The Avenue Community Theatre takes the stage at High Tide Festival.
Tuesday 12th September marks a big milestone for Red Rose Chain’s community theatre company, reborn with a new name ACT (Avenue Community Theatre). The Ipswich-based group will be making a splash at this year’s HighTide festival in Aldeburgh, a new-writing festival that highlights and nurtures new talent, for an opening to remember.
ACT is thriving. The company offers vulnerable adults a place of their own to channel their creativity, rediscover a sense of well-being through drama and socialise – it’s also unique in that this opportunity offered by Red Rose Chain is free of charge. As a result, fundraising is vital to the future of the group, who will be raising money at their Community Christmas Fayre at The Avenue on 25th November.
Red Rose Chain’s artistic director Joanna Carrick runs ACT and explains its importance:
“Our amazing programme of community work at The Avenue Theatre has such a positive impact on people. It takes them away from often very difficult lives and environments, and gives them moments of joy, skills and confidence that will make a huge difference to the whole of the rest of their lives, their children’s lives and the whole of their families and communities. I am SO proud of what this group are achieving!”
The piece ACT will perform has been developed with Red Rose Chain and HighTide, as part of the opening ceremony and is a taste of a bigger production planned for next year. ACT’s piece is in response to Joanna Carrick’s highly-anticipated upcoming new history play based on the story of the Statue of our Lady, which was rescued from the Reformation and taken to Nettuno in Italy, where it can still be found today. The play will mark the third in a trilogy for Jo – which started with the critically acclaimed Fallen In Love, performed at The Tower of London in 2013, and continued with Progress – about the true story of Elizabeth I’s visit to Ipswich in 1561. ACT explores the story of Anne Wentworth, who was said to be possessed by the devil and reflects modern issues around mental health and the way people relate to the environment they grow up in.