Icon Theatre delivered a large-scale immersive and site-specific theatre production bringing together a professional creative team, a community ensemble of over 200 people and Icon’s award-winning young people’s programme Theatre31 into collaboration. The Ballad of St John’s Car Park celebrated the positive power of community activism in Medway, from the protested closure of Chatham’s Dockyard in 1984 to the Black Lives Matter movement in 2020.

“Tales that needed to be told. Important stories of human experience that hit home, connect to the heart and so needed to be heard. I felt emotionally moved, engaged, connected, uplifted and a part of an important message, we all matter and we can change our world. Congratulations on producing such a unique experience, working alongside professional actors was such a privilege”.

Community Performer/Participant

Organisational Sucesses

  • New ways of site-specific working
  • Supported the development of regional partnerships, funding and peer networks
  • Strengthened local partnerships and networks
  • Produced work that tackled challenging social and political issues
  • Enhanced reputation


  • Reached new audiences (25%)
  • 995 Audience members experiencing theatre in a non-traditional immersive setting
  • 109 Youth and community workshop participants

Creative Practitioners

  • Funded 29 creative practitioners to produce a new theatre work
  • Supported youth performers and community cast members to participate in large-scale immersive theatre production and gain new skills
  • Created opportunities for local emerging creatives
  • Established new informal networks of creative practitioners

Creatives involved

The Ballad of St John’s Car Park in numbers


'I just absolutely loved the show and would love to get involved in the future. I thought that Jaye was amazing and as a fellow trans person I really connected with them. And seeing that they studied at Rose Bruford where I may be going has pushed me even more to potentially auditioning to go there.'

Audience member