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The Pop Up Panto #CrowdfundLiverpool

Funded on Spacehive 3 November 2020 Delivered 7 June 2021

Impact data and claims within this report are provided by the project creator and have not been independently verified by Spacehive.

The Pop Up Panto #CrowdfundLiverpool

Life in Theatre Productions LTD By Life in Theatre Productions LTD

Liverpool's Pop-Up Panto! We will tour the region, performing in school halls and playgrounds, keeping a Christmas tradition alive during the pandemic- safely- for ALL our primary school children!

Liverpool Delivery stage

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This project was funded on 03 Nov 2020!

We will decorate a van, with a pop-up stage inside, and entertain schoolchildren across the city. Following the news that many pantomimes will be cancelled, a group of professional performers will travel across the city, bringing joy, creativity & laughter into our schools and communities. After a summer of frustration and difficulty for so many families, we want to lift their spirits and bring some joy back to their lives from the safety of the school hall or playground. Our aim is to reach as many children as possible, giving them the chance to see a pantomime this year. The old Liverpool Everyman company had a similar project in the 70’s, called VanLoad, where actors would travel to pubs and communities bringing theatre and comedy to people. Dame Julie Walters said of it, “ My first professional job was with Vanload, the touring wing of the Everyman. I loved the feeling that this was theatre for the community we were performing in.” This ethos would be our blueprint.

What we'll deliver:

  • To employ a team of Merseyside-based performers/creatives
  • To entertain local children and transform their experience during the pandemic in a safe and fun way.
  • To create a mobile theatre space
  • Keep our young people safe
  • Improve the health and wellbeing of our children
  • Bring school communities together, encouraging families to take part in the pop-up panto with their children.
  • We will present stories that fit with the school's reading curriculum- referencing the children's learning in school.
  • Part of our show will include a physical activity, dancing and movement for the children to take part in.
  • We will leave a lasting legacy in the minds of the children- introducing theatre to some of them for the first time.

Why it's a great idea:

- Lifting people’s spirits. - Making children smile. - Employing Locally-based creative people. - Taking theatre into our communities. - People will forget their worries. - People will be moved and inspired. - We will make a note of people who would like to take part in future events. - We would hope to create a fleet of these pop-up theatres or extend dates and numbers of shows, perhaps bringing future productions to schools next year. - Our project will provide the council with a useful resource for the future. The pop-up theatre will be able to present entertainment and learning opportunities for future City Council and Culture company events. - We will have apprentices and volunteers to support our work. - We would tell local stories and showcase local talent. - We will educate, entertain and inspire people who may have little hope just now. - We will improve mental health and well-being for all those taking part and our audience.

Steps to get it done:

  • Get hold of a van- either loaned, gifted etc with branding.
  • Select our creative team
  • Liase with the council and boroughs about areas with the most need
  • Create a social media buzz about the pop-up panto
  • Secure equipment (depending on funds raised) to support our events- lights, AV materials, acoustics, instruments
  • Create the shows - workshops and writing would need to take place
  • Rehearse the shows- space would be needed
  • Costumes - find simple but creative costumes to support our event
  • Assign a designer for our show
  • Office space for our project
  • Storage for our theatre and show materials

Stephen Fletcher and Life in Theatre Productions’ are associates of The Royal Court Theatre. We would pursue a collaboration with Boroughs throughout Merseyside to bring entertainment to our young people with this and future projects- aiming to collaborate with theatres currently closed due to lockdown. Completely unsubsidised, Life in Theatre has brought Broadway plays, musicals and original writing to the city, reaching a combined audience of more than 50,000 people, and, I hope, gained the respect of the people we have worked alongside or employed. It is time to build on that work and reach out to undiscovered and untapped younger audiences who may have felt that the theatre was never meant for them. One of our company's actors said, “you should make it swing where you live”. That has to be our focus if the theatre is to remain popular and relevant. Our pop-up project will employ, hone and develop talent, and showcase new and vibrant work across the city's schools.

Location Liverpool

About the space



Liverpool City Council

How will the money be spent?Total £17,968

Buying a second-hand van - Fit-up and renovation/design - £5,000 (28%)
Actor Costs - £4,000 (22%)
Stage Management equipment costs- PA hire, Lights and sound. - £3,000 (17%)
Director rehearsal/Writer fees- see example of previous contract fees - £1,500 (8%)
Rehearsal space - £1,000 (6%)
Writing and Director Prep fee - £1,000 (6%)
COVID and Health and Safety Risk assessment - £500 (3%)
Costume and design - £500 (3%)
Design/Script Print/Administration/Marketing costs - £500 (3%)
Other - £968 (5%)

Costs Breakdown

This shows how money raised for the project will be spent. These costs have been confirmed by the project's Delivery Manager and verified.

Buying a second-hand van - Fit-up and renovation/design
Actor Costs
Stage Management equipment costs- PA hire, Lights and sound.
Director rehearsal/Writer fees- see example of previous contract fees
Rehearsal space
Writing and Director Prep fee
COVID and Health and Safety Risk assessment
Costume and design
Design/Script Print/Administration/Marketing costs
Other Read More
  • Spacehive fees
  • VAT
  • Transaction Fees


This project is enabled for overfunding. If the project hits its funding goal before the end of the campaign period, any extra funds raised will be spent (in order of priority) on:

  • To do more shows- reaching more children in more areas- employing more creatives to take part.
  • Bigger tech and rig.
  • Have longer rehearsal time with better design features and more costume

Total £17,968

Our Volunteer List

We're currently looking for people to offer skills and time to develop our project! Check out the list of what we need below and then use the 'Volunteer' button to the right to get involved.

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