Drama Workshops Galore

“…the children really enjoyed them.  It was great to see the way you approached Much Ado, the one minute snapshots were really effective and fun.” 

Feedback from the Home Education Network

Dore Primary School pupils performing at the Ignite: Music celebration 2013
Dore Primary School pupils performing at the Ignite: Music celebration

In 2015/16 we created a special offer to engage new schools in our work.  It was a brilliant success, and we delivered drama workshops on Greek and Roman Myths, the Stone Age, Vikings, Coal Mining, Shakespeare, The Hobbit and books by David Walliams, and Michael Morpurgo. Workshops were led by our experienced drama practitioners, with 1600 participant engagements delivered in 22 Yorkshire schools.

We were so please with the results, that we are offering a special half price offer for schools interested in booking sessions in May, June and July 2016. To book or for further information email info@griffintheatrearts.com or call 0114 221 0241, 0797 37 35 133.


Soaring High This Summer With Shakespeare

Exciting times as Griffin Theatre Arts is set to deliver master-classes, micro-performances, character interpretations and family fun across North Lincolnshire this summer.

We’re thrilled to be working with North Lincolnshire libraries and council to be delivering an exciting array of Shakespeare related master classes, performances and experiences.  Thanks to a successful Arts Council funding bid, we will be delivering a whole host of work to excite, inspire, entertain and engage the people of Lincolnshire with everyone’s favourite bard – Shakespeare.

Writing Galore With Westways in Gorge on Writing


“A fantastic playwriting project with Westways Primary School, inspired by Museums Sheffield’s Ruskin Gallery.” 

Gorge in Writing was a terrific introduction to the craft of play writing, and a wonderful opportunity to work with a professional artists, and be inspired by Museums Sheffield’s Ruskin collection.  We worked with just over 60, Y4 pupils from Westways Primary School, over two months, during which the pupils had an inspiration visit to the Ruskin gallery, where they took part in games and activities that explored the collection, and stimulated creative writing.

The writing continued back in school, where they received workshops by nationally acclaimed playwright, Richard Hurford who worked with pupils to write and develop script ideas.  The pupils and their teachers then continued writing, sending the classes scripts to Griffin Theatre Arts.  We then worked with professional actors to create scratch performances of their work, which was then performed in a celebration event at the school, in which all artists, pupils and teachers celebrated their work, and experienced their peer’s plays.[/toggle]

The Tale of David of Doncaster Comes to Life at the DNWeekeND Festival

“He stole from the rich and gave to the poor, he fought beside Robin Hood, and had adventures galore. Friends with the outlaws, cloaked in folklore, but who was this man? The mysterious David of Doncaster!”

On 19-21st June 2015, Griffin was delighted to be part of the cultural explosion lit up the streets of Doncaster, inside and outside, for three days showcasing an eclectic mix of music, theatre, dance, installations, art, poetry, circus and spectacle.

Over the festival, empty and unused shop units were transformed into unique and quirky spaces; historic Doncaster spaces were transformed into performance venues from the Frenchgate Centre to Sir Nigel Gresley Square, from intimate one-to-one performances to large scale theatrical shows, from walkabout interactive street acts, to chilled-out hammocks by the world music stage.

Commissioned by Right Up Our Street, (an organisation funded by Arts Council England’s Creative People and Places programme to engage people in the arts in areas of low arts provision and/or engagement) who curated the festival, we created a brand new piece of family theatre – David of Doncaster.

A few months before the festival, our Artistic Director worked with children, young people and families to discover David of Doncaster’s story through writing and drama workshops that took place in Doncaster.  From this she wrote a thrilling piece of pocket-sized family theatre, which was rehearsed and performed with actor, Tom Tunstall.  Together Sarah and Tom gave multiple performances over the weekend at Doncaster’s Cast and Frenchgate Centre.

Jack and Jill help Melbourne Infant School Celebrate their Writing

Fun and fairy tales all round as Griffin Theatre Arts sends in Jack and Jill to help celebrate Melbourne Infant School’s Writing.

On the 27 February, we picked Jill picked up her pale, and Jack bandaged his head, as we set off to Melbourne Infant School in Derbyshire, to be part of their whole school Creative Writing Project celebrations.  We joined the school assembly and parent open day, to thank the children for their help, then toured the school visited every class, and be wowed by their fantastic creative writing and projects.  It was fantastic to be involved in such an exciting and inspiring day, and to help weave some fairytale magic into the children’s experience.

Awesome Assemblies inspiring writing

We’ve had a great time working at Phillimore Community Primary School helping to inspire their writing week.

We were delighted to be invited into Phillimore Community Primary School to help inspire their writing.  The school had decided to have a fun-filled writing week in which pupils wrote accounts about mythical creatures, and invited Griffin Theatre Arts to deliver a spring board assembly to kick the whole-school topic off.

Working closely with the school, we developed the character of Dr. Clara Farfoot, an explorer who had travelled the world making amazing, scientific discoveries.  The whole school met Dr. Farfoot in an assembly, where she told them of a particularly jaw-dropping adventure to capture the Tears of Mount Tikiki.  Dr. Farfoot then explained that she was now going on an adventure in search of the River of Knowledge, and needed the pupils help to prepare for the adventure, asking them to write about different mythical creatures that she might meet, and tell her about their strengths, weaknesses and habitats.  If she survived, Dr. Farfoot promised to return with a bottle of water from the River of Knowledge as a thank you to the school for all of their help.

The pupils’ writing was fantastic, and Dr. Clara Farfoot survived her adventure, returning to the school for a second assembly.  This time, she delivered two assemblies (one for KS1 and one for KS2), in which she praised pupils writing and shared the story of how she discovered the River of Knowledge.  The assemblies were also the spring board for a fantastic adventure writing competition in the school, which further inspired pupils to write.

Annual Report, 2012 – 2013

Download our annual report and see what we were up to in 2012 – 2013.

We are proud to present Griffin Theatre Arts 2012-2013 Annual Report, jam packed full of facts, figures and exciting activity!  Have a read and get in touch if you have any questions, or want to know more.

Stepping into the Bazaar with the Festival of the Mind


Festival of the Mind and the Sheffield Bazaar presented collaborations between the University of Sheffield and the city, bringing together exciting research in inspiring and creative ways. Griffin were delighted to be presenting a trilogy of films as part of the festival.

From 18-28 September 2014, Sheffield’s creative community teamed up and celebrateed our ideas, culture and collaboration, when the Sheffield Bazaar opens in Castle House for Festival of The Mind. Located in the old post office building on Angel Street, the Sheffield Bazaar showcased work by over 30 artists. The iconic Castle House venue, once a thriving department store, was turned into an enticing empty space where commissioned artists, including Griffin, created and show new work under the banner of The Sheffield Bazaar. Work was based on the following themes: Change, Chaos, Global, Joy, Resilience and Urban and the current (& future) situation of the surrounding Castlegate area.

Griffin Theatre Arts are delighted to have been part the Sheffield Bazaar, and presented a trilogy of films: Waking Dreams: Reflections on Castle House and the surrounding area by Griffin Theatre Arts C.I.C.  The trilogy combined the creativity, memories and dreams of Sheffield’s young and old to explore the past, future and present of Castle House and the surrounding Castle Market area.  Through the real, surreal and unreal, material explores change and resilience, and includes verbatim responses and creative interpretation of research.  Each film is a distinct entity, but intrinsically tied through thematic content and of course the Castle House building.  The films were created through a research and devising process involving participants and project artists. Follow the links below to watch the films.

Film 1: The Past
A collated collection of memories from the people of Sheffield that worked, shopped and ate chips, in Castle House and the nearby Castle Market.

Film 2: The Empty Store
Inspired by conversations with shoppers in the Castle Market area, and research into the way the area and building are viewed by the people of Sheffield.

Film 3: More than just a Department Store
A vision of Castle House of the future, inspired by ideas imagined by Westways Primary School and Dore Primary School pupils.



Out of this World Arts Week Cauldwell Children’s Charity

I was really pleased with the programme delivery. The volunteers and the young people were super.
Thank you once again for delivering the programme.”

Feedback from Caroline Evans, Cauldwell Children’s Charity Coordinator.

From 18 – 21 August 2014, Griffin Theatre Arts’ delivered Out of this World Arts Week at Rotherham Civic theatre – a fun packed theatre week for National Charity, Cauldwell Children’s Charity, as part of their expressive arts programme in Yorkshire.
Eleanor's Spaceship

Caudwell Children provide family support services, equipment, treatment and therapies for disabled children and their families across the UK. vide fam

Children with various special needs and their siblings, took part in a fantastic week of drama, music and art, specially designed by Griffin Theatre Arts’ Artistic Director.  The activities helped to build confidence and social skills for children (in particular soft skills, communication and team work etc) aged 8 – 18, through engaging and fun theatre activities.  Activities included: building spaceships and rockets, percussion activities, singing, song writing, exploring alien worlds and creating planets!

Throughout the week, participants worked closely with Griffin Theatre Arts’ Artistic Director, a musician, artist, Cauldwell workers and volunteers.

Children learnt new skills, built their confidence and unity as a team, and explored their creativity.  The week culminated in a showcase for friends and family, giving the young people the chance to share their experience and achievements – a massive achievement for the young people involved.

To find out more, or how to get involved in the August Arts Week, contact Caroline Evans, Short breaks Coordinator for Cauldwell Children’s Charity.


Make! Do and Mend mural soars to success right to the House of Lords

The Make! Do and Mend mural has was voted as the 9th most popular artwork in the People’s Choice category in the EAC Art Awards and achieved one of only 22 “Highly Commended” commendations.

The Make! Do and Mend mural has was voted as the 9th most popular artwork in the People’s Choice category in the EAC Art Awards and achieved one of only 22 “Highly Commended” commendations.
The mural was created over 90 creative sessions that took place through a large geographic area encompassing the Midlands, Yorkshire and the North East by a large mix of people from various social, economic and cultural backgrounds through our Make! Do and Mend project in collaboration with housing company, Places for People. More information about Make! Do and Mend can be found by scrolling down.
The piece will be awarded with a certificate and will be included in the House of Lords prize giving event on 8th October. https://eacartawards.org.uk/latest-entries.aspx?ob=1


Stepping back in time with Tales from a Tommy

Tales from a Tommy (39)

Griffin Theatre Arts has brought World War 1 history alive in 4 Sheffield schools, as part of the 2014 Sheffield Children’s Festival

Characters inspired by local, and the wider UK, World War I history delivered in-role living history sessions to around 720, Key Stage 2 and Special Education pupils. The morning started with the outbreak of war, and pupils learnt a song from the period and how to march!  They then took part in a carousel of workshop sessions, in which they met the following characters:

  • Charlie – a wounded Sheffield soldier in a French field hospital.
  • Molly – a Munitionette making shells for the frontline and working in Sheffield’s Hadfields munitions factory.
  • Mr. Ham – a Sheffield school teacher suffering from shell-shock after the horrors of trench war-fare.

The morning then culminated in all groups meeting back in the hall, and the end of the war.  Actors broke out of character to share poignant facts about the war, and to perform the Ode to Remembrance.

Tales from a Tommy (28)

In the afternoon, each class was visited by in-role practitioners, who set creative writing, illustration and art tasks inspired by the immersive morning sessions.  Work included: newspaper articles, letters home, diary accounts, acrostic poetry, poppy prints and designs.

A celebration of the pupils’ work then went on display at Sheffield’s premier city centre attraction, The Winter Gardens, and at the central lending library.

Participating Schools: Southey Green Primary School; St Theresa’s Catholic Primary School; Prince Edward Primary School and Talbot Specialist School.


Taking a Walk on the Wild Side with Griffin Theatre Arts

Step off the path… push back the leaf…  dig in the ground… bob under the pond…  what will you find?

Step off the path… push back the leaf…
dig in the ground… bob under the pond…
what will you find?

Over 700 children from Derbyshire and South Yorkshire have stepped Into the Wild with Griffin Theatre Arts’ Oli Owl, Wilma Woodlouse and Frederick Frog!

This May and June, schools in South Yorkshire and Derbyshire were visited by Wilma Woodlouse, Oli Owl and Frederick Frog, a band of friendly creatures who are using drama, music and storytelling to teach children science, literacy and the importance of conservation.

Appendix 5 - owl

Specifically designed for Key Stage 1Into the Wild is an exciting and immersive learning experience that increases skills, engagement and knowledge in: ScienceEnglish and Citizenship.  Participation in the experience is encouraging children to take an active interest in, and generate knowledge and respect for, the natural environment.  

The experience was led by Griffin Theatre Arts experienced Arts Education practitioners, children meet a frog, woodlouse and owl, and helped them solve their conservation problems. These friendly creatures actively taught children about their life cycles and processes, performed stories and songs inspired by the creatures’ folklore, and encourage children to understand cause and effect within Nature and their responsibilities to look after it!


Frederick Frog leads discussion and learning about frogs, the importance of saving water and ways to do it, though a new song written for the project.  Wilma Woodlouse shared the newly created story of how the Woodlice got their armour, and taught children about mini-beasts and their environments, then worked with the children to create placards and sentences to help encourage people to protect the environment.  Meanwhile, Oli Owl taught the children about nocturnal animals and birds through a fun-filled Owl Hunt, and then told the story of Louie the Little Owl.

Into the Wild (5)The costume and set were designed by  Derbyshire based theatre designer Kevin Jenkins, and experienced primary school teacher Jacki Rowley has created an excellent resource pack packed full of exciting science, literacy and conservation teaching ideas for Key Stage One. Jacki also led a CPD session for teachers from project schools.

Westway’s Primary School have written about their experience on their Y2 blog.  Dore Primary School have shared their experiences on their school website’s news page, as have Firs Hill Community Primary School on their class blog.

Gratefully supported by funding from the Ernest Cook Trust and the Open Gate Trust.

Sailing to Success with Shakespeare


“Amazing Performance!!! Articulate, TREMENDOUS acting and an incredible reliving of Shakespeare’s most lavish comedies!”

Audience feedback from performances at St. James’ Centre of Creativity, Valetta, Malta.



What You Will – A Sea Dog’s Tale is a fantastic new version of Shakespeare’s comedy Twelfth Night that toured South Yorkshire, before transferring to St. James’ Centre of Creativity, Valetta, Malta.  The production was the result of an international artist collaboration between South Yorkshire theatre company Griffin Theatre Arts and Maltese company, Curtain Call Productions, What You Will.

TN_ProductionShot2“The physical gags and the sight-gags are brilliant, though the pitch-perfect delivery of the verse gave Shakespeare’s jokes the mileage they deserved… The reunion of the lovers in the final scene is also genuinely moving: the change of tone skilfully executed.”

Excerpt from the Birds Beat Blog Theatre Review

The project was an amazing achievement for Griffin Theatre Arts, and marked a significant artistic achievement and success.  Supported by the Malta Arts Fund, the production saw actors, directors and visual artists from both the UK and Malta uniting to create a new piece of theatre that celebrated the brilliance of Shakespeare’s writing, making it accessible and enjoyable to those less familiar with his work all, and in particular, young people.


“If schools presented Shakespeare in the same vein as What you Will, he would have a lot more fans! Thumbs up!”

Audience feedback from performances at St. James’ Centre of Creativity, Valetta, Malta


The action takes place on board a 17th Century Sailing Boat, onto which a young Will Shakespeare stumbles searching for high seas and adventures.  Shakespeare is told the story and watches the sailors perform scenes from the play.  Soon Shakespeare is whisked up in the action too, and the story of Twelfth Night unfolds in front of the audiences eyes.


“What each actor did was a very skilled round of character doubling, playing multiple parts, with all playing Maria at some point, in different accents.”

Excerpt from the Times of Malta review


Our aim was to make watching Shakespeare a fun, enjoyable and accessible experience, and we created a fun, fast paced and imaginative play introducing Shakespeare’s comedy, Twelfth Night. Using ropes, barrels, storytelling, music, Shakespeare’s play, shadow theatre and anything else that comes to hand; young Will Shakespeare and a band of sailors conjured up a storm where twins are torn asunder and shipwrecked sailors are tossed upon a foreign shore.

TN_ProductionShot19Artistic Director of Griffin Theatre Arts Sarah Clough said, “We’ve had a great response from audiences.  We’re thrilled to create a piece of theatre that is fun, accessible and entertaining Shakespeare.  His writing is such a central part of our culture, and by bringing his words to life, we hope to inspire a love of the bard in new generations!”

Simone Ellul, Artistic Director of Curtain Call Productions said, “It’s been an amazing experience working with a group of international artists to create a new piece of theatre. The opportunity to learn new skills and develop our craft has been invaluable.”


Please follow the links below to read articles and reviews of the production:


Times of Malta – Review

Birds Boots Beat – Theatre Blog review

Sunday Times of Malta – Review

TN_ProductionShot5Sunday Times of Malta Article – Shakespeare Made Fun

Times of Malta Article – A New Twist to Twelfth Night

Feedback from Social Media on What You Will: A Sea Dogs’ Tale

Discovering Treasure with Cauldwell Children’s Charity

treasure map_cauldwell“It was a huge success and the feedback we had from parents was really positive… We really enjoyed the variety of activities and it was great to give the children the chance to be so creative through drama, music and arts.”

Feedback from Emily Buttery, Cauldwell Children’s Charity’s Short Break Coordinator.

From 14 – 17 April 2014, Griffin Theatre Arts’ delivered The Treasure Island Arts Week – the first of two, fun packed theatre weeks for National Charity, Cauldwell Children’s Charity, and the launch of their expressive arts programme in Yorkshire.  Caudwell Children provide family support services, equipment, treatment and therapies for disabled children and their families across the UK. 

17 children, with various special needs, took part in a fantastic week of drama, music, art and treasure hunting, specially designed by Griffin Theatre Arts’ Artistic Director.  The activities helped to build confidence and social skills for children (in particular soft skills, communication and team work etc) aged 8 – 18, through engaging and fun theatre activities.  Activities included: building sea monsters, creating characters & treasure maps, singing shanties and meeting mermaids!

photo 3Throughout the week they worked closely with Griffin Theatre Arts’ Artistic Director, a musician, artist, Cauldwell workers and volunteers.

Children learnt new skills, built their confidence and unity as a team, and explored their creativity.  The week culminated in a showcase for friends and family, giving the young people the chance to share their experience and achievements – a massive achievement for the young people involved.

The second Arts Week will take in place this August in Rotherham.

“Go intergalactic and let your imagination run wild, with the Out of the World experience.  Bursting with aliens, moons and crazy planets, during this week young people will go further than any young people has gone before, and explore with the weird and wacky ways of outer space!”

To find out more, or how to get involved in the August Arts Week, contact Emily Buttery, Shortbreaks Coordinator for Cauldwell Children’s Charity.


The Make! Do and Mend Project is a Terrific Success!

“a positive and rewarding experience for Places for People as an organisation, but more importantly the customers who were engaged in the project

Feedback from Places for People Individual Support, Regional Manager

The Make! Do and Mend project has been a great success and we are extremely proud of the work achieved by the artists, participants and staff that we have worked with. Below provides a bit of a snapshot of the project, together with some great pictures taken at the Celebration Event on the 29 November 2013.  To find out more you can also watch the Make! project short film.

The Make! Do and Mend project was an exciting creative collaboration between Griffin Theatre Arts and housing company, Places for People.  The overall aim of which was to provide a high quality creative experience for a range of vulnerable groups that encouraged cross participation and engagement between groups, stimulated creative thinking and increased confidence.

Make! Do and Mend  celebration event craft sessionOver 90 creative sessions took place through a large geographic area (15 counties!) encompassing the Midlands, Yorkshire and the North East.  Through the workshops we engaged a vast range of people from a large mix of social, economic and cultural backgrounds; including our core target groups: Older people, People with a range of learning, physical and sensory disabilities, People with mental health problems, Homeless people (single and families), Young People at risk and care leaves, Young parents and families, People at risk of domestic abuse.

The celebration event was real testament to the buy in from these groups, demonstrating their commitment and pride in the project and their work within that.   There were 70% more people attending the event than we had predicted based on numbers from previous community events.  This was particularly notable as some of the people attending were travelling for further and longer than in previous years, due to the large geographic area that we were engaging with.  There was also an excellent mix of groups representing the participants, and covered each of the regions that we had worked in.



The participants’ engagement to the two sections of the celebration event (the morning craft workshops and café mixer, and the afternoon music session and mural reveal) were extremely positive.  The morning event had a relaxed, friendly and informal atmosphere.  It was wonderful to witness the older and younger generations working together on the arts workshops and the atmosphere was warm and engaging.

In the afternoon, there was a more formal presentation with all 170 participants.  Following a formal speech thanking them for their engagement, we watched the project video that helped to further place into context their contribution to the overall project and how everyone’s work tied together; we presented the music recorded in their schemes, interspersed with a mass singing session involving all participants. Finally we revealed the mural to an audible gasp.  Following this we presented framed pictures to each scheme and participants came and took photographs of the mural and themselves in front of it.

MAKE_069The participants pride in their achievements was palpable.  An excellent example of this is one young man from one of the Young People at risk and Carers Schemes, who was keen to collect the frame and then wanted his picture with it in front of the mural.  His support worker comments that this was a really positive experience for him, and that it was unusual, but brilliant to see him so engaged and proud.  Following the celebration event, we were thanked by many participants, and we have been informed by scheme managers since, that they have been saying what a positive experience this project has been and asking what project they can get involved in next.

“In a brief interview with Sarah Clough of Griffin Arts Theatre, she explained, “the project was based on the generative capacity of arts to positively engage and inspire individuals, and its social capacity to cultivate bonds between them.” Indeed the launch event was a perfect testament to this goal – I observed people, young and old, and from all walks of life conversing over tea (and glittery cupcakes!) and feeling genuinely excited not only about the day but life itself.”

Excerpt from the SITRA case study on Make! Do and Mend.


In addition to the impact of the project on the immediate participants, the project is impacting the housing industry on a national scale.  Make! Do and Mend has been used as a good practice case study by SITRA (a national organisation providing leadership, influencing best practice and policy in housing with care and support).

The project has also been nominated for the Excellence in Equality and Diversity Award in The Tenants Empowerment Organisation (a leading national tenant participation organisation working to promote tenant empowerment).  For Griffin Theatre Arts the project marks an exciting landmark, it sees the company expanding into new areas in terms of innovative community arts engagement and successfully reaching out to a wider geographical area encompassing the Midlands, Yorkshire, the Humber and the North East.


Silver Linings All Around as Come Rain or Shine Tours Sheffield Schools

“That’s the best play I’ve ever seen!”
Westways Primary School Year 4 Boy

Come Rain or Shine image

Rain, rain and more rain! It’s 2007, the water is rising and so are the umbrellas.  Everyone’s rushing home.  Everyone except Jasmine and Eddie, locked in their deserted school classroom, the rain is the least of their worries as mysterious people from the past start to appear.

Brimful of music, hope and loss, Come Rain or Shine is a brand new Yorkshire play for 8 – 11 year olds and their families that toured Sheffield schools during November and December 2013.  The play, written by Sheffield writer, Stacey Sampson, captured the imaginations and hearts of our young audience, and we had a brilliant time and wonderful feedback from both staff and pupils.

“That was amazing – I can’t wait to go and tell my Dad all about it” Phillimore Community Primary School Key Stage 2 teacher.

Set in a deserted classroom during the height of the 2007 floods, Come Rain or Shine centered around two young people Jasmine and Eddy, and is rooted in South Yorkshire’s heritage and focused on the following periods of history: 1864 Sheffield Floods, Coal Mining, Henry Falkendorf and Theresa Smith from the 1910-12 Sheffield Jungle, The Sheffield Blitz and football legend – Derek Dooley.  (Further information and workshop plans on our Resources page).

CROS Nov 13 (15)Come Rain or Shine was written by Stacey Sampson and created though Dynamitean Arts Council England funded R&D project involving over 800 children and young people who directly inspired the play, ensuring that it is truly engaging for a younger audience.

There is an excellent Come Rain or Shine resource pack for each of the key historical themes and from the writer regarding the process of writing a new play. There are direct links to the following National Curriculum subject areas: English, History, PSHE and Citizenship.  Ideas within the resource pack include work for Key Stage 1 and 2.

The production was supported by funding from the Sheffield Town Trust.  Their kind support enabled us to tour the production and to specifically target schools for bursary performances.  These schools were: Tinsley Junior School, Emmanuel Junior School, Phillimore Community Primary School and Porter Croft Primary School.

We were also delighted to perform to BA ED students from Sheffield Hallam University followed by a talk on using theatre in education as an excellent teaching tool and the process of creating the play.  One of their Senior Lecturer in Early Years and Primary Teacher Education informed us that “The feedback was very positive and the students found it a very worthwhile experience. Thank you again for your enabling this valuable learning opportunity to take place especially at such a busy time in between your school-based performances of ‘Come Rain or Shine’, it is much appreciated.

The Quangle Wangle’s Hat and other tales by Edward Lear

An exciting nonsense poetry performance adventure

photo (1)

Working in partnership with The Montgomery and supported by funding from Off The Shelf and The Church Burgesses Educational Foundation, Griffin Theatre Arts were delighted to create a fantastic workshop adventure inspired by the nonsense poetry and songs of Edward Lear.

This October, school pupils, teachers and families took part in a fantastic theatrical experience that led them through the secret corners of The Montgomery from the Studio, to dressing rooms to under stage and then on stage.   Led by Professor Pobble and his hapless assistance Doctor Dong, participants experienced poetry performed by theatre professionals, as well as taking part in fun and interactive creative activities including printing with crumpets to create a life sized crumpety tree!!

Make! Do and Mend 

A Major New Arts Project To Engage Vulnerable Groups

make do and mend guildford grange01

Make! Do and Mend is a new major collaborative arts project that has begun working with vulnerable groups across the Yorkshire, Humber and North East Regions that is supported by public funding from Arts Council England. This innovative pilot project is being led by Yorkshire based theatre company Griffin Theatre Arts in collaboration with support service Places for People.  The project will deliver arts workshops for over 600 people in over 40 sheltered and support service schemes throughout October and November.

Places for People (Individual Support) work with local authorities providing care and support services for older people who need support, teenage parents, people with mental health problems, women escaping domestic violence, people with disabilities, refugees and homeless people.

Griffin Theatre Arts aims to help remove cultural and social barriers within these marginalised groups by bringing creative arts opportunities to Place for People’s schemes and services.

Through Make! Do and Mend  groups will  work together, to help  build confidence, self esteem and improve skills through drama, music, and arts based workshops

Local artist William Buckman and musician Will Mace will be working with Griffin Theatre Arts as part of the project. William Buckman has created a large scale picture inspired by the ideas and concepts from the research, this image has been divided into 40, A3 sections.  Each Places for People scheme has been given a section and visual artists are now visiting schemes and working with groups.  The artists will be using a variety of techniques such as sewing, print making, collage, and knitting to decorate the sections, all of the sections will be brought together at the celebration event to form the mural.  Will Mace has been given the same source material and is composing a song, which will be finished, enhanced and performed in conjunction with Places for People schemes.

A large scale art mural will be the outcome of the creative workshops that will be showcased at a celebratory event with all project participants on Friday 29 November at the Hospitium venue in York.

Artistic Director of Griffin Theatre Arts Sarah Clough said;

“We are thrilled to be working Places for People on this incredible project.  I’m particularly excited that older generations from our local areas will be working with, influencing and inspiring our younger generations.  We hope that through reflecting and reminiscing on their own experiences people taking part in Make! Do and Mend will produce creative responses, which in turn will inspire professional local artists to create pieces of work shaped by local people.”

Kim Scott, Places for People Individual Support Director said;

“I am very excited about the Make! Do and Mend project and what it means for the customers of Places for People. Together with Griffin Theatre Arts, we are offering a fun and active way for our customers, young and old to connect with each other and learn new and exciting skills.  Customer Involvement is an important part of Places for People’s work and this project has raised the bar in what can be achieved.”



Griffin Theatre Arts’ Annual Report 2011 – 2012

A Year in the Life of a Griffin!

After a roller-coaster first year, and being catapulted into a brilliant second year with the fantastic Dynamite project, we are now delighted to present our annual report, please click Annual Report to download it.

A Soaring Success at Sheffield City Hall

Dore Primary School pupils performing at the Ignite: Music celebration

On the 11 March 2013, 180 primary school pupils from 5 South Yorkshire primary schools, together with an invited audience of parents, families and local artists, gathered together for the celebration performance of Ignite: Music at Sheffield City Hall.  

The event was the culmination of work delivered in primary schools by Griffin Theatre Arts, and inspired by South Yorkshire heritage. Each of the 6 classes performing, had worked on an original song, composed by Griffin’s project musician, Tim Brooks, and lyrics written by themselves and Tim during the session. Whilst learning the song, the sessions had also explored how to use your voice including voice warm ups and techniques.  Furthermore the pieces were choreographed by Griffin Theatre Arts’ Artistic Director, Sarah Clough, in conjunction with the ideas of the participating pupils.  During the sessions, we also focussed on increasing confidence in themselves and in performing, raising aspirations and creating a memorable, high quality and positive arts experience.

The project’s writer, Stacey Sampson, attended the event, and the lyrics and performances have further informed the new play.  Stacey also took the interview to interview pupils about their experience during the project, and it is a joy to hear them speak about their positive experience, click on the links below to hear some of the pupils talk about their experiences on the project:

The pupils comments included:

  • They give us lots of confidence in what we’re doing and they encourage us
  • they’re really good at teaching us different things, and I think they’re great
  • I feel proud of myself, because when they first did warm ups and everything, I went t’back of hall, but when they finished and we were doing it I went t’front
  • I feel special, because not many schools had the opportunity to do this.

So far feedback from teachers has included:

  • Well done for yesterday, it was brilliant! And all the kids and parents loved it!
  • Thanks for everything and for giving the children such a fantastic opportunity – they gained so much from it
  • We had two children who had specific special needs (Asperger’s and Down Syndrome) – they both absolutely blossomed throughout the experienced; especially in the final performance.

We are in the process of compiling the full project evaluation, and this will be available soon.

Lighting the Fuse!

Setting Imaginations alight through exciting drama and creative writing workshops

Imaginative, fun and stimulating, the Fuse workshops explored South Yorkshire history inspired by Circus, Floods, Industry, World War II or Sport, and encouraged a love and interest in literacy.    The voice, work and ideas of South Yorkshire’s children and young people, inspired by the Fuse workshops, will contribute to Griffin Theatre Arts’ Dynamite project, leading to Come Rain or Shine, a new play for 8 -13 year olds.

During the drama and creative writing sessions, children and young people explored local heritage and were encouraged to respond creatively through creative writing and drama.  The sessions were complimented be resource boxes from Museums: Sheffield and the National Coal Mining Museum.

Groups enjoyed taking part in vocal and physical warm ups, creative writing and drama activities.  Schools were provided with workshop plans and resources following the session and a selection of these will soon be available in the resources section of Griffin Theatre Arts’ website.  Click here for the the Fuse Evaluation.

Success with Once Upon a Time…

South Yorkshire’s primary schools have loved our storytelling and art sessions

Practical, imaginative and interactive, Once Upon a Time… art and storytelling sessions sparked imaginations and encouraged a love of stories.  Classes from Firshill Community Primary School, Worsbrough Bank End Primary School, Dore Primary School, Bradway Primary School and Lowedges Primary School created their very own dragons in busy and energetic art sessions that were then used during the interactive storytelling performance.

During the drama and interactive storytelling sessions, we shared local myths and legends, together with brand new Sheffield stories that had been created this summer, by parent groups in our Terrific Tales family literacy project.  The classes also enjoyed taking part in vocal warm ups, singing and drama activities.  Please click here to read the Once Upon a Time… Project Evaluation.

The sessions have been so popular that we will be delivering them in schools this June, and have already had three bookings!  If you’d like more information about how you can get involved call us on 0114 221 0241 or email info@griffintheatrearts.com.

Griffin Theatre Arts’ Announces the Dynamite Project!

South Yorkshire’s Heritage Explored in Major New Young People’s Theatre Project

Griffin Theatre Arts are to implement an major new arts education project for the South Yorkshire region from November 2012 to July 2013. The Dynamite Project will develop the voice, ideas and work of the region’s children whilst inspiring and engaging them in arts experiences that champion creativity and celebrate regional heritage.

The Arts Council supported project is in collaboration with Museums Sheffield with resource support from the National Coal Mining Museum.  The project aims to engage several groups over an eight month period in effective and creative work, including children aged 5 – 18, schools, families and emerging local artists. The project will also specifically target regional areas of social, economic and cultural deprivation.

The Dynamite Project will be in three phases, Fuse, Ignite and Explosion and will delivered by professional arts practitioners, and aims to strengthen links between local artists and local arts organisations.  Through creating, exhibiting and performing art, music and drama, local children will be working with local artists to create a brand new play to be performed as part of the 2013 Sheffield Children’s Festival.

During and after each phase Griffin Theatre Arts will reflect upon and evaluate the practice, activities and the impact of the creativity upon the children. A project legacy will then be created through working with teachers to enable dissemination of training and ideas to future pupils, whilst providing project resources and the creation of future lesson plans.  The company will also work with one case study school throughout the process, monitoring the effect upon pupil’s communication and literacy skills in collaboration with the staff from that school. All South Yorkshire schools and community groups are invited to register interest in taking part in this ambitious programme of work. Schools can register interest by visiting www.griffintheatrearts.com or by contacting 0114 221 0241.

Sarah Clough, Artistic Director of Griffin Theatre Arts said “Participation in the Dynamite project will have an incredible effect on the region’s young people.  It will boost self-esteem, provide them with a genuine sense of achievement and pride in their creations; whilst encouraging enjoyment of the creative arts, developing creative thinking and raising aspirations. The project’s focus on creative learning will have direct links to the national curriculum and develop core skills such as team work, communication and confidence.  Furthermore, this exciting and multi-layered project will also offer opportunities for new and emerging Yorkshire artists and benefit those children that don’t normally engage in the arts.” 

Fuse and Ignite will be the research and development phases.  Fuse will involve Sarah Clough and writer Stacey Sampson.  These artists will work with schools across the region to explore South Yorkshire’s heritage and what it means to the local community.  This will be exercised through practical drama and creative writing sessions, stimulating creative thinking and encouraging confidence.  There will be five key strands of research: Industry (focusing on coal mining and steel works), Floods, Sport, Circus and World War 2.  The work generated from Fuse will be the stimulus for the Ignite phase of the project.

Ignite will commence 7 February – 7 May 2013, and through the use of drama, music, art and creativity, Griffin Theatre Arts will increase children’s confidence in communication skills. Team work and team building will also be explored through performance skills. During the Ignite phase, Griffin Theatre Arts will deliver a music and a design project.  Primary schools in the region will work with professional, regional artists, including Carl Davies and Sarah Clough.  Ignite: Music will involve participants explore the voice and create songs inspired by the ideas generated from the Fuse phase, that they will then perform for an invited audience.  Ignite: Design will involve pupils creating immersive art installations that will culminate in a celebration sharing at Sheffield’s Millennium Galleries.

The work and ideas generated from the Fuse and Ignite phases will be the stimulus for the Explosion phase of the project.

Explosion, will be the scratch performance of the new, professional play for children and young people that has been inspired by the work in Ignite and Fuse, and will be performed by local artists and shared in a a final celebration showcase (which will feature work from each phase) to which project participants will be invited to.


Griffin Theatre Arts’ First Birthday Celebrations!

Griffin Theatre Arts had a fantastic time celebrating their first birthday!

We had a great fun delivering £1 workshops in Westways Primary School,  Stocksbridge Library and Chapeltown Library.  On the actual day (22nd October 2012), we spent the day working with Year 1′s at Dore Primary school, being visited by the Sheffield Star newspaper and partying in the evening with friends and colleagues at the Forum on Division Street.

We’ve had a fantastic first year, and can’t wait to see what the next one brings!


The Sheena Amos Youth Trust Workshops 

“Thanks so much for both workshops – they were great and are going to prove very useful over the next few weeks as we devise our performance”.
                                                                                                    Drama Youth Worker Leader, Side by Side group, Sheena Amos Trust, 21 Sept 2012

The Sheena Amos Youth Trust (SAYT) is an independent young people’s charity based in Sheffield, UK, who have been running all kinds of sexual health projects in partnership with young people since 1999.

SAYT approached Griffin to deliver two workshops for their Side by Side group one on improvisation and one on Forum Theatre.

Side by Side is their LGBT peer education project delivered by volunteers aged 16-19 and available for schools, colleges and other youth organisations across Sheffield to book.  It uses drama, group work and discussion to raise awareness of issues faced by LGBT young people, challenge homophobia and present positive and realistic images of what it’s like to be young and LGBT in Sheffield. Members of the volunteer team are also available to give staff training or talks around LGBT issues.  To find out more visit their website at: http://sayouthtrust.org.uk/what-we-do/side-by-side.

We delivered the first workshop on the 6 September, and the second on the 20 September, and had a brilliant time with a great bunch of young people.  Visit the resources section of our website for the workshop plans or contact us for further information on 0114 221 0241 or info@griffintheatrearts.com.


A Terrific Success with Terrific Tales

Wonderful workshop resources and a project evaluation

Summer 2012 

Terrific Tales – Family Literacy Project

Griffin Theatre Arts delivered this successful creative project in June and July 2012.  Terrific Tales was a creative project in which parent groups from Sheffield primary schools, created stories through drama and creative writing activities, inspired by Yorkshire and Derbyshire folklore for their families.

Children and parents also worked with a professional theatre designer to create set and props for the stories.  The project culminated in two memorable performances of the stories, by the parents for their families, using the art work created by the children.  The stories were shared at a Celebration Sharing at The Montgomery Arts Centre as part of the Cultural Olympiad, and back in the schools.    The project was extremely successful, and as well as being described as “a wonderful experience”, “tremendous fun and really stimulating”, feedback also stated that participation in the project felt like “a real strengthening of school and parent/community links”.

Click here for activities and resources used in the sessions or the Terrific Tales Project Evaluation.


Dynamite Project

Creating theatre together in 2012 – 13

September 2012 – July 2013

The Dynamite project is a creative research project that will explore the impact of participating in a high quality creative arts provision on the learner; specifically investigating the impact on literacy and communication skills, self esteem, confidence, pride and aspirations.  Research will be evaluated and our methods developed at each project stage, key elements of this will be the Creative Partners and the case study school.  This school will engage throughout the whole of the project, and we will work closely with a Lead Teacher from the school to monitor and evaluate the impact of participation and reflect upon the results.  The case study school will be from an area of social and economic deprivation, and will include pupils who would not ordinarily engage with the arts.


There will be three project phases: Fuse, Ignite and Explosion.  The project will be delivered by a team of exception creative practitioners, fully experienced in delivering excellent artistic experiences for children and young people. The voice, ideas and work of the children and young people will be at the heart of the Dynamite project; through the creation of their own art, music and drama performances and exhibitions, which will inspire the professional artists in the creation of a piece of professional theatre.

In addition to creating excellent arts experiences and opportunities for children, young people and families, Griffin Theatre Arts are committed to providing opportunities and development for new and emerging artists.  As part of this commitment in the Dynamite project we are offering new and emerging artist opportunities and mentoring opportunities, we would also like to offer these placements the opportunity to take part in the Gold Arts Award as part of their involvement.

So if you’d like more information or to register an initial interest in involvement, please email info@griffintheatrearts.com or call 0114 221 0241

Please click here for the Dynamite Project Description.

Once Upon a Time…

Boggarts, Witches and Dragons… when art meets storytelling

October 2012 

Once Upon a Time… will spark imaginations and encourage a love of stories through practical, imaginative and interactive creative sessions.  Children will take part in a dragon building workshop, then experience an interactive storytelling performance exploring traditional Yorkshire and Derbyshire folklore combined with brand new stories created by South Yorkshire families in our Terrific Tales family literacy project and inspired by the local area and folklore.  Sessions will be led by professional theatre practitioners with the help of the classes newly built dragon.

For:  5 – 9 year olds (Min 10 – Max 30 per group)   Cost: £200 (1 class/groups of up to 30), £300 plus travel (2 classes/groups of up to 60)     

For Booking or Further Information:  Contact Sarah on 0114 221 0241, info@griffintheatrearts.com, or visit www.griffintheatrearts.com[/toggle]


Whats on

July 2018

Griffin Theatre Arts

Our work is creative, original and educates through practical engagements that inspire exploration and thought. From the core of our work we will push boundaries, inspire new thinking and develop creativity.


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A Community Interest Company with limited liability
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