Hoopla! was inspired by the success of ‘The Search for Teddy Island’, our project bringing an early-years theatre show to families’ doorsteps during the COVID-19 lockdowns.
The mini-festival is supported by Small Steps Big Changes. It is one of a number of projects commissioned in response to an in-depth consultation with Nottingham families. Families expressed a need for low cost but high-quality, barrier-free art activities in their neighbourhoods.
The touring festival visits Small Steps Big Change’s four priority areas. Each area features highly on the Indices of Multiple Deprivation. These neighbourhoods are also underserved by the city’s cultural institutions. The neighbourhoods are:
- St Anns
- Arboretum and Hyson Green
Events are designed to remove the barriers young families face when trying to access culture in their city. The festival days are free to attend and accessible. They take place in familiar outdoor spaces with good travel links.
The 2022 Festival was four days of puppetry, music, play and exploration. It featured performances by Handmade Theatre and Giddy Kipper Theatre. They presented high-quality puppet shows specially designed for young children.
Ignite Futures and Makers of Imaginary World ran multi-sensory creative workshops for our early year’s audience. The festival was also an opportunity for local support services to connect with families.
The 2023 Festival attracted bigger audiences across all four locations. Handmade Theatre, Circus Hub Nottingham and Makers of Imaginary Worlds each presented a family-friendly show. They featured delights ranging from puppet birds to aerial acrobatics.
Between shows, Circus Hub, Makers of Imaginary World, Raisa McClary-Francis and Janet Rose led imaginative interactive workshops. The festival remained an opportunity for local support services to connect with families.
Charlotte JarvisPerformer Visit Charlotte Jarvis's website
Ignite!Workshop Leaders Visit Ignite!'s website
Makers of Imaginary WorldsPerformers & Workshop Leaders Visit Makers of Imaginary Worlds's website
Handmade TheatrePerformers Visit Handmade Theatre's website
Circus HubPerformers & Workshop Leaders Visit Circus Hub's website
Janet RoseWorkshop Leader
Raisa McClary-FrancisWorkshop Leader