SAVVY Theatre is among the exciting new companies-in-residence that will transform the venue’s cultural offering, which reopened in September after a multi-million-pound heritage restoration.
Wednesday night’s opening event was a showcase for performances from SAVVY’s range of companies, including their Young Company, YoungGrr Company, Action Replay – for adults with learning disabilities, and Crisis Averted, a new project with Crisis in Croydon.
For the last 10 years, SAVVY have been offering unique, fun training and performance opportunities to residents of all ages, abilities and levels of experience, welcoming everyone to take part. In the last two years, they have worked with Croydon Council, with support from the council’s cultural partnership fund and Arts Council England, to offer weekly theatre groups at locations across the borough and to bring exciting, interactive theatre to the spaces and streets of Croydon.
Councillor Oliver Lewis, cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport, said: “SAVVY’s unique energy, inclusivity and creativity, and their exciting and memorable performances make them a real asset to our cultural scene and to our newly-refurbished arts centre. They make a huge difference to so many lives locally, helping residents of all ages and abilities to develop their confidence and talents. We are proud and delighted to welcome them to Croydon and look forward to working with them in the future.”
Sheree Vickers, Director of SAVVY, said: “Our new home will bring our entire family together. It will allow us to grow and experiment, and renew opportunities to our members and the community here in Croydon. Taking part is at the heart of what we do."
Gemma Charlsey, a member of Action Replay, said: “SAVVY accept everyone for who they are and work hard to adapt shows, scripts and scenes to fit the person’s needs. We get to be in a creative, supportive and social environment where everyone is listened to and everyone is welcome so this gives us opportunities to learn new things and new skills. We can ask for help at SAVVY and not be afraid. People laugh with us, and not at us. SAVVY is our second family.”
Also making their home in Fairfield Halls are UK’s premiere black theatre company, Talawa, who will launch their studio later this month. Talawa and SAVVY join resident orchestra London Mozart Players, and orchestras-in-partnership the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Chineke! Orchestra to offer a diverse mix of entertainment that is truly reflective of Croydon’s community.