Children will be treated to a live performance of the hugely popular We’re Going on a Bear Hunt from Little Angel Theatre, based on the book by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury, followed by a hot lunch and games
“It is great that someone is thinking about our vulnerable families who would not have the opportunity for such an experience… some families would not even attempt to go to the theatre.”
Children’s Centre Support Worker 2018
“Thank you so much! We felt really looked after; a lovely festive event.” - Local Mother 2018
This December, Stratford Circus Arts Centre will once again open its doors and kitchen to local families facing challenges and help provide a first taste of theatre for many children. Full Hearts Full Tummies is the art centre’s annual Christmas project providing families with the opportunity to enjoy a uniquely festive day out at the theatre, including a satisfying lunch, for only £1. Following several successful years, which saw local businesses, organisations and individuals generously participate in raising the necessary funds, Stratford Circus Arts Centre is aiming to raise £12,000 for 2019.
As with 2018, part of this money will be raised via The Big Give Christmas Challenge, a nationwide campaign lasting seven days in the run-up to Christmas. The Big Give doubles all donations made to participating charities over the allocated period.
For Christmas 2019, Full Hearts Full Tummies is overjoyed to be offering tickets to the smash-hit children’s show We’re Going on a Bear Hunt (**** Time Out). Produced by London’s celebrated Little Angel Theatre, the stage-adaptation of Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury’s classic children’s book arrives at Stratford Circus Arts Centre after captivating audiences across the country on its UK tour. Making use of the Little Angel Theatre’s iconic puppetry and design, young audiences are taken on a squelchy, oozing, muddy adventure.
Full Hearts Full Tummies throws open the doors to the whole community in celebration of Christmas time, artistic performance and family fun. Now in its fifth year, the scheme has welcomed over 1,700 children, parents and care-givers to date, at a time when poverty rates have risen to 50% (End Child Poverty, 2019) Full Hearts Full Tummies gifts many children their first opportunity to experience a live, professional theatrical production in a major London venue. It also gives parents, who could otherwise not afford to, the chance to join their children for a one-off Christmas treat and a nourishing lunch.
Until now, Full Hearts Full Tummies has concentrated on bringing together people from the borough of Newham. For 2019, the project has been extended to include families from the neighbouring borough of Tower Hamlets, giving more children than ever the chance to join their friends in a magical – but affordable – Christmas day out.
In previous years, sporting superstars from local team West Ham United brought additional Christmas magic to the event by surprising young theatregoers at the shared lunch. The players rolled up their sleeves and got stuck in helping to share out the food.
Local businesses and individuals can show their support by booking a table for the fundraising quiz evening on Tuesday 3 December. Tables of up to six quizzers can secure their place for £100. On the night, they’ll be welcomed with a bottle of wine and festive nibbles. All monies raised will qualify for being doubled as part of the Big Give Christmas Challenge 2019.
Speaking about Full Hearts Full Tummies, Stratford Circus Arts Centre’s Director Tania Wilmer said: “As a local performing arts centre we are offering families a fun afternoon out at the theatre, at a time of year that we know can be really challenging. As well as providing a delicious hot meal, Full Hearts Full Tummies is about feeding imaginations and making sure that everyone from our community feels welcome in our arts centre.”
Stratford Circus Arts Centre are again collaborating with children’s centres, food banks and local charities to ensure that those who are most in need do not go without this Christmas. Stratford Circus hopes to secure enough funds to provide 600 £1 tickets to children and their families. Donations can be made in person at the box office or online at https://stratford-circus.com/donations/
Local businesses wishing to offer donations, support in kind, or to organise a fundraising event are asked to contact Mia@stratford-circus.com
For more information on The Big Give Christmas Challenge, visit: https://www.thebiggive.org.uk/s/christmas-challenge.
Families will be invited to one of ten performances taking place between Monday 9th December and Wednesday 18th December.