Authentic Voices


Authentic Voices streamlined Theatre Centre’s Education work focussing on the Company’s strengths in new writing.  Young People were given the opportunity to write and experience Theatre Centre’s professional processes.

In 2003 the Production of Reality Check gave public and professional form to the voices on the 3 year Young Apprentice programme. Out of an original 50 young people the eventual writers were, Towhida Afsar, Nasima Begum, Dilruba Begum, Rahima Begum, Sophie Bowman, Shirin Hirsch, Fahima Nessa, Holly Samson and Tunde Sanusi.

The show successfully completed the cycle of work which began in 2001 with workshops around the productions of Souls by Roy Williams and Jumping On My Shadow by Peter Rumney.  The  2 year process involved dramaturgical workshops with Theatre Centre writers Angela Turvey and Noël Greig and try-outs with professional actors. The production toured to the Half-Moon Theatre, the Soho Theatre Young Writer’s Festival and to E1 secondary schools.

After extensive evaluation of the last 3 years, the programme subsequently entered its second 3 year cycle.  The aims remained the same, though there were four additional areas of focus:

  • An examination of the ways in which boys can be encouraged in the process.
  • The targeting of specific areas eg. Slough, East London.
  • Viewing the existing Young Apprentices as an investment to nurture as individual writers and to develop as strong role-models for future generations.
  • An exploration of the Explre ways in which the internet can enhance the programme.

The general aims of the project were to:

  • Offer schools and others the opportunity of hearing, as yet unheard, voices on a professional platform
  • Develop and nurture new young writers from the area local to Theatre Centre in the E1 area and in other targeted areas
  • Give young writers the opportunity to write from the heart about issues and feelings that are important to them
  • Continue Theatre Centre’s pioneering commitment to culturally diverse voices.
  • Create a resources/resources that addresses the new citizenship curriculum and its emphasis on understanding other cultures and religions.
  • Give an opportunity for students to work with peers from different schools.
  • Share and celebrate the work with peers, teachers and parents of the participants in an annual festival and catalyst productions.
  • Invite participants to become Theatre Centre Young Apprentices and to enter into a dialogue with Theatre Centre writers and artists which will enrich both parties.
  • Ensure project delivers quality and best value.
  • Develop links with schools, teachers and theatres that maximises learning opportunities. This will build on the existing links from the Authentic Voices Programme 2001/2/3 and with future Theatre Centre commissions.


An annual festival of new young writers work.

A large scale professional production that maximises young people’s involvement.

A writer mentored to their own commission.

An artist/project worker employed to work on the programme

Collaboration with partner organisations

A young writers residency

A presence on the web

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