The Aldgate Play


The Aldgate Play will be performed on the new Aldgate Square in May 2018; to celebrate it's opening and the history  and present day life of Aldgate. The play is being developed, created and will be performed by over one hundred individuals, groups and school children from Aldgate and surrounds. This is your invitation to take part.  Community plays have been developed by Jon Oram and his team across the world for the past four decades.


This is Aldgate's turn...



The first question most people ask about the play is "What will it be about?".  The answer is one of the most exciting parts of the project in the early stages we simply don't know.  However over the past twelve months of research and meetings the play is slowly emerging. We are now reaching the final stage of writing but there is still time for you to input your ideas and comments. Every first Wednesday of the month we meet to hear how the script has developed and discuss the next step. See the Events page for information about the next meeting.


Claque Theatre has over four decades developed a process of 'finding the play' which involves a playwright working collaboratively with the community. A play is now growing out of regular meetings and research by the residents and others associated with the area and the playwright, theatre director Jon Oram.  It is important that everyone who wants to has the chance to influence the play. The first step for the Aldgate Play was a broad consultation  that identified the most pressing and potent contemporary concerns facing the area. We then researched stories  from Aldgate's past that has resonances with todays' issues.  The play is therefor a chronicle of our past, present. and hoped for future.  The area around Aldgate has been home to the greatest chroniclers of London.  Now you have an opportunity to chronicle your community through a play. 

This is the story so far:

Set in 1887 -1888 the play tell a series of six stories about people whose lives cross. The Brigson Family, George who relies on his son William, who is the sole earner in the family until they fall on even harder times; Georges' daughters Emma who joins the match girls strike, and Victoria who's failed attempts to be a music hall start leads her down a path towards vice. Then there William Garners fiancé Lizzie Garner whose ambitions to become a salvation army slum saviour gets in the way of love. Meanwhile Azzad, Ayan and Miah ( Bengali lascars and an Ayah) are abandoned and left to find an existence on the streets of Aldgate and Whitechapel. Meanwhile a young jewish musician, newly escaped from the pogrom in Poland brings beauty in this world whilst a group of socialist reformers and Salvationists do what they can do to feed both body and soul.




Creating the Play

"Entertaining Strangers" by David Edgar - A Community Play for Dorchester