Starcatchers wins Sunday Herald Culture Award

14th July 2017

We are delighted to be able to report that Starcatchers was awarded a Sunday Herald Culture Award, at the Culture Awards ceremony held in Glasgow on 13th July 2017. Chief Executive Rhona Matheson received the ‘Judges Choice’ award, for absolute stand-out prominence in the Scottish arts, at the end of the evening from BBC Scotland’s Janice… Read more »

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Dance, theatre & live music production set to tour Scotland

20th April 2017

Scottish baby theatre pioneers and award-winning dance company join forces to create exciting new performance for very young babies and their families   This captivating new collaboration between Scotland’s National Arts and Early Years organisation Starcatchers and award-winning dance theatre company Curious Seed, MamaBabaMe is designed especially for babies aged 18 months – 3 year olds, combining dance and physical… Read more »

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Picture: Finn McDougall 16months (Orange sleeves) and Bode Fleming 15months with a giant ticket
Just the Ticket for Scotland’s Toddlers

Starcatchers Scotland’s National Arts and Early Years Organisation has launched a new fundraising scheme, Forward for Families, to provide theatre seats for very young children and their families in need across Scotland.

A recent study suggests more than 200,000 children are growing up in poverty in Scotland. Scottish Government Social Research consistently evidences that access to theatre and cultural experience enriches lives and impacts positively on health and well-being. However a Starcatchers audit of audience participation suggests 72% rarely engage in cultural experiences with their babies and many have never engaged with their local community arts venue.

Forward for Families will enable parents with very young children from all walks of life in Scotland to experience a high-quality shared theatre experience.

Seats will be allocated within the Scottish tour of Starcatchers and Edinburgh based dance company Curious Seed’s new dance, live music and theatre experience MamaBabaMe, for babies aged 18 months – 3 years and their parents and carers.

Working in partnership with three venues in Scotland; The Byre Theatre in St Andrews, Platform in Easterhouse, Glasgow and Macrobert Arts Centre in Stirling, the scheme has an initial fundraising target of £800 and will directly benefit 45 families across these three communities.

Scottish children’s theatre is celebrated across the world as being some of the most creative and innovative. Starcatchers has seen growth, appreciation and demand for their work rapidly increase as parents, carers and educators see the value that creativity and the arts has on young children.

Rhona Matheson, Chief Executive of Starcatchers said:

“Babies and the adults who care for them are at the heart of everything that we do at Starcatchers. We believe that arts and creativity has the power to transform lives and therefore wanted to explore a new fundraising model to make our work available to families despite their financial or social circumstances. We understand the power that a theatrical experience can have on very young children, especially when that experience is shared with a significant adult in their life.”

Forward for Families asks those that love the theatre to pay forward a ticket, allowing another family in their community or further afield to engage in the shared-experience. Donations start at £5, which is a step towards a full ticket, £10 to buy a big or little seat, £20 to admit an adult and child or £40 to include four seats.

Christine Devaney, Artistic Director of Curious Seed said:

I’m so pleased that MamaBabaMe is the show that Starcatchers is piloting this amazing scheme with. It seems like such a simple and direct way that anyone who believes in the value of art and culture can support others accessing it.

The pilot phase of the scheme will test how audiences respond, with the aim of the fund being embedded into Starcatchers touring model, providing seats for families at future productions at venues across Scotland.

The three venues will initially find the families by engaging with service providers, health workers and nurseries who serve those within the community who are most in need.

Julie Ellen, Artistic Director, Macrobert Arts Centre said:

We're delighted to regularly host Starcatchers' shows, which fill up with local families, who leave enriched: full of joy and wonder. Audience members at Macrobert Arts Centre give generously to our Christmas Appeal and to our Community Champions regular giving programme - making sure as many people as possible can share the excitement, opportunity and sheer pleasure of the arts. I'm sure they'll get behind Forward For Families to to help more local babies and their loved ones enjoy all the riches of the Starcatchers' experience.

Liam Sinclair, Artistic Director, The Byre Theatre, St Andrews said:

“We are absolutely delighted to be supporting this venture. Having seen a work in progress of the show last December we know it will be an exciting piece of work that should be enjoyed by as wide an audience as possible.”

Matt Addicott, Performance Programmer at Platform said:

‘Having worked very closely with Starcatchers over the last ten years we’re delighted to continue hosting their high quality performances and work with them to explore new ways of developing audiences.

“This initiative is a great way to make contact with the hardest to reach in our local community and we are extremely proud to be part of it from the outset”.

Forward for Families will run from Monday 10th April – Friday 19th May.


Notes to editors:

Forward for Families

The Forward for Families campaign aims to provide seats at the upcoming tour of Starcatchers and Curious Seed’s new production MamaBabaMe for families in either St Andrews, Easterhouse or Stirling. The campaign will run between Monday 10th April to Friday 19th May. Donations can be made through Starcatchers website www.starcatchers.org.uk/forward-4-families and also by textgiving by sending STCR00 [amount] to 70070.


Starcatchers is Scotland’s National Arts and Early Years organisation specialising in performances and creativity for babies, toddlers and young children aged 0 - 5 and the adults who care for them.

Their work nurtures young children’s creative and cognitive development, sparking their imaginations through performances and engagement projects that are led by exceptional artists who understand the needs of this unique audience. www.starcatchers.org.uk

Curious Seed

Award-winning performance company, Curious Seed, was formed in 2005 by Scottish choreographer, Christine Devaney. Based in Edinburgh, they produce and present compelling, dance theatre work that questions the world we live in; work which touches and moves people, unlocking new ways of experiencing and feeling something different about the world. Curious Seed is a Creative Scotland Regularly Funded Organisation. www.curious-seed.com


Presented by Starcatchers & Curious Seed, MamaBabaMe is an exciting new dance, live music and theatre experience exploring themes around birth and relationships for babies aged 18 months – 3 years.

Every new relationship is a journey – it can be tender, competitive, challenging, joyful. But where does that begin?

Join us at the ringside of our mini arena for MamaBabaMe to witness this exciting new dance, theatre and live music experience made especially for infants and their grown ups. Through playful movement, dance and sound, MamaBabaMe explores these profound new relationships and how this eternal bond evolves and grows.

Everyone will recognise something of their own relationships, as parent or child – this is a show for young children and anyone who’s ever been one!

The production will tour Scotland between 8th May – 17th June 2017. Full tour information can be found at www.starcatchers.org.uk/mamababame-book-now

Macrobert Arts Centre

Located at the heart of the University of Stirling, Macrobert Arts Centre is a cultural hub for Stirling, the Forth Valley and Scotland - making active connections with people communities and ideas, for entertainment, wellbeing and understanding. The venue offers a huge variety of activities with over 400 live performances every year - comedy, dance, entertainment, family friendly, music, musicals, opera and theatre - art exhibitions, a range of opportunities for all ages to get involved and a year round cinema programme.

The Byre Theatre

The Byre Theatre is a vibrant artistic and cultural hub in the heart of St Andrews and has been part of the University of St Andrews since 2014. The theatre presents a diverse programme of professional, student and amateur performance across a wide range of art-forms, including theatre, opera, music, dance and film to audiences from North East Fife, Dundee, Tayside and beyond.


Platform is the arts centre at the heart of The Bridge in Easterhouse and offers a year round performance, music and visual arts programme, participation classes, education and outreach.

Launched in 2006, the award winning leisure, learning and arts facility has been heralded as ‘an important magnet for the community’.

Renowned for its pioneering work in community engagement, Platform strives to connect local communities with high calibre artists across art forms. This has resulted in the creation of diverse artworks, all of which have established a long term

Making theatre accessible to families in need across Scotland

10th April 2017

Today we launched a new fundraising campaign, Forward for Families, to provide theatre seats for very young children and their families in need across Scotland.   A recent study suggests more than 200,000 children are growing up in poverty in Scotland. Scottish Government Social Research consistently evidences that access to theatre and cultural experience enriches lives… Read more »

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Audition call for new Spring 2017 show MamaBabaMe

16th January 2017

Curious Seed and Starcatchers are looking for an experienced female professional dancer for their new co-production MamaBabaMe

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What an amazing year… what an amazing 10 years!

31st December 2016

Rhona Matheson, Chief Executive of Starcatchers looks back at the past 10 years:   2016 has been a year of reflection, celebration and sharing. Reflecting on what we have achieved over the years, celebrating these achievements and sharing our work with audiences in communities across Scotland as well as to new audiences across the world…. Read more »

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9CS Facebook photos

2017/18 Funding secured for new Creative Kin project

22nd December 2016

We’re delighted to be able to announce that we’ve been awarded funding by The Scottish Government’s Children, Young People and Families Early Intervention and Adult Learning and Empowering Communities Fund.

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Creative Skills goes to South Korea

20th December 2016

At the start of December Starcatchers’ CEO Rhona Matheson and Creative Skills Manager Heather Armstrong spent a week in Korea running training for teaching artists and spreading the word about Starcatchers are our approach to the arts and creativity for very young children. Here, Heather reflects on their experience.

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CEO Rhona Matheson featured in Product Magazine

19th December 2016

Product Magazine is an independent arts and culture magazine established to showcase innovative work by new writers and artist from Scotland beyond. In the lead up to Christmas they have published a campaign 10 things we can do for children in Scotland with contributions from experts across sectors in Scotland working with and for children…. Read more »

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Free Christmas storybook for Shape of Things audiences

13th December 2016

As a special festive treat, audiences who come to see The Shape of Things at Dundee Rep will receive a free Christmas themed storybook called Snow Business!   Following our characters Cubert and Triantán as they travel through the sparkly circle into a winter wonderland, finding shapes along the way.   If you didn’t make… Read more »

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Expecting Something awarded Big Lottery funding

9th December 2016

The Expecting Something project has been awarded 2 year funding from Big Lottery to continue the innovative programme of creative activity in communities in Scotland

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Help us this #Giving Tuesday

29th November 2016

Today is #GivingTuesday – a global day of giving! In a milestone year, where we  turned 10 years old we undertook a huge amount of work across our 3 strands of activity. Starcatchers a charitable organisation with very limited core funding we rely on the generous support of individuals, businesses and trusts and foundations to help… Read more »

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The Shape of Things sets off on it’s Scottish & Irish tour!

19th October 2016

New show for 6 months – 2 years touring Scotland & Ireland in 2016

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SOT publicity image2-01

Scottish & Irish collaboration secures funding from Creative Scotland

7th June 2016

We’re delighted to announce that a new production for babies aged 6 months to 2 years made in collaboration with Branar Téatar do Pháistí (Galway) has been awarded Open Project Funding from Creative Scotland.

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Starcatchers SQA qualification registration open

6th June 2016

This qualification is designed for Early Years practioners working across the sector, including staff in nursery and family care setting, health workers, childminders and out of school and play workers.

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1 Getting Dressed

Competition time!

6th June 2016

Have you ever played spot the dragon on a long car journey, or pretended the trolley was a train as you dashed round the supermarket?

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Hup receives Made in Scotland funding

6th June 2016

We’re absolutely delighted that Hup has been successful in securing funding from Made in Scotland to perform at this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

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HUP poster2

Hup’s international adventure 2016

26th May 2016

We can now finally reveal ALL of our plans for Hup in 2016. It’s been a long time in the pipe line, but we’re really excited to announce that Hup will be touring internationally from Canada to China before returning to premiere at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

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Zoe Claire

Starcatchers 10th Anniversary @ Imaginate

26th May 2016

During this year’s Imaginate Festival Starcatchers held a reception to celebrate 10 years of creating innovative work for under 5s. It was a chance to reflect on all of the achievements made in the past 10 years and celebrate!

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