Theo Pathitis award

Claire Hainstock, founder of Acting the Party receiving their #sbs award from Theo Paphitis

Why did you design/make these games?

Why we love it

  • Stories for kids to act to
  • Structured play
  • Themed party games
  • Home enviroment
  • Manageable numbers
  • Saves money
  • Kids love it!

Why you will too

…and so too your children. If you’d like a party at home, not just to save money but to watch your child interact with their friends and to have fun, this is for you. Cool party games with the structure of something fun to do between the games. No chaos or mess and something just a little different. Plus, of course, to save a small fortune.

We hope you enjoy our parties, we think they’re ace, and very high quality, so they do take a while to produce. If you’re waiting for a new theme expect to be playing it with your teenager, they take us a long while because we want them to be the best they can. However, we can reveal the next party will be… eventually… an adventure based in Space!

Acting the Party award badges

Small Awards Finalist 2017

Small Awards Finalist 2017

Some of my highlights

We presently have 4 parties.. You may want to know which we like the best. Well, actually each have been interesting and fun in their own right. Our first was the Spooky Pirate party. The choice of theme was easy as our sons were heavily into pirates at the time and because we could test it on them! The second was amazing to hear Elizabeth Rider narrate the script exactly how I heard it in my head! Sample on the home page. Graham Seed was a joy as he had the right kind of wry humour that a Pantomime party requires. Isy Suttie has a fantastic accent and of course, is no novice when it comes to voiceover narration – a Gold Sony Comedy Award winner.
However, we’re still hoping to make some new awesome themes, here’s a few ideas:
  • Space adventure
  • Fairytales
  • Under the Sea
Playing the first party and seeing the kids have a fantastic time playing it.

Well, I’m currently writing a new script… then it’ll need narrating, editing, game accessories designed, packaging…

Being with family and friends, dog walking, listening to audio dramas, reading, gardening, tweeting, working… loving life.

Producer and owner of Acting the Party – former BBC Visual (Special) Effects designer and assistant. I cleared a lot of gunge on children’s shows and made Baldrick’s turnip as seen at the end of Blackadder. Lover of audio drama and dog walker extraordinaire. Sometimes, with a podcast, on the Lincolnshire hills (yes, there are some) I will combine the two.

Because I didn’t think I had enough to do I am currently enjoying working part-time as a (SEN) Teaching Assistant at a local Secondary School.

Our scoot headline award
Graham Seed at studio

Claire with Graham Seed at The Voiceover Gallery studios in Manchester.

Claire with Isy Suttie at The Voiceover Gallery studios in London.

Who we are… a bit about us

Claire Hainstock owner of Acting the Party


I’m Claire, and this is my husband is Chris. Like many parents we’re not too keen on kids parties.

When our children were little we found them stressful, messy and loud. They were also outrageously expensive; we were stunned at the cost of hiring of halls, the food and the entertainment.

However, we also appreciated how much fun children have.

I decided I’d try to find something new. Something smaller, less expensive and enjoyable for all.

My daughter had had a mystery party at home and loved it but the reading out loud bits were a struggle for some of the 7 year olds. How could I keep the good bits – the fun, party games and giggles and chuck out the mad, bad, messy and chaotic bits?  I remembered how, as a child, I’d loved putting on shows and my kids weren’t any different. Then I remembered I had another asset, my husband!

With 24+ years of experience at the BBC, Chris had worked in editing and knew a thing or two about sound editing. So I set about writing a unique script for children – not to read aloud, but to listen and play along to. Using stories that would give help in miming and acting, instruct, and engage their imaginations, plus include many party games and some mystery solving. It was then a case of finding the very best narrators, recording and editing (with a little help from Chris) to make it as professional as possible.

The first attempt was unleashed on our children – it lasted 3 hours, (we’ve learnt a lot since then) even so they had a thoroughly enjoyable time and so did we! So have many children and parents since. That’s what we LOVE about children’s parties, seeing kids have a really super time and knowing we’ve saved parents time and money. We hope you like them too, please let us know, we’re always trying to improve and think of new themes for the future. Some of the best ideas have come from our customers, children and parents alike and we really appreciate your input.

Warmest regards

Claire x

And a bit more about us…

I’ve had a variety of jobs. Firstly working in Special Effects at the BBC for 12 years, much of it in children’s entertainment, on programs such as Get Your Own Back, Bodger and Badger, Mud, and Hanger 17. In light entertainment, such as French and Saunders, Naked Video and Blackadder (I made Baldrick’s dream turnip)!

After our children were born, I worked part-time as a DT technician in a girls school in London while also setting up Acting the Party and after a family move to Grantham at a local garden centre.

I am currently working as a part-time SEN teaching assistant at a secondary school and loving it, along with Acting the Party.

Chris worked as a film editor at the BBC for over 24 years. He is currently a senior lecturer at Lincoln University in Media Production.