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Theatre gives Home Theatre (UK) 2015 a right Royal send-off

Home Theatre (UK) was an ambitious theatre project run by the Theatre Royal Stratford East. It saw 30 one-person shows staged in 30 homes across London on Saturday, 17th October. Now the project is moving into its second stage with a broadcast of all performances taking place on the theatre’s web platform stratfordeast.tv on Saturday, 31st October. From 8am, one new performance will be released every 30 minutes, giving the viewing public a feast of more than 15 hours of theatre.

Performances took place in a wide-variety of homes across the capital. Home Theatre (UK) went to a homeless charity in Canning Town, a care home in Newham, a Victorian terrace in Brockley and on to the roof of a flat in Ealing Broadway. The project participated in a surprise celebration for a wife in South Woodfood, a family reunion in Leytonstone and a gathering of neighbours and friends in Battersea.

The events were devised after a public call-out for hosts over the summer, which saw members of the public from across the capital apply to have a tailor-made performance created for them in their own home.

Audience and host feedback has been overwhelming. Sharon Zhu, a performance host, said:  “Thank you to you and your colleagues for bringing a most memorable production to our house. David Mumeni (the performer) did a fabulous job, and all our audience members – adults as well as little ones – had a wonderful time”.

Paul Evans, a performance host at Genesis Housing Association said: “What a success. The event at Colin Winter House was amazing, Ashley Gerlach (the performer) and the team did a fantastic job. We had 30 people attend and all had a wonderful time.”

The performance artists were supported in the creation of their work by six directors and 30 third-year students from the University of Reading’s Film and Television degree course, who recorded all performances using iPads and iPhones ahead of the broadcast on Saturday, 17th October.

Home Theatre is now an international project happening on a global scale and working in different geographic contexts. An international symposium took place on Monday, 19th October at Theatre Royal Stratford East, supported by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. Speakers from across the world came together to share their experiences of creating theatre in homes and to discuss how to develop the notion of using theatre to reach out to people in a non-theatrical setting.

Kerry Michael, Artistic Director at Theatre Royal Stratford East said “Home Theatre (UK) is about telling great stories. We want to share our experiences on this project with other people in the arts and help them to explore how they might use that in their own work with their audiences and communities.”

The Home Theatre (UK) 2015 project will be streamed to www.stratfordeast.tv on Saturday 31st October from 8am onwards, in 15 hours of continuous broadcast. The broadcast is free of charge to watch.



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