Grant means over 50s can enjoy Stratford drama classes

08:00 27 August 2014

Funding means that more of the borough

Funding means that more of the borough's older people will be able to enjoy drama


Older residents with an interest in theatre can look forward to enjoying regular drama classes after a group of over 50s residents secured funding.

The £1,000 Go For It grant from Newham Council has helped to launch Age Well Actors, a regular drama class for over 50s at Stratford Circus Arts Centre.

It was awarded to a group formed as a result of a shared passion for theatre and regular meetings at drama events and classes held at Stratford Circus. After recognising the social and health benefits of creative activity such as theatre, they set their ambition to create a regular class to help other over 50s to benefit.

With support from Stratford Circus’ Education Department and Newham Council, they have now raised funds to launch a weekly class, Age Well Actors, led by a professional theatre practitioner.

Eloise Smith, 73, a group member and Newham resident, said: “Involvement in drama helps me to come out of myself. I meet and interact with older people and it gives me a sense of wellbeing. I believe the same will go for others if we get them involved and interested.”

The group has attended local events for older people in Stratford and beyond, including the inaugural Tea Dance at Stratford Town Hall and the Mayor’s Coffee Mornings, as well as visiting sheltered accommodation, to help spread the word about the classes and get more people


Becky Lees, Stratford Circus Education Officer, said: “The dedication of this group to launch the classes demonstrates the huge impact that involvement in drama is having on their lives, both socially and in terms of general wellbeing. They are an inspiration in proving that age is no barrier to learning and being active in your community.”

For £2 per drop-in session, participants will devise a piece of original theatre over the 10 week autumn term to be performed on stage at Stratford Circus on November 7 2014.

Classes will run every Tuesday from September 2 to November 4 2014 (no class October 7) at Stratford Circus Arts Centre from 2pm – 3.30pm.

For more information or to book a place, contact Stratford Circus on 0844 357 2625, email or visit


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