As a company we aim to challenge and extend the meaning of “family-friendly”, by creating theatre work for adults at which babies are welcome. Both our performances and our working process are open to having children around. At the moment we are able to welcome babies of up to 18 months into our audience, but in future we are looking to open this up to older children as well by offering an on-site activity-based crèche.
From our own experience we recognised that parents often stop considering themselves a theatre audience, and that family obligations often stop them from taking part in adult-focused arts events. As a company we seek to bridge that gap, and in collaboration with our tour venues’ marketing teams we develop bespoke marketing strategies in order to reach new audiences. We collaborate with local parent and baby-groups, libraries, community centres, Sure Start Centres, Mumsnet, Netmums and NCT to spread the word about our work and raise awareness among parents of the possibility of continuing to engage in art without stressing about neglecting the needs of your baby. Notnow Collective is progressively becoming an industry leader in terms of hosting events for adults which welcome babies, and are able to engage in detailed consultation with venues about how best to make these events work (including all practical considerations), as well as passing on best practice in this area to other independent companies as well.
“I think this is a really accessible way in terms of getting the audiences who have young children to see the work. It is crucial for venues to say – here is family stuff that kids will really enjoy, but here is also adult work to which the kids can come too.” – Adam Pownall, Artistic Programmer and Participation Manager, Lincoln Drill Hall
“Baby-friendly performance made the show – and made me grin the whole way through – inclusion at its best.” – Audience member
“A great experience. Not only was the show relatable but also it was great to be welcomed to space where my little baby could also come.” – Audience member