We at Applecart believe that stories are potent and have the power to change, challenge and strengthen communities.
We work with a wide range of artistic disciplines – creating original music, film, visual art and drama. We combine this with our long-standing commitment to community engagement and a pursuit of artistic excellence.
We aim to reach across cultural divides and tell stories which engage, inspire and entertain our audiences.
Launched in 2008, the company began by telling stories to a regular monthly audience in a pub in Whitechapel, London. Since then Applecart has toured to various venues, pubs, theatres and universities around the country.
Applecart has also extended its storytelling into film, making numerous short films and documentaries.
Until recently the company was based in Tower Hamlets where we made our premises, The Old School Room, available to local artists who worked alongside us as we built community links and partnerships.
Our future remains true to our storytelling roots; searching for narratives across the arts, and championing voices that might otherwise be unheard or ignored.
Applecart’s early work includes over twenty original storytelling performances utilising drama, music, comedy and film. This work toured venues around the country.
Our largest project to date has been a non-didactic telling of Mark’s Gospel called ‘i am Mark’. This controversial production premiered at the Leicester Square Theatre before touring to fourteen venues across the length and breadth of the UK.
We recently completed a project working in partnership with the East London Community Land Trust and Linden Homes to collect stories from the local community, engaging with schools, local faiths groups and community centres, exploring themes of immigration and diversity. These stories, and the art that resulted from them, culminated in a visual art exhibition and the installation of two public artworks on the sight of the redeveloped St Clement’s Hospital in Bow.
Applecart’s Old School room continued to promote and encourage local musicians, storytellers and artists, promoting open days as a platform for new work. We were pleased to house the East End’s ‘Shuffle Festival’, curated by Danny Boyle, as it took it’s fledgling steps, and we later performed an original telling of Charles Dicken’s ‘The Chimes’ at their winter event in 2014.
A year later we filmed and released six short storytelling films which continue to reach audiences in over 150 countries worldwide.
Our latest project is a series of four documentaries, presented by a local spoken word artist and highlighting the hurdles faced by people living in poverty in the UK today.
In 2016 Applecart moved to new premises in Newham and opened Applecart Arts in early 2017.
Applecart Arts is not just a venue providing rehearsal rooms, performance spaces and art studios. We also produce and encourage new work.
The team are keen to work with other creatives who are nurturing new ideas and developing innovative ways of working.
We’re always on the look out for ways in which we can support and encourage actors, directors, writers, visual artists, producers, musicians, spoken word artists and any other creatives to grow and develop.
Our theatre space offers an open invitation to producers hoping to engage with a wider audience. Our creative team is always happy to discuss whether our space is suitable for any variety of performance material. We prioritise work which addresses the troubled times we live in.
Applecart has a long-standing history of providing studio space for visual artists and creatives. We are always looking for ways to promote our resident artists, displaying art around the building and hosting open studio days.
Our team have spent long enough in rehearsal rooms to know the kind of support visiting companies need. We work hard to make sure our rehearsal spaces are affordable and comfortable.
Applecart’s café is a community hub which hosts, spoken word, comedy, music and regular social events. We also offer opportunities to meet and talk with the creative team, to suggest new ideas.
Applecart Arts is a non- profit making organisation. All of our income goes back into programming exciting work and encouraging innovative creatives. We need all the help we can get and there are many ways you can support help us continue to provide a venue which listens to the community it serves.