Founded in 2000, Slung Low is an award-winning theatre company specialising in making epic productions in non-theatre spaces, often with large community performances at their heart.
Last year Slung Low joined forces with The Holbeck in South Leeds, the oldest working men's club in the UK, securing a vital community asset and providing a long-term base for our activities: running the bar as a traditional members' bar and the rest of the building as open development, performance and community spaces.
Consistent with this ethos, during the Covid pandemic Slung Low has provided a support hub for the community, with activities ranging from running a foodbank and distribution to socially-distanced outside performances.
So what's the problem? As we look to the future, we are critically aware that our main space for cabarets, the college, private functions, and everything else, is upstairs. And we have no lift! So we desperately need to make the building accessible so we can welcome everyone.
As well as the bar, the rest of the building has become a vibrant hub: a development space for artists, a venue where arts companies present and perform, and a place for just about anything else you ask of us. The spaces are available to anyone who needs on a Pay What you Decide (PWYD) basis, including: charities, community groups, schools, and private events.
We also run our Cultural Community College from here, a collection of adult educational PWYD courses: from stage combat to the ukulele to rapping to whittling.
‘Slung Low realise that is it by making work that is immediate, relevant, accessible and essential to people’s lives that will play a real part in community’ – The Guardian.
So we need to ensure everyone can join in. There are times when we have moved events downstairs to cater for individual's needs. But that's not possible with larger college courses or theatre performances. So there is a group of people missing out.
Gaynor attends college courses and would love to come to a cabaret, ‘It would be good to be totally wheelchair friendly. The Holbeck is more accessible for me to get there by public transport but I can’t use the main room. Having an accessible arts centre would be of benefit to me because I could be more active in my community.’ We know that many more of our community feel like this too and need the building to become properly accessible: and we need your help to do that.
Generous supporters have already gifted £60,000 but the cost of the lift that unlocks this space for everyone is going to cost £150,000 and so we've a way to go yet. With your help we can get there. The final amount is going to come from many places but we know that we have supporters keen to help so we started this campaign.