Our History

1969 - founded by Drama Adviser Hugh Lovegrove and started life in the unused former headquarters of Dr Barnardo’s in Barkingside, Ilford.  

1975 - moved into its current premises in Churchfields, South Woodford. In its early days RDC was mainly a base for teachers courses, evening workshops with students and a place for working with school groups.

1978 -  began to operate as a fringe theatre venue and early visiting companies included Shared Experience, Women’s Theatre Group and Kaboodle.

1985 -  established as the media studies support service for Redbridge.

1995 -  formed its own resident professional theatre company which responds to commissions to create touring shows for schools, other shows for the fringe and work place training packages.

1996 -  was awarded a National Lottery capital grant to  extend the building to include a technical workshop, an additional small studio and additional backstage facilities. The  programme of out of school workshops was expanded to include classes for infants, lower juniors, upper juniors, young people, youth and adults.

2006 - after a change of leadership positioned itself as a fringe theatre venue, scheduling more performances by professional theatre companies.

2007 - became a Regularly Funded Organisation (RFO) of Arts Council England.

2012 - became part of ACE's National Portfolio.

2015 - was awarded NPO status by ACE  and was also awarded a Small Capital Grant to further enhance its facilities.  

2016 - RYTW are chosen to perform Gargantua to close the National Theatre Connections Festival.

2017- 2021 - Chosen again to receive ACE's Nationsl Portfolio status.

2019 - Vision officially took over the management of the Kenneth More Theatre in Ilford on 1 September 2019, and became a sister venue to RDC.

Arts Council England funding allows RDC  to expand the professional theatre programme and develop the resident and associate theatre company schemes as well as offering more opportunities for young people to watch great new theatre productions, be inspired by excellent artists - create their own work and perform to new audiences.

It's great that ACE has recognised RDC's contribution to the local and national arts picture. A further reflection of this was the award of a capital grant to continue developing the venue in order to improve the experience of children, young people and members of the wider community.


Leonardo Da Vinci - Lifelong Learning Programme

CineTrust is a cooperation of 4 non-profit European institution working on the field of filmmaking and theatre: House on the field Cultural Association - Polifilm School from Budapest, Hungary, Luzanky Leisure Centre - Studio Lavka from Brno, Czech Republic, London Borough of Redbridge - Redbridge Drama Centre and the Format SFF Foundation. There are three main goals: First is to give the opportunity for our students to learn from an international teacher-team. Second is to give them the possibility of making films in an international team using English as working language. The third is about the teacher-team: international know-how changing, learning from best-practises. For professional development we will arrange 4 international workshops: One to take place in each of the countries. The themes of the workshops are: editing, directing (including: acting and drama, framing, dramaturgy, script writing), camera-use, sound-technique. In parallel with the workshops we will arrange conferences for the teachers' team about training methods and they will write a common article about their experience.

We specifically expect that the project initiate co-production possibilities for beginner filmmakers. For this purpose students from different countries will make films together during the project and later these films will take part at the film festivals of the partner countries.


Budapest (Hungary) 2012 December 10-14. Film-workshop in Hungary. The subject of the workshop is camera directing and camera use. One short-film is produced in cooperation with the participants.

Brno (Czech Republic) 2013 March 31 - April 4. Film-workshop in Brno. The subject of the workshop is sound-technic. One short-film is produced in cooperation with the participants.

Balchik (Bulgaria) 2013 July 1-5. Film-workshop in Balchik. The subject of the workshop is editing. One short-film is produced in cooperation with the participants