News Story

Two woman stand on a podium posing with hats on, a man stands below on the stage looking up with an arm outstretched
Credit: Geraint Lewis

On Tuesday, we proudly presented our ninth Primary Playmaker showcase to hundreds of Oxfordshire-based primary school pupils, their teachers and guests which included the Lord Mayor of Oxford!

Earlier this week on the Main Stage, plays written by the young audience members were performed by professional actors. All the children were in high spirits, with lots of applause and laughter filling the auditorium at The Playhouse! Those whose work was performed were also awarded a certificate at the end of the showcase - we would love to say a huge well to all those who participated in our Primary Playmaker scheme this year.

Take a look at our wonderful selection of photos from the showcase below, complete with all sorts of imaginative subjects from magical world portals and school discos to emergency ballet dancers and cat eating aliens!

Two woman pose like dancers on stage. They stand next to each other with purple lighting behind them.
Credit: Geraint Lewis

The Playhouse team have been working with over 300 primary schoolchildren in their classrooms since September 2023, helping them to devise their original scripts. During the process, the children from participating schools are taught skills in performance and writing, helping them to devise and write their own short play scripts, either individually or as part of a group.

The showcase is a culmination of the programme which aims to support pupils with their literacy skills, communication, and creativity, as well as increasing their confidence and teamwork skills.

Three actors on stage. Two men stand closely together, one with his hand on the other's shoulder, a woman stands further away looking at them. Two of the actors wear loosened ties around their necks, while the other wears it around their head. Two of them hold party cups.
Credit: Geraint Lewis

The showcase was directed by our Resident Director Lauren Carter and Artist Development Associate Al Miller. Joining them, our Participation and Learning Officer Alice Jessop and Head of Participation Paul Simpson hosted the afternoon and kept the audience entertained between plays!On the showcase, Paul said:

“It has been a delight to work with thirteen primary school classes this year, who collectively wrote more than 350 short plays across the Autumn and Spring terms. We couldn't be more proud of all the participating pupils and so glad they could join us at The Playhouse for an afternoon of fantastic theatre – created by them!”

A huge thank you also goes to our team of actors - Alex Stedman, Heather Porte, Kate Spencer and Tom Fletcher - for providing a truly joyous afternoon of live performance to our audience of young playwrights!

A woman crouches on the ground with her hands outstretched, she wears animal ears on her head. A man lies on the ground next to her, he looks shocked.
Credit: Geraint Lewis

The scheme is generously supported by Oxford Bus Company, who continue to provide free transport annually to The Playhouse, ensuring that all participating schools can attend and see their work come to life, no matter their resource.

Next year marks a decade of Primary Playmaker at Oxford Playhouse! As part of celebrating ten years, we are looking to hear from alumni of the scheme who wish to speak about their own experiences over the years. If this sounds like you, please do get in touch with Alice Jessop!

Two actors stand on stage, pretending they are scuba diving. They both wear makeshift snorkels with cardboard bubbles coming out of the top. The stage is lit up in bright blue.
Credit: Geraint Lewis