Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch is delighted to announce that it has received funding from Clarion Futures, the charitable foundation of Clarion Housing Group, to continue its offering of two strands of free digital classes. The classes are aimed at connecting audiences from their own homes while in lock-down, streaming live from the Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch Facebook page each week.Initially commissioned for six weeksfrom 20 April – 31 May, these sessions have proven to be hugely beneficial in offering positive engagement to people of all ages, racking up over 12,000 views in the first 3 weeks alone.

Thanks to the funding received from Clarion Futures, the classes will recommence twice weekly beginning Tuesday 9 June providing a creative offering for our shared local community. Previous sessions are also available to catch-up via the Theatre’s Youtube and Facebook pages.

One strand features seated dance lessons led by Choreographer and Movement Director Sundeep Saini from her living room every Tuesday, with a brand new dance routine to try out each week. These sessions will be delivered seated to support access and mobility needs, subtitled, and audio described in delivery. Each session goes live on the Theatre’s Facebook page at 11am on a Tuesday.

The other strand is a musical theatre sing-a-long session with local musician and Musical Director Andrew Linham every Thursday at 11am. Andrew will lead a warm up session followed by the chance to learn a classic musical theatre number each week.

At the start of the week the Theatre will put a poll on their Facebook page where audiences can vote for one of three musical theatre songs to learn. (Audiences can also leave suggestions in the comments of songs for inclusion in future weeks.) The one with the highest votes by mid-day on Wednesday will be taught by Andrew in a Facebook Live session at 11am that Thursday.

Clarion Futures has previously funded the Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch’s participation work though regular dance and drama workshops at the Orchard Village estate. Clarion Futures is also a member of the Havering Changing consortium, a partnership of 8 local organisations that will seek radical new ideas to engage local communities in arts and culture, support local decision makers and share learnings, led by Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch.

The digital classes have been made possible thanks to a grant from Clarion Futures’ Emergency Support Fund which has been created to offer direct financial support to some of its longstanding partners during the coronavirus outbreak.

James Watson, Head of Learning and Participation at Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch, said ‘We are grateful for the continued support of Clarion Futures in recognising the value of the arts in building communities and promoting personal wellbeing. We hope these digital sessions will continue to benefit our local and wider communities during this period of isolation

Matt Parsonage, Head of Communities at Clarion Futures, said: ‘We’re delighted to be supporting these online classes which, we hope, will bring the community together and provide a way for people to enjoy themselves and express their creativity – something that is particularly important during these difficult times’