After School Drama Clubs for adventurous minds

Since 2008 we have been working to give 5-11year olds the most adventurous and playful after school drama experience imaginable. 

Each week Troupers are creating original characters, stories, scenes and worlds together- simply by playing fun improvisation and theatre games!

From pirates, to aliens, to mad scientists- whatever they can imagine they can be. 

“All children are artists. The problem is how to remain one as we grow up.”

Pablo Picasso


"When children pretend, they’re using their imaginations to move beyond the bounds of reality. A stick can be a magic wand. A sock can be a puppet. A small child can be a superhero."

Fred Rogers, American TV Host



Troupers was founded in 2008 by Jim Rastall and Phillip Sarson, while they were training as actors at the renowned Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. 

The honest truth is that Troupers started out as a way to avoid working at Yorkshire Bank over the easter holidays. ​So, in April 2008 the duo managed to secure a cheap venue and persuade 5 sets of trusting parents to let their children spend the week playing Bomb & Shield, Mr Magoo, and Zip-Zap-Boing with them. By the end of the week the group had written and staged a short play called 'Crazy Court', which was a critical (if not commercial) smash.

This inaugural Troupers course taught Jim and Phil that not only was running Troupers more fun than working for Yorkshire Bank- it was more fun than ANY work they had ever done! In fact, it wasn't work at all, it was play. And it still is.

Yet while it is play, it is not fluff. Jim and Phil immediately recognised that the opportunity to participate in imaginative, non-directive and collaborative play was incredibly valuable for all the children present. It has therefore been Troupers' mission to offer this outlet to as many children as possible ever since, knowing that the skills developed through improvisation and drama will support them throughout their life. In a changing world, what could be more valuable than the ability to adapt, to accept yourself and others, to listen deeply and respond authentically, to be able to learn, play and collaborate with anyone and everyone, and ultimately, to get good at being you? 

And if this process can be pure fun- all the better :)



All Troupers Play Makers are professionally trained actors and directors with bags of experience- on stage, screen and in schools! Past Troupers Play Makers have included RSC directors, Gold Globe and Olivier Award winning actors, and even one of Dr Who's assistants! All Play Makers have enhanced DBS clearance.



Co-Founder and Director

Jim co-created Troupers way back in 2008 while training as an actor at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.

What started out as an excuse to play games over the holidays rather than work in a bank, became an excuse to play games full time rather than work in bank. 

He continues to learn from the best, developing Troupers' playful teaching style alongside an acting and directing career which has seen him work with several of his idols while also enabling him to dress up as everything from ancient Greek heroes to Santa Claus.

Favourite Game: Blood Potato (or football)

Super Power: Moving faster than I can think

Highlight: Go-karting through the dessert

Rastall, James 5.jpg
IMG_9997 (1).jpg




If you think Troupers might be a good fit for your school, drop us a line for more information or to arrange a free taster session for your students!


Do you have a passion for inspiring young people through improvisation, drama and play? Yes? Well we'd love to hear from you, so click the button below and say hi!




"If you are looking for the best possible drama provision in your setting - look no further... Troupers is delivered by professionals who understand what drama is and what children need to do to develop their early craft. Our club is consistently oversubscribed, which speaks volumes."

Cheryl Payne, Head Teacher, St Mary' RC Primary School, Putney

Thanks for submitting!