Stratford East Theatre History Assignment

"I open my mouth to say something and before I’ve even said anything I can see people ready to say “no”, to shake their heads. So now, I’ve decided, I am not a pet. I am just me."

“Joy”, by Stephanie Martin, is the raw, urgent, and celebratory coming-of-age story of a young woman with Down’s syndrome - our eponymous heroine - Joy. This play explores themes of disability, control, sexuality, family, friendship and freedom. As a company, we are very excited to place stories about – and performed by – those who identify as having learning disabilities into mainstream theatre.

Why "Joy"?

Our production is based on the ethos: “we are all different and we are all the same”. Whether or not an individual identifies as having learning disabilites, everyone is entitled to the full richness of life: relationships, employment, marriage, artistic expression, and friendships. “Joy” was written in response to the lack of understanding and visibility of people with learning disabilities, both on our stages and in society at large. Our production at the Theatre Royal Stratford East will celebrate the lives of individuals who identify as having learning disabilities, whilst revealing society’s limitations and prejudices.

Why Now?

We at Clamour excited to mount our production of "Joy" in 2017 as a part of a wave of change in the industry. Theatre-makers and those in the Arts are recognising the importance of representation and visibility of historically marginalized groups. We have been encouraged by the increased representation of artists with learning disabiities in productions such as “Reasons to be Cheerful” by Graeae Theatre Company, the short film “My Feral Heart”, as well as our lead actress, Imogen Roberts’ performance in episodes of “Holby City”, but the industry hasn’t gone nearly far enough in terms of inclusion. Individuals with learning disabilities must see themselves represented positively in the Arts, and must be given a platform to tell their own stories. We believe that "Joy" marks an important step toward this goal.

Where will the money go?

All the money raised will go towards covering expenses, such as venue fees, design costs, marketing costs, and cast and creative expenses. We are committed to paying our team a fair wage for their incredible hard work, and the money raised from this campaign will go towards ensuring that we're able to make it happen. Any donation, whether big or small, will make all the difference - we are incredibly grateful for your support. By making a donation, you are personally helping to change the face of UK theatre by promoting the visibility of those who identify as having learning disabilities. You are changing the world.

“Joy”, a new play by Stephanie Martin
Directed by Melanie Fullbrook
Design by Carla Goodman
Dramaturgy and Creative Consultancy by Stephen Unwin
Produced by Clamour for The Studio at Theatre Royal Stratford East
24th October to 4th November
Tickets here

"Joy" on The Guilty Feminist

A few weeks ago, we were fortunate enough to be invited to join the Guilty Feminist panel at the London podcast festival. If you have found your way to this page because of the podcast, then 1) you have great taste in podcasts, and 2) thank you so much for supporting our work and for helping us to be seen. Please let us know if you're planning on coming to see the show - we'd love to say hi afterwards!

About Clamour

Clamour:
1.a loud uproar;
2.a vehement expression of desire rebellious raw and joyful.

Perspectives, voices and narratives from shadows, demanding to be heard.

Press for "Bridle", by Stephanie Martin for Clamour

"A funny, explicit and challenging addition to a growing canon on female sexuality, Bridle is necessary viewing" DIONNE FARRELL - LONDON THEATRE1

"What makes the script so great is its directness. Martin does not shy away.. She voices what we all think, but rarely voice to others, even to our closest friends. Such honesty is refreshing – we bond with her as she confides in us. the play feels intimate and confessional." ​SOPHIE NEVRKLA - PLAYS TO SEE

"Brave, honest and unapologetic." MOLLY HANSON - SHOW ME SHOWS LONDON

Risks and challenges

We at Clamour are experienced and dedicated theatre makers. We believe in the power of art to change lives, and we believe in paying our actors and creatives a fair wage for their incredible hard work.

The cast, creative team, and venue are all in place, and rehearsals are underway. We receive no subsidy from any government body or arts organisation, so we are reliant on the generosity and support of you - our amazing patrons - who share our beliefs and want to make the world a better place. You are not taking a risk by supporting us - you are making a difference.

With your support we will ensure that we do justice to a project that is very close to our hearts.

Thank you for reading and thank you for your support.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Release Date 14 August 2013

Students from the University of Reading are working with the renowned Theatre Royal Stratford East on an exciting international project that will see thirty new one person shows performed in thirty homes across London.

Students from the Department of Film, Theatre & Television will be filming all thirty performances that are set to be performed simultaneously on Saturday 26 October. The films will then be broadcast online and at Theatre Royal Stratford East on Saturday 9 November, enabling audiences from around the world to see the work and be part of the conversation online.   

Home Theatre (UK), which is being run in partnership with the Festival Internacional de Cenas em Casa (International Festival of Home Theatre) in Brazil, is a pan-London project. It will link boroughs from across the capital, including some of the city's more affluent areas with Newham, a vibrant and diverse borough with extremely low arts engagement, where there are major influxes of new residents as the post-Olympic regeneration continues. The intention is to capture the spirit of London and to place Theatre Royal Stratford East's own borough of Newham in this context.

Artists working on the project will take their inspiration from the stories of those who are hosting the work in their own homes. At the end of the week, hosts will be encouraged to invite an audience of friends and family to see a free performance. The host is then asked to provide a meal, over which thoughts and experiences can be shared.

A final year University of Reading student will work on each of the one person shows. They will observe rehearsals and contribute to the development of the project by creating an integrated strategy for filming the resulting performance.

For many of the students taking part, the work on Home Theatre (UK) will be embedded within a third year module on Contemporary Performance, which explores both performance in non-theatrical contexts and the introduction of digital technologies into live performance. Others will draw on the interests in theatre and skills in filmmaking that the BA Film & Theatre has helped them to develop, and may choose to extend their reflection on the process in the form of a Work Based Learning module. Colleagues from Theatre Royal Stratford East will also be sharing experience and insights with the students involved, through talks and events at the theatre.

Kerry Michael, Artistic Director at Theatre Royal Stratford East said: "We're excited to be working with students from the University of Reading on this unique project. Filming the performances is a key element of the project as it will enable audiences from across the world to watch and take part in the conversation."

The Department of Film, Theatre & Television at the University of Reading is the longest-established Film Studies department in British Higher Education, and has been teaching Theatre for longer still, as well as pioneering the study of Television. It is highly regarded for its teaching and research, and puts a particular emphasis on the integration of practical work with critical, theoretical and historical approaches to the three art forms.

Dr John Gibbs, Head of the University of Reading's Department of Film, Theatre and Television, said: "Home Theatre (UK) is a very exciting project and another example of Theatre Royal Stratford East exploring the relationship between art and audiences. This partnership provides an outstanding opportunity for our students to develop their conceptual understanding of theatre and performance, and their professional knowledge and skills through a close working relationship with one of the country's most important and innovative theatres."

For more information please contact James Barr at the University of Reading press office on 0118 378 7391 or j.w.barr@reading.ac.uk or Felix Mussell, Press and Marketing Manager on 020 8279 1110 or email press@stratfordeast.com 

ENDS

Notes to editors:

The University of Reading is ranked among the top 1% of universities in the world (THE World University Rankings). Its Department of Film, Theatre & Television is an innovative department where students learn about these three major cultural forms through theory and practice. It is housed in the purpose-built, £11m Minghella Building, which was opened by Oscar-winning film producer Lord (David) Puttnam in 2012. The building includes three theatres, a cinema, video and audio post-production suites, and fully-equipped film and TV studio.

The famous Theatre Royal, located in the heart of London's East End on the edge of the new Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, prides itself on creating world class work that reflects the concerns, hopes and dreams of its community. Through a continuous loop it inspires and is inspired by its vibrant, young and diverse audience.

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