RESIDENTS in Swanage are being offered the chance to see the town's popular seaside theatre in a new light.

The Mowlem Theatre is running their first weeklong community engagement project which will see unseen areas of the theatre transformed into a multi-sensory backstage tour featuring new multimedia installations combining light, sound and video.

The project, funded by Arts Council England, will be done through workshops with young people across Dorset who may have never considered a career in theatre.

Ryan Joseph Stafford, who will be leading the project, grew up in Swanage and found a passion for theatre at The Mowlem.

He is now an award-winning lighting designer who works internationally in theatre, musicals and dance.

Mr Stafford said: “The Mowlem Theatre gave me a kickstart to a career in theatre.

“I’m excited to return to Swanage to share my skills with people growing up in Dorset, who may not have ever considered working in the arts as a viable career option.”

Behind the Scenes will be open to the community from October 2 to October 9, and tickets are now on sale with 15-minute timed entry slots to explore the building.

Tickets are £10 per household and free to those on Universal Credit.

The Mowlem’s operations manager Thomas Curtis said: “We are thrilled to be involved in a project that focuses on reaching parts of the Swanage community who don’t feel like they are able to access the theatre.

“People want to get to know us at The Mowlem and learn who we are. During our community survey, people said that they want us to ‘open up The Mowlem’.

“We want to be an approachable venue, eager to listen and learn from our community.”

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