Project information

Royal Court Participation Programme

We want to ensure that everyone has access to the arts, not just the privileged few. We recognise that the arts have a positive transformative effect on lives; we want to nurture the development of local young people to become our next generation of actors, writers,directors and producers of theatre

January 2017 - January 2018

Charity information

Royal Court Liverpool Trust

Royal Court Liverpool Trust logo
  • Need


    Through our work in schools, young people increasingly asked why the Royal Court Theatre didn’t have a Youth Theatre. They told us that there was nowhere in the City that offered free opportunities in theatre & this meant that they missed out; their parents unfortunately were unable to afford the fees that other projects charged. With that, we set out on a mission to establish the only free Youth Theatre in the city that would be free for young people to access and have an open door policy.


    We are the only free project of its kind, in Liverpool, that engages with an 11-19 year old cohort, provides free access and an open door policy with no waiting lists. We are the only Youth Theatre in the city that focuses on musical and comedic theatre; perfect for those who are facing real and serious issues at home - it is an escape for them. We are a Youth Theatre FOR young people created BY young people so we know that what we deliver is relevant and needed.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To provide free opportunities to access the arts for all young people regardless of thier bakground


    » Liaise with local schools, community groups and young people to ensure awareness of the project is raised

    Success will be attendance and attainment records and maintaining our 80% retention record.

    Aim 2

    To develop confidence, self-esteem and aspirations of young people from marginalised communities


    » Summer school initiative to ensure young people have 'something to do', at no cost, during summer months
    » Performance/showcase of work to members of the public, friends and family and community groups to celebrate achievements
    » 150 workshops in a range of skills including acting, singing, dancing, stage management, fundraising
    » 2 masterclasses per month with industry professionals

    Feedback from young people and their parents

    Aim 3

    Support young people to reach their full potential


    » Q&As with visitors from local further and higher education establishments
    » Support young people to prepare audition pieces
    » Pastoral care/1-2-1 mentoring support to advocate young people for example, referring to counselling and social services

    By following journeys of young people e.g whether they have one on to higher education/employment

  • Impact


    The project will ensure that there is free provision for those young people who need it following on from the decline and closure of local youth groups and community centres.

    We will demonstrate this through figures of attendance and attainment and follow up interviews with young people who have left the Youth Theatre to follow their journey.


    When working with young people, there is always a risk that they will lose interest. We mitigate these risks by communicating with and listening to young people to ensure their needs are met; we give them responsibilities which instills a sense of ownership over the project for them.
    We develop WITH young people not without them and they feel that the project is theirs.


    Donors will receive monthly newsletters to inform of how the Youth Theatre is progressing, inform of upcoming activities and success stories and to allow donors to follow the project's journey.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £81,510

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £21,950 Arts Workshops Delivering 192 workshops annually for local young people and 2 masterclasses monthly
      £30,760 Room and theatre hire Room hire for sessions and theatre hire for performances
      £8,800 Summer school 3 weeks workshops
      £20,000 Project Management part-time posts

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Children in Need £5,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    The project is based at the Royal Court Theatre in the heart of the City Centre, close to transport links. The theatre has been at the heart of Liverpool's cultural life for over 200 years.
    The location is neutral which means there are no stigmas attached to postcoded areas which cause so many problems for young people in the city and, as a result, friendships are forged where they otherwise never would have been.


    We will engage young people aged 11-19 who come from areas of high deprivation, unemployment and where crime rates are high. They come from nationally recognised areas of disadvantage, primarily North Liverpool, where 28% of young people receive free school meals compared to 17% nationally and worklessness rates are high at 30% (15% nationally). Beneficiaries come from areas where 20-53% of children are living in poverty.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We have been working on the delivery and development of this project since 2012 and we believe that we have established best practice for working with the cohort of young people that we engage with. We have established a new and unique way of engaging young people with the arts with our 'no pressure' approach and willingness to let them shape their own project. We have a good cross sections of skills to offer young people and have a range of excellent industry partners.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Miriam Mussa, Community Education Manager

    Miriam manages the overall community education programme and develops ideas for the project. Miriam manages a pool of practitioners and artists.

    Vannessa Park, Youth Theatre Coordinator

    Vannessa shadows Miriam and works with the young people during workshops; Vannessa helps to schedule workshops and practitioners with Miriam.

    Stacey Lavery, Development Manager

    Stacey is responsible for identifying and accessing funds to ensure that the project is sustainable and for monitoring and evaluation the project.

    Zain Salim, Lead Practitioner

    Zain is Lead Practitioner; he is a local performing artists and is reflective of the communities the beneficiaries come from and has Youth Work skills

The Youth Theatre in their own words


will pay for one practical skills workshop for 40 young people from disadvantaged communities

"I love the Royal Court Youth Theatre. It's a place I can come after a bad day and relax. I enjoy the opportunities I get here, and I can talk to anybody about anything and they won't judge me but instead help me through it. It's a great place to be"

Kayleigh, Youth Theatre participant, aged 17