Primary Schools into Theatre

We are very excited to announce a very exciting new programme that we are running in partnership with Southwark Council. More details will follow, but please see the press statement below (which can be downloaded here), and if you want to keep up to date with all the announcements about this programme, please sign-up to our newsletter or social media channels.

PRESS STATEMENT: Primary Schools into Theatre

Eastside is delighted to announce that it is working with Southwark Council to deliver an exciting new venture that will ensure that every primary aged child gets a free visit to the theatre every year between 2020 and 2022.

This new programme will bring together every primary school and educational setting across the borough with the extraordinary community of theatres and creative venues in Southwark.

Southwark Council and Eastside will work with all partners to design and deliver the very best set of experiences for the young people of Southwark who stand to benefit from this groundbreaking initiative. The programme will be a beacon of great cultural engagement, celebrating the rich diversity across Southwark’s communities and theatres.

Southwark Council and Eastside will ensure every child benefits, no matter where they are being educated or their starting point in life.

Eastside’s CEO/Artistic Director Matt Lane writes:

“This is such a brilliant initiative and we are delighted to be working with Southwark Council, and the communities, theatres and schools of the borough. It is really important to us that each child has a positive experience with the programme thereby sowing the seeds for a lifelong engagement with the arts and enriching young lives from the outset…

…With this in mind, we will work with all the theatres and partners to deliver a complete experience in which each young person is fully prepared for their visit to the theatre, is able to experience and engage with existing theatre conventions in a positive way and is encouraged to explore their own creativity and expressivity as the programme unfolds. We will also look forward to working with each creative venue to ensure that the moment children cross their threshold they feel at home and the audience experience is thoroughly satisfying, enjoyable and inspirational.”

Cllr Rebecca Lury, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure, Equalities and Communities writes:

“We are extremely lucky to be a borough that has such a rich cultural heritage and an engaged creative community who work alongside us for the benefit of our residents. From Shakespeare’s Globe, to The Bridge, Theatre Peckham and The Blue Elephant, the cultural landscape in Southwark is incredibly diverse and reflective of the communities they serve…

…Our commitment to introduce a free trip to the theatre for every primary school child embodies our approach and belief in the importance that culture plays in enriching and sustaining our borough. For some, the arts may feel out of reach, but we want to change that. With over 20,000 primary school age children in our borough, we are playing our part in opening the doors to them to new experiences and broadening their horizons. I am proud that Southwark Council and our partners are giving every child in the borough the opportunity to experience everything the theatre has to offer.”

We are currently recruiting for a Project Manager to run the initial set-up of this programme. Please see our job page here.

(c) Alex Brenner (