This month we spoke to Miriam Mussa, Community Education Manager at the Royal Court, about what works for them when it comes to engaging older audiences.
‘The choir is open to anyone over 16, but it has just organically developed that the majority of members are older people.
One specific activity that we do which is very popular and has been very successful is the afternoon Variety Lunch Club, which is aimed at older people. This project came about after consultation with a number of organisations and older people who wanted to visit the theatre and to be entertained, but not at night time. We worked with Help the Aged and a number of other charities.
This event is twice monthly and costs £6 for dining and £3 for non dining; it’s affordable, accessible, and sociable, engaging older people in the arts and theatre, supporting well being and reducing isolation.
The Variety Lunch Club is not advertised and is always sold out – people book for the next one straight after attending. We also make sure community groups, housing associations and care homes etc know about it, and the cost is subsidised to keep it low and affordable.
We also do heritage tours of the building now and again, and although these are open to all, we do get a lot of older people interested.
Over the years the building has undertaken phases of work to ensure that it is accessible for all, by fitting a lift and access to all floors (which was not possible before), installing a hearing loop, hosting signed performances and so on. This means that everyone has access to arts and culture.’