Touring East Midlands Libraries

Among Ideal Friends

Among Ideal Friends is a touring performance project developed by The Spark Arts for Children in partnership with Libraries in the East Midlands. Working together to deliver and transport high quality family theatre performances and workshop activities, inspired by books and stories for children, families and schools, alongside training for library staff and community volunteers.

The consortium is a partnership between, The Spark Arts for Children, Leicester City Council, Leicestershire County Council, Rutland County Council, Nottingham City Council, Inspire: Culture, Learning and Libraries.

The consortium's objectives are to; support the development of libraries as Artsmark Partners supporting schools and making a contribution to Cultural Education Partnerships locally and to introduce new audiences to great work for children, schools and families.

With funding from Arts Council's National Lottery supported Strategic Touring programme Among Ideal Friends will tour family theatre in libraries between Summer 2018 & Summer 2022.

Click for more information on phase one, to read the Executive Summary, download the Evaluation report and to see our Marvellous Marketing resource.

Latest Productions

Recycled Rubbish - Touring Summer 2022

A joyful puppetry show revealing the hidden delights in things that get thrown away.

For children 5+ and families

Among Ideal Friends Phase Two

Below are details of all the Among Ideal Friends shows.

During social distancing Among Ideal Friends produced a collection of creative resources and imaginative activities to enjoy at home.

Click here to find out more about Spark at Home

Roti Moon Toured May 2022 as part of the Jubilee celebrations

Diya thinks her roti is yuck!

Her grandad always tells her that his mother's, mother's, mother flipped her roti so high it landed in the sky. That the moon is a roti!

A funny & engaging family show for ages 3+ years

Party Toured May 2022 as part of the Jubilee celebrations

A quirky birthday party to remember!

Afonso wants to go to his best friend's birthday party, but where is his invitation - has it been lost in the post, or maybe he wasn't even invited?

A colourful and quirky show for ages 3+ years and families

Look Mum, No Hands! - Toured Easter 2022

A tender story about friendship and growing up.

It explores a visually beautiful, and physically surprising, coming-of-age story about two friends playfully testing their own boundaries to see what is possible. Together they explore freedom, taking risks and independence and how they change, depending on who you are.

For children aged 5+

Curious Investigators - Toured Easter 2022

Scribble and Clipboard have a job to do: sort the recycling. But Scribble keeps finding new things to investigate. When she discovers a mysterious egg hidden in the rubbish, the pair need the audience's help to rescue an unborn chick.

A cracking new adventure for 3-8 year olds and their grown-ups.

A Small Tale - Autumn 2021

A teacher led literacy adventure in East Midlands schools and libraries led by Puchdrunk Enrichment.

A Small Tale will enable teachers and staff from schools and libraries in the East Midlands to help children forge lasting relationships and learn new skills together and ultimately leave a lasting understanding of how to bring books to life.

Seasons - Toured Summer 2021

A joyful look at the world around us.

Immersed in the wild two acrobats dig, climb and lose balance in a joyful exploration of the nature in and around us. Enticing sounds, greenery up above and soil underfoot, the world of SEASONS is full of possibilities.

An engaging and atmospheric experience for all the family. SEASONS will ignite your senses and create a space to playfully reconnect with our natural world. Bring a cushion and a blanket to create your comfy, safe space for this incredible family show.

Toured November 2019.

The Iron Man - Ted Hughes' classic modern-day fable of a giant Iron robot and the fearless courage of a young boy named Hogarth is a beautiful tale about friendship, understanding and tolerance. This new adaptation by award-winning writer Paul Sirett is brought to magical and compelling life by Graeae Theatre Company; created speci´Čücally for school audiences, performed in local library settings.

Featuring captivating puppetry and playful storytelling this production also integrates British Sign Language and audio description into every performance.

Adapted from the original work by Ted Hughes, published by Faber & Faber, with thanks to the Estate of Ted Hughes.

The Girl of Ink and Stars at St Barnabas Library

Toured Summer 2019

The Girl of Ink and Stars A new play by Satinder Chohan, based on the book by Kiran Millwood Hargrave. Presented by The Spark Arts for Children in association with Inspire: Culture, Learning and Libraries

'Forbidden to leave her island, Isabella dreams of the faraway lands her father once mapped. When a girl from the village disappears, Isabella and her lifelong friend Pablo go in search of her.'

A tale of maps, myth and monsters for ages 7+ and their families

Toured April 2019.

Mashi Theatre presents "Stripey Honey... is very yummy"

A colourful and touching story, with music, song, dance and puppets, of tigers, bees and honey collectors learning to live and play together.

Watch the show trailer on You Tube

Toured November 2018.

The First a play for school groups based on the global events of World War I, told from the perspective of two boys from a small town in the East Midlands.

Toured Summer 2018

The Gingerbread Man presented by The Spark Arts for Children, Hiccup Theatre in association with Derby Theatre,

'Chase after our cheeky gingerbread hero as he sets off on the biggest adventure of his life! Out of the Kitchen, through the town, across the fields and all the way to the river….. Now if he could just avoid that sly old fox!'