An exciting new community partnership to promote the arts and develop creative talent has been launched between New City College and Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch.

The partnership will encourage collaboration and learning and will give students the chance to improve their creative practice through workshops and performances at the professional venue.

They will also be able to see first-hand how the Theatre works and gain an insight into the diverse roles within the performing industry. Some students are already reaping the rewards of the partnership having secured work experience and work placements in front-of-house and technician roles.

To celebrate the launch, on Tuesday 3 May, Performing Arts students from NCC’s Ardleigh Green campus took part in a day of inspiring acting workshops, led by the Theatre’s James Watson and Kerry Hunt. They were also taken on theatre tours and had a ‘meet the team’ Q&A session where they could find out about the different job opportunities within the industry.

After the fun-packed day, the students performed a dance showcase to an array of guests and VIPs to mark the special occasion.

The partnership, led by New City College Deputy Group Curriculum Director for Creative Arts Andy Greaves and Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch’s Executive Director Mathew Russell, is an excellent example of the Theatre’s investment in the local community and commitment to inspire more young people to discover and love the arts. It will also add real value to the curriculum delivered at New City College.

Catherine Moggridge, Senior Curriculum Manager for Performing Arts at Ardleigh Green, said: “This partnership highlights what is at the heart of the Queen’s Theatre – collaboration and teamwork. The staff here have gone over and above to welcome us and meet our needs and I would like to thank each one of them. We look forward to continuing to build this rewarding relationship.”

The next phase of the collaboration will see an entire ‘takeover day’ of the Theatre on Tuesday 14 June, where students will participate in a range of roles, host workshops for local schools and take part in a performance on the main stage.

Special guests at the launch included NCC Group Principal and CEO Gerry McDonald; Principal of Ardleigh Green and Havering Sixth Form campuses Janet Smith; Ardleigh Green Deputy Principal Ian Budge; and Group Curriculum Director for Creative Arts, John Waite.

Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch staff James Watson, Head of Learning and Participation; Kerry Hunt, Education and Partnerships Producer; Christine Piper, Head of Production; and Peter Thorne, Head of Customer Services and Facilities, led workshops, tours and facilitated the launch event.

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