SPID Theatre makes art that advocates housing justice. Our high quality youth theatre takes place on council estates. We use theatre, film and radio to call for investment in social housings’ heritage and in young peoples’ future. We mix verbatim testimonies with scripted dialogue to celebrate and champion estates’ history, community and spirit.
Past and Future
Historic England’s Buildings at Risk register lead us to Kensal House, a Grade II* listed estate in Ladbroke Grove. In 2005, we left venues like the ICA and Riverside Studios for a home of our own. We were thrilled when the Residents Association invited us to stay.
We swapped traditional stages for graffiti parks and youth clubs - casting local kids alongside professionals. Neighbouring estates welcomed the interactive, DIY shows we premiered at Kensal. After almost two decades, we finally raised £2.4m to restore our stage and hall, create a modest workshop space and scale up our free drama and heritage program.
Now SPID’s arts and heritage programs have united those who live and work in Kensal House in class action against the landlord they share with Grenfell, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. The council are paying compensation and have begun a capital works program to bring the whole estate up to standard, protect and restore heritage, and make social housing homes safe and habitable. The decline and restoration of Kensal House offers hope to estate’s nationwide.