Stiltskin’s Soapbox Children’s Theatre

Stiltskin's Soapbox Children's Theatre is an ex WW2 mustard gas decontamination unit. Stiltskin took on the building in 2014 to transform it into a Children's Cultural Hub where children and their families can experience theatre, arts projects and festivals throughout the year.

Stiltskin Theatre and Arts C.I.C are a not-for-profit community organisation producing theatre and arts projects for children from 0-15 yrs and their families.
Since 2014 Stiltskin have been working to transform the building into an accessible community space, where children and their families can come together to experience excellent quality cultural projects such as theatre, arts and festivals. The Soapbox Children's Theatre is based in Devonport Park which is in the middle of one of the most deprived communities within the city. There are many families that find it difficult to seek cultural experiences due to socio-economic deprivation and low confidence in using cultural spaces. According to research figures from "Audience" 60% of residence in Devonport do not have access to cultural opportunities. At the theatre we offer discounts for these families through our local school scheme, and keep our ticket and workshop prices low throughout the year for everyone to experience theatre together from across the city and the South West.
The building was semi-derelict when we moved in and is based in the last corner of the park to be developed. By making the building fit for purpose we are helping to discourage anti-social and criminal behaviour within the park. We are also supporting local pride in the area, creating new jobs and benefiting local facilities. In 2015 we received planning permission from Plymouth City Council to develop the building. We have raised funds from Crowdfunding and the Social Enterprise Investment Fund to make the building accessible for wheelchair users and families, including building new toilets and opening up a double front entrance. In order to continue to make the theatre a great place for the community, for elderly people to be able to visit, babies and children to be comfortable, and to be able to offer projects for children with multiple needs within the space, we need urgent maintenance to the roof and walls of the building.
The Soapbox Theatre is in need of an insulated new roof and outside walls. The flat roof leaks and the walls are very damp. In order for the building to become more sustainable we need to insulate and fix the roof and insulate the walls. The building currently becomes extremely cold in the winter and very warm in the summer evenings. Neither the walls or the roof have been worked on fully since the building was constructed 72 years ago apart from small repairs.
As an environmentally conscious organisation we hope to reduce our carbon footprint as insulating the building will radically reduce our fuel consumption and make the building more sustainable, allowing any profits to be put back into the projects we produce for children and their families.
Stiltskin have been working with children for the past 18 years giving them the opportunity to experience theatre and culture to broaden their horizons, build their self confidence and raise their aspirations, as well as engaging imaginations and supporting their education with speaking and listening and English. We work with children with mental health issues, children in care, children who are socially disadvantaged and isolated and children with multiple needs.
By transforming the theatre into a place for children to experience culture we have created a space where children and their families can come together from Plymouth, the South West and beyond. We are one of the leading theatre companies to produce theatre for under 5's supporting early years language development and family cohesion by creating memorable experiences together.
The Soapbox Children's Theatre is an award winning community building winning the 2017 Abercrombie Awards, People's Choice and highly commended Best Community Building and Muddy Stiletto's Best Independent Theatre 2017 in Devon. We are also currently no.1 for Children's Theatre on Trip Adviser in the UK.