Islington People: Theatre team’s volunteer hunt as they branch out to movies

An Islington theatre troupe is set to recreate a time of punks, brick-like mobile phones and shell suits on the silver screen – and is calling for young volunteers to lend a hand.

The Blueprint Theatre Company is shooting a film about life in the borough in the 1980s and recently clinched �35,000 of lottery cash to fund the project.

Now the company, based in Bevin Court, Islington, is on the hunt for under-25s to join the production team – and will offer them a crash course in movie-making through first-hand experience on set.

Formed in 2009, Blueprint is run by three Islington thespians who cut their teeth together in productions at fringe theatres such as the Old Red Lion in St John Street.

Sally Rose, whose husband Mark Rose, 41, and friend Mark Sands, 42, complete the trio, said: “The three of us worked together on shows for about 10 years before we formed the company.

“Our mission is to make theatre that’s accessible and not highbrow or elitist. We want to interest people who might not usually go.

“One of the ways is to make it reflect people’s lives – which is why we’re doing this project.”

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Their 1980s docudrama will look back at the decade through the eyes of three groups – Chapel Market traders, Bevin Court residents and Islington Council workers.

It follows the success of their production Every Now and Then – based on the experiences of Islington residents during the Blitz – which packed out the re-opening of the Islington Assembly Hall in Upper Street last March.

Sally, who herself lives in Bevin Court, said: “I think there’s already been a 1980s revival within fashion and music and we just want to celebrate the period as well.

“It was a turning point – a defining time before mobile phones, Facebook and Twitter took over the world.”

Mark Sands added: “We’re giving the people of Islington the chance to recreate aspects of their own lives at that time.”

The final cut will be shown at Screen on the Green in Upper Street, Islington, in January next year.

Blueprint is also putting together an exhibition of stories, photographs and other 1980s artefacts to tour the borough at the same time.

n To apply to volunteer or submit your stories or photos email or visit the “80s Islington” Facebook page.