Putting on a Show Part One

The first step to putting on a show is to secure funding.

The first step to putting on a Story Storks show is to apply to the Arts Council for funding, be turned down, go through an emotional turmoil 80s montage of a week and then think ‘Oh sod it – I can do this’, plunge on, write and perform a brilliant show losing a stone in weight through stress.

I’m in the process of putting together this years’ Christmas Show which will be ‘The Three Little Christmas Pigs’ and this week I’ve been turned down for funding. I’m still in my 80s montage. Sleep evades me. I will put legwarmers on later and dance infront of You Tube classics to try and get clarity on the matter.

Of course I’m still doing it. The show is cast (amazing actors). The Rose Theatre are onboard to sell our tickets and promote us (they love us). Infact it was the CEO of the Rose Theatre who convinced me I should go for Arts Council funding in the first place. He obviously thinks we’re worth it.

And to be fair I didn’t ask for very much. I didn’t want it to be a total disaster if they said no!

This year I’ve booked a proper theatre! We’re in the Arthur Cotterill Theatre in Kingston College. There will be a stage and seats and lights and sound and scenery. We will be quite literally the only theatre company for miles around offering a Christmas show for early years children, and I promise it will be full of magic and wonder. I wouldn’t do it if it wasn’t!

But now I need to come up with ideas for alternative funding. Current thoughts include:

  1. Write, illustrate and publish the book in time for 1st November. I’ll be OK with the writing part!
  2. Program advertising
  3. Sell cuddly pigs in the foyer
  4. Sell actual pigs in the market
  5. Hog roast
  6. Bacon sandwiches
  7. Sponsored little piggy run! We could get the kids to run round a park, collect sponsorship from grandparents and aunties.
  8. Piggy picnic! Oooo I like that.
  9. Ask local businesses for sponsorship
  10. Do what I did last year and sell more than enough tickets to cover all my costs.

Whilst number 10 is the most likely to happen I’m not yet dismissing writing the book or piggy picnic! Piggy Picnic could be the title of a book?!?!? This could run and run. Of course if you run a local business and would like to sponsor us or advertise in the program I’m not turning that down either.

Anyway, tickets go on sale at the Rose Theatre on the 4th September and are £11.50 each. The Saturday morning tickets will be pretty much sold out by the end of September I can guarantee so if you want to come to that performance set your reminder now!

The show will be running from December 5th to December 9th. To start with performances on the 5th, 6th and 7th will be for schools and early years providers only but as we get closer to the date we’ll open up any free tickets we have.

School discounts are available AND because we at Story Storks understand our customers we are going to offer 1 free ticket for every 3 tickets bought. With children so young the ratio of adults to children is 1 to 3 but most theatres only offer 1 free ticket for every 10 bought. For an early years show that simply doesn’t add up. Hopefully this structure will mean we can get even more little bums on seats, experiencing the magic and nurturing a lifelong love of theatre.

It’s an ambitious project. I am so up for it that if my theatrical ambition were muscles then I’ve eaten both my spinach and popeyes. I hope you’ll come along and support us. If you have any other support you can offer then please do contact me…especially if it’s a bacon sandwich!


If you enjoyed this blog you may also enjoy

Summer Holiday Parenting fails

Happy Birthday Story Storks

The High Price of the Summer Holidays


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SARAH CANTRILL is a woman on a mission to inspire every young child to become a reader for pleasure.  She is the Artistic Director & Founder of STORY STORKS, a social enterprise that delivers interactive story workshops to early years children and their grown ups, that help kids to fall in love with stories and develop their early language skills meaning that they have an easier time of learning to read when the time is right. She is also passionate about helping and supporting parents through the early years and lobbying for a better understanding of them and the issues they present.  Occasionally she also speaks up for the kids too!


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