We are working in partnership with Norwich Theatre Royal to build links with refugee and migrant communities and a wide range of other groups around Norwich.

theatre Royal Norwich exterior at night
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Henry VI: Rebellion

74 adults from Blackpool, Bradford, Canterbury, Cornwall, Norwich and Nottingham appeared alongside the professional cast in 2022's Henry VI: Rebellion. They played the roles of working people who take part in the rebellion led by the character of Jack Cade against Henry VI, and townsfolk in a scene where Henry VI is out hunting.

Initially they rehearsed in their local theatres before taking to the Royal Shakespeare Theatre stage from April 2022, with each group appearing in around four performances.

A group of people stood outside Norwich Theatre Royal.
These Shakespeare Nation participants featured in some performances of Henry VI: Rebellion.
Photo by Richard Jarmy © RSC Browse and license our images

FEAST: A Carnival of Errors

Norwich's Shakespeare Nation group produced FEAST: A Carnival of Errors for March 2022, exploring their city’s response to the play's themes of community, identity, power-play and corruption in Shakespeare's play.

The theatre also worked with FABBA Theatre Company for adults with learning disabilities in Great Yarmouth and The Hamlet in Norwich, which supports young adults with profound disabilities and complex health needs. Participants took part in a series of outreach workshops in a whole host of art forms: visual arts, music making, clowning and much more.

You can find out more about A Carnival of Errors with this short video from the Norwich Theatre Royal's YouTube page.

Watch the video

Palm to Palm

Palm To Palm was a Shakespeare Nation play that brought together refugees and other groups for a special production inspired by Romeo and Juliet. It was created in 2019 by three local groups from Norwich, with little or no previous experience of Shakespeare. They were:

  • Evolve (Mancroft Advice Project) a monthly group for 11-25-year-olds who are transgender, intersex, genderqueer and gender-questioning young people

  • New Routes which works at grassroots level in Norwich with refugees, asylum seekers and isolated migrants from over 40 countries speaking 25-plus different languages, and promotes cross-cultural integration and community awareness

  • University of East Anglia students and staff

Play video

Working with practitioners from our Norwich Theatre Royal and the RSC, the groups began by exploring their own links with the themes within Romeo and Juliet and imagining a journey from somewhere very different and arriving in a provincial city, in a world filled with new colours, new freedoms, new loves - a melting pot of cultures and gender. 

The groups performed Palm To Palm, a devised piece of theatre based on the themes of Romeo and Juliet and directed by Miche Montague, at Norwich Theatre Royal, on 20 November 2019.

The Shakespeare Nation adult engagement work is generously supported by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation

The Oakley Charitable Trust: Supporting the involvement of Next Generation Act and Shakespeare Nation in Henry VI: Rebellion