Shining a light on intergenerational work

(Part 1)

This year, our Creative Engagement team have been busy exploring the impacts and possibilities of intergenerational work.

Coordinator Izzy tells us:

“We love that people see our theatres not just as presenting houses, but as welcoming community spaces where exciting things happen, and where everyone is inspired to discover their creativity.

Increasingly, we’re learning that among the most powerful experiences we can offer are those that help build connections which might not otherwise exist. Intergenerational work – bringing together groups of different ages – is a brilliant exploration of this. Over the last few months, we’ve been trialling a number of creative projects to learn more about the benefits and well-being impact of intergenerational work in arts participation.

It’s been incredibly eye-opening and fulfilling to deliver as a team, and if the participant feedback is anything to go by, we’re at the start of a very inspiring journey!”

Let’s have a look at some of the intergenerational projects the team have been exploring...


Songs Across Time

This Easter, the Festival Theatre foyer was alive with the sound of music! Songs Across Time was a one-day event bringing together choir groups of different ages in a celebration of all things musical theatre.

A Junior Choir (ages 12-17) and Adults Choir (18+) enjoyed separate workshops learning classic and contemporary hits from the stage, before being brought together for a sharing which resounded throughout the building, bringing families and staff from all departments together to watch as the magic came together.

YAB large image.png

Podcasting stars of the future

In April, we were delighted to facilitate a skills-sharing session, led by former journalist and host of Capital Theatres’ podcast, Willy Gilder and four members of our Youth Advisory Board.

A former BBC broadcaster who now lives with Alzheimer’s Disease, there was much that Willy could share with the group in terms of interview skill and technique, first running through the core interviewing questions of WHO/WHAT/WHY/WHEN/WHERE, before giving the group a chance to hone their skills, turning the mic on Creative Engagement team members Claire Swanson and Alex Howard.

Alex reflects:

“It was a wonderful event, empowering both Willy to share on the skills learnt across a lifetime of broadcasting, and the YAB for having the bravery to ask difficult open questions.”

Alex points out that it was great to see confidence grow amongst the group as the session developed. He tells us how one of the young people;

“really rose to the challenge of asking open questions and being brave enough to wait out the silences and taking cogent notes. Willy shared some epic stories too from his “years behind the mic!”

While Willy thanked the young adults for attending;

“They are the radio and podcast stars of the future! An extraordinary group of young people”


Tea & Jamboree

On Monday 27 March, something magical happened at our ever-popular Tea & Jam – a monthly dementia-friendly celebration of music making and talent sharing. Our adult community were paid a visit by children from nearby Hope Cottage Nursery, who not only joined in for a boogie or two but also took the time to share some of their favourite songs with the group (many of whom were delighted to join in with the actions!). Reflecting on the event, volunteer Ailsa Tully notes;

“Seeing the instant connection between these two generations which seem so far apart was moving; it shows that we, as humans, can have fun and celebrate our sameness no matter our age or experiences… These events are known to close gaps between groups, reduce ageism and increase empathy.

From having the honour to take part in Capital Theatres’ first event of this kind, I can see that there was no struggle for these two groups to interrelate; each group only have respect and fondness for each other.”

If you’d like to know more about our intergenerational work or Creative Engagement programme, please reach out to the team on

Support our work

Thanks to the generous support of our Patrons, Friends and Funders we can continue to create magical experiences that cross generations.

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