Bristol Old Vic scheme, Young Six Six, awarded Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation Arts Grant

20 Jan 2020

Bristol Old Vic is delighted to announce its Young Six Six initiative has been awarded £20,000 as one of 16 new arts awards given by the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation. Its aim is to “unlock hidden talent” from across the UK, widening opportunities and increasing diversity in the arts.

Young Six Six is an initiative which began through Bristol Old Vic’s Engagement Department in 2019 and is an ensemble that meets regularly at Bristol Old Vic to make and watch theatre. 

It draws young people from across the centre and north of Bristol to take part in the project through schools and youth clubs. The aim of the project is to offer pathways into theatre for young people who may not have considered it before.  

Young people that take part in Young Six Six go on to take part in Bristol Old Vic productions and Young Company sessions, the most recent being the sell-out production Antigone which starred Young Six Six company member Liana Cottrill in the title role. The ensemble is led by professional directors and facilitators Julia Head and Xahnaa Adlam and recognises the power of theatre to bring people together, increase confidence and become more understanding of others and the world around you. 

Young Six Six director, Julia Head said: “We feel incredibly fortunate to have received funding from the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation that will enable us to engage with more brilliant young people who might not otherwise be able to take part. It allows us to take these young people seriously as artists and foster them to be Bristol’s creative voices of tomorrow.”

Thanks to the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation, Young Six Six can continue to build on the success of the last 12 months, continuing to fund workshop practitioners and also offer company members transport costs and expenses, taking away many of the financial barriers that can exists for those who wish to explore theatre and find their own creative spark. 

Andrew Lloyd Webber said: “Engagement in the arts changes lives. The positive impact of the arts on health, social mobility and wellbeing is now irrefutable. I passionately believe that everyone in this country, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, should be able to participate. 

I am thrilled my foundation is able to support projects that widen access, inspire creativity and deliver opportunities. Around the country, across the arts, many people are doing brilliant things to unlock talent and empower the next generation to succeed. We are proud to work with them.”

To find out more about the Young Six Six project or to find out how to support other projects like it, visit our website

Bristol Old Vic is the longest continuously running theatre in the UK, and celebrated its 250th anniversary in 2016. The historic playhouse aims to inspire audiences with its own original productions, both at home and on tour, whilst nurturing the next generation of artists, whether that be through their 350-strong Young Company, their many outreach and education projects or their trailblazing artist development programme, Bristol Ferment.

They use their funding to support experiment and innovation, to allow access to their programme for people who would not otherwise encounter it, or be able to afford it, and to keep their extraordinary heritage alive and animated.

On 24 Sep 2018, Bristol Old Vic completed its 2-year multi-million pound redevelopment project, which transformed its front of house space into a warm and welcoming public building for all of Bristol to enjoy, created a new studio theatre and opened up its unique theatrical heritage to the public for the first time.

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