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Who are Hoglets Theatre?

We stage original theatrical productions and run interactive sessions for young primary and preschool-aged children. 

Everything we do is centred around storytelling and the amazing impact stories, imagination and creativity can have on young minds.

We've worked with...

A little Hoglets history...

Hoglets was founded in 2013 by Gemma Sharp – an actress with over 15 years of experience working in theatre, film and television.

Following the birth of her first child, Gemma found herself using many acting methods when she was telling stories to her daughter. This inspired her to create classes applying these techniques to the telling of stories.

Hoglets – the name for a baby hedgehog – was born as the children’s theatre wing of touring ‘grown-up’ company Hedgepig Theatre.

Weekly classes ran across Children’s Centres across the city of York, developing and growing in scale. As we began to make a name for ourselves, new opportunities sprang up to spread the Hoglets love a little further – birthday parties, festivals, events, schools and nurseries and more.

Gemma running the very first Hoglets event at the Merchant Adventurer's Hall in 2013 - including shadow puppet performances of THE LITTLE MATCHSTICK GIRL.
Rachel Watkins, Gemma Curry and Lara Stafford in our Shakespeare loving smash A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S MISCHIEF.

Taking to the stage...

In 2018, working with York Explore Libraries, we developed and toured our first play-for-children THE SLEEP PIRATES. The response was amazing, with sold-out shows across the run. Our second play SEA-STORM IN A TEACUP followed – again to outstanding reviews and sold-out performances.

We followed that in 2019 with our biggest shows yet – the Shakespeare themed riot A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S MISCHIEF and our subversive fairytale show FAIRIETOLD. Each time, the puppets got bigger, the songs got noisier and the responses from audiences just kept getting better!

We love what we do, and we are passionate about the difference it can make to developing children.

Going online...

During the lockdowns of 2020 we suddenly found ourselves unable to do… well, pretty much anything we normally did. So, we quickly (and initially quite clumsily) began running free classes and performances online via Zoom.
 
What began as a nice way to keep in touch with our regular class attendees quickly snowballed into something far bigger. We were picked up by schools across the country (and then the world) as a useful resource for their home-schooling children.
 
During the second lockdown of 2020 we were running classes to over 950 children at a time! All from our little house in York.
 
In 2020 we took Hoglets online, running free classes and performing streamed plays for thousands of children all across the world.

The future...

As life creeps back to a new form of normality, we find ourselves back in the real world. You’ll find us out on the road touring new plays, working with museums and libraries on original content and delivering imagination firing workshops and storytelling sessions with groups all over the country. We hope we can see you (in person!) very soon!

From Hoglet's founder Gemma...

“Since becoming a mother I have found that my days are spent performing to an audience of one.

A smile or giggle from my Daughter is far more exhilarating than any audience applause. In the pursuit of entertaining her, I have found that a lot of the techniques I picked up during my career have become very useful, especially at story time.

I believe that the joy and escapism drama brings is unparalleled and so universal it can be enjoyed by anyone. Drama and storytelling use so many skills, that’s what makes them such a great educational tool for children.”

Gemma Curry AKA Mama Hoglet – founder

Listen to an interview with Gemma

There’s a lovely interview video with Gemma AKA Mama Hoglet on the York Creatives podcast.

In this episode we discuss how to tell better stories, about diving in and having an open approach to learning new skills, and about whether children get enough exposure to the arts.