What about open air theatre?

There is a wonderful spot of Lewisham Park, a gem in the city, it’s a lawn, in a depression of the ground, surrounded by tall trees.

Here’s two pictures that I took a couple of weeks ago, the top one shows the area as you see it through the trees – the drop just after the trees is of about 3m, gentle slope but clearly delineated. The second photo is of course taken from the other side.

To me this looks like a theatre and to be one it only needs a stage. And some performances of course.

And as I thought this I started thinking that one could have all the local children attending and learning performing arts, such an accessible space.

I see that Lewisham Council is now asking for ideas on how to spend money on “play areas for children and young people” and it also says that “play can also act as a gateway to structured, positive activities” and also “support services for children and families who may be hard to reach through other routes”.

Well, a good way to do this would surely be to place a stage next to a traditional playground, so that children and their families can do exactly what the Council wants them ultimately to do, “structured, positive activities”. And many of the families there fall exactly in the “hard to reach” category, as the Council jargon identifies them.

The Play area in that park is pretty bare, it would surely do with some money, why not also complement it with a performing arts area for daylight activities during the long days of summer?

I was preparing this proposal with the intent of bidding for some of the locality funds at the next Lewisham Central Assembly on 21st July and I also had in mind to contact the housing association London and Quadrant for some matching funds as they have at least 192 tenants overlooking the park since they now own the three big blocks by the park.

But now that the Council is asking for ideas to help them spend £1m I’ll try that first.

The proposal doesn’t stop at building a stage, the stage is only the focal point, it’s supposed to host activities, what one then needs is some sort of residents’ association to build a program and involve the target audience.


9 Responses to “What about open air theatre?”

  1. Wulf Says:

    Fantastic idea, Max.

  2. Max Says:

    Thanks Wulf, let’s do it.

  3. links for 2008-05-23 « Someday I Will Treat You Good Says:

    […] What about open air theatre? Max has an excellent proposal […]

  4. Playground investment submission « . Says:

    […] investment submission I just submitted the proposal for the Lewisham Park Stage and now it will have to go to panel for a decision on its merits. The deadline for submissions is […]

  5. Alison Says:

    Sounds a great idea. I live near the park and it isn’t currently used for events at all. It’s also really to get to as loads of bused go to the hospital.

  6. Max Says:

    Thanks Alison, you’d be pleased to hear that I’m working on it and I’m now planing a public meeting to be held in September when schools reopen so that we can constitute the residents’ association that is needed to put together and run a program of events.

  7. Kate Says:

    Max whats happening ? Have you got any news about the meeting or anything?

  8. Max Says:

    I’m trying to get to know something about it myself. I sent emails but no answers came yet.

  9. kug Says:

    The small oval shaped dip is used by many of the community to play cricket every day evening now. Its Brilliant, ive seen many of the community come together and play every day. Brilliant park

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