About Applecart Arts
We at Applecart Arts believe that stories are potent and have the power to challenge, change and strengthen communities.
We work with a wide range of artistic disciplines – creating original music, film, visual art and drama. We combine this with our long-standing commitment to community engagement and a pursuit of artistic excellence.
We aim to reach across cultural divides and tell stories which engage, inspire and entertain our audiences.
Launched in 2008, the company began by telling stories to a regular monthly audience in a pub in Whitechapel, London. Since then Applecart has toured to various venues, pubs, theatres and universities around the country.
Applecart has also extended its storytelling into film, making numerous short films and documentaries. Find out more about our films here.
Applecart was formerly based in Tower Hamlets in The Old School Room, available to local artists who worked alongside us as we built community links and partnerships. Since January 2017 we have been based at the Harold Road Community Centre in Upton Park. Read more about the Harold Road Centre here.
Our future remains true to our storytelling roots; searching for narratives across the arts, and championing voices that might otherwise be unheard or ignored.
Applecart’s early work includes over twenty original storytelling performances utilising drama, music, comedy and film. This work toured venues around the country.
In 2013 we completed a project working in partnership with the East London Community Land Trust and Linden Homes to collect stories from the local community, engaging with schools, local faiths groups and community centres, exploring themes of immigration and diversity. These stories, and the art that resulted from them, culminated in a visual art exhibition and the installation of two public artworks on the sight of the redeveloped St Clement’s Hospital in Bow.
Applecart’s Old School room continued to promote and encourage local musicians, storytellers and artists, promoting open days as a platform for new work. We were pleased to house the East End’s ‘Shuffle Festival’, curated by Danny Boyle, as it took it’s fledgling steps, and we later performed an original telling of Charles Dicken’s ‘The Chimes’ at their winter event in 2014. A year later we filmed and released six short storytelling films which continue to reach audiences in over 150 countries worldwide.
Our last Old School Room project was a series of four documentaries, presented by a local spoken word artist and highlighting the hurdles faced by people living in poverty in the UK today.
In 2016 Applecart moved to new premises in Newham, in the Harold Road Centre, and opened Applecart Arts in early 2017.
Since then, we've concentrated our efforts on creating platforms and pathways for emerging artists who are exploring themes that directly relate to the concerns of our local community. Recent projects include a schools theatre tour of play examining the aftermath of knife crime (Iz Dis a Dagga, 2019), a touring visual art exhibition called Transitions: Seen Unseen (2019) celebrating migration and movement and a film project with men in a young offenders prison and young people at risk of crime (INSIDE OUT, 2019).
In October 2019 we launched ShoutOut Festival showcasing sixteen theatre performances exploring creative responses to hate and violence.
March 2020 saw us shutting our doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but that wasn’t going to stop us! We put our history of film making to good use and launched a thriving live streaming programme, starting with The Flying Seagull Spectacular which was watched around the world by over 6000 people.
Throughout 2020 we continues to help performers broadcast their work online, and in the October of that year presented Dazed New World, a festival of live streamed shows that tackled issues including social injustice, environmental concerns and mental health, all looking at positive future narratives post Covid. December 2020 saw us launch our On Demand platform, so our audiences could watch some of our favourite shows whenever they like.
In January 2021 we welcomed four Artists in Residence, each presenting a work-in-progress showing via our online platforms. We can’t wait to see how these projects develop.
We’re excited for the future of Applecart and where our work will take us next!
Applecart Arts is not just a venue providing rehearsal rooms, performance spaces and art studios. We also produce and encourage new work.
The team are keen to work with other creatives who are nurturing new ideas and developing innovative ways of working.
We’re always on the look out for ways in which we can support and encourage actors, directors, writers, visual artists, producers, musicians, spoken word artists and any other creatives to grow and develop.
Live stream your work to an online audience, directly from Applecart Arts! In this rapidly evolving world, live streaming is bigger than ever, and we want to work with you! Since launching, our live streams have reached over nearly 10,000 viewers all over the world, from local London viewers all the way to Seattle, Melbourne and Cape Town!
Applecart has a strong history of film and documentary making and with high-quality equipment and capabilities for multi-camera set up we can help you to broadcast your work online to a wide audience.
Just contact firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more about how we you can bring your work to life on an online platform.
SEEDS 21 is a free opportunity for young individuals (between 12-18 yrs) to explore, create and grow within an inclusive and encouraging performance environment. Find out more
Our theatre space offers an open invitation to producers hoping to engage with a wider audience. Our creative team is always happy to discuss whether our space is suitable for any variety of performance material. We prioritise work which addresses the troubled times we live in.
Applecart has a long-standing history of providing studio space for visual artists and creatives. We are always looking for ways to promote our resident artists, displaying art around the building and hosting open studio days.
Our team have spent long enough in rehearsal rooms to know the kind of support visiting companies need. We work hard to make sure our rehearsal spaces are affordable and comfortable. Read more
Please note: our cafe is currently not open to the public
Applecart’s café is a community hub which hosts, spoken word, comedy, music and regular social events. We also offer opportunities to meet and talk with the creative team, to suggest new ideas. Read more
Applecart Arts is a non-profit making organisation. All of our income goes back into programming exciting work and encouraging innovative creatives. We need all the help we can get and there are many ways you can support help us continue to be a venue which listens to the community it serves.