Based on one of London’s most iconic streets – Brick Lane – the People’s Palladium is an exciting and dynamic theatre group. It was set up in 2008 with the aim of creating a ‘Theatre of Ideas’ – to provoke local people to think about morality, human relations and history.
Those of all backgrounds are welcomed as performers and audience members. The group says its founding principle was ‘equality of opportunity’ while suggesting that “diversity is a core asset providing creative energy to make play and pleasure the hallmark of The People’s Palladium.”
The People’s Palladium began its life with a production of Federico Garcia Lorca’s ‘Blood Wedding’, a play of love and passion which was well received by the audience at the Departure Arts Centre in Limehouse. The company’s next production was ‘From Here’ which consisted of more than ten different individual stories told simultaneously in a participatory style. It was presented to a full house in Whitechapel.
The most recent performance was another Federico Garcia Lorca classic titled ‘Yerma’. The play deals with themes of isolation, passion and frustration, as well as nature, marriage and friendship. Yerma’ also played to a full house.
As well as bigger productions, the group also puts on workshops which are open to anyone in the local community who wants to come and join in. A good example of this is the recent ‘Scenes for a Spring Evening’ series. These open workshops gave the chance for members of the local community to come and take part in classic plays as actors, production team members or simply by watching.
The People’s Palladium is now looking to the future to further opportunities throughout 2012 and beyond. A grant from Near Neighbours is being put towards an exciting production. The aim is to bring together a group of local young people of different faiths and ethnicities and work with them on a show to be performed at Limehouse Town Hall. Beginning in January 2012 the young people are taking part in drama workshops and will stage a selection of ‘scenes from world theatre’. They’ll also work together building props and staging. It’s hoped this will lead to lasting friendships.