High-quality theatre, circus, music and dance for early years underpins our broad artistic programme for families and we regularly receive visits from children's centres and nurseries. Browse our upcoming performances for children >>

The Acorn Project

A strategic early years arts intervention programme which provides access to creative experiences to children under 5 and their families, specifically targeting those facing challenging circumstances including economic deprivation and SEND.

Supported by BBC Children in Need, the project places artists-in-residence in children’s centres in Newham and Barking & Dagenham where they spend one day a week with the children and families using the nurseries and centres. We are working with 3 artists across music, dance and visual art who all have a specialism and expertise in working with early years.

As part of the project we also offer monthly free drop in arts events for families with under 5s to take part in creative activities at Stratford Circus Arts Centre. Every month is different: there could be messy play, craft, music, dance – or a combination of all of these!

Events run 10am-12pm and families can drop in any time. We also welcome groups from nurseries and children’s centres to come to these events. If you are planning on bringing a group of more than 10 children please drop us a line in advance:

Upcoming dates 2018:

Tue 11 September
Tue 9 October
Tue 13 November (Messy Play - please come prepared!)
Tue 11 December

Upcoming dates 2019:

Tue 8 January
Tue 12 February (Messy Play - please come prepared!)
Tue 12 March
Tue 9 April (Messy Play - please come prepared!)
Tue 14 May
Tue 11 June (Messy Play - please come prepared!)
Tue 19 July
Tue 13 August

Full Hearts Full Tummies

Each Christmas we fundraise to make available 600 £1 tickets to our Christmas show to families in Newham facing disadvantage and offer a hot meal for them to enjoy together after the show.

2 in 5 children in Newham live in poverty, with their families facing increasing challenges during winter. We give families an opportunity to come together and forget their worries, socialise and share in this joyous experience.

With both of these schemes we are aiming to provide an accessible arts offer for families who may otherwise face barriers to attending arts events and activities. If you are a charity or organisation working with families in challenging circumstances who you could refer to either programme, please email

If you’re interested in supporting either of these projects please contact Development Manager, Mia Gulati