The Elgiva is proud to support The Theatre Shed – and inclusivity!

When the theatre shut in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it wasn’t only our shows and films that got put on hold – all the backstage stuff got put on hold too.

However, now we have reopened, we took the safely socially-distanced opportunity this week to catch up with The Theatre Shed and present them with a cheque for the money we raised for them during last year’s pantomime, which they plan to plough back into productions and performing.

Our volunteers rattled buckets at the end of our Cinderella throughout December and the Christmas period for three charities, The Theatre Shed, Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity and last year’s Mayoral charity, The Alzheimer’s Society. Splitting the amount raised equally between the three, meant we were able to present The Theatre Shed with a cheque for just over £900 this week.

(L-R) Elgiva Deputy Manager Tracey Hatchett and Theatre Shed’s Alice Connor and Joel Reynolds agree that inclusivity is the way forward!

When we caught up with representatives from The Theatre Shed, we asked them what their plans were for the money and what they had been up to in lockdown. Alice Connor, Theatre Shed’s Artistic Director, and Joel Reynolds, Senior Mentor & Tech God, explained that although the last few months have been challenging, they have brought their own opportunities as well.

“We were online before everything had totally shut down as we usually meet at The Beacon School, so understandably they wanted to limit risk, and we wanted to limit risk to our members as well,” Alice told us. “We’ve had an incredible experience online, increased our output and furthered our outreach. But some of our members are visually impaired and some are deaf – they haven’t been able to participate in the the online experience in the same way. We need to be back in a real space, engaging in real theatre.”

Looking for a new home, The Theatre Shed put out feelers on social media in July, and The Elgiva responded.

“We are desperate to resume face-to-face activities, to get back into productions and costumes, but we needed new workshop space,” Alice told us. “We are delighted to be partnering with The Elgiva and to be fostering inclusivity together.”

Joel and Alice recalled how it was at The Elgiva that Joel was first bitten by the Theatre Shed bug, when he attended their 10 Year Anniversary performance in 2015 and knew he had to be a part of things going forward.

“We are very much looking forward to building a partnership,” Alice told us. “Making theatre accessible to all runs through everything we do.”

Elgiva Deputy Manager, Tracey Hatchett said: “The Theatre Shed is an inspirational part of our community and The Elgiva is immensely proud to support them on their journey!”

Find out more about the incredible work of The Theatre Shed here.

5th September 2020

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