Watford Palace Theatre is a registered charity with a strong commitment to the local community, and as such we love to celebrate the culture, creativity, and history of Watford’s rich and diverse communities by showcasing them on our stage and theatre spaces.
We proudly work alongside a variety of partner organisations across the arts, voluntary, health and wellbeing, and youth sector, to deliver creative projects and programmes with our local community. Watford Palace Theatre is incredibly grateful for the generous funding received from the Garfield Weston Foundation to develop our youth and community programme, in association with the following organisations: Cathartic Arts, Watford African Caribbean Association, and One YMCA.
We’re keen to continue developing connections with our local community. There are many opportunities throughout the year for organisations, individuals, and groups to get involved with us, so if you’d like to learn more, volunteer, or have an idea for an event, please get in touch!
We are proud to work with the local community to create and produce shows on our stage and in our various theatre spaces as performers, promoters, designers, or technicians.
Take a look at some of our previous community productions below!
The 'Oss and the Ox (2014)
Directed by choreographer Kate Flatt and music director Adriano Adewale, The ‘Oss and The Ox was a lively, processional street performance project bringing together the Ox (the Bumba meu Boi) from Brazil and the ‘Oss (the Hobby Horse) from England. Participants from Field Junior School and Westfield Academy took part in creative dance and music workshops, culminating in a final outdoor performance with professional dancers and musicians, as part of the Imagine Watford festival in 2014.
Take a look at The ‘Oss and the Ox project here.
The Ballroom of Joys and Sorrows (2012)
The Ballroom of Joys and Sorrows was an original dance theatre work with live music created by choreographer Kate Flatt and composer Adriano Adewale and performed in 2012. The work drew on traditional English and Brazilian dance and music sources, which introduced the continuing resonance of dance as ritual and social interaction. A large cast of community dancers and performers were joined onstage by five professional performers called the Players, and four musicians.
Take a look at The Ballroom of Joys and Sorrows project here.
Hello, Mister Capello (2010)
A large-scale community play that was two years in the making. Involving over 100 participants taking part in dance, writing, drama, and music workshops to help create a play about their lives an experience.
The play, produced in 2008 to help celebrate Watford Palace Theatre’s centenary involved a cast of over 70 celebrating their stories and their community.
Watch this space for details of our next community production!
Our spacious town centre building is a haven for local community groups to meet, share, network and present their work. We’re delighted to be the home of several wonderful organisations.
Chinese Elders' Lunch Club and Language Class
Run by the Watford Chinese Association, this lively bunch meet on Tuesdays in our Green Room Bar.
Knit and Chat
Knit one, purl two and natter – if you fancy meeting like-minded individuals for cosy creations and chat, come along to our Green Room Bar on the third Wednesday of each month!
“It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.” ― Oscar Wilde
If you’re an avid reader who enjoys lively discussion and opinion sharing on literature, then the Reading Matters group could be for you! All are welcome to join in our Hospitality Room every other Thursday between 10am – 12noon.
Satsang Singing Group
The wonderful Satsang Singing Ladies are an Elders Hindu devotional singing group that meet every Thursday in our Hospitality Room.
To find out more about any of the groups listed above, or if you’d like a home for your club or society at Watford Palace Theatre, please contact our Take Part team on 01923 235455, or via the button below.
The Community Choir is a fun and friendly group led by choral conductor and musician David Halstead that takes place weekly on Wednesday evenings between 7:30-9:30pm at the theatre, or on Zoom during lockdown.
The Community Choir enjoys singing a varied repertoire including traditional choral works, show tunes and classic pop songs – everything from Fauré and Verdi to Bob Dylan and Abba! All are welcome to join – no audition is required for this group that focuses on the enjoyment of singing and learning along the way. Sheet music is provided, but it’s not essential to be able to read music to participate. Community Choir members often take part in concerts and tours in Watford and beyond!
If you’d like to join the Community Choir for a good sing, a cup of tea and some homemade cake, we very much look forward to singing with you! Free taster sessions are offered to all new members; click the button below to find out more!
Ever fancied gaining insight into what goes on behind the scenes of a working theatre? We offer tailor-made tours of our beautiful Edwardian auditorium and building, giving you the opportunity to learn more about the various roles and departments within the theatre that converge to create the wonderful shows you may have seen on our stage!
Design Your Own Roundel
Panto is back and we can’t wait! To celebrate this magical time, we’ve got another exciting community arts activity for you. We’re asking you, our wonderful community, to design your own roundel that will be displayed in our Front of House space during the panto season.
To get involved, download and print the roundel template below and either post or drop your completed design back to us at our address (below left), or by clicking the button below to email it to us. You can also email us to request a hard copy of the template, being sure to provide your name and address so that we can post a copy to you.
Hard copies are also available from our café and box office so why not pop in and pick one up (and treat yourself to a coffee and cake whilst you’re at it?!).
Please return your roundels to us by Friday 26th November. We can’t wait to see your completed designs!
- Design your own roundel templateDownload
Watford Big Bunting
In Spring 2021, we launched Good Will Bunting, a community arts project which asked the crafty so and sos of Watford to decorate a flag that reflected on their experiences over the past year. These flags were turned into beautiful bunting and decorated our Imagine Watford sites. So successful was this project, we devised, developed, and delivered The Fabric of Watford which sought even MORE flags, this time focusing on green spaces.
For both of these projects, we received over 550 flags which were used to decorate Imagine Watford, Stage in the Park, and our theatre building, but they are now safe and sound in our brand-new digital space, Watford Big Bunting. Here you can see every single flag that was made and find out more about our bunting endeavours.