Once Upon A Festival, now in its fourth year aims to make performance art more accessible in Theatres, Schools and Communities. This is achieved by taking the performance to the children, removing the barriers of attending a theatre and lessening the financial implications of a school trip. We identify that school trips are also important and offer transport for some rural schools to attend that would not normally be able to do so. The subsidised rate for schools’ performances lessens the financial impact of benefiting from the arts and provides schools the opportunity to access high quality work at an affordable price.

The 2017 Festival provided 13 productions at partner venues with an additional 13 reaching families and schools. 61 events in total were programmed, 28 schools took performances in their own spaces for 32 performances and a further 8 schools visited partner venues making a total of 36 different schools participating in the Festival across Suffolk and Norfolk.

To help engage the children even further, 27 sessions were provided to deliver post-show enrichment workshops reaching a total of 1,608 children. Overall the festival reached a total of 5,602 audience members and there was some great feedback received from them;

“The Festival is a great way to get children interested in the Arts.”

“Seeing live performance is inspiring and [the festival] provides an experience that some children would not otherwise access.”

SCHOOLS PROGRAMME

Choose from 15 amazing shows covering Music, Dance, Comedy, Drama, Puppetry, Spoken Word, Storytelling and more. All you need to do is: Select your show/s, choose a date and choose a time.

Included in the schools package are 2 enrichment workshops, delivered at your school by a professional facilitator.

All this is available to you at a heavily subsidised rate of £150 per show. To book a show please complete a School Booking Form and return to booking@theatreroyal.org.

Daryl Beeton

A Square World

Daryl Beeton A Square World

Target Age Group
KS1
Genre
Comedy, Accessibility
Get in Time
90mins
Get out Time
60mins
Duration
40mins
Capacity
70
Max shows per day
2


 

When the daily routine of three friends’ lives suddenly changes, they discover with a little fun and some mayhem how to adapt their world so they can keep playing together. A Square World looks at the unfairness of being left out in a world designed for everyone else but yourself.

“I’ve seen quite a lot of shows here and A Square World was one of the best.” Audience Member

"The show is funny, quirky, assured and important." Children's Theatre Reviews

Half Moon, Papertale, Apples and Snakes

Boys Don't

Half Moon, Papertale, Apples and Snakes Boys Don't

Target Age Group
KS2+3
Genre
Spoken Word
Get in Time
90mins
Get out Time
15mins
Duration
60mins
Capacity
Max shows per day
2


 

Who picks up the pieces when boys hide their feelings?

From the playground to the classroom, from home to the uncharted waters of online, boys learn that displaying their feelings is a no-no. But what happens to emotion that can’t be let out?

“Has the power to reach those who often feel alienated from the arts scene.”
(Live Theatre UK) ★★★★

….better than any other thing I have ever watched. It’s good because boys don’t talk about their emotions. They are worried that people take the mickey… (Yr 7, St Leonards Academy, Hastings)

Dancing Strong

Found

Dancing Strong Found

Target Age Group
KS1+2
Genre
Dance
Get in Time
60mins
Get out Time
60mins
Duration
40mins
Capacity
50
Max shows per day
2


 

Found is an engaging and lively music and dance performance. With live music and an invitation to audiences to play and participate, Found looks at what connects us to each other and our surroundings, drawing on stories of discovery, exploration and travel. Adrift on their own islands the performers bring audiences into a magical world where connections become visible as soundwaves ripple through bodies and lines and angles converge in new journeys and forms.

Dancing Strong Found at Museum
Dancing Strong Found
Dancing Strong

Light Steps

Dancing Strong Light Steps

Target Age Group
Nursery-KS1
Genre
Dance
Get in Time
60mins
Get out Time
60mins
Duration
40mins
Capacity
Max shows per day
2


Light Steps is a music and dance performance. Light Steps centres on the exploration of the changing light of day by an endearing rag doll, Alex. Alex’s journey is overseen by three friends (two dancers and a musician) whose movement, music and dance mirror the rag doll’s feelings and curiosity as the journey of the sun across the sky are experienced.

Dancing Strong Light Steps
Theatre Royal Bath

One Item Only

Theatre Royal Bath One Item Only

Target Age Group
KS2
Genre
Drama
Get in Time
120mins
Get out Time
75mins
Duration
45mins
Capacity
60
Max shows per day
2


If you had to take a long journey away from home and you could only take one item with you, what would it be?

Armed with only a backpack of favourites items, follow one child’s continental adventures across deserts, wind-whipped mountains and the inky depths of the ocean, propelled by the child’s gently-repeating mantra ‘just keep moving forward’.

Norwich Puppet Theatre

Pied Piper

Norwich Puppet Theatre Pied Piper

Target Age Group
KS1
Genre
Puppetry
Get in Time
120mins
Get out Time
60mins
Duration
45mins
Capacity
120
Max shows per day
2


When the Pied Piper plays his flute the rats run, the greedy mayor rubs his hands and the children dance…

Norwich Puppet Theatre’s humorous and irresistible one person show combines a skilful mix of puppetry, foot-tapping music and storytelling and will have audiences young and old entranced.

Norwich Puppet Theatre Pied Piper

"Fantastic!" Lyn Gardner, The Guardian

"Every aspect of this show was the highest quality, the story was told, the actor was engaging and the puppets were wonderful" Eve Stebbing, Eastern Daily Press

Rojo

Into The Somewhere

Rojo Into The Somewhere

Target Age Group
KS2
Genre
Participatory/Puppetry
Get in Time
90mins
Get out Time
30mins
Duration
90mins
Capacity
30
Max shows per day
2


How do we meet the unknown?

The Somewhere Place has been discovered in your school and we need your help to research, investigate and explore it! An immersive and interactive experience with puppetry, movement and big questions.

Tom Roden

The Buildy Uppy Dance Show

Tom Roden The Buildy Uppy Dance Show

Target Age Group
KS1+2
Genre
Get in Time
5hrs
Get out Time
60mins
Duration
55mins
Capacity
60
Max shows per day
2


Let your imagination run riot as hundreds of boxes are stacked, squashed and rebuilt. Help create enticing caves, wonky castles and fabulous creatures, as together we learn that the strongest thing we can build is friendship.

The Makeshift Ensemble

The Children in the Moon

The Makeshift Ensemble The Children in the Moon

Target Age Group
KS1
Genre
Puppetry/Storytelling
Get in Time
60mins
Get out Time
60mins
Duration
45mins
Capacity
70
Max shows per day
1


The Children in the Moon is a wonderfully visual and original take on centuries old children’s verse, packed with puppetry and live music this is an ideal show for all the family.

“Their creative storytelling and imaginative use of theatrical techniques is a joy to behold." Fourth Wall Magazine

The Junk Orchestra

Junk Orchestra Show KS1

The Junk Orchestra Junk Orchestra Show KS1

Target Age Group
KS1
Genre
Music
Get in Time
60mins
Get out Time
60mins
Duration
60mins
Capacity
30
Max shows per day
2


Join Mr Junkman and discover the sonic delight of everyday objects rescued from the urban wasteland. Learn how to build you own mini junk orchestra at home or in class. Experience and discover music from the twilight zone to foot stomping fun.

Music for Children
The Junk Orchestra

Junk Orchestra Show KS2

The Junk Orchestra Junk Orchestra Show KS2

Target Age Group
KS2
Genre
Music
Get in Time
60mins
Get out Time
60mins
Duration
60mins
Capacity
30
Max shows per day
2


Join Mr Junkman and discover the sonic delight of everyday objects rescued from the urban wasteland. Learn how to build you own mini junk orchestra at home or in class. Experience and discover music from the twilight zone to foot stomping fun.

Music for Children, The Junk Orchestra, Once Upon A Festival
NIE

We Come From Far Away

NIE We Come From Far Away

Target Age Group
KS3
Genre
Music/Storytelling
Get in Time
180mins+
Get out Time
180mins+
Duration
60mins
Capacity
65
Max shows per day
2


A show about refuge – performed in an immersive setting using live music, storytelling, clowning and shadow puppetry. We Come From Far Far Away comes to you in a traditional Mongolian Yurt. You are invited into the Yurt, to come in and sit down on a cushion, and there you hear a story, which is accompanied by live music.

Due to the get-in and set requirement this performance can only visit one school, please contact booking@theatreroyal.org if you would like to know more.

We Come From Far Far Away performance tent, roaming theatre, Once Upon A Festival
We Come From Far Far Away Children's Show, production image, Once Upon A Festival
Actors from We Come From Far Far Away Children's Show, Once Upon A Festival

“World Class storytelling”
Periskop newspaper, Norway

“The performance is rich and complex. It is not at all a heavy or worthy piece of drama, rather it is a human, touching, and above all funny play”
The New European

“This is the most important performance that has visited our school”
Hvalstad Primary School, Norway

“The students cannot stop talking about the performance, and both the adults and young people were very touched by the work”
Vettre Primary School, Norway

Half Moon

Young Herbert's Horrors

Half Moon Young Herbert's Horrors

Target Age Group
KS1/2
Genre
Music
Get in Time
60mins
Get out Time
40mins
Duration
45mins
Capacity
90
Max shows per day
2


 

A swashbuckling pirate adventure with a twist.

Young Herbert is a little horror. Living on a boat should be the ideal life for a wannabe pirate, but the boat’s grounded until Herbert can learn to tidy his cabin, eat his greens and be more polite.

Children's Festival show Young Herbert's Horrors, Once Upon A Festival
Young Herbert's Horrors set prototype, children's show, Once Upon A Festival
Young Herbert's Horrors set to real life design, children's show, Once Upon A Festival

“Epic and intimate at the same time, brilliant.”
(Audience member about Big Wow, Small Wonder)

"Justin’s performance was slick and professional, magical and inspirational. Poetry has never been more popular!"
(Southend Libraries about Big Wow, Small Wonder)

“Poetry, storytelling, and sheer charm emanating from the personal magic of Justin himself.”
(Brighton Festival Fringe about Don't Feed the Poets!)

“In this sometimes funny, sometimes touching, often surprising new collection .... Justin Coe parades 50 or more different fathers in front of his readers in poems that will make them laugh, smile, think or just nod in recognition”
(LoveReading4Kids about Dictionary of Dads)

Graffiti Classics

Graffiti Classics

Graffiti Classics Graffiti Classics

Target Age Group
KS2+3
Genre
Music
Get in Time
30mins
Get out Time
30mins
Duration
60mins
Capacity
120
Max shows per day
2


6 strings, 8 dancing feet and 4 voices with 1 aim: to make classical music wickedly funny and fantastically exhilarating for everyone, young and old. Graffiti Classics burst the elitist boundaries of the traditional string quartet with their hilarious all-singing, all-dancing musical comedy show.

Music Artists Graffiti Classics

“Brilliant! Every school should have a Graffiti Classics workshop to inspire and fire-up the kids' musicality.” Head Teacher, Gaelscoil an Bhradáin Fheasa, Co Meath, Ireland

“Graffiti Classics was, without doubt, one of the most extraordinary concerts we have ever put on at More House School. The entire audience were captivated from start to finish with the hilarious routines, brilliant choreography and beautifully-performed music.” Mark Place, Director of Music, More House School, Surrey

The children loved every moment!” Class Teacher, Beaumont Primary School, Surrey

"Graffiti Classics introduced pupils to a wide range of music and playing styles with infectious rhythms. Exceeded all our expectations, with the focus firmly on having fun!” Philip Tebbs, Head of Music, St Gabriel’s, Newbury

…..will leave you wanting more.” Daily Mail

“They had the audience falling off their seats with laughter.” Western Gazette

“A simply wonderful show!” The Times

Full House

By the Light of the Moon

Full House By the Light of the Moon

Target Age Group
3+
Genre
Storytelling
Get in Time
Get out Time
Duration
40 minutes
Capacity
150
Max shows per day


By the Light of the Moon is a magical story about determination and bravery, and a friendship formed in the face of difference. Full House Theatre will bring the show into your school for free when you book The Owl and The Pussycat at Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds.

To book, please email Hayley or call 01284 829935 to discuss dates and times.

VENUES PROGRAMME

There are six partner venues which make up Once Upon A Festival 2018, you can highlight shows and activities taking place at each by clicking the corresponding button below:

Ballet Cymru

Cinderella

Ballet Cymru Cinderella

Date
Mon 11th Jun 2018
Venue
Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds


Ballet Cymru is proud of its innovative productions and Cinderella will be no exception, with a new music score and creative circus elements, combined with the finest classical dance. Ballet Cymru has worked with award winning composer Jack White and Circus Company Citrus Arts to conjure a surprising world of wonder and magic.

Tall Stories Theatre Company Limited

The Gruffalo's Child

Tall Stories Theatre Company Limited The Gruffalo's Child

Date
Fri 22nd Jun 2018
Venue
Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds


 

Following hot on the heels of The Gruffalo’s sell out tour and his monstrous West End success comes The Gruffalo’s Child – with attitude! Just how brave is she? Find out for yourselves by joining her on tour this autumn.

Tall Stories Theatre Company Limited

Gruffalo's Child

Tall Stories Theatre Company Limited Gruffalo's Child

Date
Tue 19th Jun 2018
Date To
Wed 20th Jun 2018
Venue
Marina Theatre Lowestoft


 

Following hot on the heels of The Gruffalo’s sell out tour and his monstrous West End success comes The Gruffalo’s Child – with attitude! Just how brave is she? Find out for yourselves by joining her on tour this autumn.

Ballet Theatre UK

The Little Mermaid

Ballet Theatre UK The Little Mermaid

Date
Wed 13th Jun 2018
Venue
Marina Theatre Lowestoft


 

Join Ballet Theatre UK on this dramatic re-telling of Hans Christian Andersen’s all-time favourite story of The Little Mermaid, who falls in love with a human Prince and gives up everything to win his love.

Tom Roden

The Buildy Uppy Dance Show

Tom Roden The Buildy Uppy Dance Show

Date
Thu 21st Jun 2018
Venue
John Peel Centre Stowmarket


Let your imagination run riot as hundreds of boxes are stacked, squashed and rebuilt. Help create enticing caves, wonky castles and fabulous creatures, as together we learn that the strongest thing we can build is friendship.

Theatre Royal Bath

One Item Only

Theatre Royal Bath One Item Only

Date
Sun 17th Jun 2018
Venue
John Peel Centre Stowmarket


If you had to take a long journey away from home and you could only take one item with you, what would it be?

Armed with only a backpack of favourites items, follow one child’s continental adventures across deserts, wind-whipped mountains and the inky depths of the ocean, propelled by the child’s gently-repeating mantra ‘just keep moving forward’.