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2018 Highlights

2018 Highlights

2018 has been an incredibly special year for us here at Mousetrap Theatre Projects, the 21st in our history!  Here’s a look back at just some of the highlights…

21st Anniversary Gala

Our Patrons David Suchet and Patricia Hodge performing at our 21st Anniversary Gala.  Photo by Alex Rumford.

We celebrated our 21st Anniversary with a magical Gala at the Prince of Wales Theatre, attended by our supporters, performers, families, young people and Patrons.  As well as showcasing the talents of performers from across the West End, this event gave us an opportunity to celebrate and highlight the impact we’ve achieved and continue to achieve as a charity through screenings of short videos focusing on varying aspects of our work with families, schools and young people.   

 Take a look at this article on WhatsOnStage for a full review of the show! The Gala raised a phenomenal £175,000, which has gone straight back into funding our work for disadvantaged young people and young people with special needs.

The Mousetrap Awards

Stage stars Miriam Teak Lee and Layton Williams celebrating their win at the Mousetrap Awards 2018

On Sunday 13th May, our Youth Forum presented the 7th annual Mousetrap Awards at the Charing Cross Theatre - the only theatre awards voted on solely by young theatregoers aged 15-23.  Over 1,000 young people voted this year selecting 12 outstanding West End shows and performers as winners.  Youth Forum members Moniece Mullings, Bryony Relf, Dylan Johnson and Ruth Nade were our confident comperes for the event which began with a spectacular performance from West End stars Liisi LaFontaine and Asmeret Ghebremichael of Dreamgirls

     As part of the awards ceremony, there were stand-out performances from singers, songwriters, dancers and spoken word artists.  Our Patron Clive Rowe closed the show with a touching tribute to the charity’s work and high praise for all the talented young people involved in The Mousetraps.     

“We had the best afternoon, the tears just didn’t stop flowing. We’re leaving so inspired by the performances! If you weren’t here, you missed it! This is such a worthy cause, get behind it! This is what we need: young people. And thank you so much for the award and for voting!”
Rachel John, winner of the Mousetrap Award for Best Female Performer


Youth Engagement


We've taken our young people to see fantastic shows this year including Harry Potter and The Cursed Child, The Jungle and Everyone’s Talking About Jamie.

Our theatre clubs don’t just provide young people with access to top theatre at an affordable price, they present exclusive opportunities for them to get up-close-and-personal with award-winning actors and production teams at the very top of their game.  Among the Q&As we’ve organized this year were post-show chats with Zoe Wanamaker(starring in The Birthday Party), Patrick Murphy (Producer of Strictly Ballroom), Thomas Aldridge (playing Ron Weasley in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child) and Sharon D Clarke and the cast of Caroline, or Change. 

“I just wanted to say a massive thank you to you and Mousetrap for everything you do for young people, I've had the pleasure of going to see so many shows that I wouldn't of had the opportunity to see if it wasn't for the charity, My experience with Mousetrap so far has given me a fresh passion for theatre which I thank you so much for. You guys are awesome!”
TheatreLive4£5 member after seeing Thriller Live in the summer



We’ve taken students from special schools across London to watch some fantastic shows this year through our Theatrejourneys programme: many of whom were attending theatre for the very first time.  Shows included Othello, School of Rock, Five Guys Named Moe, Motown the Musical, Peter Pan, Wicked, Aladdin and Mamma MiaWe also ran free in-school workshops to accompany the visits to Othello, Peter Pan and Aladdin.

“Thank you so much for your continued support in bringing theatre to the lives of young people. We have students in our school who now feel that going to the theatre is something they would do in their lives. Previously many of our pupils felt that theatre was for other people, not for them.”
Teacher from Broomhill Bank School, who brought a group to School of Rock



Some of our budding young writers on stage with leading children's playwright and author David Wood

In a video sent to 6 primary schools, the theatre manager, Agatha von Christie, bewails the fact that she has no new plays to stage at her theatre.  So began Mysterysolved!  After attending the play, The Mousetrap, students received a surprise package at their school with a set of mysterious props including a crown and a glove.  Writing practitioners then ran 3 in-school writing workshops to help the students create and pen their own mystery play.  

The students' final plays were performed by professional actors live on stage at the St Martin’s Theatre, introduced by legendary children’s playwright and author David Wood, who told them that he too began writing at age 10.  We all witnessed some great new writing talent!  MysterySolved was assessed as part of our entry for the Sandford Award for Heritage Education, which we were delighted to receive.

 “When we got to all work together as a team to make a really fantastic play, I’m really happy because it looked nowhere as near as I thought it was going to look! IT LOOKED AMAZING!!”
Pupil at Reay Primary School


For our SEND Programmes Manager, Jo Pelly, the Nextstage project we ran at the Glebe School in Bromley in June was a big highlight of the year.  The students made such fantastic progress and it really fulfilled the overall Nextstage brief: to give participants the creative space to think about their future. We saw students gain in empathy, focus and teamwork, and the teacher felt confident she could continue the work once we’d finished, telling us:  

“It was the best project we’ve done in school. To see some of those students change was worth it all.”


In July we ran a Stageseen day for families with one or more deaf child in conjunction with The Play That Goes Wrong.  Ten families took part in family drama workshops before they had a tour and talk at the Duchess Theatre and then attended a BSL interpreted performance of The Play that Goes Wrong.  The families all threw themselves into the day's activities and got so much out of the whole experience.  The support from the theatre was fantastic and the pre-show tour of the stage was really memorable – the whole cast even came out to meet the participants!

One parent wrote,“It was a fantastic experience for my daughter. She struggles to mix with other deaf children and especially with BSL. This has really helped her and allowed her to feel part of a deaf community.”

20th Edition of Family First Nights

Our spectacular summer theatregoing programme, Family First NIghts, enabled 506 families from 31 London boroughs to visit the theatre for the very first time.  Families were able to choose from 32 top West End shows and had the chance to participate in free workshops for The Little Mermaid, We’re Going on a Bear Hunt and Barmy BritainFamily First Nights also offered special access performances to support family members with additonal needs.  AND, to mark this extra-special year, we organised a 20th anniversary art competition, judged by two of the UK’s finest children’s book illustrators: Nick Sharratt, illustrator of the Tracy Beaker books and Tony Ross - the man behind the cheeky illustrated face of Horrid Henry. And we didn’t stop there…

A Gran’ Day Out

To celebrate two decades of Family First Nights, we held our first ever ‘Gran’ Day Out’: an inter-generational day of theatregoing.  Family members ages 7 to 92 came to the St Martin’s Theatre for the matinee performance of the long-running play, The Mousetrap, as well as enjoy pre-show activities including face painting and a ‘whodunnit’ competition during the interval. 

A Gran’ Day Out created lasting memories for several generations of families. We were thrilled to discover that two grandparents in the audience had watched The Mousetrap on their first date in 1954, so it was a very special opportunity for them to enjoy the show with their daughter and grandson many decades later. Suffice it to say, a gran’ time was had by all!

I had such a fantastic day out with my nan, we both love theatre and it was so lovely to spend such quality time together … and I will really remember the day as it was so special and unique and brought me and my nan closer together.”


We’ve taken thousands of students to see a whole host of shows for just £8 this year through Theatreopeners, our theatregoing programme for state secondary schools.  We also organised a number of pre-performance Insight sessions, expert-led workshops to help students deepen their understanding of the prodiction and develop new skills. One of the most memorable was the Insight session we ran in conjunction with Frantic Assembly back in June, before a performance of its production of Fatherland.  Thirty students from Forest Hill School took part and the experience is perfectly summed up by their teacher: 

 “The boys headed into the Frantic Assembly workshop with little experience of physical theatre and emerged having created singular pieces that captured anger, ambivalence, tenderness, affection, equanimity.....it was genuinely moving and a source of great pride to see how much could be achieved in two hours. This workshop raised the bar and has informed these boys' practice and understanding of what theatre can do and how they can be part of it.”


On Monday 19th November, close to 1,000 young people aged 16-30 descended upon the Waldorf Hilton to attend TheatreCraft, the UK’s largest free event for young people seeking theatre careers 'behind the scenes', which we run in conjunction with Masterclass, the Society of London Theatre and the Royal Opera House.  From directing to stage management, producing to marketing, lighting designing to wig-making, TheatreCraft gives young people a unique glimpse into the myriad of theatre careers via a full-day of inspiring workshops, demonstations and talks. A marketplace offers a chance to chat to organisations providing young people opportunities to learn, work and engage in theatre.  The day culminated in a ‘Super Panel’ led by this year’s Ambassadors: Tamara Harvey (Artistic Director, Theatre Clwyd), Christopher Oram (Set & Costume Designer), Indhu Rubasingham (Artistic Director, Kiln Theatre) and Griselda Yorke (Producer, Royal Shakespeare Company). 

“TheatreCraft was a super success! Thank you very much for the opportunity to be there, it was a great day spent amongst fellow theatre enthusiasts.” Jana and Gavin

In 2018, we've also:

Been the What’sOnStage Awards 2018 Nominated Charity

Won the Sandford Award for Heritage Education for our Creative Learning Portfolio

Welcomed four wonderful new Patrons: Beau Dermott, Asmeret Ghebremichael, Patricia Hodge and Tyrone Huntley

Welcomed Dulcie Ball, Gemma Bell, Patrick O'Sullivan and Alex Weston to the Mousetrap staff team


From all of us here at Mousetrap Theatre Projects, we wish you a very MERRY CHRISTMAS and a HAPPY NEW YEAR!



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Mousetrap Theatre Projects
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