DreamArts Stages Musical Adaptation of TWENTYFOUR SEVEN, Now thru Sept 7
DreamArts, the charity which creates opportunities for young people across inner London to learn through the creative arts, has announced that their next major project will be an adaptation of film director Shane Meadows' award-winning film TwentyFour Seven. Rehearsals begin on 5 August, climaxing with six performances from today 3 to Saturday 7 September at the stunning 230-seat Embassy Theatre at Central.
Described by The Guardian as 'the most powerful British storyteller of his generation', Shane Meadows (This Is England, Dead Man's Shoe's) attracts both critical and popular praise. Twentyfour Seven tells the story of an eccentric man (played by Bob Hoskins in the film) trying to help local youths from a rough estate to find some purpose and direction in their lives by starting up a boxing club. Bringing Shane's work to the stage for the first time will be theatre director Nathan Curry (associate director of The Bush Theatre and Greenwich and Docklands International Festival and director of award-winning ensemble Tangled Feet).
TwentyFour Seven is being developed into a dynamic musical involving a company of 30 talented but disadvantaged young people. They will be involved at every level -onstage and behind the scenes - learning from and performing alongside leading professionals. The project will take place over the summer at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, one of the UK's leading creative conservatoires, climaxing in September 2013 with six performances for an audience primarily of young people attending theatre for the first time.
For 12 years our Street 2 Stage new musical programme has been a stepping stone for hundreds of young people from social and ethnic backgrounds severely underrepresented in the creative industries. Street 2 Stage is free to take part in, and 16-25 year olds are empowered to do everything - from lighting and sound to marketing, choreography and design. This not only gives them strong creative skills, it also builds their confidence, teamwork, communication and leadership, and they can receive a nationally recognized qualification for their achievements as well as support to access further training and employment.
Street 2 Stage has achieved critical acclaim and strong educational outcomes, performing at venues that include The Royal Opera House Linbury Theatre. Described by critic Michael Coveney as 'hugely ambitious [with] fantastically eclectic scores', they have high creative values, fuse contemporary music, and tell stories dealing with young people's lives in a compelling and theatrical way, building a new generation of audiences.
DreamArts Special Projects are underpinned by the principles of empowerment, participation and peer education. Recruitment policies emphasise 'experience is not as important as commitment and enthusiasm' and 70% will be taking part for the first time. It increases involvement from those who otherwise couldn't afford such an opportunity, and 65% are from Black Minority Ethnic backgrounds. Young people are targeted via DreamArts' strong referral network of youth provisions in Westminster and neighbouring boroughs, and schools serving severely deprived areas. Young people take creative autonomy at all levels including research, planning, delivery and evaluation. Participants develop creative skills within a professional company environment, mentored and supported by a staff team of leading youth arts and creative professionals. Support includes career and training advice and an accredited Arts Award for their achievements, with 92% of last years participants stating that they now aspire to a career in the arts. It also develops transferable personal and social skills, including teamwork, self-confidence, flexibility and communication.
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