Arc news: March 2010



Arc with the Community

This month, Arc continues to work throughout the community with performance programmes, workshops and interactive forum theatre for all ages


Here's an insight into some of our latest work:

Tackling Distraction Burglary for older audiences

By Appointment, written by Clifford Oliver and directed by Carole Pluckrose, is a funny and touching new play currently touring Day Centres in the London Boroughs of Havering and Barking & Dagenham. The piece, which is accompanied by an open discussion forum, raises awareness of the dangers of bogus callers.

Commissioned by Havering Community Safety Partnership (with Barking & Dagenham performances funded by the Partnership & Communications Team at Barking & Dagenham Police), By Appointment tells the story of Iris (played by Anna Karen from BBC’s 'Eastenders' and Olive from 'On the Buses') who has recently lost her husband and is now facing life alone. When faced with a nasty experience at home, she is reticent to tell her daughter Kim, for fear of losing her independence.

By Appointment in action

Actors Anna Karen and Jim Dunk

By Appointment in performance featuring Christina Ford, Anna Karen and Jim Dunk

By Appointment in performance featuring Christina Ford, Anna Karen and Jim Dunk


The play and discussion offers advice and help to older people in protecting themselves from distraction burglary. The advice will include clear messages such as:

• never answer the door to callers who have not booked an appointment
• lock doors and windows properly and remove keys from sight
• have extra security in place when out or away from home
• using a Nominated Neighbour to deal with unsolicited calls

By Appointment is designed to move easily into a range of settings where older residents meet. The play and discussion session lasts for 60 minutes.

To find out more, contact Nita Bocking, General Manager at Arc on 020 8594 1095 or email

Download full By Appointment flyer (PDF, 265k)


"The Partnership continually develops new schemes to reduce crime.  However, it is important we also give residents an opportunity to meet us face-to-face.  It is hoped the tour will improve Havering residents' quality of life and empower people to feel safer in their homes and communities.  The theatre production is fantastic and although the message is a serious one, it will be an enjoyable experience for all."
Kevin Jolly, Havering Community Safety Partnership


Raising GCSE English attainment in Barking & Dagenham Schools with London Thames Gateway Development Corporation

Arc continues the development and delivery of an exciting new communications initiative following grant funding of £16,725 from LTGDC. Devised by Arc's Associate Director Jim Dunk, Speak Up began in January with a pilot programme for Year 10 students at Eastbury Comprehensive School in Barking.

Using drama techniques to improve speaking and listening skills with a view to raising attainment from Grade B to A/A* in GCSE English, the first Students' Presentation Evening for family and friends was held at The Malthouse on 11 February, with special guest John Middleton, Head of Economic Development at LTGDC.

John Middleton presenting certificates to Eastbury Students

John Middleton presenting Speak Up certificates to some of the Eastbury Students


The objective of the programme is to support students' movement up the scale through developing confidence and thinking skills with an emphasis on Speaking and Listening. The programme will develop communication skills, including body language, vocal projection, rapport, vocabulary, fluency, public speaking and adapting talk to context and audience. These skills will be applied to a range of key enquiry topics and questions to support individual presentations, interviews, group debates and discussions, which actively develop thinking skills. Students will be encouraged to take risks and extend expectations of their personal and group performance.

Download Speak Up flyer with full details and learning outcomes (PDF, 517k)


Arc is now delighted to be offering every secondary school in the Borough the opportunity to participate in this exclusive new enrichment project from September 2010. Teachers can find out how to get involved now by contacting Artistic Director, Carole Pluckrose at or call 020 8594 1095.


"We look forward to working with Arc in the months ahead; this project will be an excellent addition to the portfolio of education initiatives we are currently supporting in Barking and the rest of the London Thames Gateway."
John Middleton, Head of Economic Development at LTGDC

"Eastbury is very lucky to be involved in this exciting and innovative project.  We are delighted to be working in partnership with Arc as we know that our young people will truly benefit from working with community partners.  The students taking part are very keen for the Speak Up project to start and have high academic ambitions - this is another way that we can support these ambitions and develop skills that will benefit them both now and in the future.  We believe that this is only the start of a sustainable and invaluable project that will help the young people of Barking & Dagenham to fulfil their true potential."
Sharon Collins, Head of English at Eastbury Comprehensive School


The journey continues for Boy X

2010 sees the continuation of Arc's mission to get Boy X into every secondary school in London and seen by as many young people across the country as possible.

Boy X by Clifford Oliver, directed by Carole Pluckrose, is a ground-breaking piece which looks at the lives of four young men following the murder of a 16-year-old boy. The play takes a head on look at the chaos, loss and pain facing families and communities following this - at the same time it is a story of hope, change and love.

With performances so far this year taking place in schools, theatres and centres in the London Boroughs of Barnet, Lewisham, Hackney and Barking & Dagenham, Arc is also hosting a Gala performance at The Malthouse Studios on Wednesday 10 March. This special event will be introduced by Guest Speaker Bill Griffiths CBE BEM QPM, Director of Leadership Development for the Metropolitan Police Service, Former Head of Serious Crime and Trustee Director of Crimestoppers.  The play will be followed by a Panel Discussion.

On Friday March 12, Arc will be performing Boy X for Kids Company at their base at The Arches II in Lambeth.

To find out more, please contact 020 8594 1095 or email       

Also coming soon... Arc's latest tour of Havering schools with our anti-social behaviour programme Stephen K Patterson's Guide to a Perfect Life and the new tour of Safe for the Olympic Delivery Authority. Also watch this space for more news of the 2010 community play The Marvel of Muddy End and B Safe B Cool - Essex County Council's new transport transition initiative for primary schools!

Arc diary of events

Every Saturday
Barking & Dagenham Good Causes Lottery Draw
Click here to buy your ticket to support Arc Theatre!

Throughout '20
Young people for LB B&D MOPAC & Jack Petchey:
Raised Voices female leadership programme

Throughout '20
Nursery, infant & primary schools:
Oliver's Tales storytelling workshops

Throughout '20
Primary & secondary schools in London Boroughs:
Broadcast/Broadcast Junior online safety programme

Throughout '20
Primary & secondary schools for BeFirst/LB B&D:
Streets Ahead / Crossing Over road safety drama workshops

Throughout '20
London & south east primary schools for HS2 Ltd:
Playing it Safe health & safety programme

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