Licketyspit is a specialist early years theatre company based in Scotland, which aims to fire children’s imaginations through theatre and drama-led play. Our work is based on theatre, stories, rhymes, songs and games, created for and with children, families, and communities.
Licketyspit creates and delivers work from full-scale theatre shows to intensive, drama-led early intervention. We work with professionals and practitioners working with children, in the arts, and in school and nursery settings, and we share our learning at local, national and international level.
What we do
At Licketyspit, we train professional actors and community artists to become Licketyspit Actor-Pedagogues. This means everyone who delivers Licketyspit’s work is specially trained in our approach, methodology and ethos.
The Licketyspit approach to drama and drama-led play is rooted in children’s rights, community engagement, and a belief in the power of inter-generational, drama-led play. It has five strands:
LicketyLeap (The Story of Margaret & Margaret): Our unique, participative, drama-led early intervention for 3-5 year olds, parents/carers and professionals. LicketyLeap is a 2-session piece of interactive theatre for 10 children, their parents/carers and nursery staff. It is led by specialist actor-pedagogues and has been closely analysed in the academic study “’Leaping into Ourselves: A study into the layers of engagement made by early years children through Licketyspit’s immersive theatre project, LicketyLeap’ (Knight, 2011). LicketyLeap is delivered as part of Storyplay – Licketyspit’s programme of drama-led play work for schools addressing the poverty-associated attainment gap.
Porridge & Play: Actor-Pedagogues lead drama-led group play and performance for children under 12 and their parents and carers. Porridge & Play is designed to foster inter-generational family community play based on the Lickety Playcard repertoire of games, rhymes, songs and imaginary play activities. These are illustrated and described on 32 accompanying Lickety Playcards, which are generally made available to participants to facilitate continued play at home or at school. Big Porridge & Play Glasgow ran for 3 years with families in Ruchill, Whiteinch and the Gorbals. As well as in community settings, Porridge & Play is delivered in schools as part of Storyplay. Porridge and Play is also delivered adapted as Bookplay – sessions in Libraries/schools/communities incorporating a children’s book as source for imaginary play; Picnic & Play – sessions with same format delivered in cultural spaces like parks, galleries, and museums.
Licketyspit’s Children & Families Network: The Children & Families Network (CFN) supports ongoing dialogue between Licketyspit and children and families who have participated in our work, providing creative resources and accessible arts and culture events.
Lickety Lab: At Licketyspit, we are committed to extensive evaluation and discussion of the theory behind our work, as well as to sharing our approach, our methodology and our evolving practice. We call this, LicketyLab. We deliver Continuing Professional Development in leading drama-led play and run Symposiums.
Touring Theatre Shows: Original plays for early years children with play and learning resources for families, schools and nurseries, and satellite events. Licketyspit plays often include live music and audience participation. Licketyspit shows are performed in theatres, community venues and schools (unusually playing successfully to children from nursery to Primary 7).
Opening doors to imaginary playworlds, to unlock the limitless possibilities of children!
Our vision is that child-centred, inclusive theatre and drama-led play become an integral part of children’s daily lives. We believe that theatre and drama can empower children, increase their capacity to flourish and support their wellbeing.
Over 100,000 children, families and teachers across Scotland have engaged with Licketyspit’s work over the last 14 years. The company has a strong sense of ownership of its work among stakeholders and continues to break new ground, connecting the arts to the wider children’s sector.