Steve Brine met up with the new General Manager of the famous Blue Apple theatre recently, as they discussed latest updates and future plans.
Founded in 2005 and based in Winchester, Blue Apple is an ambitious theatrical company that supports performers with learning disabilities to present high quality productions to the widest possible audience – performing and touring theatre, dance and film within a variety of large and small scale venues.
The charity, has produced 27 original theatre shows and major touring productions have included Shakespeare's Hamlet and Much Ado About Nothing. The ground-breaking, anti-hate-crime play, Living Without Fear has been performed in 42 venues nationally to over 5,000 people, including a performance to ministers and MPs in Parliament that resulted in changes to national police practice.
General Manager Simon Morris said: "Blue Apple currently offers 9 different groups in the Winchester area for approximately 80 participants drawn from various local wards, providing activities that enhance their health and wellbeing, quality of life and happiness of people with learning disabilities within their local community. It also helps to reduce the demand for alternative provision by the local services.
"The company's core challenge going forwards is to increase financial support as it transitions out from the Big Lottery funding that allowed it to become established as a charity. As Blue Apple moves to a model that is less dependent on receiving grants each year it needs to increase its donations and sponsorship income. Those people who would like to make a contribution to supporting the sustainability of this highly effective local charity can do so directly via our website."
Steve Brine said: "I have known Blue Apple for many years now, and I am excited for their future. It was great to catch up with Simon, and am sure he will be taking this wonderful local initiative, which is respected nationally, from strength to strength."
Pictured; Steve Brine MP with Blue Apple Theatre General Manager Simon Morris
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