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Gruffalo Grand Day ART Competition


The Gruffalo Grand Day ART Competition

Terms & Conditions

General Information

  • This competition is organised by Mousetrap Theatre Projects and is open to anyone aged 3+ (including adults!) who is attending The Gruffalo Grand Day Out on Tuesday 3rd September. 
  • Entrants must be full time residents of the UK (including the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man).

The brief

  • Entrants are invited to create an illustration of their favourite character from The Gruffalo, or draw portrait of a family member in the style of one of the characters! 
  • Illustrations must be created on A4 or A3 paper.
  • Illustrations can be created using any medium (paints, pens, pencils, collage) and must be the entrant’s original artwork.  

How to enter

  • Entries can be sent by post only. Please write the entrant’s name and age on the back of each work. Please also include a cover note with your contact details, including email address.
  • Post your entries to the following address:

Gruffalo Grand Day ART
Mousetrap Theatre Projects
33 Shaftesbury Avenue

  • Artwork by children must be submitted by an adult (parent/guardian or teacher). The child may be asked to provide proof of age, identity and eligibility.
  • By submitting your entry you are granting permission for your artwork to be shared by Mousetrap Theatre Projects. Your artwork and name may be featured on Mousetrap’s website and social media channels. Please contact us or mention in your cover note if you do not wish for your details to be used in the above ways.
  • The deadline for entry is Thursday 29th August 2019. 
  • Entries cannot be returned so please scan your artwork if you wish to keep a copy.  
  • All entries must be the original work of the entrant and must not infringe the rights of any other party. 
  • Entries must not contain defamatory, obscene, offensive, or any other unsuitable material; Mousetrap Theatre Projects reserves the right to disqualify entries containing such matter. Entries must be suitable to be broadcast, published or used online by Mousetrap Theatre Projects for audiences of all ages, but in particular for a child audience.


  • Entries will be judged by the cast of The Gruffalo who will choose 3 winners in the following categories:
  • 3 – 7 years
  • 8 – 15 years
  • 16+ years

Announcing the winners

  • Winners will be announced live on stage on Tuesday 3rd September following the performance of The Gruffalo live. Entrants must have tickets and attend the performance to receive their prize.                                     
  • Prizes will include official merchandise from The Gruffalo.
  • Competition winners will be invited to take a photograph on-stage with the cast of The Gruffalo. These images will be used in our printed materials, on our website and social media channels, and in correspondence with our funders. If you do not wish for your image to be used in any of these ways, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Your data

  • The personal data provided will be used for the purposes of administering the competition and in accordance with our Privacy Policy.
  • We will collect the name, age, and contact details of all entrants (or the contact details of adults submitting on behalf of children). We will only use these details for the purposes of administering the competition and only send marketing emails to those who have previously opted in to receive marketing from us.

These terms

  • Mousetrap Theatre Projects reserve the right to disqualify any entry which breaches any of these Terms and Conditions, or to withhold a prize if in its opinion entries do not reach the required standard.
  • Mousetrap Theatre Projects reserve the right to amend these Terms and Conditions or cancel this competition at any stage, if deemed necessary in its opinion, or if circumstances arise outside of its control.
  • These Terms and Conditions are governed by the laws of England and Wales.

Family First Nights 2018

Family First Nights: 2018 Highlights

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Families unite at A Gran' Day Out

Celebrating 20 years of Family First Nights in 2018!

2018 marked the 20th edition of Family First Nights and our spectacular summer programme was our biggest yet, with 506 families from 31 London boroughs visiting the theatre for the very first time, including 1192 children.
Families had a choice from 33 top West End shows, including 15 musicals, 6 plays, 1 concert and 11 shows for younger children. The most popular shows were Thriller Live, Dream Girls, and Wicked. 15 lucky families participated in free workshops for The Little Mermaid, We’re Going on a Bear Hunt and Barmy Britain. Families also attended special ‘relaxed’ performances of We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, Aladdin and a BBC prom, as well as an audio described performance of A Monster Calls.

Generations united at 'A Gran' Day Out'

To celebrate two decades of Family First Nights, we held our first ever ‘Gran’ Day Out’: a day of inter-generational theatregoing fun which united young families with their elder relatives and carers. On 16th August, family members ages 7 to 92 came to St Martin’s Theatre to enjoy a matinee performance of the long-running show The Mousetrap, as well as participate in pre-show activities including face painting and a 'whodunnit' competition during the interval. Suffice to say, a gran’ time was had by all! 

A GRan' Day Out


Celebrating talented young artists

Nick Sharratt

To mark the 20th anniversary we ran a special art competition inviting young people aged 5-16 to send in illustrations of ‘the magic of family theatregoing’. Entries were judged by two of Britain’s most famous children’s book illustrators: Nick Sharratt - who illustrated Dame Jacqueline Wilson's best-selling Tracy Beaker series - and Tony Ross, whose work features on all the Horrid Henry books. Our 3 lucky winners each received signed books and £100 worth of gift vouchers to spend at Cass Art.

Entry to our 20th anniversary art competition

Creating unique family learning experiences 

The Little Mermaid workshop
We collaborated with the teams behind The Little Mermaid, We’re Going on a Bear Hunt and Barmy Britain to run free workshops for 15 families, providing them with the chance to learn more about the themes, stories and characters of each show.
The workshops offered a unique opportunity for the whole family to come together to learn and experience something new together: including circus skills at The Little Mermaid workshop and an exclusive tour of the National Portrait Gallery during the Barmy Britain workshop.

Supporting child literacy

The Scarecrow's Wedding book cover

This year’s programme featured many shows adapted from iconic children’s books. So, to encourage children to develop their literacy skills and read the books before or after the performance, we partnered with three publishers to offer families free books with their show tickets.

Books were kindly donated by Harper Collins (Mr Stink and The Tiger Who Came to Tea), Walker Books (We’re Going on a Bear Hunt and A Monster Calls) and Scholastic (The Scarecrow’s Wedding) and distributed to families, who welcomed the addition to their theatregoing experience: all saying that it helped their children to understand the plot and inspired them to read more.

The results!

Young theatregoer at The Mousetrap

We received hundreds of wonderful comments back from the families, theatres and all those who participated - thank you!  Based on the feedback received in our evaluation forms, we're thrilled to say that: 

 98% of families said the experience has made them more likely to visit the theatre again

96% of families said Family First Nights had helped to improve their child's/children's wellbeing

98% said it had brought them closer together as a family

On behalf of all at Mousetrap Theatre Projects we'd like to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone involved in helping make this spectacular year happen.    

To our partners: Thank you to all 116 of our amazing partner organisations who made this incredible year possible - including the 14 new organisations who came on board through our partner referral scheme. And congratulations once again to the team at SIGNAL FAMILY SUPPORT for winning this year’s Family First Nights Partner Organisation Award!

To our funders: Huge thanks to The Society of London Theatre, The Childhood Trust and The Wates Foundation.

To the show producers: Thank you to the generous producers and theatres who subsidised the cost of their tickets to enable 506 families to attend the theatre this summer.


The whole experience was perfect. From the telephone help to the show. Our favourite thing has to be the pleasure of being in an outdoor theatre on a nice warm day! Thank you for the opportunity!

I had such a fantastic day out with my nan we both love theatre and it was so lovely to spend such quality time together. I will really remember the day as it was so special and unique and brought me and my nan closer together.

The workshop was fantastic, my daughter and I were engaged from start to finish - very well run!


Family First Nights


We are pleased to announce that our 21st anniversary Family First Nights Programme is now LIVE! Applications are coming in thick and fast for performances from 22nd July - 26th August. 


With 39 shows on offer, three free workshops, five access performances, free children's books and even a few ' meet and greets' with the cast - you won't want to miss out!



If you are an organisation and would like more infomation about Family First Nights, please get in touch on 020 7632 4111. 



 2018 Programme Highlights

What an incredible year it's been for Family First Nights: the 20th year in our history!

Our 20th Anniversary programme was our biggest yet and enabled 506 families to visit the theatre for the very first time.  With the generous support and collaboration of our friends across theatreland, we were able to offer families: 

£6 tickets to a choice of 33 top West End shows, from musicals and dance, to puppetry and plays!

Free family workshops run in conjunction with The Little Mermaid, We're Going On A Bear Hunt and Barmy Britain

A unique, unprecedented opportunity to bring their elder relatives to attend our first inter-generational event, A Gran' Day Out

Free books to accompany stage adaptations of children's classics including The Tiger Who Came To Tea and The Scarecrow's Wedding

The chance to win top prizes in a special art competition judged by leading children's illustrators Tony Ross and Nick Sharratt

Read the full highlights here

About Family First Nights

 Celebrating its 20th year in 2018, our unique Family First Nights programme enables disadvantaged families to enjoy top London theatre shows for just £6 a ticket.  

Since the programme was established in 1998, thousands of families have come together to enjoy the magical and memorable experience of visiting the theatre, many doing so for the very first time.  We provide additional support and information every step of the way, to ensure families have the best experience possible.

Families join Family First Nights by participating in our summer programme, which runs from the end of July to the end of August each year.  Families can choose to see any show from the wide and diverse selection we present each year: from celebrated West End musical productions like Wicked, to acclaimed adaptations of children’s books like The Gruffalo
Once they’ve participated in the summer programme, families can then choose to stay on as a member of our Family First Nights email ‘club’, to whom we continue to send exclusive theatre ticket offers every month thereafter. 
We're always thrilled to receive feedback from families and to hear all about their theatregoing experiences. We've received thousands of letters, emails, photos and even artworks over the past 20 years - here's just a snapshot:
"Living in such a culturally rich city can feel surreal if you are only a bystander, not a participant. This was our 'sunshine moment'."
"It's a wonderful opportunity to be able to afford a family night out in the West End. Our whole family had an absolutely brilliant time!"

We're Going On A Bear Hunt

Image: We're Going On A Bear Hunt, copyright Lesley Cook

Family First Nights Email Offers 

After taking part in the summer programme, past participants who give consent are added onto our Family First Nights email list and receive regular, exclusive ticket offers to see top family theatre shows like We're Going On A Bear Hunt.  Families remain on this list for as long as they have children between the ages of 3 – 17 years. 

If you are a family who has gone through our summer programme, but are not receiving our emails please contact us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Other ways to get great offers

Sign up to the Official London Theatre's Family Bulletin

If your children are aged 15+, they can sign up to one of our independent theatre-going schemes theatrelive4£5 and westend4£10

Charlie and The Chocolate Factory

Support Family First Nights

Over the past two decades, our Family First Nights programme has made to a huge impact and difference to families accross London.  Each year we strive to make it even greater: to expand on the programme and offer even more families the opportunity to experience and enjoy theatre for the first time, and for a lifetime.  

To help us continue to deliver and build on the success of Family First Nights you can: 


Fundraise:  You don't need to run a marathon for Mousetrap - we're all about fun fundraising! Organise a bake sale, a theatre quiz, a dress-up day themed around your favourite West End show... the possibilites are endless.  You could even go on a sponsored theatre crawl with friends! 

Volunteer: We often need help to adminster and deliver the Family First Nights summer programme.   If you are interested in volunteering for us please visit our Opportunities page.  


Our Supporters

We are most grateful to The Society of London Theatre, The Childhood Trust and The Wates Foundation for funding Family First Nights and to the producers of the participating theatre productions and their amazing venue teams for their valued support.


The Impact of Family First Nights

"I decided there and then that like those actors, I wanted to make people feel things. I told myself that my working class roots would not hold me back, and I knew I would make the most of any chances I got." 

Actress Melanie Bright participated in Family First Nights in 1998 and we were lucky enough to meet her (and her wonderful mum!) at the launch of this year’s programme – 20 years on! We caught up with her to ask how life has changed (just a little bit!) for her since that first family theatre trip all those years ago…
Thanks for joining us Melanie – yours is quite a success story! Can you tell us a bit about how you came to participate in Family First Nights?
My family and I lived on the Peabody Trust Estate in Ilford until I was about 12, and it was through this housing association that my Mum first heard about Family First Nights. For us, this meant going to see a top West End Show, something we had not done before, for a fiver each! My mum was delighted, she has always loved the theatre, and so we went as a family to see Blood Brothers at The Phoenix. 
What do you remember about the evening?
We were sat in the third row, near the aisle. I remember how loud the music was when the show started, and I remember being utterly enthralled from the opening line. I also remember the poem, “I wish I was our Sammy… our Sammy’s nearly 10!” because my whole family and I cried laughing at that, especially with that now notorious ‘jumper moment’. I remember the show taking me on this incredible journey, from humour to an incredibly dark, adult second act, and being transfixed throughout. I felt like I daren’t breathe because I might miss part of the story. When, at the end of the show *spoiler alert* members of the cast entered through the auditorium, they were positioned right next to us. Policemen with guns yelling towards the stage; they didn’t feel like actors, it felt real. It was the most incredible thing I had ever seen in my life.
How did you feel going into the theatre? Where you nervous? Excited? 
Oh, excited for sure! I remember thinking how great it was that my Dad could come, that he could get the night off work and be with us too as he worked long shifts on the Underground. I remember being incredibly sad it was over, not least because the ending had the entire audience in floods of tears. Grown men and women sobbing around me, it felt like the show had bonded everyone and taught us something about empathy; about how we should be to one another.
How did it influence your decision to pursue a career in acting?
When I saw the adult actors being children, I thought, that looks like the best job in the world! Constant play! But it was the end of the show that did it for me. I watched as this group of actors made an entire theatre of people feel something. Not only that, but this play was about working class people, living on estates not in castles. It was unlike the magic, but aloofness of the books and plays we had read at school. I decided there and then that like those actors, I wanted to make people feel things; to hold a mirror up to society and say, this could/has/will happen. I told myself that my working class roots would not hold me back, and I knew I would make the most of any chances I got.
Tell us about your journey since – it sounds like you’ve worked on some fab shows!
I have been incredibly lucky to do some wonderful work in the years since drama school. The next show my Mum took us to see after Blood Brothers was We Will Rock You. My Dad LOVES Queen!!  So it was no small joy when this show happened to be my first professional job after leaving Mountview. After WWRY I went to Europe with The Who’s Tommy, coming back to the UK and appearing in the world premiere of Lionel Bart’s Quasimodo, and it was here that I met James Orange and auditioned for a little show called Les Miserables. I worked on Les Mis for two years, understudying and playing the role of Fantine. Making my West End and leading lady debut in the same week was something I will never forget!
I also worked on The Wild Party, at the opening of The Other Palace last year. I played Sally, a morphine addict, and she has been my favourite acting role to date. Our director, Drew McOnie, gave us the space and safety in rehearsals to create these incredible characters and really make them our own. It was nerve-wracking at times, to come in and try something in front of the cast without knowing if it would be the right creative choice, but it was incredibly freeing. The set felt like a playground, and every night was different. It is the bravest I have been on a job. It has certainly set a very high bar for whatever comes next!
And what’s next for you?
Blood Brothers. Kidding! Though it is, naturally, still on my ‘to-do’ list. Winky face. 
What would you say to families and children who might be feeling a little bit nervous about the experience, or think that theatre isn’t for them?
Theatre is for everyone. Not just for the elite, or those who can afford the most visits or the best seats. It’s an experience, and one you are likely to remember for a long time. By being in an audience you are sharing a moment with the actors and the people around you. Every night is different, and until you feel that energy for yourself it’s hard not to think of it as a stuffy, controlled environment. But I can assure you it’s not.  Mutual respect of the audience and the actors is important; no one wants to see your face light up if you decide on using your phone during a performance but on the whole the theatre is a free, safe space where magic happens and the audience and actor become equal in the sharing of a story. Who knows, you might even learn something about the world and about yourself... 

"Theatre is for everyone.   It's an experience, and one you are likely to remember for a long time." 

Contact Us

Mousetrap Theatre Projects
33 Shaftesbury Avenue

t: 020 7632 4111
e: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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