We are absolutely thrilled with the news that we have received this wonderful award from British Chambers of Commerce for our work in the community during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Being nominated by our local Chamber, Surrey, GSC are proud to be announced winners alongside great friends such as Oakleaf Enterprise and Project Five. This award is in response to GSC's continuance create, inspire and entertain our audiences and participants during the last 7 months since lockdown hit.
HRH The Countess of Wessex GCVO said in a letter to all winners:
"I want to take this opportunity to thank you for your positive contributions, congratulate you on your recognition as a UK Business Hero and wish you ever success in your endeavours in the weeks and months ahead as we look to the recovery of our country." READ FULL LETTER
Straightaway, GSC curated a weekly programme of free virtual content which included performances from 28 actors, a weekly live talk on Shakespeare’s life, and reconfigured all in-house drama classes to run online.
A significant part of GSC's work is with the socially isolated and less advantaged parts of the community including struggling families, young carers, the homeless. Although many of these projects had to be postponed (such as the care-home programme and schools’ tours), GSC have sought to find ways to keep these projects moving.
Our annual schools' tours to some of the least advantaged primary and secondary schools' in Surrey have been rethought and working within current restrictions we have been able to rehearse and film these for streaming to those schools later this term and next.
Sadly all the classes that were physically present from September have had to move back online, but hope these will return to our buildings in January. We are already working on new options for 2021, including a scheme for Young Carers.
From a production point of view, although we have had to postpone our entire theatre programme, our stage work has continued online with 5 live productions produced on Zoom, watched by some 1800 households across the globe. A sixth - A Christmas Carol - is coming next month.
Meanwhile, the exceptionally talented Caroline Devlin and Charlotte Conquest (freelance directors) are turning our 2019 open-air staging of The Merry Wives of Windsor into a 4-part sitcom, with the actors filming themselves in isolation. Due for release in the first half of next year.
Though it feels a long time ago now, our open-air show in August was hugely needed tonic. Both the delight of some 800 audience members, and the joy of the actors to be performing again, was palpable and a mandate for the importance of live theatre.
Since 23 March GSC are proud to have created employment for 85 freelance artists, delivering 73 live original performances.
Matt Pinches, Co-Founder:
"We are incredibly proud of the dedication, resilience and resourcefulness that our team has shown, along with our Board of Trustees, during this unprecedented time; without them, and the freelancers, volunteers, audiences and corporate sponsors who have continued to support and enable our work, GSC would not be in the position it is today."