Let’s create a theatre for all
Join us in an ambitious project to return our Grade 2 listed assembly hall to its original vision - a world-class performance space for our students and the local community.
Tell me more
When the hall was designed in 1966, it was considered to be at the forefront of theatre design, and the opportunities it provided to students gave birth to the school’s reputation for creativity and the performing arts. However, as the years went by, the hall fell into a state of disrepair, not only limiting its use by the student body but also eroding a key piece of the school’s identity.
Former students represented the third largest group of respondents in a recent survey about the possible uses of a refurbished assembly hall behind families and staff.
Poor acoustics of the present layout and a staging setup that does not allow for a dressing room or access to the unique amphitheatre outside limit students’ current drama and music learning. Camden, the local authority in which our school is based has significant of deprivation with 47% of the student body qualifying for pupil premium funding and a newly refurbished Assembly Hall would fill a demand for a local low-cost community space in which to create, perform and exhibit within as part of the curriculum and outside of school hours. Over a quarter of the school’s student population responded to a recent survey about the possible uses of a refurbished assembly hall and 59% agreed that the arts should be a primary use of the hall.
It would be great to have a performing arts school after school and weekends, that puts on shows
…art show hall and a place for bands and plays to take place
…a place for people express their creativity
A community space
The use of a refurbished Assembly Hall could also extend beyond the school and a clear majority of people who took part in our survey said that they would want to attend arts (88%) or charity (61%) events at the venue.
The charity Crisis used the School building and hall for two years running to provide food and shelter for the homeless.
Your help so far
With your help so far, the school has been able to enlist renowned theatre architects Haworth Tompkins to carry out the first stage of the project. The proposals in their feasibility study would see the hall become one of the most versatile and high-tech theatre spaces in London with innovative new staging, seating, lighting and sound, as well as a space with gallery facilities to support both temporary and permanent art displays and improved disabled accessibility.
The feasibility study in full
- Return the interior to its former layout and re-discover the world-class acoustics of the space;
- Install innovative mechanisms to enable the stage and seating layout to be adjusted;
- Install modern theatre technology, including lighting, sound, blackout and ventilation;
- Refurbish the entrance foyer, adding a refreshment area and catering facilities;
- Maximise the use of the unique amphitheatre by providing access from the inside;
- Improve the disabled accessibility, and;
- Install gallery facilities to support both temporary and permanent art displays.
Thank you to everyone who contributed towards the funding of the feasibility study by making or buying artwork, volunteering or donating straight to the cause during the abSecretArtAuction in December 2018
The next stage
The School Trust will need to raise £1.3 million to make this ambitious, yet vital project get off the ground. While we are hoping to secure some of the funding through various trusts, we will still need support from families, staff and friends of the school.
Ways to donate
Please consider giving a regular donation. You can fill in this form or sign up on line:
One off Donation
If you would like to send a cheque please make it payable to Acland Burghley School Trust and send it to the address below. If you pay tax in the UK, don’t forget to download the gift aid form. Acland Burghley School Trust can reclaim the basic rate tax (20%) on your gift. So, if you donate £10, it is worth £12.50 to the Trust.
Our other fundraising campaigns
We are always keen to receive ideas from students, staff and parents for projects which need funding and will always work closely with the school to ensure the money is spent wisely and appropriately.
Better Spaces and Experiences
Help the School Trust provide funding for extra-curricular opportunities and to improve the school environment. In recent years, we have supported the creation of an ‘urban orchard’, landscaped gardens, outdoor tennis tables and residential trips.