Punchdrunk Enrichment – the UK’s premier education and community-led immersive theatre company has announced a three-year residency in London’s Wembley Park from April 2023, which will deliver the first ever co-created immersive arts space.
The residency will be Punchdrunk Enrichment’s largest in scale and ambition to-date. The company will engage with local artists and community groups to co-create an immersive space that will support local artist development, deliver exceptional experiences for families and provide training opportunities for Brent-based young people. The 8,000 square feet of space will also provide the opportunity for the Company to foster new work.
Alongside the public programme, the company will introduce a range of inspiring immersive projects for primary schools across Brent including The Lost Lending Library, Punchdrunk Enrichment’s flagship literacy project in which a mysterious travelling library appears overnight in a primary school. The Lost Lending Library has visited over 75 schools and benefitted more than 40,000 children by unlocking creativity and a love of literature in children aged 6-11 years and their families and carers.
The residency in Brent has been conceived by Punchdrunk Enrichment’s Artistic Director, Peter Higgin – one of the founding members of the world’s leading immersive theatre company, Punchdrunk – and will be delivered with the support of Arts Council England and the developers behind the transformation of Wembley Park, Quintain.
It will draw upon Punchdrunk Enrichment’s historic practice and expertise in immersive storytelling, which are brought to life in unexpected spaces. Previous projects include Greenhive Green, which transformed a room in a care home into an immersive village green complete with a florist, a phone box and the smell of fresh cut grass; and Fallow Cross, a fully functioning townlet in a set of warehouses in Tottenham Hale, Haringey.
Peter Higgin, CEO and Artistic Director of Punchdrunk Enrichment said:
“This progressive partnership with Quintain is significant for the future of Punchdrunk Enrichment, and the London Borough of Brent. Our principle building partner, Quintain, has provided us with over 8,000 square feet of space in Wembley Park to realise the first ever immersive community space, co-created, co-designed and built sincerely and with integrity with local makers and borough residents. As an independent charity this is our most ambitious project to date. Alongside the recent award of National Portfolio funding from Arts Council England, the Quintain partnership will realise our ambition to create meaningful and real societal impact in the London Borough of Brent. When we take residency in the space it will be a blank canvas, ripe for imagination and invention. Our consultative work with local people will power the development of the space providing employment, training and skills development opportunities prioritising local young makers who will be pivotal in the initial design and transformation of our new home.”
Punchdrunk Enrichment is the latest arrival to Wembley Park’s creative community, which has played a vital role in the area’s regeneration. The ambitious cultural strategy for the area has seen the welcoming of new cultural operators, such as Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra which will move its headquarters to Wembley Park.
Matt Slade, Retail Director at Quintain, said:
“This is a momentous step for Wembley Park to welcome such a prestigious community-led immersive theatre company, to embark on its most ambitious project to-date. Wembley Park has a world-famous reputation for entertainment and culture, and in recent years we’ve been able to reimagine what this looks like at a local level, to provide new opportunities for the Brent community. The positive impact of the arts on learning and wellbeing is undeniable, and yet it remains hugely underfunded. We’re proud to be able to support grassroots initiatives such as this, that enhance the lives of local people.”
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Main image by Stephen Dobbie.
From left to right: Peter Higgin (Artistic Director/Joint CEO, Punchdrunk Enrichment), Matt Slade (Retail Director, Quintain), Mia Jerome (Associate Director, Punchdrunk Enrichment), Alice Kitty Devlin (Associate Director, Punchdrunk Enrichment)