Story by Zara Suleiman | Photos by Mushtaq Ahmed
On Sunday 6th October 2019 Sheffield Crucible Theatre opened the doors to the public. It had been amazingly transformed into a fun palace, a place of play and fun activities for children. We had lots of fun.
A number of organisations were showcasing what they do, including Pitsmoor Adventure Playground, Nyara Arts and Sheffield Science Outreach. The free event celebrated art, culture and community. At the entrance to the theatre were hoola hoops, ghost tours, chalk drawing on the floor and graffiti art on the window. The adventure playground took over the upper foyer children were playing, building dens, drawing, creating art, painting, decorating lanterns and dressing up.
I joined in with a number of the activities. One was the bee keeper’s stall where they brought in samples of delicious honey for children to taste. We even got to try on special beekeeper suits. There was also a cupcake decorating stall where children got to decorate cupcakes and eat them. I had decorated a lovely cupcake with purple icing, sprinkles and Smarties and, of course, I got to eat it. We also had fun making a bee house from recycled materials to take home with us and hang it up in the garden to help look after our native wildlife.
I interviewed a number of people at the event, including visitors, parents, volunteers, and the event organisers.
Julius and Katy from the adventure playground were asked why the event was important for children and local communities? Julius replied that he
“likes children feeling free to play and enjoying themselves and getting mucky”
while Katy said she
“liked to share everything about what other people are interested in and likes to meet new people.”
Nawel, a parent who attends Pitsmoor Adventure playground regularly, said that she likes the idea of bringing the playground inside rather than outside and likes children to express themselves freely and being encouraged to be creative and happy whilst bringing the community together.
Marianne, a volunteer at the playground, said:
“It’s important for children to play because they need to do activities and learn to make new friends and have fun.”
Patrick, the manager at the Pitsmoor Adventure Playground, commented how he is proud of everyone at the event:
“As manager of the adventure playground I am always happy to organise and be involved in every event that brings people together and for people to experience fun activities.”
Tom, an architecture student, said:
“The transformation of the space was amazing. It’s very cool and I like to see the smile on the children’s faces when they come to do the activities. It is rare to see fun activities colour and life in the theatre.”
Emily, who has been organising fun palaces since 2016, said:
“It’s great for children to visit fun places and we get the opportunity to welcome new people into the building and celebrate everyone’s creativity! And we get do new, exciting, things to do and learn.”