We have been awarded funding by the Big Lottery Fund to further support the work of our In House theatre group

£40k funding for homeless and at-risk actors

Tuesday 17th March 2020

We have been awarded £38,755 by the Big Lottery Fund to further support the work of our In House theatre group – which was created to provide a supportive and creative space for people who have lived experiences of homelessness, mental health issues, or substance abuse.

The group, which has run since 2016, gives people the opportunity to learn more about performing arts whilst building confidence and overall wellbeing. Company members have faced a variety of challenges in their lives, including homelessness, substance misuse, or mental health problems.

The In House Theatre Company is an opportunity to come together in and environment that is social, supportive and creative. For many members being part of In House Theatre Company has been a life-changing opportunity to express themselves and build their confidence.

Sessions run every Tuesday afternoon from 12.30-3.30pm, with shared performances at the end of most terms. Those interested in taking part should contact participation@nottinghamplayhouse.co.uk.

The funding has been awarded by the National Lottery Community Fund, and will contribute to the day-to-day running costs of the project as well as allowing for more ambitious performances, partnerships and outcomes for those taking part, whilst ensuring sessions continue to support those in need. The money will be spread over the next three years during which time the project will have impacted at least 90 participants, who will be able to share their productions with hundreds of new audience members.

Manya Benenson, Participation Specialist at Nottingham Playhouse, said: “Over the past few years, it has been truly wonderful to see members of In House express themselves through performing arts. They have become a committed and ambitious Theatre Company who have share performances with friends, family and the public. The work is a great example of how theatre can help people to find themselves again and build a new community.

“We’re thrilled to have received this money from the Big Lottery Fund because it will enable to continue the work and develop what we’ve been doing and bring people and communities together through theatre.”

Here are the thoughts of previous In House theatre group members.

Paul Robinson: “It’s a marvellous opportunity. I can be a myriad of people. It’s an amazing platform to be other people and different point of view, and then you can apply that to your life. It’s absolutely fabulous, I love it…. It’s very therapeutic, very good. I feel more confident in myself.”

Kev Wilkinson: “We’re a family and we have got absolute respect for one another… It’s great coming here because they are so supportive. I believe in them and they believe in us. It does your head and your heart good. I walk out of every session here with a spring in my step.”

Natalie Michelle Henriques: “It’s helped because I’ve met new people and I’ve really enjoyed myself. Getting into things like this is really interesting. I really enjoy myself at the Playhouse.”

Ursula: “We respect each other but we also have great fun. I’m glad it’s here, In House – it’s really brilliant.”