China Plate has joined forces with Surrey Arts and Take Art to launch Hopper, a brand new 20 month initiative that will create opportunities for over 3,500 babies and pre-school children to experience and influence the development of great art and culture in their Early Years setting.

Taking place over two-years, Hopper will bring specially created theatre shows into, pre-schools, nurseries, theatres, libraries and children’s centres, focusing on children from poorer less advantaged areas. Ensuring babies, toddlers and under 5's across the country have access to top quality creative experiences, tailored to their unfolding minds and imaginations.

The project will also support seven theatre companies in developing 70+ high quality and relevant performances and children and Early Years staff will be invited to take part in the development process. This means that the companies can work with the under fives to make the best shows possible for them.

During the project Take Art, Surrey Arts and China Plate will also work in partnership with key local theatres; The Brewhouse in Taunton; Bridgwater Arts Centre, The egg in Bath and Camberley Theatre in Surrey.

Hopper is supported by the Arts Council Strategic Touring Fund and the Paul Hamlyn Foundation.

Our call out for artists to participate in the project is now live - see below for more details.

Call out for Artists


We're looking for submissions from theatre makers to take part in this exciting project. Successful applicants will be entered into a ‘menu’ of companies offered to Early Years settings in Somerset and Surrey as well as selected theatres in both counties. There are also opportunities to develop and test new ideas for Early Years shows at residencies hosted by venues in Somerset or Surrey and in partnership with local Early Years settings.

All artists presenting work will be paid guaranteed fees: there are fees available for attending the residencies (see below) and bursaries available to adapt existing shows for EY settings.

This call out for artists has TWO strands:

Strand 1: Existing shows

If you have a show you think could be made ready to tour to EY settings with some adaptations and are available to tour through the spring, summer or autumn 2018.

Strand 2: New ideas

If you have a new idea for an EY show you would like to develop, which would work well in an EY setting.

For more information on the strands and fees please read the Strands, Fees and Selection Process document on the Take Art website.

How to apply

If you are interested in these opportunities please read all the guidelines fully, including the Background Information and FAQs and then complete the Survey Monkey online Application Form by 10am on Friday 21 April 2017.

The selection process:

Artists will be selected by a panel made up by representatives from Take Art, Surrey Arts, China Plate and the egg, Bath. Artists will be informed of the decision by Friday 19 May 2017.