Limehouse children’s theatre scoops award for Brexit play

PUBLISHED: 17:06 07 March 2018 | UPDATED: 10:39 08 March 2018

Half Moon theatre director Chris Elwell with his 'Offie' award. Picture: Half Moon

Half Moon theatre director Chris Elwell with his 'Offie' award. Picture: Half Moon

Half Moon

A children’s theatre in Limehouse has scooped an award for its play exploring youth attitudes towards Brexit.

Once Was Ours explores youth attitudes towards Brexit. Picture: Phil Crow/Half Moon Once Was Ours explores youth attitudes towards Brexit. Picture: Phil Crow/Half Moon

Half Moon theatre’s What Once Was Ours bagged the ‘Offie’, or Off West End Theatre Award, for best production for young people aged 13+.

The play, a co-production with Zest Theatre, used the words of more than 200 teenagers across Britain to explore how politics and national values impacted on the lives of one family.

After opening at the theatre in White Horse Road in October, it went on to tour 26 venues.

Chris Elwell, director at Half Moon, said he was “thrilled” to pick up the prize.

“We are immensely proud of the show and the wonderful team of people who helped create [it],” he said.

“The production was driven by the voices, words and attitudes of young people across the UK to Brexit.

“While their views might not have been united, the production allowed audiences to witness a whole range of different opinions that allowed them to come together and start a more open dialogue.

“Thank you to the young people and everyone involved, we couldn’t have done it without you.”

The Offies, which celebrate “excellence, innovation and ingenuity” in independent theatres across London, were announced at a ceremony in The Albany, Deptford.

London night czar Amy Lamé hosted Sunday’s awards show, with guest presenters including actor Sheila Hancock and Linda Marlowe, the latter also a patron of Half Moon.

Though the awards have been running since 2011, the category was presented for the first time this year.

Toby Ealden, artistic director of Zest and director of What Once Was Ours, thanked organisers for “recognising the importance of theatre made for this inspirational age range”.

Describing himself as “delighted and overwhelmed”, he added: “The impetus for making What Once Was Ours was Brexit and the unheard voices of young people who were denied a voice because they were too young to vote.

“We worked with 215 young people across the country and this award is dedicated to them to say thank you for inspiring us and being a huge part of this award.”

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