The Stephen Joseph Theatre is introducing a free creche for audiences at the Scarborough venue to make its shows more accessible for parents.
It is thought to be one of the first of its kind, and will be trialled for a performance of the theatre’s latest show, Build a Rocket, which has returned to Scarborough following a run at the Edinburgh Fringe.
The childcare service will be available at the 5.30pm performance of the show on September 7, and will be run by qualified staff for children up to 12 years.
It will be available for audiences who have pre-booked, on a first come first served basis, and will also offer light snacks for the children.
The theatre’s artistic director Paul Robinson said: “Build a Rocket is about a young single mum from Scarborough and the challenges she faces while bringing up her baby. One of her biggest problems is childcare, as it is for so many parents, so it seemed appropriate to trial this scheme around a late afternoon performance of this show.
“We hope this will make it easier for parents and carers who might usually struggle to get to the theatre.”
While the scheme is only in the trial stages, the theatre said it hoped to continue it and schedule more performances that offer childcare in the future.
The announcement of Stephen Joseph’s creche facility comes amid repeated calls for more affordable childcare options for people working in theatre. Some have suggested setting up a creche in the West End for working parents, similar to one that is already in place at the Royal Shakespeare Company.
The Stephen Joseph said it did not currently have plans to extend the creche facility to performers and staff but stressed that the scheme is still in its early stages.