Young Rep Hub launched

Jessica Harris attends the opening of Birmingham Rep’s new community venture.

It was a double bill at the Birmingham Rep on Friday evening. Not only did the Rep launch its Young Rep Hub, a space dedicated to supporting the creativity of young people, community organisations and refugee groups. It was also a celebration to mark the Rep’s award as the first Theatre of Sanctuary, a title awarded to venues and theatre companies that demonstrate a commitment to welcoming and celebrating refugees and those seeking sanctuary in the UK.

The Young Rep Hub was officially opened by Baroness Floella Benjamin, the Rep’s Patron of Youth and Education. The Hub, which has been three years in the making, has been named after her. She spoke of how involvement in theatre can help to build confidence, describing the Rep’s new facility as a “melting pot for creativity”. A wonderful moment followed her speech when, unaccompanied, she sang Smile, written by Charlie Chaplin.

Members of the Rep’s Youth Board spoke of their life-changing experiences from becoming involved in the Rep’s work with young people, and of the way in which it had helped them achieve their potential. So too did members of Stories of Hope and Home, a project offering asylum seekers and refugees a space to share their stories, and a space for others to hear them.

The launch was followed by a performance of The Trials by Lightpost and Young Rep companies, as part of the two-week Order and Chaos Festival (pictured a season of politically-charged, contemporary plays by the Young Rep. With 21 shows and over 400 performers, the festival has put the spotlight on young emerging talent.

Further information can be found here.