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Culture, Theatre

The Duke of Edinburgh Visits Reading Rep Theatre

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On Monday 22nd April, His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh visited Reading Rep Theatre. This visit holds particular significance as Reading Repreceived his Royal Patronage in October 2022, acknowledging the venue's pivotal role within the local arts scene and their impactful community work.

During his visit, The Duke had the opportunity to meet students from the Performing Arts course at Activate Learning’s Reading Campus, who were taking part in a technical workshop led by Reading Rep practitioners.

Paul Stacey, Artistic Director of Reading Rep said: “It is always an honour when His Royal Highness visits; his ongoing patronage and support of our mission is greatly appreciated. As he celebrates a milestone birthday, so do we, with the 10-year anniversary of our ENGAGE work. His Royal Highness’ presence underscores our shared commitment to inspiring the next generation of artists and closing the gap in underserved communities.”

One of the Activate Learning Students participating in the workshop said: “I loved meeting His Royal Highness and finding out our shared passion for theatre, alongside getting to take part in a professional lighting workshop made for a very valuable morning.”

 Central to Reading Rep’s work over the past ten years has been connecting audiences underserved by the arts through their award-winning ENGAGE programme, which has reached thousands of people throughout Reading. ENGAGE, Reading Rep Theatre’s flagship and multi award-winning education and outreach programme, inspires lifelong participation with theatre for thousands of children, young people and vulnerable adults who otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunity to take part in arts and culture.

Marking the programme’s tenth anniversary, the theatre has created ENGAGE:10; a year-long programme of workshops, projects, and performances for and with the community of Reading, from early years through to care homes. These projects began in October 2023 and run until June 2024.

Across this time, ENGAGE:10 will work with 49 organisations, 7,600 active participants and 200 practitioners. This includes providing 60 work experience opportunities and touring two productions to schools across Berkshire as well as an early years show to local libraries. The theatre continues its work with local community groups and wants to improve its connections with the local SEN community and the hearing-impaired community as it works to improve its access offerings.

 

More information can be found at www.readingrep.com

Photo Credit Harry Elletson

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