Norwich Theatre tell us "sometimes grandparents make the best playmates!"
- 22 July 2020
Norwich Theatre is one of five creative organisations to be shortlisted for this year's Best Age-Friendly Cultural Organisation Award in our annual Fantastic for Families Awards, demonstrating an excellent welcome for older family members across their three venues. Here they tell us why that's important, as well as reminding us that "sometimes grandparents make the best playmates!"
We are delighted that Norwich Theatre has been shortlisted within this year's Fantastic for Family Awards. This recognises our long-held belief that creativity and creative spaces are for every one and for every moment of their lives. We are committed to ensuring our venues are age friendly, and that we offer working environments, activities and programming which focus on promoting healthy ageing, supporting older adults to be independent, resilient and well.
We are really aware that being age-friendly is not about one thing. It is not just about what we program, or just about being physically accessible. It is all encompassing and always changing. It runs through everything we do. From the performances and participatory activities we program, to our staff and volunteers. From our communications, to our welcoming environments. Every strand of our work embraces and celebrates life in older age.
Our age specific strand of our participatory activities includes opportunities to take part in ballet, acting and singing through our Silver Swans, Silver Stage, Silver Stage Company and our Community Choir. We also offer a Theatre Cares program which provides creative activities for those living with dementia and those who are caring for them.
When it comes to our family friendly activities, we have redefined these to acknowledge it’s not just about parents with their children, and that grandparents sometimes make the best playmates! Along the way we have learnt that some of our older participants have danced, acted and sang professionally. They are extremely talented, and we welcome and celebrate their facilitation skills within our work.
Welcoming older adults into all three of our venues is an absolute delight and pleasure. There is generally a lot of laughter, some brilliant learning and magical experiences, and friendships made which bring smile and joy to us all. These older adults positively challenge their own and our perceptions of who they are and who they might be. They are creative, inspiring and wonderful to be around. There is no room for stereotypes here as we embrace their imagination, bravery and excitement to explore further.
Our Top Age-Friendly Event Recommendations
In just a matter of weeks we have a Live Stream with Armistead Maupin and Ian McKellen (Wednesday 12th August), a special one-off event in which Armistead will discuss his career as a much-loved author and LGBTQ+ activist.
Into next year we are pleased to welcome Dr Mark Baldwin on his Codebreakers tour. Mark has given over 700 presentations on World War II codebreakers: Enigma and Bletchley Park and 70 presentations on Special Operations. This fascinating talk will include the life and work of the great mathematician, computer scientist, philosopher and theoretical biologist Alan Turing.
The BBC Big Band is always a favourite with our audiences and you can join us for an evening with Swing Legends & Big Band Divers on 21st April. Into June, prepare for a nostalgia extravaganza as the UK’s No.1 Rock & Roll variety performance returns with the Best of That'll Be The Day!
What's on for Families at Norwich Theatre?
We are working hard to plan a series of alternative interactions for the interim period which will provide a bridge back to our more usual program as venues start to open. First of all, we hope to re-open our Playhouse bar by the end of July. Then, until our full programme of performances and activities resumes, we'll have a new During the Interval program. You can find out more about the activities as they become available, via our website or by following our Facebook page.
We've already booked some fantastic acts for next spring, starting with our friend the Amazing Bubble Man, who will wow you with art, magic, science and bubbles. Then there's the popular CBeebies favourite Milkshake! Live and a family fun show with Basil Brush to look forward to.
For teens, the new Groan Ups will definitely be a highlight. It follows an unruly classroom of six year-olds on their journey through high school and on to the challenges of adulthood. This one's from the award-winning creators of The Play That Goes Wrong and we're looking forward to welcoming its West End cast into the theatre for a week.
Watch this space too for the return of Peppa Pig with her Best Day Ever and our new school holiday programme of Take Part activities. We cannot wait to welcome back familiar and new faces alike!