News & Insights

Rousing the crowd with Rabble Theatre Charity

In this charities and not-for-profit podcast episode, Ruo Wu had an animated discussion with Louise Gilmour, trustee and Chair of  Rabble Theatre. They spoke about how the charity provides educational opportunities for all, from its weekly Young Company and Get Up On Stage adult acting school, to masterclasses and holiday workshops, covering an exceptional range of theatre skills. They also discussed:

  • Louise’s journey with the charity, being inspired by “Matilda, the Empress” , the then Guardian Readers top 20 show for the year;
  • high level productions -often new writing based and set in Reading and contemporary stories;
  • how the charity serves people in and around Reading, with the mission to find a space for people to feel at home;
  • impressive audience engagement throughout and post-covid;
  • the importance of diversity for the charity & gender flipped Hamlet show;
  • work with the Young Company and Abbey School;
  • Rabble Hardship Fund with support from Reading Council;
  • the recent 3 summer school programmes for young people;
  • upcoming work with John Madejski Academy and Reading Girl’s School to deliver weekly after school clubs throughout the academic year;
  • launching “Finding Reading Festival” and planning the charity’s own new show; and
  • celebrating Rabble’s upcoming fund matching event – The Big Give, which will be 29th November to 6th December and the link will be on their website ( ), and the Launchpad Reading’s “The Big Sleep Out” at the Abbey Ruins on Saturday 8th October ( and Dingley’s Promise’s plans to expand with a new centre to support children and their families across Newbury and the surrounding area. They currently have the opportunity to receive 1:5 match funding for donations to this project, so if  are interested to make a difference, please contact [email protected].

Listen to the full podcast here:

Speaker bio: 

Louise is Chair of the Board of Trustees for Rabble Theatre. She trained at Rose Bruford College on the degree course and was a professional actor for over fifteen years, on stage, film and television.  During that time, she performed in the West End, at most regional theatres in the UK and played a main role in three series of  ‘The Piglet Files’, a TV sit-com starring Nicholas Lyndhurst.  After gaining a PGCE teaching qualification from Reading University, she joined Kennet School in Thatcham and became Head of Drama.  Whilst there the school received Arts Mark Gold status and became a specialist school for Theatre Arts. She was inspired to get involved in Rabble’s work when they were still ‘Reading between the Lines’ and believes Reading is a richer place as a result of their amazing work both on stage and within the community.