We love the applause, we’ve had standing ovations, we’ve performed internationally for royalty and other dignitaries – but no matter where we are – a West End Theatre or a little church hall stage, when the lights dim, and we’re sweeping up – we’re simply grateful for another opportunity to pull heart from art.
This is who we are.
CLICK – originally conceived as “Upstage” was created in 1993 when Founder (and producer/director) Audrey, was elected Carnival Queen/Miss Hastings. During this time the image of young people was particularly bad, and she wanted to do something to redress that – so Audrey and a group of friends (all teenagers) decided to put on a show to give something back to the community.
They wrote and performed a musical called “King of the Road” in aid of 5 charities the RNLI, Age Concern, the NSPCC and two local charities – the Ashburnham Horse Rescue Centre, and X-Trax – a local appeal to create a “drop in centre” – which is now an award-winning thriving service. They managed to raise £250 and received the first Mayoral Award for community service.
Wanting to become a little more “hands on” – CLICK (then “Upstage”) began running drama workshops with local schools and “The Gateway Club” (Now Hastings & Bexhill Mencap), before progressing to their first “Full Scale” production “A Slice of Saturday Night” (The Heather Brothers) in 1994 receiving “The Gateway Award” and the “DeMelza Children’s Award”.
In 1995 Audrey received an invitation from the United Nations Malaysia Association (UNMA) to take a production to Kuala Lumpur to work with University Students – so she produced “The Pocket Dream” (Brewer & Toksvig), and raised the money for flights (accommodation was paid for by UNMA) through local community events in Hastings where the show team were supported by a number of local businesses, and a travel grant from “The Friends of UCL” – where Audrey was studying psychology.
“The Pocket Dream” ran at both the Matic Centre, in front of the Malaysian King and Queen, as well as the University of Kebangsaan with the proceeds supporting World Refugees. All performances sold out.
Audrey continued to produce mini fundraisers in Hastings during holidays from university, working with new members of the cast and team – many with no formal arts training, who built their confidence through being involved, and supported The Tree of Hope and the DeMelza Children’s Appeal – winning the DeMelza Award once again
In 1996, with her feet firmly under the University table, Audrey decided to produce “A Slice of Saturday night” (The Heather Brothers) once again, this time at The Bloomsbury Theatre, raising money for RAG week. The cast, band and team consisted of a group of Uni friends, raising the most money over the week, for which they were rewarded with a crate of beer!
And then the projects diversified!
Audrey joined the University of London Ballroom and Latin American Dance Society (BALADS), and as social secretary organised events in support of the Tommy’s Campaign, bringing members of the team perform a mini “Strictly” at the White Rock Theatre in Hastings in the Policeman’s Charity Ball in 1997.
Leaving Uni she moved to Oxford and from 1999-2001 joined in partnership with The Kirsty Forbes School of Dancing running dance and drama workshops with Witney & District Mencap, Cross-Roads and TAMS, as well as producing variety shows and pantomimes with the proceeds supporting local charities – including OXRAD – a sports centre for the physically disabled, the Headington Pensioner’s Christmas Appeal, and the West Oxford Community Centre. This partnership won the Dance School of the Year Award and the Witney & District Mencap Volunteer award.
From 2001 – 2010 – and renaming to “CLICK”, Audrey returned to London where she worked alongside The College of Law (she had pursued a PgDL 2001-2002 and became involved as choreographer for the theatre productions in 2001, and despite graduating, somehow never left until the retirement of George Daly the producer.) These shows complimented the legal training by offering teaching staff, and students performance opportunities building and embedding confidence in public speaking, learning new skills, and teamwork. This led to an invitation to produce “ROMERO” (Daly & Bauress) a new musical about the life of Oscar Romero working with The Romero Trust, and even showcasing the songs on Vatican Radio! Also, during this time Audrey decided Law - despite the opportunity for performance(!) wasn’t for her, and qualified as a secondary school teacher (of Drama and Psychology) in 2003.
Alongside The College of Law, Audrey produced the school shows from 2003-2007 with Richard III (Shakespeare) at The Barnet Arts Depot being part of a Guinness World Record; Chess The Musical (Andersson, Ulvaeus & Rice) having extracts showcased at Her Majesty’s Theatre, London; and Jesus Christ Superstar (Lloyd-Webber & Rice) being taken to The Edinburgh Fringe Festival where it ran for 8 performances. It was also at this point Audrey joined forces with David and Abigail!
From 2010 to date CLICK has produced plays, musicals and even a concert at local venues in support of local charities. CLICK has always worked with a core team, but invite and welcome a “rolling” cast and production support welcoming anyone who simply wants to have a go! This work has even resulted in invitations to run workshops in France, and a second invitation to Malaysia – this time from The Little Penang Street Market and Penang Performing Arts Centre where they ran dance and combat workshops as well as performing the Malaysian Premier of Fawlty Towers (Cleese & Booth).
With the resident team also working full time, CLICK continues to run workshops and shows – but now selects their projects to build awareness and fundraise for specific charity causes, for example – Calendar Girls (Firth) to highlight blood cancer in support of Leukaemia Research; Gaslight (Hamilton) in support of Mind – to draw attention to co-ercive control and gaslighting; 12th Night (Shakespeare) (a lockdown film) in support of Hope – the cast also released a promo about the charity; and Steel Magnolias (Harling) to focus on diabetes and support Diabetes UK.
Such events continue to bring wonderful opportunities for collaboration and CLICK has been privileged to present a concert with many Stage and TV wellbeing experts for Mind, as well as work alongside wonderful local charities such as The Lewis Foundation and Diabetes UK Midlands and East amongst others...all in celebration of the power of the arts to bring the best out of a community.