SHAKESPEARE SUMMER SEASON | SIGNDANCE COLLECTIVE | A CHRISTMAS CAROL
CREATING COMMUNITY THROUGH THEATRE
SAVVYTheatre, one of the multi-award-winning resident companies of Fairfield Halls, Croydon, confirms its programme for 2022, including the Summer Shakespeare Season in the Savvy Studio from 28 May to 27 June, In Between Spaces from SignDance Collective International on 1 July and A Christmas Carol in the Recreational space at Fairfield this December.
SAVVY Theatre creates ambitious, inclusive productions and theatre experiences that bring different groups of people together. With six different drama groups – who meet weekly during term-time - SAVVY is committed to developing innovative, ensemble-based theatre shows and special projects that build the bridge to engagement and provide access to quality work.
The YoungGrr Company – for 8 – 11-year-olds (Monday)
3-D –for adults with a learning disability (Monday)
Take2 –for adults with a learning disability (Wednesday)
The Young Company –for teenagers aged 13 – 18 years old (Thursday)
The Adult Company – for adults over 19 (Thursday)
Action Replay –for adults with a learning disability (Friday)
SAVVY is a place where everyone is welcomed and involved regardless of their ability or disability, advantage or disadvantage. The company was founded in 2007 by current Artistic Director Sheree Vickers, who wanted to challenge audience and cultural perceptions of participatory theatre. In 2018, SAVVY first worked with Crisis Skylight Croydon in 2018, giving people with direct experience of homelessness, the opportunity to attend their Christmas production. This led to a 12 month special project with the new (self-named) Crisis Averted Company who took part in weekly drama workshops and performance opportunities, with the chance to see productions at Fairfield Halls, work with other SAVVY groups, and gain the confidence and skills needed to increase their chances of getting back into work and ending their homelessness.
With a busy programme including two seasons of shows and multiple special projects throughout the year, SAVVY is proud to work with a variety of new and existing artists, partners and the local community.
SAVVY’s Summer Shakespeare Season will re-invent four of the Bard’s favourite plays into 60-minute, bite-size romps. Running from 28 May to 27 June, all the shows will be performed at the SAVVY Studio, Fairfield Halls by a diverse and inclusive cast from each of SAVVY’s weekly ongoing groups.
The Comedy of Errors remains faithful to the original, with Shakespearean text and slapstick comedy taking place under a curtain of confusion. Twelfth Night weaves its magic with music and mayhem, while gender identity is explored at the Padua Nightclub, with The Taming of the Shrew Drag Show! Three of its groups will come together to perform A Midsummer Night’s Dream and kick-starting the season with its YounGrrr company, showcasing some of SAVVY’s greatest hits.
Tickets for the Summer Shakespeare Season must be booked in advance and are priced as Pay What You Can. Tickets are automatically reserved for cast members and additional, remaining tickets will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis. Contact SAVVY HERE to be placed on the waiting list.
On 1 July, SAVVY will host In Between Spaces, a unique performance event by Signdance Collective International at The Recreational, the large, multi-purpose space at Fairfield Halls.
In Between Spaces centres on four characters who perambulate in a world outside of time. A meeting between a man, a woman, time and an Oracle takes place in between the space of the digital world and reality. Nobody is sure if they are human or digital echoes electronically seared into our minds.
This fully accessible show is suitable for ages 14+ and combines image, music and dance-theatre to create a unique audience experience.
Signdance Collective International is a UK and European-based dance theatre company who are pioneers of Signdance Theatre. A fusion of sign (language) theatre, dance, and live original music. The Company is led by a collective of deaf, disabled, and diverse artist/producers.
A Christmas Carol is a brand-new interpretation involving puppetry, object theatre, storytelling and sign-language, featuring an inclusive, community cast of over 100. Taking place this December in The Recreational, the project will be the first time SAVVY has brought the entire community together since 2019. Tickets will go on sale this autumn.
SAVVY Theatre Artistic Director and Founder Sheree Vickers said, “We are enormously excited about our upcoming season. As an inclusive theatre company, it is important that we provide a range of opportunities for everyone to Take Part, whether it's performing in one of our ongoing weekly groups, as an artist working or training with us, a participant or partner in one of our special projects, or as audience coming to experience our shows.
Going to the theatre shouldn't be a chore. It shouldn't be something you are forced to do because you happen to know someone in the cast. It should be invigorating, memorable, exciting, challenging, uplifting and fun. It should make you want to come back.”
The first production in the SAVVY Studio at Fairfield Halls in 2019 was a new adaptation of Treasure Island with a large inclusive cast of over 70 actors. During lockdown, SAVVY Theatre adapted and responded to the changing landscape by creating a new season of online work, with increased partnership working, including Theatre Centre & Theatre503’s ImagiNation Festival, Chichester Festival Youth Theatre, Blue Apple, Hijinx & Face Front.
Its model of engagement during this time was shared widely and SAVVY was invited to speak as part of the Participatory Arts London Network alongside the Royal Court about its exemplary models of creative practice, covid-secure policy, pastoral support and staff wellbeing. When lockdown finally ended, SAVVY was the first company to return to Fairfield Halls, producing the first theatre show in the large 800 seat Ashcroft Playhouse, with an original Steampunk Summer Panto of Jack & the Beanstalk, a show that was conceived and co-created online with its community during the pandemic. Supported by the Culture Recovery Fund, this production allowed SAVVY to work with digital artist Tim Kelly to develop a fully animated set and was available to watch online.
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Twitter - @fairfieldhalls
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Instagram - @savvytheatre
For further information, press tickets and interviews please contact:
Arabella Neville-Rolfe for ANRPR on 07815 025364, email@example.com
NOTES TO EDITORS
ABOUT CROYDON FAIRFIELD HALLS
At the completion of a multi-million-pound development, Fairfield Halls formally reopened on in September 2019, but was forced to close its doors in March 2020, due to the pandemic.
Its first season included an eclectic mix of theatre, music, comedy and family entertainment in the 809-seat Ashcroft Theatre, the world-class 1,802-seat Concert Hall, and in spaces across the building, including The Recreational (750-capacity standing live music venue), the SAVVY Studio, Talawa Studio, and the John Whitgift Community Cube.
With a long and distinguished history, Fairfield Halls sits in the heart of Croydon. Talawa, the UK's primary Black led touring theatre company, the award-winning and inclusive SAVVY Theatre Company,SLiDE – a collective of dancers, artists and musicians aiming to unite people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds through expressive dance - and London Mozart Players - the UK’s longest established chamber orchestra - are companies in residence at the venue.
Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother opened the Fairfield Halls on Friday 2 November 1962. The inaugural concert in the Phoenix Concert Hall was performed by the BBC Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Sir Malcolm Sargent, with renowned soloist Yehudi Menuhin also performing.
The Ashcroft Theatre was opened on 5 November by Croydon-born Dame Peggy Ashcroft, with the opening ceremony including a monologue by Sir John Betjeman called ‘Local Girl Made Good’. The first play performed was Royal Gambit, starring Dulcie Gray.
The Arnhem Foyer is named after Croydon’s twin-town of Arnhem in Holland.
About BH Live
Fairfield Halls is managed by BH Live in partnership with Croydon Council.
BH Live is a charitable Trust and leading operator of leisure and event venues.