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 100 shows and won numerous awards. Watch out for our unmissable musicals during half-terms and holidays, and a traditional family panto at Christmas.

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.

Sir Tim Rice is our Patron and our Director and Founder, Phil Barnett, was awarded a British Empire Medal in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2012.

  Our focus is always on what our young people can achieve.



Kidz R Us is 29 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 350-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 29 years, we’ve produced more than 100 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.