Slung Low: The Community – Their Priority

Slung Low Theatre Company is firmly established as a company doing all it can to support the South Leeds community and has launched a scheme to ensure that every child in Holbeck receives its published book ‘Emergency Story Penguin’.

Members of the Slung Low team spent a week at Ingram Road Primary School, reading the book to all 340 children, who each received a copy.

Ruth Middleton, who is Slung Low’s Community Producer: “It was an absolute joy to take the book to the pupils at our local schoolwe all loved it. We do a lot of work with the school and when we discovered there were pupils who started at the school without books, we set about changing that. Now every one of those kids has at least one book.”

Joanna Resnick in a Reading Session

Ruth’s co-readers were producer Joanna Resnick, Community Director Sally Proctor and Ruth Saxton, Community Producer.

Alan Lane, Artistic Director, believes that theatre companies should redefine their operations:

There are kids in Leeds without books, without crayons – how can that be?Every child should have a book and we’re determined that every kid in Holbeck will have one by Christmas.”

For the first time, the company has broken away from ‘pay what you feel’, but the money will be ploughed back into printing more copies of the book to sell as well as to give away.

We want to keep this going so we are asking people to buy two for £12 and we will donate one of them to a childIf I get my way, every kid in Leeds will have a copy of Emergency Story Penguin,” Alan said.

Emergency Story Penguin tells the story of an adventure around the secret underground tunnels that connect every theatre where stories are stored and told. It opens with ‘Stories are everything. How we feel. How we learn, How we share. Our stories are who we are.’

Alan concluded: “We’re particularly pleased to be sharing this book with kids at this time, because encouraging people to understand that theatres and the arts are vital is needed now more than ever before. Slung Low believes that access to culture is a fundamental part of a happy life. We believe that actions, however small, can have a big impact – and we believe that culture can change our world for the better.”

Emergency Story Penguin by Slung Low with illustrations by Heledd Rees, words by John Hunter, and Design by Lee Goater. is on sale here.  

Feature photograph shows Ruth Middleton and Ruth Saxton.

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