Youth programmes to restart following Kiln Theatre's £246,000 cash boost

Kiln Theatre’s Young Company participants perform as part of Mapping Brent Festival 2019

Kiln Theatre’s Young Company participants perform as part of Mapping Brent Festival 2019 - Credit: Alex Brenner

Thousands of youngsters in Brent can immerse themselves in the arts thanks to a Kilburn theatre's £246,000 cash boost.

Once lockdown lifts, the Kiln Theatre in Kilburn High Road will run drama workshops offering young people opportunities at its 292-seat premises.

Youngsters have the chance to learn career skills development, performing and taking backstage roles in productions.

A series of playwriting courses will also be available to aspiring young writers.

Participants take part in a Kiln Theatre Minding the Gap workshop – 2019

Participants take part in a Kiln Theatre Minding the Gap workshop – 2019 - Credit: Kiln Theatre

The projects are funded by a £246,000 grant over five years from City Bridge Trust (CBT) – the City of London Corporation’s charity funder.

Ciara, 16, said: “Before, I wanted to be more confident – if we were going to do a show or something because I would be kind of shy or embarrassed if I did something wrong, but then I learned how to improvise and how to be a bit more confident.”

Mahmood, 12, is a participant of the theatre's project for young asylum seekers and refugees, Minding the Gap. He thanked his teachers "for all the beautiful and funny moments".

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He added: "Thank you for being so kind to me and for all the beautiful things you addressed to me and taught me. Thank you for teaching me to work in a team.”

Andina, 18, who has previously taken a course with Kiln, added: “This is the first time I have really written anything, and I feel utterly inspired to carry on."

 2018 performance of Kiln Theatre’s Minding the Gap participants

Participants perform Kiln Theatre’s Minding the Gap in 2018 - Credit: Kiln Theatre

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Kiln's artistic director Indhu Rubasingham said: “We are constantly inspired by the power and creativity the young people we engage with have within them.

"They are the lifeblood of our organisation and the future of our industry and we want to make sure they have a place to be heard, in their own words.”

Recently named London Theatre of the Year in The Stage awards 2021, the theatre, formerly called Tricycle Theatre, dates back to 1980.

When Covid rules allow, 1,000 free theatre tickets will be allocated to school pupils from across Brent.

CBT committee chairman Dhruv Patel said: “Theatre is sometimes seen as an activity for a privileged few, and young people from less well-off backgrounds may have never even considered visiting a theatre, let alone writing a play or getting on stage.

“Kiln Theatre does an incredible job in breaking down those barriers to bring in young people from incredibly diverse backgrounds, fuelling their creativity and broadening their horizons as to what they can achieve in life.”

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