“The best company we have ever had in our school” Headteacher
“It was fantastic to see children engage and respond so positively to the performances. Personally I feel there is a lack of creativity in schools and would embrace any opportunity to see more performances in the future” Parent
Plays in the Playground brings some of the South West’s most inspiring and magical theatre companies to young audiences and their families in Shepton Mallet (showcasing puppetry, live music, storytelling and highly visual theatre). Shepton no longer has an operational theatre. Plays in the Playground seeks to inspire young imaginations, build theatre audiences with local families and work towards establishing a permanent arts space in our town.
Undoubtedly the most important part of the Plays in the Playground programme is the playground interaction: breaking down barriers, taking theatre out on the streets, disrupting the normal flow of things (pigs in playgrounds, pirates in PE cupboards) and most importantly generating excitement and enthusiasm about theatre. If you don’t believe us take a look at some of the photos! By placing companies in the playground not only does the day start with creativity but it engages the whole family in the action. Through this approach we hope to be able to encourage more local audiences to engage in high quality arts provision and to share the magic of theatre with local families.
The development of Plays in the Playground has been cultivated with Teresa Gilbert, Headteacher at Bowlish Infants School (the lead school for the project) and funded through Wells Festival of Literature, Theatre Bath’s Creative Fund and Shepton Mallet Town Council. The scheme currently runs across Bowlish Infant School, St Paul’s CEVE Junior School and Shepton Mallet Infants School.
Plays in the Playground is run by Louise Lappin-Cook. Louise has been involved in lots of exciting arts spaces: Development Manager for The Bishop’s Barn, Wells; Director at Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre Taunton; Creative Director at Claremont Project London; as well as working at Theatre Peckham and The Washington Gallery Penarth – she now works freelance on community and arts projects in Mendip and Somerset.