Welcome to Scarborough’s new Arcade – for theatre, not shopping. SJT involved

A new Arcade in town: directors Sophie Drury-Bradey, left, and Rach Drew launch community producing company in Scarborough. Picture: Stewart Baxter

THE Stephen Joseph Theatre is joining forces with Arcade, Scarborough’s new community producing company run by ex-York Mediale leading light Rach Drew and Sophie Drury-Bradey.

The long-established SJT will be sharing its skills, experience and expertise with its latest associate company while learning fresh approaches from the duo as part of its ongoing programme of new creative partnerships.

Arcade joins theatre companies Box Of Tricks, The Faction and Voxed in the coterie of associate companies.

Arcade and the SJT share the outlook that “everyone is creative and culture belongs to everyone”. Led by Drew and Drury-Bradey, Arcade “ aims to make incredible cultural experiences happen with artists and communities, to support communities to develop creativity and ideas and to collaborate to make community-led change happen using the arts, through creative projects, workshops, shows, festivals and events in Scarborough and across the UK”.

The first joint project will be Scarborough Stories, targeted at anyone who has a story they want to tell or is angry or passionate about an issue or challenge in their life or community. Running from April 2021 to March 2022, it will culminate in a site-specific show in the town centre.

Sophie says: “We can’t wait to work with the SJT to make some extraordinary community-led projects and shows happen. We’ll be asking our local community what they want and also supporting both local and national artists to work within the town and borough.

“Absolutely delighted”: Stephen Joseph Theatre artistic director Paul Robinson

“We’ll aim to work in partnership, growing Arcade and the SJT’s relationships with other brilliant local organisations, such as Scarborough Museums Trust, CaVCA and others.”

Paul Robinson, the SJT’s artistic director, says: “We’re absolutely delighted to welcome Arcade as the latest of our associate companies. They’ll bring fresh new perspectives to our busy programme of community work.”

Rach Drew was formerly executive director of York Mediale, whose first £1.3m international arts festival – the largest media arts festival in Britain – was held in October 2018.

Prior to this, she managed York’s large-scale autumn light festival, Illuminating York. Originally trained as a theatre director, Rach has enjoyed a varied career, from founding her own youth theatre to collaborating with communities in museums and creating exhibitions for local artists.

Sophie Drury-Bradey was previously senior producer at Battersea Arts Centre, in London, for eight years. She has 15 years’ experience in producing, programming, participation and project management and a track record for supporting talent development and the realisation of new and ambitious projects, such as the award-winning show Brand New Ancients by Kate Tempest [now Kae Tempest] and Touretteshero’s Broadcast From Biscuitland for live TV broadcast on BBC4.

For more information on Arcade, go to: hello-arcade.com.