope to see you soon.
New Year at Theatre Peckham
Its an exciting time here at the Theatre Peckham office; Jodie is enrolling a new batch of children onto our new courses, Suzy is putting together applications for funding, Melanie is sorting out the torturous calendar (don’t envy her!) Androulla and Denise are planning and executing an exciting new season of projects and, as ever Lee is making sure we don’t spend too much money on all of this!
Over in the theatre young George (under the keen supervision of old George!) is pulling down the set from last years Christmas Production - The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. It’s sad to see a show that was such a success be taken down but we’ve a lot of great memories, as have the 30 children that performed so brilliantly over the punishing three week period.
Teresa is working from home, but we’ve no doubt that she’ll be pulling her weight as always! She’s already had a great success this year securing Harriet Harman the inspirational shadow minister to come and see some of our classes in March. The last few years have been a very frightening time for all of us who rely on public funding and its good to know that politicians are still interested in seeing and helping those of us that are working to make our communities stronger.
One of the many ways were moving forward and improving ourselves this year is with our online presence. We have a shiny new website going live in for the middle of the year and from this point onwards all of the office will be tweeting and blogging more than we ever have before so follow @theatrepeckham, keep a eye on this tumblr page and follow us on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Theatre-Peckham/141259255890539?ref=ts). We’ll not just be bringing you news about us but we’ll also be trying to bring you great offers on local theatre, news about events happening in the local office and of course all the gossip we can!
With the current economic situation times are tough for all of us, but there’s nothing to be done but carry on making things better whichever way we can. We’re all excited about the year that’s coming up and we hope you are too.
All the best
Cake Sale this Saturday!
TP’s parents committee are holding a cake sale this Saturday at Peckham academy! come down and enjoy some scrumptious treats!
Street Fusion Assistant needed!
We’re looking for an experienced and enthusiastic street Fusion dance assistant! Must be available on Monday evenings 5.15 - 8.15, term time, from Monday 3rd October, Rates of pay are competitive. CVs and for more information email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Ushers and helpers for Taster Day, 10th Sept
Any BTEC students available to help out on taster day, Saturday 10th Sept, please call the office and confirm! Hugely appreciated!
Elephant and the Nun Festival! FREE performance and workshops!
Come Down to Lucas Gardens This sunday!
Have you booked your 'Class Acts' tickets?
Only two days to go!!! Grab your tickets for this one off event from the arts Theatre Box https://tickets.lovetheatre.com/selectshow.asp?Site=143 Not to be missed folks!
Last day of term tomorrow!
As its the last day of the summer term, Parents can come and watch the last 10 minutes of their childs class! Ballet and Tap exam certificates will be handed out then! Thanks!
New Workshop Timetable for 2011/2012 out now!
Re-enrolment for Current Members!Autumn Term 2011
Re-enrolment for the Autumn Term starts on Monday 27th June! Please note - you will only be able to enrol for classes you are currently taking with us! Annual membership will also be due again! Thanks!
Sir Ian McKellen
‘Theatre and drama are extremely important in the process of personal development. That’s why organisations such as Theatre Peckham are so invaluable. They teach youngsters lessons that will help them through life, such as self-discipline and teamwork, and communication skills. I wish there had been a school like this when I was young – they are helping to develop some truly inspirational people.’
David Harewood MBE
‘The energy and talent that I witnessed during my time working with the young people of Theatre Peckham is an inspiration. Their commitment and energy is really fantastic and I hope I get the chance to work with them all again soon.’
Jenny Agutter OBE
“Theatre Peckham nurtures talent and provides skills, teaching communication and discipline as well as creating wonderful theatre”