Family First Nights
familyfirstnights (FFN) is a unique opportunity for low-income families to enjoy a great London theatre production for just £6.00 a ticket.
Each summer, from the end of July and through to the end of August, families are able to access the best seats for a selection of top musicals, plays and other productions. A family can consist of parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, guardians or carers, but MUST include young people between the ages of 3 and 17. Young people must make up half, if not more of the family group.
Families can only participate through being referred by one of our partner organisations and apply through the summer leaflet, which they can only take up once.
This initial summer theatre visit is only for new families to provide an entry point to the theatre. As we are a charity we have limited funding so we want to make sure that we can take as many new families as possible each summer. However, once families have taken part in the summer programme we will then email them a variety of Winter and Spring offers.
If you are not already affiliated with a partner organisation, there will be a document available in June 2017, listing the referring organisations for the summer.
Partner Organisations - How it works
We work with representatives and ambassadors from community organisations, social service agencies, housing associations, supplementary schools and charities across London and the South-East to identify families to take part in the programme.
Every year, for registered partner organisation, we hold an information evening to provide details on how families can participate in the programme. Details of this will be available in May 2017.
Last summer's programme ran from 25 July through to 29 August 2016, and we took 588 families to 47 top London shows! To see the great selection of shows our families saw, please open the leaflet below:
Take a look at our 2016 evaluation below:
Continuing with the Programme
After taking part in the summer programme, past participants are automatically added onto our FFN database, and we keep them updated of other family shows or events by email. As long as FFN families have children between the ages of 3 – 17 they can remain on our database to receive family offers. (All our subsequent Family First Night offers are kindly donated to us by the production so we cannot choose what or when offers are received.)
We also encourage our families to seek other independent ways to go to the theatre, like visiting their local or other london venues, or joining other family mailing lists like the Official London Theatre Guide's Family Bulletin.
Even when families ask to be taken off our FFN email database, because their children are too old, we recommend that their young people continue to go the theatre by joining our independent theatre-going schemes theatrelive4£5 (15 - 18 year olds) and WestEnd4£10 (19-23 year olds).
What our families think
The comments from our participants are overwhelmingly positive, and most say that Family First Nights gave them an experience they otherwise could not have had. Here is a small sample of the amazing responses from families who have participated:
Thank you so much for giving us this experience. The discounted offer meant we could afford to go as a family - a treat for my 9 year old son's birthday. We were all thrilled with the performance and tribute to our favourite musician Michael Jackson. I was a bit anxious about taking my boys aged 5, 7, and 9 in case they couldn't sit still, but I needn't have been worried because they were spellbound! (Mother, Thriller Live)
We were delighted when we were given the opportunity to apply for theatre tickets with familyfirstnights and absolutely thrilled to receive tickets for Les Misérables, our first choice. We received comprehensive information both in the post and via email, which made our evening 'stress free' - and when we arrived at the Box Office we saw we had great seats too! We had an amazing evening- the children haven't stopped talking about it. Such a lovely memory- thank you! No improvements I can think of. (Mother, Les Misérables)
Whether you are one of our families or one of our supporters you can help us to raise funds to support our familyfirstnights programme. Through the following ways:
- Donate to our charity Mousetrap Theatre Projects
- Organise fundraising event: Whether its a bake sale, a sponsored walk or raffle all donations are very welcome. In the past some of our staff members took part in the the Adidas Women's 5K Challenge and raised over £1000.00 for the programme.
- Volunteer: Throughout the year we may need help with mail outs, research, data entry or assisting over the main summer period of the programme. To register your interest please visit our Opportunities page.
We are most grateful to The Society of London Theatre, The Colwinston Charitable Trust, The Dorset Foundation and Tesco for funding familyfirstnights, and to the producers of the participating theatre productions for their valued support.
We greatly appreciate all those who have supported familyfirstnights and we cannot wait to offer even more wonderful shows to even more deserving families next summer!
- Last modified on Friday, 21 October 2016 16:59