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.
We believe engaging in imaginative, non-directive and collaborative play is vitally important to young people's wellbeing and development. And the science community agrees! It has therefore been Troupers' mission since 2008 to offer a creative outlet to as many children as possible, 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 cultivating the ability to adapt; to accept yourself and others; to listen deeply and respond authentically; to learn, play and collaborate with anyone and everyone; and, ultimately, to get better and better at being you?
And crucially (before we sound too highfalutin)... if it ain't fun, it ain't Troupers!
If any of this chimes with you, your child or your school- get in touch and let's make some Troupers magic.
MEET THE TEAM
All Troupers Play-Makers are DBS cleared, professionally trained actors and directors with bags of experience- on stage, screen and in schools. We've had RSC directors, Golden Globe and Olivier Award winning actors, and even one of Dr Who's assistants leading the Troupers fun!
Meet some of our current regulars below.
Co-Founder and Head Play Maker, Manchester
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