SPID Theatre Company is an arts charity that aims to build a sense of community and to empower council estates through access to high quality theatre and arts projects. We use interactive, immersive techniques to create cheap, participatory theatre that happens off stage and up close in estate youth clubs and parks, and we work with teenagers to realise more of their potential, allowing them to build artistic skills, tell their stories, and engage positively with estates. Our performances in our base on the Modernist estate of Kensal House in West London, and our heritage youth projects, youth shows, and youth films, led by the young people with whom we work, have won awards and press attention nationally, recognised for the do-it-yourself-passion which informs their creative ambition, up-to-date subject matter, distinctive form, and the fresh voices of the young people at their heart. We are also committed to the renewal and regeneration of the important communal spaces and buildings where estate life takes place.
The uniqueness of SPID’s vision lies in our definition of the word ‘community’. To us, community means something very specific – collective activity in a shared space. In the high paced frazzle of modern life, we believe this shared experience is the key to connecting with others. That is why we use our talent, ambition and skills to create participatory experiences that bring people together from different backgrounds and animate their very location. What our interactive tours, site specific shows, youth films, radio projects, immersive workshops, and community activities have in common is that they all encourage people to engage with each other, the arts and their environment. We champion this work as a means to strengthen local communities, and in particular those living on council estates, such as Kensal House where we ourselves are based.
SPID’s unique performance style has been honed especially to appeal to audiences – and particularly to young audiences – alienated by mainstream theatre. Our shows do not take place on stage, instead the space that cast and audience share is our stage. There are no rules for how and where our stories unfold, and our aim is to collapse the distance between the actor and the audience to create an unstagey, authentic experience. We create experiences that happen up close, with a raw immediacy, are cheap to put on, and free to attend. We pride ourselves in the resilience of the shows we create – able to take place easily in the indoor and outdoor spaces of estate life.
-To create high quality theatre and arts projects, focusing on indoor and outdoor council estate spaces and encouraging involvement from often hard-to-reach local residents as well as mainstream audiences
-To empower young people on council estates by building their creative skills and showcasing their achievements, allowing them to engage with their local communities and to tell their own stories
-To build a sense of community and to connect people from different backgrounds, regenerating important communal buildings, and generating pride in council estate life.