Friday 4 November October, 11am 

We are delighted to announce Icon Theatre is entering the Arts Council England National Portfolio, 2023 to 2026.  

Icon is one of 276 new companies joining the prestigious portfolio of 990 leading national, community and specialist arts organisations, and Investment Principles Support Organisations. 

Entry into the portfolio secures a three-year financial investment in the company from Arts Council England. 

 Nancy Hirst, Artistic Director/CEO says: 

‘Joining the portfolio will support Icon to continue its charitable mission, enabling those with low or no arts engagement to access theatre opportunities, with a focus on Medway’s young people.

We will continue to create participatory theatre that places local voices and stories centre-stage, and to support people to work in artistic collaboration with world-class theatre-makers. We will work with more freelance artists than ever before and redouble our focus on equality in the sector.

I would like to thank Arts Council England and congratulate the other successful organisations, including local Medway-based company Lyrici Arts and Emergency Exit Arts’.

Daniel King, Executive Director says: 

‘As well as an invigorated artistic programme, this investment will enable Icon to build more local cross-sector partnerships, and to bring creative skills to the area that will support the arts and the local creative economy to grow. 

I would like to thank all creative partners who contributed towards our successful bid. We look forward to sharing details of it in early 2023′. 

 Icon’s entry into the National Portfolio comes in our twentieth anniversary year, following two large-scale participatory theatre works involving hundreds of local people, The Ballad of St John’s Car Park and If Not Now, and the completion of our award-winning Youth Performance Partnership programme Theatre31 

Photo: Simon Kelsey



'Icon has been ahead of the curve in understanding that the arts have a role to play in bringing people together, helping them be heard by telling their own stories in their own way, and in the process creating a sense of pride in place and space.'
— Lyn Gardner, Theatre Journalist
78% of the participating young people said they were more confident and had more friends as a result of the project
— Six Ways To Wellbeing, young people's wellbeing project
‘Icon Theatre has given me new friends, taught me new skills and challenged my lack of self-belief’
— Community Performer
★★★★ ‘It is easy to take for granted the acting skills of a top theatre company. But when actors embody characters as superbly as this, you can’t help but notice.’
— The New Statesman
★★★★ ‘A sharp, impeccably performed and blazingly impassioned piece of theatre…simply terrific.’
— The Times
'It helps you learn, it helps you grow and become more of what you want to become.'
— Ruby - Icon Youth Theatre (Medway)

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