Minny Stynker AR Experience

by Soap Soup Theatre in Winscombe, North Somerset, United Kingdom

Total raised £2,005

raised so far



Delivering an AR Experience for families caring for kids with long term illness, bringing the magic of theatre to hospices and care settings

by Soap Soup Theatre in Winscombe, North Somerset, United Kingdom

We're still collecting donations

On the 8th December 2022 we'd raised £2,000 with 64 supporters in 28 days. But as every pound matters, we're continuing to collect donations from supporters.

 New stretch target

The next challenge is to raise another £2000 to get the Pop-up Augmented Reality Booth built, so that we can tour the experience to Community spaces and libraries, and the AR kits  which are lightweight mini writing-desks containing the Ipads/headphones and activity book, and a drawer for art supplies, so that we can tour the complete experience to hospices and children’s wards, and children can do the experience in the comfort of their beds.

As Artistic Director for Soap Soup Theatre, I make Theatre for children and their families, and since the Covid Epidemic began, and since my son was born with severe Meconium Aspiration Syndrome and we spent time in Bristols NICU, I have been moved to begin a project for families who are caring for children with long term Illness. 


[Above, My son Elvin and I, a few months after we were discharged from hospital]

The project is called Minny Stynker, and is a story about a child moving to a new town, and coping with their loneliness by creating an imaginary friend through drawing and doodling. One night, their drawings come to life and Minny Stynker takes the child on adventures through their drawings. Ultimately through sharing their drawings with another child, they make a real friend. It's a story about creativity, connection and friendship. I am currently writing the picture book version of the story as part of my Illustration Masters at Falmouth University. You can see some of the pages of the book below.


[Above, a spread from my picture book, Minny Stynker]

Overall Project Plan:

Once the book is finished, we will produce a stage show, based on the book for families who can visit Theatres, and a Theatrical Augmented Reality experience for families who can't. The first phase of the project focuses in the AR experience, and will be developed so that it is as accessible as possible for children managing health conditions, and in manageable bite sized chunks so it can be picked up and put down again as energy permits. It will be very magical, and bring the magic and creativity of a theatre experience into the home or care setting. My wish is that, like theatre, it can be a shared experience for the whole family to enjoy together.


[Above, another double page spread from Minny Stynker]

Research and Development:

From Spring 2023, I am beginning the second Research and Development (R and D) period, building on the work I did earlier in 2022 with Bath Spa Creative Computing Department on a short prototype. We will be making chapter one of the AR  Experience to pilot with children in Hospitals, Hospices, at home and in schools.

You can take a look at what we did below in our early stage prototype:

And watch the Trailer for the AR Experience below:

In this R and D, we will be undertaking a HUGE participation project, with young people taking part from a wide variety of backgrounds. So far we are working with Bishop Sutton School in BANES, Somerset Youth Theatre, Families in Knowle West (alongside the Knowle West media Centre), The Bristol Old Vic Young Company, patients at University Bristol Hospitals, A group of families through Action for ME, children and families accessing the services through the Children’s Hospice South West, and inner city kids and their families through Bristol based charity Imayla.

We will be developing in-person workshops for those that can attend, and online workshops (live and recorded) for families who can't. In these workshops we will be creating our own imaginary friends, and animating them. This will culminate in an exhibition, both online and in person of their work. We will also forge links between the groups sending messages via our imaginary friends. A bit like digital penpals. My hope is to help ease the social isolation for the families who are caring for ill children, and also have an important, creative part in the development of a professional theatre production.

We did a trial run of an imaginary friend making workshop with the kids of Lawrence Weston, Bristol. You can see the teaser trailer video here:

We are applying for pots of money here, there and everywhere, but as arts funding is being squeezed more and more, we thought we had better take matters into our own hands to enable this important piece of work to begin.

The money you send is going towards 2 things.

1. Since writing our Arts Council bid, several new charities have joined the project, so if we get the Arts Council funding, we still won’t have enough money to include these new groups of children and their families, and pay for all the workshop activities we have planned. The first £1000  will pay for artists to work with, and for very poorly children living in hospices, helping them to create beautiful work and share it, helping to combat social isolation, make new friends, have fun, and explore their creative gifts and stories. It will buy materials, fuel and an administrator a few hours a week, to manage the running of the project.

2. The second thing your money will go towards is a our van. It failed it's MOT this Autumn, and we need £1000 of welding to get it back on the road. Your money will enable us to travel to the workshops with all the materials we need, tour our theatre shows and transport materials and costumes to where they need to be. The project can simply not go ahead without a working vehicle!

Well done for getting to the end of this! I REALLY hope you can see the value of this project, and if you can, dig deep and support us in making it as wonderful as I know it can be.

Thank you.


[Above, a spread from Minny Stynker, the picture book being written and illustrated  by me at the moment]


This project offered rewards

£35 or more

Minny Stynker Bundle

An original piece of Minny Stynker Artwork by Artistic Director Tomasin Cuthbert on an oversize playing card, 3 badges with different designs and a gorgeous illustrated greeting card, of a detail from one of the illustrations from the Minny Stynker Picture book. Postage included!

£5 or more

Skint but lovely

A shout out on our social media platforms, eternal gratitude and big hug next time I see you.

£20 or more

The Merch Maker

A surprise Soap Soup Merch pack. You might get button badges, posters, a CD, or even a Graphic novel, from one of our past shows.

£25 or more

Fae Playing Cards

A unique and original artwork by me, on a large playing card of a strange and unusual creature from the Fae. Choose the one you like!

£50 or more

The Surprise Artist

An original postcard size piece of art, created in mixed media by Tomasin. Expect mad colours, bonkers patterns and a cheeky character or two.

£100 or more

The Connoisseur Artist

An A5 mixed media original piece of art created by Tomasin. You can request the subject of the work, or have it tailored to a specific theme. A perfect gift for a friend or family member!

£250 or more

The Mega Fan

A bag of Soap Soup Merch, tickets to see Minny Stynker for you and 3 friends when we launch the live show, access to the AR experience, and an A3 piece of ORIGINAL artwork by Tomasin to cherish forever. You can commission Tomasin to paint whatever you like for this one.

£1,000 or more

The More Money than Sense

You'll get all the merch, access to the AR experience for you and 3 people of your choice, tickets for 10 to see the live how when it opens, and an A2 piece of Artwork, bespoke to whatever your little heart desires. Oh yes, and eternal gratitude, 1000 soap soup points and hugs for life.

£25 or more

Fae Frog Playing card Art

The Fae Frog! See the artwork in the latest update. AN original piece of art for yourself or a loved one. Will be sent before Christmas

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