It's been a little while since I've talked about Riding Lights on this blog, with the tour of Inheritance coming to an end this Saturday and its prestigious Summer Theatre School still four months away. But in the interim, there is a bit of good news from one aspect of this exquisite company which I have thus far failed to mention.
Since September 2010, Acting Up! Youth Theatre has been providing theatre opportunity to young people aged 13 to 18 who have additional needs or disabilities. The group provides a space where people can learn new skills, socialise and build confidence, and its devised performanced have been growing in stature.
Acting Up! was recently awarded a grant of £40,507 by Children in Need, which has ensured that it will continue to offer these services in the next few years. This is welcome news, given that the previous funding from Children in Need ended in 2014, with the programme only managing to continue thanks to interim funding from the Ed de Nunzio Charitable Trust. But while the running costs of the group are now guaranteed in the short-term, the funding doesn't cover any production budget for the shows - and that is where you come in.
At this year's Riding Lights Members' Day (which I sadly couldn't attend), a goal was set to raise £2,000 for a production budget for Acting Up!, which could cover the cost of costumes, props and technical equipment. Of that amount, £431 was raised at the Members' Day and a further £1,020 has been secured to date. If you can give even a small amount to help make up the difference, you will be helping to change the lives of people who otherwise may not have had access to theatre and all the wonderful things that it brings.
To make a donation to Acting Up!, visit www.justgiving.com/acting-up. If you need any extra incentive, this summer the group are devising a new sci-fi themed show, drawing inspiration from Douglas Adams, Isaac Asimov, Jules Verne and Kurt Vonnegut (further evidence of Riding Lights being daring and intriguing in its subject matter). I'll post more details of the show as they come to light, but until then spread the word and chip in if you can. Thank you.