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Throughout our existence Symbol has found that involvement in ‘The Performing Arts’ has offered many people with learning disabilities a wonderful range of benefits from the development of skills and confidence right through to sheer enjoyment.   In the light of this we have frequently used this medium and in the last few years have established our own theatre company, run by Symbol’s charity arm (The Symbol Trust). 

Theatre with a difference

The Hopshed Theatre Company is a ‘shedlink’ of the world famous Chickenshed Theatre Group based in London.   Chickenshed is renowned for making beautiful and inspirational theatre working on the basis that everyone and anyone should be included, regardless of their background, age, or ability.  At Chickenshed, everyone is welcome, and everyone is valued.  Chickenshed runs a Children’s and Youth Theatre for 700 young people, operates four nationally accredited education courses, engages in community outreach projects and has established a growing network of satellite ‘Sheds’ across the country (and two in Russia) so even more can benefit.   It is unique in bringing together the creative energy of people who would never meet together in life anywhere but at Chickenshed.

This relationship has brought with it professional training and expertise to our own Hopshed Theatre Company enabling us to produce a great quality and frequently unique theatre experience for the general public in the Kent area.   We are proud to present ground breaking theatre that:

  • Is totally inclusive – our company is made up of over 60 people with and without disabilities, who work together as genuine equals
  • Is challenging and fun – the majority of the productions have big messages delivered with high energy accompanied with a real sense of fun
  • Adopts a broad and ever-growing range of multi-media to both grab audiences in fresh ways and enable everybody, no matter what their disability or otherwise, to fully participate

Why not find out some more by taking a look at:


Where are we based?

We are based at:
The Hazlitt Theatre
36 Earl Street
Maidstone                                                           ME14 1PP

We also offer additional workshops at:

Castlewell Day Opportunity Centre
Well Road
Isle of Sheppey
ME11 5AX




Our workshops & productions

We run workshops on an ongoing basis where we develop material and rehearse for public productions throughout the year.  These are often performed at The Hazlitt Theatre itself, but sometimes in Public Spaces or by invitation to events.

Saturdays (term times): 9.30-11am


Fridays (term times) 5pm - 7pm

* Children & Youth (7 - 18):  5 - 5.55pm

* Adults (18+):   6 - 7pm

Saturdays (term times): 9.30-11am


Hazlitt Theatre - Maidstone




Castlewell Day Opportunity Centre - Sheppey


We charge a small fee of £6 per workshop as a contribution to our costs.


Telephone:    01622 859216

Email:             info@symboluk.co.uk

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