About Us

Our Vision. . .

  • To provide an inclusive practice for children to access a ‘complete theatre experience
  • To build on life skills such as communication and effective relationships
  • To nurture and engage active participants in developing self-confidence, self-esteem and personal growth
  • To promote unique and individual theatre companies for children

Who we are. . .

AliCaT Alison Riddiford Owner 2015Ali Milton-Riddiford (BA Hons)

Owner of the Company and Artistic Director . . .

I was introduced to the magic of theatre from an early age, having parents that both worked and performed in the profession.  My personal skills and attributes stem from the world of dance and choreography and I have over 25 years’ experience of working and leading within an early year’s education system.  My drive has always been to give every child a voice. Fundamentally my teaching stems from the Reggio Emilia approach to learning (an Italian Education System), starting from where the child is in their development and then supporting and building on their learning.

My decision to further my academic studies at Bath Spa University fuelled my vision of combining all these elements together to create an accessible and complete theatre experience for children.  AliCaT is therefore the product of my beliefs, philosophies and experiences of how children learn and develop as well rounded, healthy, confident human beings.

What we do . . .

AliCaT Children and Theatre is an exciting and established performance based theatre company for children aged 2 to 16 years that was set up in 2009 by Ali to promote the fun of the theatre.

alison riddiford with foundation class

The focus is on building performance skills such as acting, voice, movement and dance but also on important personal attributes such as confidence and social skills.
At AliCaT children learn to feel confident in:

  • Taking ownership
  • Having a voice
  • Making mistakes
  • Being reflective
  • Developing trust, respect and commitment
  • Being brave, having a go!
  • Being part of something challenging yet rewarding

“I really like AliCaT because I can let my inner self out.  My inner self is really noisy but I don’t like to let that out in case my friends don’t like it” – Oscar Aged 10


Each class is tailored to the individual needs of the children so emphasis is placed upon the process or journey of self-discovery.

Classes involve a variety of fun games, drama activities and RYE techniques (Research on Yoga in Education). They run in term time only and work towards an annual production (per class) that can be enjoyed by friends and family.

We believe in quality rather than quantity so numbers are limited per class to enable all children to have a voice!

“She seemed really happy and confident on stage, much more than we thought she would be and it’s down to such great teaching in class! So thank you!” …said Claire, mother of Daisy age 5, Eddie the Penguin Saves the World…

Research on Yoga in Education

Our use of RYE techniques (Research on Yoga in Education) within warm up games and cool downs provides an ideal activity to balance self-control with physical challenges and compliments the skills required in performance by impacting richly on each child’s emotional intelligence!

Where we are . . .

AliCaT is based in Backwell, North Somerset at the Backwell Playhouse, both rehearsals and performances take place there. The Playhouse is the perfect backdrop for the AliCaT sessions as it underpins our two core principals and vision of the company to provide:

  • A safe and friendly environment
  • A real theatre experience for the children

For parents wanting to stay on premises there is:

  • Backwell Playhouse FoyerA foyer with tables and chairs
  • A refreshments bar serving:
    • Hot and cold drinks
    • Snacks
    • Confectionery
  • Toilet facilities male and female
  • Baby changing unit
  • A monitor to watch rehearsals taking place

For all new visitors, to find us is very easy. From the main road (A370) the Backwell Playhouse is fully signposted. When you get to the theatre you will find:

  • Ample parking
  • A theatre with a full lighting rig
  • A theatre complimented with a full sound equipment rig
  • A large theatre stage, that is fully accessible
  • Newly refurbished changing rooms

Our address: Backwell Playhouse, Mariners Drive, Backwell, BS48 3HT

How to get involved . . .

AliCaT Foundation Class 2015To be part of an AliCaT group is easy.  First we offer a free trial session before committing to anything, just choose the class from the many options that fits in with family life.

If your child enjoys the class they become part of a team working together, learning new skills and having fun to create theatre!

Our shows are all age appropriate and accessible to all children.

If you have any questions please click this link Contact Us