Talk of the town theatre -Free theatre for five-year-olds

The Albany is providing free theatre tickets for five-year-olds in the borough of Lewisham (Pictures: Vipul Sangoi)

The team at the Albany theatre will don  Lycra for the ‘5 for 5’ challenge for Giving Tuesday on November 28, which is when people in the UK come together to do good things for their favourite charities.

They will cycle the equivalent of the perimeter of the borough of Lewisham – a distance of around 108 miles – to provide free theatre tickets to Lewisham five-year-olds. The cycle will happen throughout the day from the comfort of the Albany Foyer on two static bikes generously lent by Fusion.

Visitors can support the team by coming down to the Albany to cheer them on or make a donation between 9am and 7pm on the day, by donating at Just Giving or by or by covering some kilometres yourself!
To sign up for a slot on one of the bikes, email every.child@thealbany.org.uk or pop in and talk to the box office staff.

The team will be joined by special guests including the Mayor of Lewisham, Sir Steve Bullock.
In addition to the Mayor putting some muscle into the sponsored static cycle, the campaign has had considerable support from Lewisham council.

Sir Steve Bullock said: “We’re lucky enough to have a thriving arts ecology in Lewisham.

“This campaign provides a brilliant opportunity for local businesses and individuals to support all of our community to access it and be part of it from a young age.”

A Theatre Trip for Every Child, Lewisham is a new giving scheme to provide a free theatre ticket for every five-year-old in the borough of Lewisham. Every Child enables businesses and individuals to give a local child the chance to experience the magic of theatre.

A Theatre Trip for Every Child is supported by many generous donations from local businesses and individuals, including Lewisham council, Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Arts Council England, L&Q and patrons Noma Dumezweni and Jude Law.

A parallel project is running at ARC in Stockton-On-Tees. Jude Law commented: “I am delighted to support this terrific initiative which has the potential to positively impact the lives of young children in Lewisham.

“It is crucial for the future of our communities that we find creative ways to nurture and support the next generation.

“Theatre has the power to inspire children and we must encourage them to follow their dreams, no matter how big.”

The campaign is being supported by noted theatre and television actress  Noma Dumezweni.  She said: “As a Lewisham resident I am delighted to support this vital initiative, investing not only in the future of young people, but the future of the arts.

“These youngsters are the leaders, audiences and artists of tomorrow.

“I know the power of theatre and to pass that power on to the people who matter the most is a thrilling opportunity.”


Lewisham is one of the 25 local authority areas in England where poverty and deprivation were found to be greatest with child poverty affecting 34 per cent of children. Those on low incomes often have least access to opportunities in Lewisham, and that includes arts engagement.

A Theatre Trip for Every Child is a tangible strategy aimed at improving access to the arts for children across the borough from an early age.

A donation of just £10 enables a child to come to the Albany and experience world-class theatre at their local venue and, contributes to making the whole borough of Lewisham a healthier and happier place to live, work and play.

There are opportunities to support a whole class, year or even a postcode to experience the magic of theatre.

To find out more contact Cassie Raine, campaign manager at everychild@thealbany.org.uk
org.uk or visit the sponsored cycle page at http://www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/the-albany/everychild545

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