• Petitioned Hampstead Theatre

This petition was delivered to:

Hampstead Theatre

Save Our Education Programme

    1. Petition by

      E D

      London, United Kingdom

Hampstead Theatre has provided an original and dynamic education and outreach programme for its local community since 1998. It has developed longstanding relationships with local schools and delivered projects to a wide range of groups, including young people in hospital schools, pupil referral units, and adult refugees and asylum seekers. A significant part of the work has been the Heat&Light Young Company, who have written and devised their own new plays, as well as commission and produce plays by professional playwrights. The commitment, intelligence and sheer passion these young people have shown over the years is an inspiration.

In April it was announced that the programme, now called Creative Learning, was to close in its entirety, from the end of July 2012. 

All objective measures show we live in a time when young people and poor people alike are being at best neglected, at worst demonised and punished. Wealth, power and opportunity are being moved away from these groups, against all sense of justice, and wisdom. We seem to be sleepwalking towards a society where the older, richer, and/or more powerful only look out for themselves and their own families. Can anyone really believe the long term consequences, for any of us, will be a happier, brighter, more secure future? A Lear-like desolation seems more plausible: "Come, let's away to prison; We two alone will sing like birds in the cage."

Community arts programmes like Hampstead Theatre’s Creative Learning have a concrete and measurable social value. And without this nurturing of new artists and audiences, without fresh blood, ideas, and movements, a unique cultural ecology will simply fade away and die. But above all the argument is this: these are, on some level, all our children. Arts organisations, charities and funding bodies are traditionally forces for progressive values and action, in a way which brings hope, change, a measure of social justice. If Hampstead Theatre, Arts Council England and LB Camden can no longer defend these, our most vulnerable children, neighbours and citizens, who will?

Please reverse this decision. At least apply a proportionate cut. We the undersigned urge you to at least retain the core, the most effective and progressive parts of the programme, if only to keep the practices and the culture alive. For all our sakes.


Recent signatures


    1. Reached 750 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • stephanie murphy PAPHOS, CYPRUS
      • about 2 years ago

      my grandson is a member and I feel that our young people are our future and should have their creativity encouraged, not stamped on.

      • about 2 years ago

      I have learnt many thing from my time with hampstead theatre and i have taken those traits into my life and it wrould be a shame to see something that has so much benifit to the community aswell as individuals taken because of cuts

    • Lorraine Grout LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM
      • about 2 years ago

      It is important to keep alive access and learning in our theatre in London. Hampstead Theatre plays an important part in this and their Education Programme is important to London and it's local community.

    • Madeleine O'Reilly HULL, UNITED KINGDOM
      • about 2 years ago

      Because creative learning is one of the first ways people can start making and interacting with theatre rather than being just voyeurs. How can we hope to support future artists, work and audiences if we deny them the opportunity to interact with their theatre?

    • Omra Harding UNITED KINGDOM
      • about 2 years ago

      It is very important to keep this programme alive. It is a environment and opportunity for young people to begin exploring theatre. I for example starting in the Heat and Light company and then went on to Rose Bruford Drama School and on to the Edinburgh Fringe after I graduated. It is programme that enables young people to challenge themselves artiscally and be heard and listened.


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