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A group of primary pupils painting in bright colours on large sheets of paper on the floor of a school hall. They are wearing blue school uniforms.

Our work with local primary pupils

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We are rooted in our Gorbals neighbourhood. When our building reopens, we want young people in the local area to know that the Citizens Theatre is a place for them. So, our Participate team took up residence within our local primary schools and got to know our young neighbours better.  

Over eight months, they worked with more than 200 pupils at Blackfriars and St Francis primary schools. We also welcomed more than 600 pupils to Citizens Theatre productions – both at our temporary venue Tramway and in the schools themselves. It was great to reconnect and share our love of theatre. On this page you can read more about some of the activities we did. 


I heard a few months ago that the Citizens Theatre is opening back up again and I was like, oh my goodness I really want to go there. I’m so excited to visit – it’s just wow.

P4 pupil at St Francis

Red Riding Hood

The Christmas show is the biggest event in our annual calendar. We worked with Primary 7 classes to create a short performance to open our 2022 festive production Red Riding Hood at Tramway. 

The first sessions were silly and playful – it was all about getting to know each other better. We did things like:  

  • Play fun acting games. 
  • Try on costumes from the Citizens Theatre wardrobe. 
  • Invent stories inspired by props from the Citizens’ prop store. 

These sessions helped the pupils grow in confidence and dispelled any fears around drama or performance. It also helped us introduce the Citizens Theatre to the kids and explain our role in their community.  

Two primary pupils sitting on a theatre stage. The girls are facing each other and playing a hand clapping game.
A group of primary school children running and dancing on a theatre stage.

We then introduced the fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood. We shared the classic version and asked the children to come up with ideas to modernise it. Playwright Lewis Hetherington also gave us some prompts. From this, the kids developed their own story line:  

Fed up with the rules in their community, the young people take matters into their own hands and go looking for the big bad wolf! 

We encouraged the kids to add creative flair to this story structure. They: 

  • Wrote dialogue. 
  • Developed movement sequences. 
  • Recorded their voices for a soundscape.  
  • Designed props and made their own wolf masks.  
  • Made artworks inspired by the play. 

On the day of the show, the pupils worked with our professional theatre teams at Tramway to stage their performance. Everyone felt it was exciting to get a backstage look at how a show comes together and learn more about stage management, lighting, and sound.  

Primary pupils performing on stage at Tramway. Three pupils are crouching on their knees holding a large theatrical prop of a wolf head.
Primary pupils standing in a circle on a stage
Rehearsals for a stage show. Primary pupils are standing in the middle of a stage wearing wolf masks. A Stage Manager is kneeling in front of them. She is wearing large headphones and directing the pupils.

One of my favourite parts of the project was the utter pride and joy in the kid’s faces as they walked off the stage at Tramway. I don’t think we could have prepared them for that feeling.

Carly McCaig – Citizens Theatre Drama Artist 

The P7s then performed their curtain raiser in front of a busy audience including their fellow pupils, teachers and families. And after the performance, they took their seats in the auditorium to watch Red Riding Hood.  

There was also an opportunity for the P7s to meet and chat with the cast of Red Riding Hood. Lots of the children were especially excited to meet Maureen Carr – star of Cbeebies’ Molly and Mack! 

Red Riding Hood cast member Maureen Carr arm in arm with a pupil from St Francis Primary School. They are both smiling widely.
Red Riding Hood cast member Michael Guest answering questions pupils from St Francis Primary School.

Maud’s Map

In 2023, we presented Maud’s Map in the schools, bringing the magic of live theatre to the classrooms. This fun and imaginative play is based on the book by theatre-maker Jen Edgar.

A performance of Maud’s Map at St Francis Primary School. An actor is holding a puppet and an audience of primary school pupils are sitting watching with their arms outstretched.
A hand drawn illustration

The story addresses the power of self-belief as a young person, and the big feelings that come with growing up! It follows a young girl named Maud as she discovers her inner strength: 

Maud and her Mum are explorers. They are curious and courageous and together they make an unstoppable team. But then one day Maud wakes up with a new heaviness inside her and decides to strike out on her own to find the source of this bad feeling. 

Primary 4 pupils enjoyed a series of creative workshops, exploring the play’s themes of emotional literacy and confidence. They also made creative contributions to the final performance as their artwork and props were used by the professional team. This was important as it gave the young people a sense of pride and purpose.  

A workshop in a school. A group of primary school pupils painting.
a group of school kids sitting in a circle. They are reading a book together
A workshop in a school. Two girls are standing at a table painting. A young woman in a Citizens Theatre t-shirt is sitting between them.

I think my favourite memory was when [my picture] was included in the book. When I opened it up I actually seen my artwork in it, I thought oh my goodness it’s actually in there. It was a proper surprise

St Francis pupil

The play was then performed for the school with a full creative team: 

Writer – Jen Edgar
Director – Catrin Evans
Cast – Taylor Goodwin and Ros Sydney
Movement director – Jen Edgar
Set, costume, and puppet designer – Jenny Booth
Composition and sound design – Niroshini Thambar
Puppet Design and Consultation by Ailie Cohen
Lighting design – Stuart Jenkins 

It was brilliant to explore these two plays with St Francis and Blackfriars Primary Schools. It gave the young people a unique opportunity to engage with a professional theatre company – and we hope that they are enthusiastic to work with us in the future.  

Working with the Citizens Theatre has been an invaluable experience for our children and staff in St. Francis. From our pupils having the opportunity to see Red Riding Hood at Christmas time to the team delivering workshops for us every week and giving the children a wonderful theatre experience in our very own lunch hall. The children will have memories to last a lifetime and hopefully this is just the beginning of our Creative Partnership!

Charlotte Kerr – Principal Teacher at St. Francis’ Primary School

Delivery team

Carly McCaig – Schools Drama Artist
Zephyr Liddell – Schools Visual Artist
Sanjay Lago – Drama Worker
Niamh McCarron – Drama Worker
Allan Othieno – Drama Worker
Cole Stewart – Drama Worker 

Hear more from Catrin Evans and Carly McCaig  about the project

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Primary pupils sitting on the floor. They are smiling. A woman in a Citizens Theatre t-shirt is sitting next to them.

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