Project information

Theatre Trips for Schools

Each year we bring 6,000 students from state secondary mainstream and special schools to see outstanding theatre for just £8 per ticket, supported by education resources, talks and workshops.
“This is an amazing experience for our young people. Thank God for Mousetrap.

September 2016 - July 2017

Charity information: Mousetrap Theatre Projects

Mousetrap Theatre Projects logo
  • Need


    In a world where most young people receive all their media through screens, live performance is an increasingly rare experience. For many, the cost of a family theatre trip is prohibitive, which leaves schools to fill this cultural gap. But teachers face significant barriers: London theatre tickets, even at school rates, are too high for their squeezed budgets; curriculum pressures - exacerbated by the EBACC's exclusion of creative subjects; arranging cover for trips out during school hours.


    We provide a top quality cultural outing at an affordable price. At only £8 per ticket, we charge far less than most theatres’ school group rates. We offer musicals, classic plays and contemporary drama, giving teachers access to a huge range of theatre, so they can choose something most suitable for their students' needs. This might be relevant to classroom work or simply an experience to inspire them. We provide education resources and workshops to enhance and support the theatre experience.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Enable the most disadvantaged students to attend top London theatre


    » Each term leaflets are distributed to all London state mainstream and special secondary schools offering tickets to a selection of shows for £8 each
    » We particularly target and give priority to schools with a high percentage of students on free school meals (FSM)

    What success will look like

    We assess the FSM % of applicant schools, together with other criteria such as poor local arts provision, to ensure we are reaching the most disadvantaged schools.

    Aim 2

    Provide an inspirational and educational experience.


    » We arrange a question and answer session with members of the cast or creative team who share their experiences on the production and their careers.
    » We commission a Teacher Resource Pack for each production with ideas for follow up classroom activities and further reading.
    » For special schools, we offer an in-school workshop to explore the themes and story of the show further.
    » For several productions, we offer a pre-show ‘Insight Session’ with creative professionals, to give students a deeper engagement with the production.

    What success will look like

    Teachers complete evaluation surveys on how their students responded to and benefited from it. "Trust, confidence building, perseverance, were all things that our students gained"

    Aim 3

    Build students' life skills, broaden horizons and encourage social and cultural engagement


    » The theatre trip gives students the chance to practice life skills such as going on public transport and appropriate behaviour in public spaces.
    » Rather than only going to their local theatre, we bring young people into central London - a new experience for many who lead very narrow lives.
    » We choose theatre productions carefully to show young people that theatre is relevant to them and not for other sections of society.

    What success will look like

    Teacher surveys frequently cite the theatre trip's positive impact on aspirations and life skills. “everything about visiting a theatre is a valuable and educational experience.”

  • Impact


    We encourage mainstream school students who come on our school theatre trips to return to the theatre by themselves through our theatregoing club - Theatrelive4£5. This scheme encourages young people to become independent theatregoers, attending without the their teachers or parents.

    Once they have participated in our theatre access programmes, schools move on to our other education programmes, giving their students a longer, more in-depth and intensive education experience.


    We rely on the goodwill of theatre producers, who offer us tickets at a greatly reduced rate. We need to raise the difference between the £8 paid by the participants and the price we pay for the tickets. There is a risk that theatre producers will reduce the discount they are willing to offer us. We mitigate this risk by fostering good relationships with producers, whilst also educating them about the work we do.


    We keep our donors closely connected to our work by sending reports on the particular projects they support and regular newsletters and emails reporting on the work of the charity as a whole. Where possible, we invite supporters to see the work for themselves.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £105,716

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      Amount Heading Description
      £43,400 Theatre tickets Theatre tickets (minus contribution from schools)
      £9,200 Education resources Education resource packs
      £6,000 Education activities Insight sessions and in-school workshops
      £30,500 Programme Managers Portion of salaries of Programme Managers applied to these projects
      £6,000 Marketing and Administration Design, print and postage of leaflet, in-house stationary, printing and copying
      £10,616 Core Costs allocated Portion of MTP support costs attributed to project

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Individual donors £15,000 Conditional
    Trust donations £3,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    We offer theatre trips to schools London-wide, particularly trying to reach the outer boroughs of London where young people do not necessarily come into the West End and boroughs which have less arts provision locally.


    Approximately 6,000 young people of secondary school age will benefit over one year. Of these, 5,000 are from mainstream schools - as stated, priority is given to schools with a higher % of students on Free School Meals. Our 2015 participant schools' average was 47% (national average 28%) with a third of schools at 50-80% of students on FSM.
    Around 800-1,000 will be from special schools , where economic disadvantage is also prevalent, with most having well above average % of students on FSMs.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Whilst many theatres run education programmes, they are linked only to their own particular venue or productions. Being independent of any one particular theatre or producer, we are in a unique position to work with theatres across London and the West End and select productions that stimulate and inspire young people. We are not inhibited by box office revenue targets or what one venue has on offer in a particular term.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Elaine Grant

    She is one of MTPs full time programme managers, heading up our largest theatre access programmes for school and families.

    Jo Pelly

    She is one of MTPs part time programme managers, managing all our our work with young people with special needs and disabilities.

We chose pupil premium students so for most it was the first time at the theatre…it was a completely mind blowing experience – they did not know what the inside of a theatre looked like, they have such a culturally disadvantaged background that this alone was an important educational experience.

Teacher, Burntwood School