As you like it

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Local organisations HASWA Havering Asian Social & Welfare Association, DABD and the Queen’s Community Group are taking part in a musical adaptation of William Shakespeare’s As You Like It at the Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch in partnership with the National Theatre this very summer.

Following the triumphant performances of ‘Pericles’ at the National Theatre in summer 2018, the next Public Actsproduction of ‘As You Like It’ starts rehearsals this week and will play from 24 – 27 August. Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch’s Artistic Director, Douglas Rintoul will direct this musical adaptation.

Forced from their homes, Orlando, Duke Senior, his daughter Rosalind and niece Celia, escape to the Forest of Arden, a fantastical place where all are welcomed and embraced. Lost amidst the trees, they find community and acceptance under the stars.

This UK premiere sees more than one hundred community members, professional actors, and performance groups from across London, come together for this magical tale of faithful friends, feuding families and lovers in disguise. The Public Acts community partners are: Body & Soul, Bromley by Bow Centre, Coram, DABD, The Faith & Belief Forum, HASWA, Open Age, Queen’s Community Group and Thames Reach.

‘As You Like It’ is the second Public Acts production, the National Theatre’s new initiative to create extraordinary acts of theatre and community. The production forms part of a two-year partnership with HASWA, DABD, Queen’s Community Group and other organisations who deliver visionary work in their communities, together with theatre partner Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch. Through Public Acts, members of these organisations have taken part in a bespoke programme including weekly workshops, theatre trips and opportunities for socialising and creating together, including performing in As You Like It.

Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch has a long history of community engaged opportunities, seen recently through the inclusion of Community Chorus’ in main house productions, workshop opportunities, an extensive youth programme, school projects, and theatre based projects with Havering organisations.

Havering Asian Social Welfare Association (HASWA) exists to improve the wellbeing of Asians and the wider community in Havering, by tackling isolation, connecting people and services, promoting mental and physical well-being, personal development and creating a sense of belonging through raising cultural awareness.

DABD is a local charity that enables independence for vulnerable people of all ages, helping them to achieve a better quality of life and to make their own choices.

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