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Another succesful fundraising gala!

25 May 2013 by Petia

We're proud to announce the success of our recent biennial gala fundraiser at Drapers Hall on 18th May. Hosted by Cardboard Citizens Ambassador Kate Winslet, A Night of Secret Beauty raised £147,200.

Kate Winslet and her husband Ned Rocknroll were joined by legendary British presenter Clive Anderson, artist Tracey Emin, Kinks front man Ray Davies and Tamara Czartoryski, Princess of Spain. Musician Mr Hudson and Nancy dell’Olio were also in attendance amongst other philanthropists and senior executives from some of London’s top companies.

Entertainment was provided by 35 homeless and ex-homeless performers, showcasing a wide variety of talent including acting, dancing, music making and even opera. Under the theme of a Museum of Secret Beauty, the company’s actors became living exhibits in the opulent surroundings of the magnificent Drapers Hall. The Earthlights Boogie Band rounded off the night’s entertainment and filled the dancefloor.

One of the highlights of the evening was a Grand Auction hosted with great panache by Clive Anderson featuring a wide range of exclusive lots including holidays, money-cant-buy experiences and artwork by Tracey Emin, Cornelia Parker, Jeremy Deller, the Chapman Brothers, Hassan Hajjaj and Mario Testino. Kate and Ned auctioned off their Longines watches as well as the chance to have high tea with Kate at the Covent Garden Hotel.

Tracey Emin, wearing a stylish red dress, raised the temperature and competitive spirit during the Grand Auction by parading her artwork around the room amongst cheers from the guests before spontaneously offering to pair it with a drawing class for the winning bidder and a day out with the artist in Spitalfields. Tracey’s lot sold for £10,500.

As a nod to the dress-code of ‘secret beauty’ Kate wore a stylish monochrome ensemble with a Helmut Lang jacket and Roger Vivier shoes as well as a crystal-embossed mask created by Beaton’s Atelier and an eccentric ‘white fox’ headpiece by Natalie Ellner.

The key sponsor for the night was Longines who also hosted a table.

In Adrian's words (Artistic Director and Chief Executive of Cardboard Citizens): “Drapers hall proved a wonderful setting for our museum of secret beauty - our participants really found their voice replaying the King's Speech in its film location“

Cardboard Citizens would like to thank all of the Company Members who helped make the event such a huge success. You did yourself and the company very proud!

Below is a sample of a few images from the event. You can view a large selection of images from the event on our facebook page.

Kate Winslet makes speech

Kate and Cardboard Citizens Members

Kate Winslet and Clive Anderson

Members performing movement piece in the courtyard

Cardboard Citizens supporters

Image from Cardboard Citizens

Much more than cardboard

19 April 2013 by Leslie

Being the new girl in the office isn’t easy. Particularly when you know your time there is limited...and particularly when you are an American amongst Brits. For those I didn’t have the chance to meet, I am in my third year at The American University in Washington, D.C. and this semester I had the opportunity to study abroad in London. In addition to this, I was lucky enough to intern (similar to taking work experience) with Cardboard Citizens for seven weeks. 19 April marks the end of my time here, and I’ll be sad to leave the office for the last time.

There are so many things in this world that are astonishing: from old buildings to beautiful places, or even perfectly-timed turns of phrase. However, my time with Cardboard Citizens has led me to believe that there is little more astonishing in life than people. Every person I have met while interning here, staff or Members, have been nothing short of incredible. I had the opportunity to see Glasshouse at The Albany in Deptford, which left me marvelling not only at the quality of the production, but also the great response from the audience both during the forum and in their feedback after the show. When I saw the showing at the end of Forum Week training at Crisis Skylight last Friday, I was moved so much by the meaning and depth of the pieces created in one short week, by people new to forum theatre.  All the actors and Jokers I’ve had the chance to meet have been so dedicated to what they do, bringing the reality of their personal experiences to what they create with engaging aplomb. And the songs from The God Racket I’ve heard flooding the office during rehearsals are so catchy I’ll be humming them all the way back the States.

What has also astonished me, in complement to the talent of the company Members, is the staff I’ve worked with day-to-day. As I say, it’s not the easiest being the new girl, but I was warmly welcomed by this family of colleagues who trusted me with tasks and jobs and even answering the phone. The kindness and helpful climate of Cardboard Citizens only further underscores their commitment to what they do.

In an effort to be as minimally comparative as possible, I also want to add that Cardboard Citizens as an organization itself is unlike any other non-profit I have encountered previously. In the United States, the present attitude towards the performing arts is not the most positive: it questions whether the arts have much of a place at all anymore. But Cardboard Citizens is an example of the performing arts being used in a proactive social capacity, firmly cementing the place of the arts in the minds of those who through the organization, discover they love performing. This idea throws into sharp relief the American ideas surrounding charity and the arts, and how reactive or prescriptive they are in comparison. The theatre Cardboard Citizens brings to its Members, and all audiences really, is the kind of theatre that stays with both the viewers and performers for a long time, as the essences of entire lifetimes have gone into crafting it.

I am so proud of the work Cardboard Citizens does, and feel very privileged to have had a chance to be a part of it. I know that they will continue to better the society around them, and hope to someday have the opportunity to see their future creations. Until then, much thanks to all the Citz for accepting me into your incredible community and giving me the chance to look at the arts with a whole new view. And just like we all sang in the office one cloudy afternoon, “we’ll meet again, don’t know where, don’t know when, but I know we’ll meet again, some sunny day.”

NB: Thank you Leslie, for being a wonderful addition to the Citz family, working so hard and lighting up the office with your lovely smile. You are an honorary Citizen now. Go back to the US and make change happen.

Leslie and her special cupcakes

God Racket R&D workshop photos

11 April 2013 by Leslie

We had a grand time this past Saturday at the research and development workshop for The God Racket! Thanks to all of our participants for their thoughts and ideas about faith. Here are some great moments from the day.

Some of our Members striking powerful poses

Many thoughts about one idea

Working to understand

'Real street theatre gets gala backing from the stars'

19 February 2013 by Petia

There's nothing like some BIG, national press coverage to kick-start our week! Cardboard Citizens' upcoming showcases of Glasshouse, our fundraising gala and our new home were all featured in a double-spread piece in the Independent on Sunday last weekend.

The article features exclusive interviews with Ambassador Kate Winslet, writer Kate Tempest, company Member Jo Allitt and Artistic Director Adrian Jackson:

"It started as an experiment: to see if theatre could spark debate among those living on the fringes of society. Two decades later, the UK's only homeless people's professional theatre company is hot property.

One of the UK's leading Hollywood stars backs it. One of Britain's best young poets writes for it, and its shows are being performed at some of the hottest theatres in the capital."

Read Sarah Morrison's piece in its entirety here.

Glasshouse tickets are still available for shows at Rich Mix and the Albany in March.

Jo Allitt in Glasshouse

ACT NOW moves house

1 November 2012 by Petia

From next Monday 5th November, ACT NOW workshops move from the Brady Arts Centre to our new space:

77A Greenfield Rd, Whitechapel, London, E1 1EJ

Click here for a map. The nearest stations are Aldgate East or Whitechapel (5 mins walk away).

Workshops will run from 6pm-9pm as usual.

Check out our ACT NOW page for more information or have a look at our snazzy new flyers below. See you there!





Citz stories
Guest blogs
Hostel Tour
Adrian Jackson
ACT NOW Youth Programme
A Few Man Fridays