Dramatic Need is a charity seeking creative solutions to difficult problems. We look to exercise this creativity in all areas of our work, including our fundraising.
Our previous events have included building a Victorian Carnival from scratch, original dramatic writing in a series of highly acclaimed theatrical productions, and unique artwork created by some of the world’s leading artists in our fine art and story-telling project ARTiculate.
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The Children's Monologues | The Market Theatre | 20th May 2016
Directed by James Ngcobo
Produced by Mfundi Vundla & The Market Theatre
Arguably the preeminent source of new and innovative theatrical culture in the Africa, The Market Theatre Johannesburg has stood as an emblem of hope, defiance and creative change throughout the Apartheid era and well into the modern age.
In the lead up to World Aids Day 2016, an extraordinary range of actors from across the continent gathered at this historic site to present The Children’s Monologues; a unique collection of stories originating with Dramatic Need’s young students, and translated for the stage by some of the world’s finest playwrights. Fifteen monologues were performed for a packed out audience, alongside music from the likes of Hugh Masekela.
Performers included Robert Whitehead, Chi Mhende, Gregory Mqoba, Sonja Radebe, Jamie Bartlet and Zoleka Vundla.
Drawing on the legacy of two productions at London’s Old Vic and Royal Court, as well as the children’s own performances for their community, the Market Theatre team adapted a selection of pieces from both scripts for a South African audience, bringing the project full circle.
Watch 'Goodness' performed by Lebo Toko & Greg Maqoma
The Children's Monologues | The Royal Court | 25th October 2015
Directed by Danny Boyle
Produced by Amber Sainsbury, Ruby McGuigan & Kobna Holbrook Smith
On October 25 2015 at the Royal Court Theatre, director Danny Boyle brought together an entirely new all-star cast and a brand new script for a once in a lifetime event. Based on the testimony of over 200 South African children, some of the best playwrights in South Africa and the UK contributed original writing to tell their stories.
Inspired by the joy, despair and shared humanity on the page, performers including Nicole Kidman, Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, James McAvoy, Kit Harington and Gugu Mbatha Raw threw themselves into a hectic 24 hour rehearsal, costume and staging period before acting as conduits for these children’s testimony, for an enraptured London audience.
In Rammulotsi Township, South Africa, the Monologues were performed by the children themselves on the same night for their own community and family. Proceeds funded the build of two new mobile arts centres.
All images below copyright © Simon Annand
Watch the making of The Children's Monologues at The Royal Court...
ARTiculate | The Victoria Miro Gallery, London | 27th November 2013
Produced by Amber Sainsbury, Vanessa Garwood and Kobna Holdbrook Smith
Our major fundraising initiative of 2013, ARTiculate, culminated in a one-night-only exhibition of original artworks drawing direct inspiration from the testimony of children. In London on November 27, the Victoria Miro Gallery played host to some of the leading names in British and international art.
Across the pond, our partner charity Global Art & Design Project launched with ARTiculate NYC. Stories describing an important moment or time in a child’s life were collected and shared with our contributing artists, leading to the creation of unique pieces from names including Anish Kapoor, Antony Gormley, Jake and Dinos Chapman and Whitney McVeigh.
Through our auction partners Paddle8, the sale of these pieces raised funds towards the charity’s ongoing expansion and the development of a new arts centre in South Africa.
Further information on ARTiculate NYC is available at the Global Art & Design project website.
Go behind the scenes at The Victoria Miro Gallery for our ARTiculate exhibition
The Children's Monologues | The Old Vic | 14th November 2010
Directed by Danny Boyle
Produced by Amber Sainsbury and Kobna Holdbrook Smith
In November 2010 the original Children’s Monologues was performed just once, simultaneously in London and in Rammulotsi township, South Africa. The project brought together cast and directors for one day only, giving them 24 hours to prepare for a sold out performance at The Old Vic Theatre. Retelling the experiences of the extraordinary children who participate in Dramatic Need’s workshops, via writers including Lynn Nottage, Dennis Kelly, Polly Stenham and Bola Agbaje, the production was covered by press outlets across the country and successfully funded Dramatic Need’s first permanent base of operations. The original Children's Monologues were brought to life by renowned actors including Sir Ben Kingsley, Benedict Cumberbatch, Eddie Redmayne, Rose Byrne and Gemma Arterton.
Watch the making of The Children's Monologues at The Old Vic...
Watch the making of The Children's Monologues in Rammulotsi
For information on volunteering with Dramatic Need, please visit our volunteering pages.