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Using drama, play and stories to help children aged 5-7 develop confidence, communication and creativity

Image by Tom Doona Photography

"I found a voice through making theatre and I'm proud to be patron of Speech Bubbles"  

Sir Mark Rylance

Actor and Patron of Speech Bubbles

In partnership with


 What is Speech Bubbles? 


Speech Bubbles is a joyful creative intervention that uses drama activities, story-telling and imaginative play to support children's development of communication, confidence and wellbeing. The programme was originally developed in 2007 by Adam Annand and London Bubble Theatre, alongside Speech and Language Therapists and schools.



In partnership with Peoplescape Theatre, we offer Speech Bubbles to school in Manchester, Salford, Stockport and Trafford areas. We are part of the North West partner network, which also includes Oldham Theatre Workshop and M6 Theatre.

The approach encourages children to tell, act out and reflect on their own stories. Speech Bubbles practitioners use a thoroughly proven structure and their expert knowledge of whole body communication to promote children’s communication, confidence and wellbeing. Speech Bubbles sessions are a different kind of experience to a clinical intervention, practitioners work to create a space which is collaborative, playful and fun.

What is SB?

Image by Rebecca Lupton Photography


Speech Bubbles is built on the belief that:

  • Every child has the right the communicate

  • Every child has the right to understand and be understood


 What is the need for Speech Bubbles? 


Increasing numbers of children are starting school life with communication difficulties. It is estimated that 10% of children and young people in the UK, a total of 1.4 million, have a speech, language and communication need (SLCN) and in areas of disadvantage this may affect 50% of all pupils. Evidence collected by the Communication Trust suggests that, in some areas, as many as 50% of children are starting school with delayed communication skills. Teachers report that as well as teaching reading and writing they increasingly have to teach KS1 children to speak and to play. 

This report Speaking up for the COVID generation, suggests that in the wake of the Pandemic it is vital that urgent support is put in place to prevent long term lasting damage to our children’s speaking and understanding.

"The children have gained so much from Speech Bubbles - far more than just the improvement in their ability to communicate"

Joe Levinsohn, Speech & Language Support

St Thomas of Canterbury RC Primary School

The Need for SB

Image by Tom Doona Photography


 What impact does Speech Bubbles have for children with SLCN? 

Impact of SB

Image by Rebecca Lupton Photography

Through its careful and creative use of story, play and drama, Speech Bubbles has shown to have considerable impact on speaking, listening and attention skills whilst also improving children's social skills and emotional literacy.  You can find research into the effectiveness of Speech Bubbles here. In 2022/23, North West Drama's Speech Bubbles schools reported that:

​ 93% of pupils involved improved their learning, speaking and listening skills 

96% of pupils involved improved their emotional behaviour and conduct 

Ready SB?

 Ready to become a Speech Bubbles school? 

Schools in Trafford, Stockport, Tameside or Salford should contact  

Matt Wardle (North West Drama): 

Schools in Manchester should contact

Emily Capstick (Peoplescape Theatre): 

Speech Bubbles is delivered across the country by a partner network of theatre companies. For details of who offers Speech Bubbles in your local area, you can visit:

Or email Lizzie Kennedy (Speech Bubbles): 


Image by Tom Doona Photography

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