Suitcase Theatre is set of small scale, co-created theatre shows that fit into a suitcase and travel to children and families who cannot easily visit the theatre – all developed with participants and artists to ensure authenticity and agency. A common theme through the projects is an encouragement of connection, from isolated elderly care home residents with dementia, to newly arrived refugee families and critically ill children bound to their high dependency wards.
We have a portfolio of shows that travel to hospitals, hospices, care homes, prisons and home settings:
If Not Here Where?
A bedside show specifically for children in hospitals and hospices, which was co-created with Great Ormond Street Hospital’s Young People’s Forum and has toured to 24 children’s hospitals/hospices in the UK since its launch, with the most recent tour in May 2023. The project has a website that participants can re-visit post-show and hear recorded comments from other patients.
Me and My Bird
An intergenerational show which we took into older people’s homes and care homes, co-created with North London Cares. This beautiful show ends with the participant making an origami bird that they write a message on about hopes and dreams, and this bird features in the next show, so these messages are being passed on and shared between participants.
The Welcome Project
Working with Phosphorus Theatre and local refugee, migrant and asylum seeker children we co-created a beautiful show which toured to community centres and bridging centres in London and Manchester in November 2023. The show is non-verbal, focusing on music and object manipulation, to communicate a welcoming message which transcends language.
Prison Family Days
Throughout 2023 we have been working regularly in prison settings, supporting Family Days, “bringing the outside in”, allowing the day to feel normal despite it being a distressing and often overwhelming situation for children. We’re currently in the process of collaborating with a family theatre group based at a prison to develop a suitcase show aimed at engaging families and creating a platform that can build relationships and create lasting memories.