Q&A: My Barking - James Hyde, Three Inch Fools theatre company
PUBLISHED: 17:00 10 May 2019
Three Inch Fools
James Hyde co-founded and helps run the theatre company Three Inch Fools, who perform musical takes on Shakespeare. They are currently in residence at Eastbury Manor House in Dagenham
What's your connection to Barking and Dagenham?
I run a touring theatre company that performs Shakespeare's plays across the UK and we have a residency at Eastbury Manor House in Barking.
From March to May we can be found rehearsing in the beautiful historic rooms of Eastbury, and in the gardens as well.
Visitors can come a watch us rehearse as well as look round the house.
We also do performances at Eastbury, in their amazing attic space and in the stunning walled garden. It's our London home!
What's the best thing about living or working in the borough?
For me it's the people. Working at Eastbury Manor House we meet lots of locals - from people who work at the house to visitors to the property and those who come and see our shows, we always meet interesting people with good stories to tell about the local area.
We also run theatre workshops with local primary and secondary schools, and we're always so excited by how bright and engaging local pupils are.
It's a really lively borough with some very interesting and creative people.
What one thing would you change?
I recently read that 31per cent of people who live in Barking and Dagenham are paid below the London Living Wage.
I'd like to see a change in that percentage for the better.
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Use three words to describe the area?
Vibrant. Creative. Impressive.
Who is the most inspiring person you have ever met?
I think I'd have to say my grandfather.
He was born in 1913 and was the youngest of 13 children.
He was in the RAF and flew a Hurricane during the Second World War, and he lived to a grand old age of 97.
He was a very strong person and very loving - a real inspiration.
If you were the prime minister, what law would you introduce?
If I were prime minister I would introduce a law making it part of primary school education to go and see a play at the theatre.
I think that the arts should play an integral part in education and it's good to start when you're young!
If you were the editor of the Barking and Dagenham post, what issues would you focus on?
I would focus on arts and culture within the borough.
It's a really vibrant area and there are great opportunities to see and be involved in artistic endeavours.