• Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size
  • leftlayout
  • rightlayout

Secondary School Projects


We provide bespoke theatre experiences for D/deaf and hard of hearing young people, with drama workshops, stage tours and signed and captioned performances of leading productions

Programmes for 2018





When our Chairman, Sir Stephen Waley-Cohen, purchased the production rights to the world’s longest running play, Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap, it was in its 45th year in the West End. He believed it was time the play gave something back and so he set up an education charity to bring disadvantaged young people into the West End to experience theatre.  The Mousetrap Foundation for the Arts was registered in 1996 and began operating under the helm of Susan Whiddington in 1997.

In the last 20 years we have taken over 175,000 young people to the theatre.  We have developed 20 different access, education and audience development programmes throughout that time.  A few of these are no longer being offered or await a re-birth if the demand arises, but most are still going strong.

We changed our name in 2007 in celebration of our 10th anniversary, to better reflect what we do.  Mousetrap Theatre Projects became our new operating name with a tag-line, “inspiring young people”.  This is what drives us and is what we try to live up to every day.

Who We Are


Trustees           Patrons          Staff


The Mousetrap Mission

We believe that all young people should have the opportunity to attend outstanding theatre, irrespective of their cultural, social or economic background.

Our mission is to increase young people’s access to the best of live theatre in London (particularly young people with limited resources, opportunities or support) and to enable them to engage creatively with that experience.

  • WE BELIEVE passionately in the power of theatre to transform young lives
  • WE AIM to engage young people through theatre and drama, using it creatively to educate, challenge and inspire them
  • WE SERVE young people primarily from across London, focusing on those who experience disadvantage – whether economic, social or through a learning or sensory disability

At the heart of our work is the desire to open the doors to all that London's vibrant theatre scene has to offer. Whether you are a young person or someone working with young people, we invite you to come through those doors with us and begin your theatre journey. 

"The theatre has always thrived on new work and new audiences. Mousetrap Theatre Projects is to be applauded for playing an important part in introducing young people to its potent magic." 

Sir Cameron Mackintosh

Our Core Values
  • To develop programmes in consultation with users and in response to an identified need
  • To work collaboratively with other arts and education organisations and theatres
  • To maintain our strategic and programming independence
  • To deliver our programmes with rigour, integrity and artistic excellence
  • To evaluate and refine programmes on a continuous basis

Programme Overview

Opening Doors

Providing young people, specifically those with limited resources, support or a disability, the opportunity to attend London theatre, often as a first-time experience:

Brings 4,000 students a year from London state secondary schools to see London’s top theatre productions, prioritising schools with a higher percentage of students on Free School Meals. Pre-show ‘Insight’ sessions with the cast or creative team enhance the experience still further.

We open the door to West End theatre for students attending special schools, with best seats at top productions, teacher resource packs and in-school drama workshops. 

Making London’s outstanding theatre accessible to low-income families, with £6 tickets and extra support and information to help them get over any apprehensions.

We take over an entire performance of a West End show and fill it with families with children with special needs. Theatre etiquette does not apply and various modifications are made to lighting and sound to accommodate children with sensory issues.

For youth groups serving disadvantaged communities. They see a top West End show accompanied by tailor-made drama workshops addressing themes relevant to each group e.g. bullying, life choices, and/or building skills such as communication, team work, self-confidence and self-esteem.

A full day at a West End theatre for visually impaired young people including a pre-show workshop, touch-tour of the set and costumes and bespoke audio-description for the matinee performance.

Follows the same format as Envision but it is tailored for young people who are deaf and hard of hearing, offering both captioned and sign language interpreted performances.


Inspiring Theatregoing

To encourage a legacy of theatregoing among young audiences by reducing barriers and enhancing their knowledge and understanding of theatre:

Theatregoing club for teenagers aged 15-18 in state secondary education, to encourage independent theatregoing, without parents, youth leaders or teachers. 

Theatregoing club for 19-23 year olds, aimed at students at drama schools, FE colleges and universities, offering £10 tickets to shows with ‘behind the scenes’ events.


Creative Learning

Enabling young people to engage actively with their theatre experience and to use theatre as an educational resource to invigorate learning and develop academic, social and personal skills: 

For drama GCSE students, investigating and deconstructing the design, acting and directorial elements of one West End production, including a full-day workshop with the production’s creative team and a suite of education resources. 

Immersive playwriting project for Year 6 pupils, which uses a theatre trip as a stimulus for in-school workshops with actor/facilitators in role. Over the course of half a term, children work with specialist facilitators to create their very own class play.

Experienced director and theatre practitioners teach students about the role of a theatre director, about making dramatic choices and communicating effectively with actors. 

Tailored performance skills projects on a theme or specific skill decided by the teacher e.g. mime, physical theatre, vocal work, either in the context of a text or devised performance.  

Bespoke projects for Key Stage 3, focusing on one particular performance skill that is particularly fun, active and engaging, to encourage them to study it at Key Stage 4.

A series of drama-based workshops for students in Pupil Referral Units, to improve engagement levels, behaviour, emotional literacy and self-confidence.

A theatre visit and series of bespoke drama workshops for special schools, exploring a theme and skills of the teacher's choice, such as self-expression, communication, empathy.   

An extension of  stagexchange, a 6-week programme of workshops for youth groups, using drama techniques to help NEET young people discover potential career paths and develop employability skills. 

Playwriting project for Year 6 deaf and hard of hearing students to boost confidence, encourage creative expression and improve literacy skills. 

Contact Us

Mousetrap Theatre Projects
33 Shaftesbury Avenue

t: 020 7632 4111
e: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Follow us! 

Registered charity number 1053434