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London Festival 2012 - The Ripple Effect by Ursula Rani Sarma

Published by: Louise Winter on 9th Jun 2012 | View all blogs by Louise Winter


The Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG) is hosting an exciting creative writing project as part of the London 2012 Festival which runs from 21 June until 9 September 2012 and connects international artists with the best from the UK.

The Ripple Effect has been commissioned by the ATG Foundation, a charitable trust, established in July 2009, to support groundbreaking Creative Learning projects in ATG’s 39 venues nationwide of which Milton Keynes Theatre is one.

The ATG Foundation has commissioned award-winning Playwright Ursula Rani Sarma to work with young people across the UK. Ursula is a critically acclaimed writer whose plays have been performed, published and translated extensively in the UK and Ireland and on the international stage. Prior to The Ripple Effect, Ursula has written for The National Theatre, The Traverse Theatre and The Abbey Theatre amongst others. She said, “this is an incredibly exciting and ambitious project both in terms of its affiliation with the London 2012 Festival and the opportunity to work with so many individuals throughout the UK. It feels like a truly ground breaking project and I am thrilled to be involved.”

The Ripple Effect project aims to engage young people from diverse backgrounds with limited experience of arts and theatre engagement. Individuals will acquire new skills based on the discipline of acting, working with professional artists, theatre staff and peer groups in a cultural workplace and self management.

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Ursula will be working with 27 groups of young people across the UK to produce five short plays of approximately 15-20 minutes that are linked thematically and loosely inspired by the concept of the Olympic Truce. Each piece will stand alone and will also fit together chronologically to deliver a complete full length play. All five plays will be performed together to create a powerful piece of theatre at the West End Gala being planned to showcase this exciting work.

The initial creative consultation phase will involve Ursula travelling to meet with several hundred young people, from various backgrounds, around the UK, and will be supported by ATG's highly experienced Creative Learning Managers. After this period, Ursula will then write the five plays that will make up The Ripple Effect.

Kully Thiarai, The Ripple Effect Creative Director, said, “Enabling young people to unleash their imagination, develop their curiosity and explore the big ideas and issues of our time are core to this project. Each individual will be part of a network of voices, ideas and stories that will help shape and inspire the writing of the five pieces; culminating in their voices being heard locally and in the heart of the West End.”

The Ripple Effect project will be delivered in the following UK venues:

Stoke-on-Trent, Regent Theatre Performance Date: Friday 6th July

Wimbledon, New Theatre, Richmond, Richmond Theatre, Bromley, Churchill Theatre Performance Date for the 3 London venues is Wednesday 25th July. These venues will join forces to perform a mini Gala performance at Richmond Theatre

Milton Keynes, Milton Keynes Theatre Performance Date: Sunday 29th July

To book tickets for Milton Keynes 0844 871 7852 (bkg fee).

Liverpool, Empire Theatre Performance Date: Tuesday 31st July

Sunderland, Empire Theatre Performance Date: Friday 24th August

Glasgow, Kings Theatre Performance Date: Saturday 1st September

The London 2012 Cultural Olympiad is the largest cultural celebration in the history of the modern Olympic and Paralympic Movements. Spread over four years, it is designed to give everyone in the UK a chance to be part of London 2012 and inspire creativity across all forms of culture, especially among young people.

The culmination of the Cultural Olympiad will be the London 2012 Festival, a spectacular 12-week nationwide celebration bringing together leading artists from across the world with the very best from the UK, from Midsummer’s Day on 21 June and running until the final day of the Paralympic Games on 9 September 2012.The London 2012 Festival will celebrate the huge range, quality and accessibility of the UK’s world-class culture including dance, music, theatre, the visual arts, fashion, film and digital innovation, giving the opportunity for people across the UK to celebrate the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Principal funders of the Cultural Olympiad and London 2012 Festival are Arts Council England, Legacy Trust UK and the Olympic Lottery Distributor. BP and BT are Premier Partners of the Cultural Olympiad and the London 2012 Festival.

For more details on the programme, to download the London 2012 Festival official guide and to sign up for information visit


1 Comment

  • Cameron Lowe
    by Cameron Lowe 6 years ago
    Thanks for posting this, Louise. The Cultural Olympiad is a great project and The Ripple Effect really helps to bring the London 2012 Festival spirit to venues around the country.
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