Boris gives £10k to Barking Shakespeare theatre project

PUBLISHED: 17:25 15 September 2015 | UPDATED: 17:25 15 September 2015

The Rose Theatre's first performance in London on the site for almost 400 years of

The Rose Theatre's first performance in London on the site for almost 400 years of "The Merchant of Venice", sponsored by the Imry Group and Postel Property Services. Left to right, Jacqueline Quella (Portia), Stephen Tate and Frank Jarvis.


The Mayor of London today pledged £10,000 to a community project which will celebrate Barking’s centre as a creative space.

As part of Boris Johnson’s £9million High Street Fund he will help support The Merchant of Venice.

The project will see Shakespeare come to the streets of Barking in July 2016 where it will be staged as an outdoor performance.

Studio 3 Arts have proposed a reimagination of Shakespeare’s classic for a modern Barking and Dagenham audience.

Liza Vallance, artistic director at Studio 3 Arts, said the proposal represents a “unique opportunity” to use the town centre and high street as the backdrop.

She added: “Barking’s town centre is full of hidden spaces and well-known landmarks. We will create a route that celebrates the town centre as a creative place.”

They propose to open the play at the town quay and travel towards the town centre.

There will be scenes in shops, restaurants, Abbey leisure centre and the Barking Learning Centre, ending with the courtroom scene performed in the council chambers.

“This is truly a piece of work that simply couldn’t happen anywhere else in the world,” Liza added.

The High Street Fund was launched in March to embrace talent and creativity in the capital.

This is the first time the Mayor of a major European city has used a civic crowdfunding website to directly pledge money to community projects.

Boris Johnson said: “The eclectic range of projects I have seen over the course of the High Street Fund is a remarkable testament to the creativity and enterprise of Londoners, and I’m delighted to announce pledges towards 20 of those today.”

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