Women, children and staff from Changing Lives Doncaster will join a cast of professional cast actors on stage after being selected to take part in the National Theatre’s Public Acts programme.
In collaboration with Cast in Doncaster, the community project will see over 70 local performers join a professional company, a live band and performance groups from across Doncaster. The cast of professional actors includes Benjamin Armstrong, Daisy Ann Fletcher, Beth Hinton-Lever, Charlotte Mills and John Partridge.
Six women and eleven children who access Changing Lives’ Doncaster Community Hub, along with Sharon Wilson, Senior Childcare Worker and Volunteer Co-ordinator and Ruth Christopher, BAME Support Worker, all have featured roles in The Doncastrian Chalk Circle, which is a brand-new musical adaptation of Brecht’s classic play, The Caucasian Chalk Circle.
Filled with passion, hope, and plenty of Yorkshire grit and humour, this musical version of Brecht’s classic is adapted by Chris Bush, with music by Ruth Chan, directed by James Blakey, and choreography by Gary Clarke. Performances take place at Cast in Doncaster from 27–29 August.
Speaking about being involved in such an exciting project, Sharon, said: “Changing Lives Doncaster women and children would not have had this opportunity without the trusting relationship we have built with Cast over the past 6 years. “Engagement in the arts has been fundamental for the recovery from isolation work we have been delivering at Doncaster Women’s Centre and Community Hub.”
Cast in Doncaster opened its doors in 2013 and has since played host to internationally acclaimed touring companies, coproduced some amazing work, and collaborated with the very best in local talent. The state-of-the-art Main Space 620-seat theatre presents a thriving programme of entertainment all year-round including music, dance, children's shows, comedy and theatre. As well as the main auditorium, the Second Space within the venue can accommodate up to 400 standing or 180 seated spectators and features many small-scale touring works.
Cast’s director and Chief Executive, said: “After four years, eighty meetings and one pandemic we are delighted to be at last steering this epic company towards a production that we hope will go a long way towards reminding local audiences about the power and impact of live theatre, coming to Cast and helping to heal us all after such a tumultuous last three years.”
Public Acts is the National Theatre’s nationwide initiative to create extraordinary acts of theatre and community. The programme creates ambitious new works of participatory theatre and is built on sustained partnerships with theatres and community organisations across the UK who share their vision of theatre as a force for change.