Fiona Mactaggart MP, for Slough is participating in a series of placements in cultural institutions in a programme run by the Industry and Parliament Trust.
She has used her experiences which have included sessions with the Royal Opera house, National Theatre, Pinewood Studios and many other institutions to inform her campaign for support for creative industries which are so important for the UK economy and a better strategy for creativity in education.
This week she spent some time with Chickenshed, an internationally renowned inclusive theatre centre which provides education at all levels to young people who want to be professionals in this field. While there she met Courtney Obrokwa who travels from Slough to Enfield every day to study here.
"I was not expecting to meet a constituent", said Fiona, "It's a long way to travel, but Chickenshed is unique and I understand why Courtney chose to study there. It's a place where everyone can contribute to exciting performances whatever their abilities. And everything they do reflects the values which Chickenshed embodies: including people and valuing them for what they can do, not focusing on what they can't.
“Like Courtney I have been learning. The Industry and Parliament Trust fellowship has shown me the richness of our country's contribution to the arts, it's been a powerful experience and I hope the contribution I have been able to make, from securing a performance in the Houses of Parliament to giving opportunities for young apprentices to meet the Culture and Skills Ministers have helped the many organisations which have generously hosted me. I wish Courtney every success in the future.”
Courtney said, “I was really excited to hear that my local MP, Fiona Mactaggart, was coming to Chickenshed to see what we do over here! We performed extracts of our BA Presentations to her and she loved them. She then chatted to us and it was brilliant to be able to introduce her to our work and my fellow students. She was keen to meet us all and chat with us about what we are doing now and our hopes for the future - I hope that she comes back to Chickenshed very soon!”