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True Colours Theatre: The Inspiring Story of a DIY SOS and Strictly Come Dancing Makeover

True Colours Theatre is an inclusive theatre school and registered charity for children and young people who live in the North East of England. It was founded in 2014 by Alisar-Jane, who is also one of the class teachers, after her niece was diagnosed with a life-limiting condition. The school offers a safe and supportive environment for its members to express themselves through performing arts and social activities.

In July 2023, True Colours Theatre was featured on the BBC One show DIY SOS: The Big Build, where a team of volunteers led by Nick Knowles and Gaby Blackman transformed a derelict building in Wallsend into a fully-inclusive performing arts school for the charity. They were also joined by three Strictly Come Dancing stars: Anton Du Beke, Katya Jones and Graziano di Prima, who helped with the renovation and taught some dance moves to the members. The team, along with a group of skilled volunteers, worked tirelessly to transform the theatre into a modern and accessible space that would benefit both performers and audience members alike.

The result was a stunning makeover that included a dance studio, a café, a sensory room, a sensory garden, and a huge glittering disco ball. The theatre now boasts state-of-the-art facilities, including improved accessibility for people with disabilities, updated lighting and sound systems, and a revamped stage area. The founder and CEO of True Colours Theatre, Alisar, was overwhelmed by the generosity and kindness of the community and the celebrities who made her dream come true. She said: 'We’re really proud of the fact that they’re able go out into the world and be themselves.’ 

The renovation of True Colours Theatre in Wallsend has been a resounding success. The transformation has breathed new life into the theatre and the local community, providing an inclusive and vibrant space for both performers and audience members. This project serves as a shining example of what can be achieved when individuals and television shows join forces to make a positive impact on society.