Mayor of Tower Hamlets John Biggs visits Half Moon



Mayor of Tower Hamlets John Biggs with GCSE Drama students from Stepney All Saints during Careers in Theatre at Half Moon

Mayor of Tower Hamlets John Biggs and London Assembly Member Unmesh Desai visited Half Moon Theatre, Limehouse, to join 25 GCSE Drama students from Stepney All Saints School who were taking part in Half Moon’s Careers in Theatre programme, a hands-on project giving practical insight into the business, technical and artistic aspects of professional theatre practice.

After a challenging year of switching between online delivery and in-person activity for Half Moon’s Creative Learning programmes, it has been exciting to welcome back local schools into the building to share in the importance of drama in education and the positivity of mutual creativity once again.

Working collaboratively in small groups with industry professionals, Careers in Theatre students are allocated responsibility for all aspects of creating a theatre production in one day. These areas include lighting, set design, stage management and acting. Students work in their respective groups throughout the day before coming together to perform a contemporary play in Half Moon’s professional theatre space.

Mayor of Tower Hamlets John Biggs and London Assembly Member Unmesh Desai marked the end of the five day programme, which has worked with four local Tower Hamlets’ Schools, when they visited Half Moon Theatre on Friday 28 May 2021. Joining them for a photograph with students from Stepney All Saints School was Matt Griffiths Rimmer, Director of Communications and Partnerships at Hadley Property Group, who are one of the supporters of Careers in Theatre alongside The Coln Trust and THAMES (Tower Hamlets Arts & Music Education Service).

John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets, said: “I’m thrilled that the Half Moon Theatre has been able to open its doors again and provide opportunities for learning to local young people. We’re really lucky to have local institutions like this who will play a key part in the borough’s recovery from Covid-19. Initiatives like this are vital to support our young people to bounce back from the pandemic, boosting their confidence and teaching them new skills for life. As a council, we’re working hard to provide better opportunities through our services like Young WorkPath, which provides expert career advice and mentoring to give the best start in life to our residents.”

Careers in Theatre has been running for over 20 years and has given a practical insight into theatre making to over 5,750 Tower Hamlets students. This year, Half Moon is working with four local schools, all within Tower Hamlets: Bishop Challoner Catholic Federation of Schools, Central Foundation Girls’ School, St Paul’s Way Trust School and Stepney All Saints School.

Chris Elwell, Director of Half Moon, commented: “This programme provides students with an insight into the theatre industry and multiple opportunities for them to improve their confidence, communication, creative development and decision-making, all of which are vital to their personal development, and boost their employability. A huge thank you to our funders, The Coln Trust, Hadley Property Group and THAMES (Tower Hamlets Arts & Music Education Service). Without their support we would not be able to deliver our introduction to theatre-making, an experience that would be impossible to in the students own school.”