About Us


Our mission is to enrich entire communities through high quality professional theatre

 

About Us

Red Rose Chain at The Avenue Theatre is a beacon in Ipswich for people needing a place to belong. It is a theatre company working from beneath the grass roots with the disadvantaged and the marginalised.

Many of our practitioners and volunteers are those whose lives have been turned around by Red Rose Chain. We believe in change and have created a finely balanced, welcoming and creative environment which nurtures our
participants, builds their self-esteem and radically improves their life.

“Red Rose Chain’s work is very brilliant, wonderfully unpatronising and rooted in a real vision for artistic excellence and humanitarian compassion.” – Emma Freud, OBE

Every week at Red Rose Chain we run inclusive, free at source workshops for disadvantaged young people, disabled young people and young people with mental health issues as well as adults with mental health issues, learning difficulties and struggling with addiction.

We partner with mental health charities to run creative workshops and volunteer programmes for service users and for older people with dementia. Parents and families meet here in a safe environment and support each other while celebrating the achievements and progress of their children and siblings.

“Feeling accepted, loved and supported by Red Rose Chain has been instrumental in my ongoing recovery. It feels like a family here.” – Leo, Project participant

We partner with pupil referral units and local schools to run projects with young people with behavioural problems and those at risk of committing crimes and we specialise in creating sensory theatre productions for disabled young people.

“We work day in, day out with these guys and they are so difficult to reach. And you have reached them today and brought them out of themselves. You gave them light. Words cannot express how grateful we are.” – Chris Benson, SEN Teacher

Using outreach work and highly discounted tickets offers we have been really successful in welcoming 100’s of people into The Avenue that were completely new to the arts. Everyone is made to feel welcome.

For us, working with the community isn’t just an add-on thing we do to show we care. It’s the heart behind all of our work and fuels everything that we do, and we rely on your support to help us continue this vital work – which is arguably more important now more than ever. Buying a ticket, making a donation, offering to host a fundraiser for us…It all makes a HUGE difference!


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Whether we’re performing Shakespeare or developing new writing, we are always finding ways of engaging and involving youth groups, schools and hard to reach audiences who might not normally have the chance to experience the arts.

We create new plays and films through a unique process that involves working with all sorts of people to develop candid and authentic stories. We’ve collaborated with prison inmates, young people in care, single parents and members of drug rehabilitation projects to name but a few.

Whatever we do, we aim to give these people a voice through original work and a chance to experience high quality art without barriers, without prejudice and without patronizing them.

Across the board our productions strive to challenge thinking, to encourage debate and to raise the expectations and ambitions that we have of ourselves and those around us.

Awards & Accolades

We’re not here to chase trophies of course, but nevertheless it is always nice to be recognised for our successes. Here is a selection of some of the honours Red Rose Chain have received for our work


‘Award in recognition and appreciation of the positive contribution Red Rose Chain has made in helping Ipswich become a Dementia Friendly Community’
Councilor Roger Fern
The Mayor of Ipswich, 2017

The High Sheriff’s Special Award for the Arts 2016
COMMENDED
High Sheriff’s Awards, Suffolk, 2016

Highly Commended
Awarded to The Avenue Theatre
RICS 2016


Featured on ‘The Independent on Sunday’s Official Happy List 2014’
Highlighting the work of 100 amazing people who are working hard to make a positive difference.
Awarded to Joanna Carrick
The Independent on Sunday, 2014

‘Best Community Film’
(Walking Away)
Rob Knox Film Festival, 2011

‘Not For Profit Business of the Year’ ‘Youth Organisation of the Year’
Anglian Business Awards, 2009 & 2011 High Sheriff’s Awards, Suffolk, 2009


‘Bronze Award for Film Making’ ‘Gold Award ‘
BMA Film Award, 1998 (Cherry Picker)
Healthy Ambitions Suffolk, 2009

Best Marketing’ ‘Best Dramatic Short’
Anglian Business Awards, 2008 (Friday Night Shirt)
HD FEST, Los Angeles, 2008

‘Outstanding Achievement in Film Making’ ‘Award for ‘Improving the lives of Young People’
(Moving On Up)
Newport Beach Film Festival, 2002
NHS Health & Social Care Awards, 2001

Work With Us

**Current call out for Stage Hand volunteers**

Got some spare time over the Summer holidays? Fancy lending us your strength to help out with Theatre in the Forest? Then look no further! We’re looking to recruit a team of enthusiastic and energetic volunteers to lend us a ‘stage’ hand for our upcoming production of As You Like It at Jimmy’s Farm! Volunteering with us will give you the chance to work in a fun and friendly environment and will give you some invaluable insight into what goes on back stage. If you are available now and would like to be considered please send an email to SarahATredrosechain.com

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From volunteering as part of our marketing team, to freelance work or becoming a member of one of our weekly workshops, there’s a place for you at Red Rose Chain.

Starting out as a little known team of artists, we’ve now become a multi-skilled production company combining grass-roots community work with the highest artistic quality.

To find out more about how you can get involved with us and introduce yourself to the team, email info@redrosechain.com

Meet the Team


Joanna Carrick - Artistic DirectorArtistic Director

Joanna Carrick

Artistic Director and founder of the company, Jo has directed over 30 plays and films with Red Rose Chain. Her role also includes project management, leading workshops, script writing, directing and the evaluation of projects.


    Sarah Haskins - Marketing LeadMarketing Lead

    Sarah Haskins

    Sarah started working with us in the summer of 2013. Her roles include all aspects of marketing shows, managing online content and designing artwork for many of our productions. If you want something drawn - go to her!


      Luke Lancaster - Finance AssistantFinance Assistant

      Luke Lancaster

      Luke has recently come back to us after taking some time off to spend time with his newly born son, Luke specialises in finance and reporting with no excel sheet or report to big for him to deal with. He works very closely to David with the finances to make sure the company is in tip top shape for us to deliver all of our amazing work within budget.


        Ken - Dog/Mascot/Mans Best FriendDog/Mascot/Mans Best Friend

        Ken

        Our resident receptionist and office mascot, Ken arrived at the company in the summer of 2010. He has since grown in stature - but not a lot! - and is considered a vital member of the team. He sleeps more than most of us though!


          David Newborn - ProducerProducer

          David Newborn

          David is Red Rose Chain's Producer, as well as an accomplished writer, cameraman and editor. He is closely involved in the project and financial management of our work and develops the company’s links with other organisations and funders


            Chester Ward - ApprenticeApprentice

            Chester Ward

            Chester has been a part of Red Rose Chain in various ways since 2010 when he first started volunteering with us, including as a dedicated member of our Youth Theatre. Through his hard work and dedication Chester excelled in his work placement and we are delighted that he is currently an apprentice with us, and we're excited for his future as part of RRC!



              • Oooo what are we up to today?......Wait and see! *hint* #TheElves rehearsals have begun!! 🎄🎅🎄 https://t.co/Lu3oOaeFVT
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