A £39,8000 grant has been awarded to Reading Rep Theatre and Reading Libraries for a brand-new adaptation of a classic children's production.

The money has come from the National Lottery funding by the Arts Council for a theatre adaptation of The Nutcracker, aimed at children aged 3-12 and their families.

The play may provide many with their first experience of live theatre.


The funding has been awarded through the Arts Council National Lottery Project Grants.

The new adaptation will be co-produced by Reading Rep and Reading Libraries and in association with Reading Studio of Dramatic Art, Jelly and Reading Arts.

It will be developed for Reading Rep Theatre’s Christmas 2019 Programme.

In addition to the theatre adaption of The Nutcracker, the project will also see Reading Libraries work with Reading Rep and the Local Cultural Education Partnership (LCEP) to improve and expand its outreach and participation work.

This will include a ten-month programme of participation initiatives for children aged 3-12, all with a literacy and storytelling focus – all driven by the employment of a part-time Education Officer.

This strand of work will include workshops across a range of local education settings, from nurseries through to secondary schools and special schools.

Outreach activity will include weekly workshops inspired by The Nutcrackers themes (Sept – Dec) in the build up to the performance.

From January – June 2020, Reading Libraries will develop and host a series of storytelling workshops that will encourage creativity, literacy and oracy in Reading’s disadvantaged schools.

This will build on its previous outreach work, which accompanied earlier productions, and has already engaged thousands of local children and young people.

Hedley Swain, area director, South East, Arts Council England, said: "We're really pleased to support Reading Libraries and Reading Rep Theatre’s new adaption of The Nutcracker.

"The project will offer local children and young people the opportunity to participate in a wide-range of activities, as well as working to support literacy.

"All children and young people deserve to experience and be inspired by creativity, the arts and culture; we’re proud to support a project that will make that happen for so many."

Cllr Karen Rowland, Reading’s lead member for Culture, Heritage and Recreation, said: “I am absolutely delighted Reading Libraries, in partnership with Reading Rep, has secured Arts Council England funding for this wonderful project.

"This generous award will enable us to offer a wonderful theatre experience for Reading’s children and local families all across the borough.

"I’m also particularly excited about the outreach work and storytelling workshops. We want to ensure children and young people in our town have the opportunity to aspire, achieve and participate in high quality arts and culture and to make a real difference to their quality of life and outcomes.”

Paul Stacey, artistic director at Reading Rep, said: "Reading Rep is absolutely thrilled to be collaborating once more with Reading Libraries on a Christmas production of The Nutcracker.

"It is our mission to ensure that everyone in Reading has access to high quality theatre and culture.

"Through this project we will have the opportunity to work with almost all primary and secondary schools throughout Reading ensuring that everyone, especially those with least opportunity, can access our work."

The Arts Council National Lottery Project Grants is the Arts Council’s open access programme for arts, museums and libraries projects, funded by the National Lottery.

It will support thousands of individual artists, community and cultural organisations.

For more information visit: https://www.artscouncil.org.uk/projectgrants.