“My favourite thing about the project was that the ideas in the plays were ours… And that it was for signing people as well as hearing.”

July already and the last month of the school year has been absolutely packed with theatre! On the 7th we saw our Mysterysolved literacy project culminate in an awards ceremony for participating schools on the stage of the St Martin’s Theatre, with special prizes for the top three writers and readings of their stories by the cast of the long-standing resident show, our namesake, The Mousetrap. We had a blast reading through all our students’ entries at Mousetrap HQ and selecting the winners!

A week later, rehearsals were in full swing for the showcase of our Stageseen Scripted participants’ plays. A team of Deaf and hearing actors came together to bring students’ stories of detectives and mermaids to dazzling life on the stage of the Soho Theatre, with captioning and BSL translation laid on to create an inclusive and active show everyone could enjoy together.

“My favourite thing about the project was that the ideas in the plays were ours… And that it was for signing people as well as hearing.” –Stageseen Scripted participant

School may be out for summer now, but we haven’t slowed down. We’ve been inundated with applications for Family First Nights, our annual summer holiday project that sees us team up with support workers and housing associations across London to give low-income families a trip to a top West End show. We seek out families we’ve never worked with before, and take the cost of tickets down to just £6 per head.

Some of the families we link up with have faced tough times lately, and rarely have the time or resources to go out together as a unit, or the experience and income to feel comfortable at the theatre. FFN gives them an outing they would never normally be able to access, and a chance to bond as a family without worries for an evening. We ran 2016’s first FFN trips over the week of the 25th, and received our first glowing feedback card on the 29th!

Our other holiday offering, Summerstage, kicked off last week too. Summerstage is a real challenge; 15 young people from different schools, youth groups, boroughs and backgrounds come together under the watchful eye of one of our experienced practitioners, and have a week of intensive workshops and a theatre trip together, on which they build a short ensemble performance piece of their very own and earn their Bronze Arts award.  In the photo our practitioner gives a pep talk to excited- and maybe a little nervous!- participants on Day 1 of Summerstage.

Summerstage is a great springboard into our independent theatregoing offers- we hope to welcome our hard-working Summerstagers into those in August!