Leave a Legacy



“In gratitude to Theatre Royal Stratford East, I am leaving them a legacy – might you do too?”

Ian McKellen

Theatre Royal Stratford East is a special place – what makes it so is the people that are at the heart of it. We talk about all being part of a ‘family’ and how everyone who comes through our doors stays connected with us in some way.

Since 1953 we have had relatively few Artistic Directors; Joan Littlewood, Ken Hill, Maxwell Shaw, Claire Venables, Philip Hedley and, of course, myself. Each of us has taken the theatre forward in our own way; however, throughout we have kept the same values at the theatre’s core: serving the aspirations and concerns of our community. I believe we truly are ‘A People’s Theatre’.

Our community in the London Borough of Newham shapes every aspect of our life. Today that community is young, ethnically diverse, predominantly working class and hugely vibrant. Arts engagement is the lowest in England and over 100 languages are spoken in our local schools. Over half the population are under 30 years and many young people are still growing up in low income homes. 

By telling stories that people can relate to and by keeping ticket prices affordable, we attract audiences that are unlike those found in any other theatre in London or across the UK. We are proud to stage world-class work that is relevant to our audiences and brings people together to share their ideas with each other, as well as with us. And, we do all of this through giving opportunities for the young people and young talent around us to find their own voices. 

Theatre Royal Stratford East is a registered charity and support from individuals is a vital cornerstone of our work. Legacy gifts play an important part in securing our long term future; every donation helps and no amount is too small.

I hope that you can consider yourself part of this family and leave a gift for future generations.

Kerry Michael
Artistic Director 


“I have left a gift in my Will
and hope that others may
be inspired to do so.”

Murray Melvin, member
of Theatre Workshop and
theatre archivist

Find out more information about leaving a legacy for Theatre Royal Stratford East here.

If you are thinking of leaving us a gift in your Will we strongly recommend you consult with your own professional independent advisor. A valid Will is the only guaranteed way to make sure your wishes are carried out. Some helpful suggested wording and a Codicil template can be found here. 

Photo credits: Sarah Dunn for Ian McKellen and Robert Day for Murray Melvin.

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