As part of Guildford Borough Council’s Project Aspire, the Youth and Education department at Guildford’s Yvonne Arnaud Theatre premiered their first production exploring the communities that make up Guildford Borough.
Westborough Tales was performed for friends and family, as well as the Mayor of Guildford and members of the Council at the Theatre’s Mill Studio on Wednesday, April 19.
GBC’s Project Aspire aims to tackle social inequality in the Borough by providing projects that strengthen communities and promote inclusion and equality.
The Yvonne Arnaud’s Youth and Education department was thrilled to have the chance to work with the GBC North Guildford Warden Team in delivering this project with Kings College School.
Nick White, Head of Youth, Education and Community at Guildford’s Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with GBC on Project Aspire – by working at the very heart of our local communities, we are able to empower our young people and inspire them to embrace their rich local history with a sense of pride.”
Over 10 weeks, the Kings College School students have researched, explored and challenged preconceptions of their community through drama workshops and the result is Westborough Tales: an inspiring piece of theatre created by engaging with the stories and history of their local area.
Enabling this group of young people to shape this piece of theatre has empowered them to show resilience and express a sense of pride in their community, which has served as both a great confidence-building exercise and an exciting learning experience.
As part of the project, the students also received a very special invitation: on February 23, they had the opportunity to meet and showcase their work to His Royal Highness, The Earl of Wessex. They have performed for their peers at the college as well as out and about in the community.
After the performance Cllr Iseult Roche, Lead Councillor for Community, Health and Sport at Guildford Borough Council said: “It's truly inspiring to see the results of all the hard work the students have put into producing their play, Westborough Tales, on stage for family and friends to enjoy. Project Aspire helps to raise local communities’ aspirations and opportunities. We have worked closely with partners in the local community to help achieve many things.
“This is such a positive project and we are delighted how the Yvonne Arnaud and their youth team have supported our aims, helping create an inspiring play with a strong local voice. We know the young people involved have loved working on this project and are thrilled it has been so well received and has been performed here tonight.”