This past month has seen the run-up to the Mousetrap Cabaret, our biennial fundraising event for our donors and supporters.

Throughout April our team has been securing unique auction items, liaising with performers, taking table bookings, and working out the logistics of dinner for 300! On the evening of May 5th, guests took their seats in the Bloomsbury Ballroom for a night of dining, a live auction, and entertainment by premiere West End performers including Michael Ball and Downton Abbey’s Julian Ovenden.

We were also thrilled to bring to the stage a number of young speakers who have benefitted from Mousetrap’s projects, and to host a performance by 17-year-old Sangeeta Santha from Harrow, whose singing voice blew us away when she took part in one of our StageXchange youth group projects earlier this year. We are incredibly grateful for the generous support of our guests, as well as our event volunteers and performers, and hope everyone enjoyed their night!

Throughout the busy Cabaret buzz, we haven’t put our projects on hold- we took 8 school groups to The Maids at the Trafalgar Studios during April, as part of our TheatreOpeners visits for mainstream schools. TheatreOpeners gives pupils what’s often their first experience of live theatre. Teachers were thrilled to have the opportunity to grab their students’ attention with this intense and intriguing play:

“It’s always beneficial for students be exposed to a variety of productions; it promotes imagination and fosters a love of theatre.” –Teacher feedback

“It was very beneficial in helping our students see the amount of energy, characterisation and general skill is needed to bring text to life.” –Teacher feedback

Starting at the very end of April was one of our most unique projects, Stageseen Scripted. Scripted is a literacy-focused offshoot of our popular Stageseen projects for hearing-impaired young people. Reading and writing is a daunting task when you can’t sound out new letters and words, or hear the flow of a story spoken aloud– we designed Scripted in collaboration with teachers as a new and different approach to developing deaf pupils’ creative writing skills, working with their abilities, strengths and learning styles, rather than against them.

Over 12 weeks, a mixed team of Deaf and hearing writers and actors will work with school groups to help pupils write and stage short plays and sketches from their own imaginations, ranging from the playful and fantastical to explorations of youth issues and deaf identity. Last year’s inaugural Scripted showcase was a wonderful occasion– we are already looking forward to this year’s performance of students’ plays in July!