Workbound was a programme Half Moon developed in partnership with Theatre Venture to train young Black and Asian workshop leaders. It aimed to meet the need of a recognised shortage of Black and Asian workshop leaders, living in the urban development areas of Tower Hamlets and Newham.
The course ran in the summer of 1994 and the spring of 1996. Each year’s cohort was between six and eight young people aged 18-25 from the East End. They received training over ten to fourteen weeks on all the skills needed to run workshops. The young people then embarked on structured employment over a number of weeks to create a workshop tour using their skills. The majority of those on the 1996 programme went on to complete an NVQ in Core Skills (Level 3). 80% of attendees went on to find further employment or into higher education. The first course was coordinated by Mojisola Adebayo and Dee Brecker in 1994 and Irma Innis in 1996.
Academic, Martin Heaney worked on a number of participatory projects at Half Moon Theatre in White Horse Road in the late 1990s and early 2000s. He talks about the company’s contribution to the career development of theatre professionals. Interviewed by Alexia-Pyrrha Ashford.
Those photos [the first nine in the gallery above] were taken at the Mulberry Girls School! Gurpreet [Bhatti] and I were delivering a drama workshop as part of Workbound. It was a great course which I think was an opening for people who wanted to access the arts as a career. Gurpreet is now a playwright and also writes for Eastenders and Doctors.
I remember two tutors in particular: Burt Caesar (actor) who covered the performance and improvisation part of the course; Cilla Baynes (Director of Community Arts North West (CAN)) who delivered a writing workshop, which was brilliant. Some of the exercises she delivered I can still recall now plus I used them to deliver drama workshops.