Arcola Creative Engagement to present opera for under 5s and a new musical devised and performed by Hackney young people

Arcola’s Creative Engagement department – which works with the local community and creates over 11,000 opportunities for participation and talent development – is to present two productions as part of this year’s Grimeborn opera festival.

The first, OPERA MOUSE, extends Grimeborn’s inclusive and captivating programme to under 5s. The production follows Tilly Mouse who lives under an opera house and she just loves to sing! But whenever anyone sees her, they scream and run away. With determination, imagination and help from her friends, Till proves that even a mouse can be a star. Opera Mouse has been performed in venues all around the world, ranging from a theatre in Canada, an orphanage in Morocco, a school in Sudan and a shopping mall in Algeria.

This heart-warming solo show, with puppetry comes from acclaimed Canadian soprano Melanie Gall, and provides an enchanting introduction to the opera form, as well as an opportunity for young people to sing on stage. Now it comes to Grimeborn for one day only. As Arcola’s first Grimeborn production specifically for familes and U5’s, a range of ticket options are being offered to make this show as accessible as possible.

The second, V, is an opportunity to see how young people in Hackney aged 14-25 are responding to issues of identity and belonging, and for the young people themselves to produce a new musical from Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. Developed with the support of Hackney Council via the Discover Young Hackney Festival, this production is the result of workshops with local young people, who worked with a director and composer on all aspects of the production, from script, through lyric and music composition. This production follows previous’ acclaimed Grimeborn Youth Projects including Something Inside So Strong in 2016.


Creative Engagement Manager Nick Connaughton said,

“Grimeborn is an opera festival for everybody. With these two projects, Arcola Creative Engagement is
ensuring not just that younger audiences can participate in the festival, but that they can have their voices heard as well.”

Tickets for both productions are available now, online at , or in person or over the phone Monday – Saturday 12.30-6pm on 0207 503 1646.