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Project information

Mousetrap Summer of Theatre

Over the summer holidays we will provide families and young people with opportunities to attend and engage with London's fantastic world-class theatre. We will work with families on low-incomes and facing other challenges and families with children with special needs.

July 2019 - August 2019

Charity information: Mousetrap Theatre Projects

Mousetrap Theatre Projects logo
  • Need


    1. The cost of London theatre tickets is prohibitive for many London families, plus a sense that it’s ‘not for us’. The Warwick Commission report noted that children from low-income families are less likely to experience family engagement in cultural activities.
    2. Outside of term time teenagers need a positive activity to fill their days constructively.
    3. Helping disadvantaged young people to participate in the performing arts when they otherwise wouldn't be able to.


    1. Offer of £6 tickets to a range of London shows to families on low-incomes and who are facing other challenges or have children with special needs, reaching them via social service agencies, housing associations etc, plus family workshops to a selection of shows.
    2. We will run a performing arts summer-school for young people aged 13 to 17 who may not otherwise have the opportunity to take part in the performing arts (includes a theatre trip).
    3. Provision of a theatre trip for teenagers

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Provide 500 families (approx 1,250 children) with their first theatre experience together.


    » Offer highly subsidised theatre trips to 30-40 shows in London at £6 per ticket to families who would not otherwise be able to go.
    » We confirm bookings by phone to every family & supply detailed information about the day (directions, a synopsis of the show, cost of ice cream, etc)

    What success will look like

    We will monitor the take-up in each London borough and conduct a post-project survey of families on their experience.

    Aim 2

    Encouraging future theatregoing as a family and for the young people as individuals


    » Each participating family goes onto our database to receive further ticket offers throughout the year to a range of theatre, dance, opera etc.
    » We encourage teenage family members to join our theatregoing club for 15-18 yr olds, to make theatre an ongoing, inspiring part of their lives.
    » We will offer a theatre trip for teenagers who are part of our theatregoing club for 15-18 years olds, encouraging independent engagement with theatre

    What success will look like

    One of the survey questions asks if their summer theatre trip has encouraged them to go again. We will monitor take-up where possible of the subsequent theatre offers.

    Aim 3

    Provide a positive activity which develops confidence and broadens horizons.


    » The summer school includes a theatre trip to a top show. For many this is their first ever theatre experience.
    » The 2-week summer school (different cohort each week) offers drama, dance and music workshops, culminating in a performance for family and friends
    » The theatre trip for 15-18 years olds and summer school are inspiring and open the young people's minds to life beyond their day to day environment
    » Working with theatre professionals during the summer school helps the young people discover their creativity and new skills and talents

    What success will look like

    The summer school performance will bear witness to the experience. A post-event online survey will ask for detailed feedback from parents & youth leaders about the benefits.

    Aim 4

    Give disadvantaged young people a sense of achievement by gaining a Bronze Arts Award qualification


    » All summer school participants will be supported through the Bronze Arts Award throughout the week. This is a nationally recognised qualification.

    What success will look like

    We aim for about 75% of the participants to pass the Award.

    Aim 5

    Give families an experience that helps them to bond, create shared memories & improve relationships


    » Many disadvantaged families struggle to spend social time together. We provide a trip to the theatre together as a family for the first time.

    What success will look like

    We will include a question about how the experience of visiting the theatre together as a family affected participants in our post-event survey

  • Impact


    A longitudinal study of families who participated in our summer theatre programme over the last 10 years clearly demonstrated the positive effect it had on family bonding, reducing social isolation, and their children's arts engagement.

    Our summer school aims to make theatre an enduring part of young people's lives. We will monitor the number of young people subscribing to our independent theatregoing club, which provides £5 tickets to young people, following their time with the school


    The main risk is that theatre producers might not offer us enough tickets or at a price we can afford. We mitigate this risk by nurturing good relationships with all London's theatre producers, marketing companies and venues.


    We will create written reports summarising the results of the post-project surveys, feedback and our own observations, experience and monitoring.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £102,205

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £33,750 Family summer programme Theatre tickets for families
      £890 Family summer programme Family workshops
      £6,448 Family summer programme Marketing and Administration
      £9,095 Summer school Summerstage activities: tickets, drama practitioners, space hire, resources
      £725 Summer school Arts Award
      £608 Summer school Administration, printing, postage
      £750 Theatre trip for 15-18yos Theatre tickets for teenagers
      £49,939 All 3 projects Programme management & support costs

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Ticket income from participants £13,500 Conditional
    Grants £27,702 Guaranteed
  • Background


    Our programmes will take place in theatres and drama workshop spaces in central London. Our participants will be drawn from across Greater London and we prioritise areas which have higher than average levels of poverty and/or low levels of arts provision.


    Summer family theatregoing is for London's low-income families and families facing other challenges (e.g escaping violence).

    Summer school is for young Londoners who have participated in our youth group drama projects in the past year (for disadvantaged young people such as deprived communities, vulnerable, at risk groups, young carers, refugees) and past participants of our summer family theatregoing project.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We have vast amounts of experience, having been running our family summer theatregoing for 21 years, our summer school for 10 years, and our theatregoing club for 19 years. We have superb relationships across the theatre industry enabling us to secure the tickets we need, the support of the theatres and their staff and the expertise of top theatre practitioners to run our workshops.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Elaine Grant

    Programme Manager - responsible for our summer family theatregoing programme

    Gemma Bell

    Programme Manager - responsible for the summer school

    Ellie Shore

    Programme Administrator - assisting the above named managers and running our theatregoing club

It was great to go as a family and see our 3 children enjoying themselves and looking happy!

Mother participant in summer family theatregoing