National Lottery funding backs local performing arts group’s Platinum Jubilee film project

By Anita Jaynes on 1 June, 2022

One of the South West’s leading performing arts organisations has secured £10,000 of National Lottery funding for its forthcoming Platinum Jubilee project, a series of events to mark the historic event, which includes the creation of a special feature-length film that celebrates the longevity and tenacity of live theatre.

The film will premiere on Saturday 18th June at the Wyvern Theatre in Swindon. As well as marking the Jubilee, the film is both a celebration and reflection of the performing arts group surviving the devastating impact of the Covid-19 lockdown periods. 

All 32 of the group classes were asked to choose a well known theatre show from the 75 years of the Queen’s reign as inspiration for a piece of theatre, circus or dance. The pieces were filmed over two weekends in May/June at the Pattern Church in Swindon, at the Deanery School or by the canal in Wichelstowe.

Laura Barnes, Artistic Director, said, “We’re super thrilled because these projects are hugely expensive in terms of resources and spaces, and the extra manpower, time and work that goes into them. The funding is what makes them happen, so without it, we couldn’t do the project.”

Revolution Performing Arts (RPA) was set up in 2007 by Fiona Da Silva-Adams as a drama group for toddlers and preschool children. Before long, exceptional demand led to its expansion to cover school-aged children. 

Today RPA works across many age groups and also includes working with vulnerable children and families. The whole team places an emphasis on fun, child-centred lessons that aim to build confidence and self-esteem. 

Laura added, “Some of the young people who work with us are really quite vulnerable and if we asked them to pay to be involved there is no way they would have been able to. The funding allows children who would not normally be part of something like this to be involved; that’s how significant it is.”

Not only did the group’s young people choose the pieces, they also star in them and choreograph them. A group also worked with the film production company, Swindon-based OT House, to help edit the film and work on media make-up. 

The children chose a wide variety of shows as inspiration for their pieces, resulting in a diverse mix with everything from classic theatre to modern productions like The Lion King and We Will Rock You. 

The National Lottery funding has also allowed the group to be involved in other local Jubilee events. On Saturday (June 4), performers will be involved in street theatre at a community event in Wroughton. 

At the same event, one of the group’s members will be acting out picture books. The group is also working alongside Swindon Domestic Abuse Support Service on a three-day project that will see members putting on workshops for families staying at the refuge, culminating in a garden tea party with a range of performances for those attending.

The film’s premiere will take place at a gala event that will involve a three-course meal for families, with every child involved receiving a free copy of the final product. For tickets click here and to find out more about Revolution Performing Arts and upcoming events, visit: revolutionpa.co.uk

Pictured above: Laura Barnes and Fi Da Silva Adams who have worked together to secure the funding and bring the Platinum Jubilee celebrations to fruition.