One of our core aims is to use performance techniques to support local communities by creating projects which explore social issues, support vulnerable people and support positive social change and strengthen both lives and communities. Here are a few examples of our achievements so far:
The Beyond the Edge Project:
The Beyond the Edge Project Sponsored by the TCHC, the project’s core aim was to work with local organisations and groups to support vulnerable adults to gain confidence, independence through performance techniques enabling them to reconnect with their local community. The project ran for 18 months and we worked with 150 participants and alongside The Open Road, local Night Shelters, Colchester Institute, Gateway, Mind and Fresh Beginnings.
“The project was amazing. Pitched at the right level, respectful, sensitive and positively rewarding to all of our clients.” (Pippa Baker, Open Road)
“I’m no longer afraid to be who I am within the community. I owe that to Alfie and this project!” Jack, Participant
Supported by The Arts Council, The Teechers Project worked with a group of young adults aged 18-25 whom had become isolated and disillusioned in their local community in Stratford. The 6-month project used performance skills to build confidence, strengthen lives and install positivity and self-belief in a group of young people’s lives.
“Teechers and Alfie James gave us a voice when we didn’t think we had one anymore. It got us restarted again in life and taught us not to give up on ourselves.” (Charlotte, participant)
“Milked was an incredibly powerful, worthwhile project which highlighted the link between unemployment and mental health and gave those affected an opportunity to become visible again.” (Bradley, Participant)
The Milked Project was based on the play by Simon Longman. We worked with a group of people whom were affected by unemployment. Through workshops, we used performance techniques to gain an understanding of what it is like to be long-term unemployed. We shared stories, experiences as well exploring coping strategies and ways to positively move forward.
Theatre for All Project
Our Theatre for All Project is a 3-year research study exploring ways of making theatre accessible to all: for both Artists and Audience members. We are committed to finding ways of breaking down boundaries to open our performances up for those on a low-income, with disabilities, families, the elderly, unemployed and lone parents. Strategies have included: -Using accessible venues, ticket prices (Inc. free performances and concession rates), free refreshments, taking performances to people, working with Actors with disabilities.
“Working with Alfie James Productions is a breath of fresh air for a disabled Actor. He is fully committed to ensuring that disability holds no boundaries on stage.” (Mark Beer, TV, Film, Theatre Veteran Actor)
The Black Dog Theatre Creation
Since our first project in 2014 we have developed several six-month projects supporting over a hundred members in Colchester and London. All our members have reported back saying that they have gained in confidence and have developed a positive outlook in life. We’ve had family members and friends comment upon the positive impact which the Black Dog Theatre Creation has had upon members lives and their relationships. The Black Dog Theatre Creation has received positive recognition from leading mental health individuals including Dr Tilbury and organisations such as Mind, Re-Think London SIBS and the Together organisation. We have produced seven successful sell-out productions and have explored a range of different performance techniques including the use of puppetry, oral storytelling and music in performance. All with successful outcomes
"The Black Dog Theatre Creation has become a life-line. It's a wonderful group where people can make friends, gain support and learn to live and connect again." (Kim)
The Acoustic Lounge Project
“I personally would be nowhere near the artist I am today without the Acoustic Lounge. It gave me the platform to build my confidence and abilities.” (Matt Buckle, SongWriter)
The Acoustic Lounge Project was a 4-year community music project aimed at supporting the development of local Song-writers and Musicians. We:
-Worked with over 250 local Song-writers and musicians of mixed ages.
-Developed a successful Song-writing Competition.
-Ran two popular Acoustic gigs twice a month for 4 years.
-Developed strong links with recording studios, artists and venues.
-Raised over £1000 for local charities.
-Developed a yearly Acoustic Music Festival.
Little Old Alf
“The best play that I have ever seen!”
Little Old Alf was a new play inspired by working with a group of older LGBT people. Listening to their stories, experiences we developed a new play exploring the issues of loneliness among both older and younger people and what it is like living as an older Gay person and the issues which they face. The play received a sell-out tour locally and it is set to be performed in London later this year.
Song writing Competition
Our Acoustic Lounge Song writing Competition has been running for two years now in Essex and Suffolk. The competition is free and open to all songwriters of all ages and backgrounds and different genres of music. Each year we have secured prizes including both cash prizes and free professional studio recording time so that our Artists can create their own EPS. Every year, we have both an Audience Prize and a Judges Prize. Professional feedback is given.
The History Alive Project
The History Alive Theatre Project is an exciting project aimed at creating opportunities to bring history alive through performance techniques and to inspire people to learn about their heritage. We aim to set up small projects to explore different periods of history, famous historical figures, events and stories whilst learning new historical enquiry skills and supporting ways of recording our heritage for future generations to share and use.
Home: For a Lost Soldier
Following the success of The Tank, we have since teamed up with the Heritage Lottery Fund and WW1 Engagement Centres to develop a second project. This time working with a similar group of participants but exploring the effects of the First World War in the immediate aftermath. Issues include: Mental Health, Unemployment, Women’s Rights and disabilities. In this project, we have continued to strengthen our link with the Eastbourne House of Arts as well as working with the Albany Theatre, Deptford. The project was a huge success and our performance was transferred to the Arts Theatre West-End following its sell out shows at the Albany. It then sold out at the Arts and the play has been picked up by a private investor whom now plans to stage the play as part of Remembrance Sunday week in the West-End.
The Tank: Fray Bentos Story
In 2017 we created a new community theatre and history project aimed at using performance techniques to learn more about the lives of soldier’s serving during the First World War. The six-month project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund and the First World War Engagement Centre. At the end of the project, we produced a devised piece of theatre and performed to a sell-out audience in the main house of the Oxford House Arts Theatre, London and received positive recognition and feedback for what we had achieved.
Friend or Foe WW2 Project
Our Friend or Foe Community Project focused upon working with a group of members of the local community in Frinton, Essex exploring life during the WW2 for children being evacuated. We took advantage of the wealth of the local stories told by the local community, developing a wonderful display of local memories. We then took to the stage at the McGrigor Hall to perform a special performance of Michael Morpurgo’s much loved story “Friend or Foe.” We invited members of the local community including residential care homes, scout groups, youth clubs and The War Memorial Club.
Armed Forces Day Community Concert
We have successfully created two sell-out Armed Forces Community Concerts in Essex. Working alongside local Armed Forces Personnel and Artists, schools and community groups.