We are a small organisation with big ambitions to reach all corners of the community. Our vision is for every child to hold treasured memories of theatre. Our audiences – children and young people – are at the heart of everything we do.
Our small team works hard and with passion within our own community and beyond. Here’s a round-up of our current leadership and partnership projects.
Next Steps: 2020 – 2023
Supported by Arts Council England, the Next Steps project is an ambitious strategic programme of work with three thematic strands:
- High quality performance work for children
- Audience development
- Organisational development and expert led CPD.
Full House Theatre will lead the project, working closely with The Culture Trust, Luton, The Civic, Barnsley, Leighton Buzzard Library Theatre; The Grove Theatre, Dunstable; and Thameside Theatre, Thurrock, to improve the quality of venues’ children’s programme and trialling new methods and approaches to continue to develop audiences for this work.
To date this has included performances of Little Darling at The Civic, Barnsley (streamed December 2020); CPD led by international consultancy and market insight specialists Morris Hargreaves McIntyre, Anti-Racism training by Diversity and Inclusion Associate Destine Lord; virtual attendance of Belfast International Children’s Festival Young at Art, and Assitej World Congress.
Feb Fest 2020 – 2023
Now in its 7th year, Luton’s Full House Feb Fest has gone from strength to strength reaching over 2,000 children and their families each February half term. Testament to its success is our successful and growing partnership with The Culture Trust Luton, with whom we continue to partner on the programming and hosting of great shows and activities for children and young people in Luton.
We are founding members of BACE, the Local Cultural Education Partnership in Bedford, and Bedford Cultural Strategy group, working with other arts, culture and heritage organisations in the town to find new and better ways to bring more cultural activity to Bedford.
We are members of the Culture Hub, a cultural strategy group in Central Bedfordshire consisting of local leaders in education, arts and culture. The Next Steps project at The Grove Theatre also forms part of the group’s Make Way for Culture project, led by Bedford Creative Arts.
From Stumbling Blocks to Stepping Stones
This Strategic Touring project funded by Arts Council England 2016 – 2019, worked with regional venues to develop audiences and fill the gap with quality theatre. The project evaluation by Morris Hargreaves McIntyre concluded that Full House is: ‘a vision-led, audience-focused organisation. You recognise that artistic quality is paramount and you are focused on meeting the needs of audiences as a fundamental reason for being.’
The success of the Stepping Stones project has led to the development of the Next Steps programme (see above).
Heritage in Bedford
We have led projects exploring and promoting the rich heritage of Bedford, through National Lottery Heritage Funded programmes such as Who is Bedford? in 2017-19, and will be leading The Power of Three, working with The Higgins Bedford, Panacea Museum and John Bunyan Museum during 2020 – 2022: an interactive and dynamic performative tour between the three sites.
We are members of Creative Bedfordshire, a free network for bringing the creative and cultural industries in Bedfordshire together to connect, learn, share and debate.
Creative Bedfordshire is managed collaboratively by a group of partners from Bedford Borough & Central Bedfordshire including Bedford Borough Council, Bedford College, Bedford Creative Arts, Booktastic, Central Bedfordshire Council, 1 Degree East, Full House Theatre, Philharmonia, Spectacularts, The Place Bedford, The Quarry and the Arts & Culture Project Team of University of Bedfordshire.
The network is free to access to anyone practising in a creative or cultural industry in Bedfordshire. Members can use it to connect with each other, share news and events and provide mutual support that ensures a well-connected and well-supported network of practitioners in the county.
Any organisation, or individual aged 18 or over, that is engaged in the creative or cultural industries in the county of Bedfordshire is welcome to join. It is free to become a member and post in the network. You could be professional or non-professional, commercial or not-for-profit, working in any artform or creative/cultural industry.
To register for the free platform and start receiving information about networking events and news visit www.creativebedfordshire.co.uk