About Kidz R Us

Kidz R Us is an award-winning youth theatre company, dedicated to getting young people involved in the performing arts, to support their development and the wider community. Rave reviews and standing ovations are a bonus!

We work with around 100 children, teenagers and young adults a year, and since 1994 have produced more than 80 shows and won numerous awards. Watch out for our unmissable musicals during half-terms and holidays, and a traditional family panto at Christmas.

Sir Tim Rice is our Patron and our Director, Phil Barnett, was awarded a British Empire Medal in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2012. But our focus is always on what our young people can achieve.

Our home is St Ives Theatre, in the heart of St Ives. There’s usually something going on here, even if it’s not one of our shows, so keep an eye on What’s On.

  • The energy is super-charged and top-notch production values mean that yet again, these youngsters put other professional productions in the shade, with every cast member giving it their all – and a live (yes, live!) band makes this an incredible evening’s entertainment and great value for money. It was clear that everyone performing and watching loved every minute, and we couldn’t wait to join the well-deserved standing ovation.
    Audience member, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Summer 2014)
  • I brought my daughter to see Disney’s The Little Mermaid last week, first time I’d been to a Kidz R Us show and I absolutely loved it! (As did she of course!) We were completely spellbound the whole show and she is still talking about it a week later (she’s three so that’s no small compliment!). The children in the show were fabulous, such confidence and stage presence! A massive, massive well done and thank you for a wonderful show.
    Audience member, Disney’s The Little Mermaid (Summer 2014)
  • My son and I have just seen tonight’s performance of Grease and we both loved it – we couldn’t help but sing along. As we left and walked up the road, we listened to what others were saying about the show, and everyone was saying: ‘fantastic’, ‘best show so far’, ‘the singing was amazing’, ‘very talented youngsters’.
    Audience member, Grease (Summer 2014)


Kidz R Us is 21 this year. It’s quite an age for a theatre company that runs just on the hard work and love of volunteers, performers and parents. When we started, most of our current performers weren’t even gleams in their fathers’ eyes…

In December 1993, a youthful Phil Barnett and Margaret Banfield from the St Ives Operatic Society staged a one-off concert to raise funds for Save the Children. The performers were a small, gifted group of local children. It was such a success that the audience begged for more. And so Kidz R Us was born, putting on its first show – Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat – a few months later, in 1994.

Today, we perform in our own 320-seat theatre (a converted Wesleyan chapel) in the centre of St Ives and guest at the world-renowned Minack Theatre near Land’s End. We’ve also performed in the West End at the London Palladium and the Criterion Theatre, and in the Royal Albert Hall.

In our 21 years, we’ve produced more than 80 shows, built a deserved reputation for producing work of the highest standard and won numerous awards. We were a finalist in the Best Arts Project category of the 2010 National Lottery Awards and received the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. Our Director, Phil Barnett, was awarded a British Empire Medal in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2012, and we are honoured to have Sir Tim Rice as our Patron.


But the awards are a by-product of why we’re really here, which is to encourage the participation of young people in the performing arts, both for their own personal development and the benefit of the wider community.

The four large-scale productions that we put on each year, plus a number of fundraising concerts and youth theatre workshops, involve more than 100 young people from various backgrounds, aged seven and up, in acting, singing and dancing. In the process, we’ve become a self-sustaining social enterprise, providing much-needed, accessible entertainment for the residents of and visitors to the St Ives area.