UK Enterprise 2020

219 | UK Enterprise Awards 2020 Telling stories is what sets humanity apart, and there are few ways of telling stories that are purer than the theatre. Combining art, spectacle and imagination, theatre can have an incredible impact on a young mind, inspiring them in myriad ways. The team at Story Pocket Theatre excel at this work, and have been recognised for their impressive efforts. We take a closer look at how they’ve brought words on a page to majestic life. Family Theatre Company of the Year 2020 Story Pocket Theatre has been incredibly busy over the last few years, punching well above its weight as it has produced eight shows since its inception. The aim of the team is simple – to inspire a life-long love of stories and theatre through sharing stories of their own. With the company’s patron being the renowned author Michael Morpurgo, the inherent quality of the company shines through. The team have been able to bring both classic and original children’s stories to the stage in a magical, inventive and exciting way, with each production centred around a passion for telling stories. The ways in which each production is delivered varies wildly as the team visits a host of different venues, each with their own unique quirks and charms, but the need for quality is always there and is a requirement that is always met. The success of Story Pocket Theatre has allowed the team to work with many incredibly talented people, many of whom are at the top of the theatrical profession. The small but ambitious nature of these productions has also allowed some of the young actors, technicians and designers to make their starts in the industry. Of course, the work that Story Pocket Theatre undertakes is not necessarily the most secure. Budgets are often low, requiring a great deal of imagination to keep people enthralled by the stories being told. Often, the team make these challenges into virtues, and build set pieces around what can be achieved. COVID-19 has had an immense impact on the UK’s theatre scene, with some productions tentatively testing the waters to see if it is safe to return. One of the most exciting aspects of the UK’s economy is the strength of its theatre community. There is an incredibly wide range of performance opportunities which allows many to thrive in a variety of circumstances. That said, the children’s theatre sector is likely to be one of the hardest hit which will impact Story Pocket Theatre until things return to normal. The pandemic has forced the team to be more creative in how they reach out to audiences, and they have moved online. One of the most successful moves was the establishment of a Pub Quiz for Kids throughout lockdown. This has generated a core community for the company who have returned each week. The theatre offers an immensely personal space in which an actor can perform, but this cannot compare to the chance to get to know someone personally. As a way of reacting to the current crisis, the team are looking at ways in which they can diversify their activities. This included expanding the merchandise available. It’s clear that things will not return to normal any time soon, and the team must be ready to adapt to a world where performing and touring is not safe for some time yet. What it does present Aug20345 to the team is an opportunity to plan for the future, ensuring that when they return it is with a bang. 2020 was set to have many exciting ventures that have since been put on hold. It is hoped that these events will be able to form the centrepiece of Story Pocket Theatre’s triumphant return next year. Company: Story Pocket Theatre Name: Alison Beattie Web Address: