On 16th March, 2006, after several months plotting and planning, I took the plunge and set up Theatre Workout. I am so happy I did!
I am incredibly proud of everything we have achieved in the past 14 years, and honoured to have worked with some amazing people along the way including West End productions, venues, arts organisations, schools, and the outstanding practitioners without whom none of this would have been possible.
The past year has been extremely challenging. Brexit was, and continues to be, an emotional journey causing much uncertainty over our future relationship with our partners and clients in the EU. If that wasn't enough, COVID-19 has landed in a spectacular and frightening fashion causing significant disruption globally.
As we grapple with what this means for our future, it is sobering to be spending our birthday making contingency plans so we can make it to 15, but I want to take a moment to reflect on all the positives which have happened in the past 12 months:
We launched the Drama, Theatre and Education Manifesto last week at the National Theatre in a move to secure better drama and creative learning and support for young people.
We were again a finalist in the British Youth Travel Awards.
We've evolved our hospitality service into the only DMC for creative education travel for the groups market, which has already led to new partnerships with clients in Dubai and in Europe.
We've joined Artsmark.
We've been commissioned twice to write articles for Drama & Theatre Magazine.
We've delivered hundreds of successful workshops to many thousands of students from the UK and around the world to maximise their theatre experience, giving many thier first ever drama workshop.
I must say thank you to everyone who has believed in Theatre Workout and supported us in the past 14 years: To the schools who have trusted us with their children and young people to raise their aspirations and confidence through drama; to the associations, organisations, productions and other partners who have worked with us; and to the practitioners who go above and beyond in every workshop to deliver an outstanding experience for their students.
Finally, I want to give special mention to a few people who have stepped in to provide essential support at the most difficult of times this year: Jo and Hugo (for whom I do all of this), and to Peter, Elaine, Katherine and Alasdair who have just been marvellous! Thank you.