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Drama and martial arts merger hopes to combat community disconnect

A merger between the theatrical world and the martial arts is taking place in Peterborough as part of two organisations' May 17 comeback.
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Ross Willett (left) and Jamie Johannes (right), founders of ACT and Inspired Kombat Academy, are the brains behind the project

A local drama group has been working with a martial arts hub in Hampton to come back from the lockdown period in a way that, they believe, nobody has ever seen before.

ACT Peterborough has moved into space at Inspired Kombat Academy (IKA), with the founders of both businesses using the connection to get creative.

One of ACT's most popular events, the fortnightly Stage Combat workshop, now has an ideal setting, and the additional space has allowed the theatre group to expand its class offering. Weekly classes for adults will take place for the first time in a long time on Tuesday May 18, while a brand new class for young adults is starting from Wednesday.

When classes aren't commandeering the space, it will become a culture cafe; coffee, cake, tabletop games and a comfortable place for those who want to build their confidence and make some new friends.

The space is also used to offer a mental health support session, run by a trained and accredited hypnotherapist, giving people the chance to come and talk every Monday evening between 4pm and 8pm.

Rachel Linaker, member of ACT, said: "We are so excited to see what the future brings.

"Of course this brand new chapter would not have been possible without the support of Jamie Johannes, founder of IKA, and his team. He put out his hand and helped ACT back up when we were so close to closing our doors; he gave us a chance to build back up and expand when others wouldn't. 

"After a gruelling year Ross Willett, our founder, and ACT are determined to get going and give something back to the community; to bring everyone together again when we’ve all been so disconnected."

To find out more about ACT, check out its Facebook page here.

For more information about Inspired Kombat Academy, its webpage is here.