July 15, 2024

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Laughter and play create a workplace culture of success at Showtown Blackpool

Laugh Think Play announces groundbreaking partnership with iconic museum to reflect the visitor experience in the staff experience 

The old saying goes that ‘all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’ and in the case of Showtown Blackpool it is putting its money where its mouth is by being the first workplace in the UK officially committed to making work fun.

Today it announces a first of its kind year-long partnership with specialist consultancy Laugh Think Play, where the two will work closely to create a culture of long-lasting staff happiness, making it as fun and joyful a place to work as it is to visit.

This is Laugh Think Play’s first corporate partnership as it reveals news of its official launch alongside this key client win. Laugh Think Play is a new cultural and mindset consultancy which places laughter and play front and centre of business culture transformation with the aim of enabling businesses to help their people to not only feel better but ultimately perform better.

According to a recent study by the University of Essex, people who prioritise achievement over enjoyment were overall less happy at work and it is in fact more important to focus on happiness over reducing stress and anxiety. This builds on previous research from Saiid Business School and research by the University of Warwick that shows employee happiness can create a 12% uplift in productivity.

Laugh Think Play equips businesses with tools, methods and group support, enabling them to build resilient leaders, teams and individuals via cultural transformation programmes, Play Days and Play Partnerships. It also supports entrepreneurs and individuals keen to become better and happier in business through membership to Business Circles, Masterminds and Club membership. Its unique methodology is underpinned by human behavioural science and human evolution programming research developed by Gini Ekstein Holden, the inventor of the Bag for Life.

Launched last month, Showtown is a celebration of Blackpool’s history as the ultimate seaside capital of entertainment. Visitors are invited to discover the stories of the comedians, dancers, acrobats and characters who made Blackpool the home of show business. As well as the staff that make things happen behind the scenes; comedians, dancers, acrobats and characters literally bring the showbiz visitor experience to life.


Em Stroud, one of the cofounders of Laugh Think Play who delivered the initial programme of work for Showtown says:

“Prior to opening, we were invited by Showtown to design a cultural programme that reflected their values and create the culture that they wanted to instil in every staff member – old and new. Showtown was launching a museum based around show and fun, but the reality behind that is an awful lot of hard work. It was really important to them that their people were looked after in a way that hasn’t really been seen in the sector before. We wanted to challenge the way that museums traditionally operate and reflect the visitor experience in the staff experience. 

“Showtown had been in the making as the Blackpool Museum Trust since 2015, with members of staff working to raise funds and curate the collection and then the new members of staff who were employed once the new museum was ready. So we had a situation where there had been people being part of the project for eleven years and new members of staff who had been there for two or three weeks.  

“Using the Laugh Think play methodology as the starting point, we worked together to build a culture of inclusivity and fun from day one. This included supporting their cast of actors, characters and performers and bringing together the entire museum team for a full ‘day of play’ in which we played games, examined our values in an open forum and what they meant to staff. This was about giving people a chance to come together and get to know each other through the wonder of play. By the end of it, you couldn’t tell the difference between who had been there for a week and who had been there for a decade.” 


Elizabeth Moss, Chief Executive of Blackpool Heritage and Museum Trust, says

“Engaging with Laugh Think Play was enthralling from the start – we were looking for a team who simply “got us” and all that  we were trying to do in developing our people for the launch of Showtown – the museum of fun and entertainment. From auditioning, to script development inspired by our Showtown historic storybook, to Cast rehearsals – the Laugh Think Play team were spot on. The piece de resistance was our whole company Playday a week ahead of our grand opening – Em Stroud was incredible and brought the entire team together  – old and new – with creativity, wisdom and brilliance.”

Moving forward, Showtown will be investing in their staff’s personal and professional development  by giving them the opportunity to come together and check in at quarterly play days and monthly ‘feel better’ circles facilitated by Laugh Think Play


Em Stroud continues:

“The ongoing work enables all of Showtown’s people from their very diverse backgrounds to have access to continuous personal and professional development. The play days will focus on communication and relationships, ensuring that internal challenges can get resolved with kindness. It is also an opportunity for everyone to once more tap into their own sense of wonder and fun. The monthly ‘feel better’ circles create a space for Showtown’s people to take a breath and come back to themselves – kind of like a gym for the mind. It is an hour a month of care and compassion for everyone who works in the business, giving them a boost. When people feel better, they perform better at work.  

For more information go to: www.laughthinkplay.com.