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Tramshed Theatre: Just can’t get enough

Cast your mind back to 2009: Matt Smith was replacing David Tennant in Doctor Who, Rage Against the Machine was Christmas No.1, the Black-Eyed Peas were dominating our brains with “I Gotta Feeling”, and giant sunglasses and fake tan were an absolute fashion staple.

I was 21. Also, I was in a bit of a flap because I was about to leave university with a Drama degree. Bearing in mind that this was during the recession – a time when the news was telling us the job market was not looking good for any soon-to-be graduates, let alone Drama graduates, so it was a legitimate flap.

Thankfully, I stumbled upon a job post “Freelance Arts Practitioner” for an inclusive theatre company in Blackpool, enthusiastically applied, got invited to an interview (to my surprise, relief and joy!) and got the job… And so began my love of TramShed.

During my 5 years at TramShed I was lucky enough to be part of multiple projects, including musical memories sessions for residents living with dementia, the lead up to Muli Mutya, Lancashire!, 5 summer shows, 5 festive winter shows, and more than 200 hours of workshops and rehearsals. It launched my career in the arts with other directorial positions, professional acting work in Theatre In Education and even more drama facilitation opportunities.

In 2014, I followed my partner to Germany and stepped away from the arts for a few years to follow a path of corporate training.

So, let’s cut forward to 2020: Covid hit and lockdown happened, and I was stranded in Germany, unable to start a new job in London (also for an inclusive theatre company, because what else?). When Zac reached out to me to come back to TramShed as a guest artist for online sessions, I jumped at the chance. Who wouldn’t want to work with TramShed’s amazing members?

It was so lovely to be part of Somewhere Over the Rainbow – a project that was a beacon of hope for TramShed’s arts practitioner team, members and myself during a really tough year.

It was so lovely to be part of Somewhere Over the Rainbow – a project that was a beacon of hope for TramShed’s arts practitioner team, members and myself during a really tough year.

Now here we are in 2021, and I’ve yet again had the privilege to work with some more amazing young people on the Unlocked project – some new faces, but also many of whom I remember from those days back in the “noughties”.

It’s incredible to see that those who were nervous teens have blossomed into resilient young adults, and those that were volunteers are now a huge part of the TramShed legacy. This is the beauty of the arts and TramShed’s unique inclusivity; no one wants to leave!

Now fully established in my role as Participation Manager here in London, it’s clear to see that TramShed set me on the path of participatory arts, access, and inclusion and I couldn’t be more grateful. I believe that all of the moments that have led up to this point just confirm what I already knew – I love TramShed, I adore inclusive theatre and I keep coming back for more. I suppose you could say that I just can’t get enough.

Eleanor Pethurst, TramShed Guest Artist

#apartofbeingapart

Find out more about TramShed Theatre

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