Our work uses the stage to celebrate diversity and performance as a vehicle to communicate with audiences and tackle topical social issues.
Chickenshed is an inclusive theatre company that first began in 1974 (find out more about our history). Primarily based at our own purpose-built venue in North London, we create theatre for all ages and run successful outreach projects, education courses and membership programmes throughout the year. Read more about our aims.
We are also a registered charity and rely heavily on the generous support of individuals, companies, trusts and foundations in order to continue our pioneering work. Find out more about ways that you could support us and ways to get involved as a volunteer.
For a great introduction to who we are and what we do, click on the Video tab to see a short film by Lex Halaby from Paydirt Pictures, or watch a subtitled version here.
Entertaining and thought-provoking
Performance is at the heart of everything that we do and brings together all aspects of the company. Our work uses the stage to celebrate diversity and performance as a vehicle to communicate with audiences and tackle topical social issues. We regularly present original and entertaining productions for young children, families and adults. We also create new work, inspired by the people around us, about personal and social issues that affect society today which we then take on tour to theatres, community centres and schools across the UK. Visit our What’s On section to find out more.
Everyone has a right
Chickenshed changes lives by bringing young people from all social and economic backgrounds, races and abilities together to study creatively alongside each other, many of whom have been marginalised by society and excluded from mainstream educational settings. We welcome over 200 students onto our BTEC, Foundation Degree and BA level programmes every year. 66% of students would not otherwise have the opportunity to study, yet 95% of these same students achieve a nationally recognised qualification at Chickenshed.
We believe that every person who joins our company positively changes the way that we work. We work to every individual’s strengths, finding the creative environment that will enable them to flourish. We hold weekly workshops for over 900 children and young people – providing them with a safe and rewarding environment where they can gain a new-found confidence and have the chance to regularly perform in major in-house productions.
Targeting those who are difficult to reach
Chickenshed has established a network of partners that enables us to effectively target children and young people who would otherwise not be able to access our work. We regularly take our inclusive outreach model on the road, delivering over 15 projects and benefiting over 15,000 young people every year in venues ranging from primary schools and young offender centres, to mainstream and special schools. Our work engages and educates young people about relevant social issues through the power of performance and active participation in workshops.
‘You must do the show in my primary school because that is when everything bad starts.’
13-year-old boy from a school in London.
We also run Shedlink – an ongoing project that enables us to help community groups set up independent ‘Sheds’ around the UK (and two in Russia!) so that more people can benefit from our ethos and teaching style.
Chickenshed Kensington & Chelsea
Expanding our work to meet growing need
In 2011, we launched our branch in Kensington and Chelsea to bring our work to an area of London polarised between rich and poor. This will ensure even more children and young people can experience the importance of being included and valued; not segregated or rejected. 50% of children in the Borough of Kensington and Chelsea attend independent schools, yet 42% of children in the Borough are from low income families.
Vocational training programme
Young Creators is a professional development programme which launched in 2013, providing young people with access to training and practical work experience in a variety of theatre skills. The programme provides a platform which teaches young people creative skills and arms them with the necessary tools to further their professional development. Each year, up to 165 Young Creators can benefit from the programme.
Awards and nominations
We were nominated in the Best Male category of the Off West End Theatre Awards 2012 for The Rain That Washes and in 2011 we were awarded Winner of Best Theatre Company in the Fringe Report Awards and the Panel Award at The Off West End Theatre Awards.
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