Participating Project

Project information

New Multi-sensory Theatre Show for People with PML

We are creating a new multi-sensory theatre show for audiences with Profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities (PMLD). This project will reach more people with PMLD than ever before, allowing a group usually excluded from community arts have access to theatre, just like a mainstream audience would.

February 2018 - May 2019

Charity information: Frozen Light Theatre

Frozen Light Theatre logo
  • Need

    Need

    “All people who have profound and multiple learning disabilities will have great difficulty communicating. Many people will have additional sensory or physical disabilities, complex health needs or mental health difficulties.”
    (About Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties – PMLD Network). “People with PMLD are among the most excluded in society.” (Lancaster Centre of Disability Research). Because of their complex needs, mainstream theatre is almost never accessible to people with PMLD.

    Solution

    Our work is specifically created for the needs of people with PMLD. We follow Mencap guidance by performing to small groups at close proximity to our audience, making the shows entirely multi-sensory (as many people with PMLD experience their world through the senses) and adaptable to the needs of each member. Premiering it at the Norwich and Norfolk Festival 2018 and touring nationally in 2018-19, we will reach people with PMLD across the UK in so many areas with work tailored directly for them

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Create a high-quality theatre production made specifically for the needs of people with PMLD.

    Activities

    » Use our years of experience making shows for this audience and other diverse community groups, and work with professionals who understand our audience
    » Work with our focus panel from the Hall School, a local special school whose students and parents have informed all of our previous work.
    » Remain up-to-date on learning disability practice and disability arts guidance, making sure our show is as suitable for them as it can possibly be.

    By using our local panel of people with PMLD to judge the appropriateness of the show for their needs, and having theatre professional review the work as a piece of theatre.


    Aim 2

    Premier the new show at Norfolk and Norwich Festival 2018

    Activities

    » This huge platform will bring our work to the attention of the general public and arts community in East Anglia and reach more people with PMLD.

    By ensuring we sell out, and by gaining positive feedback from our audience members, both people with PMLD, parents, special schools, day centres and arts professionals


    Aim 3

    Tour the show nationally across 2018 to 2019 and reach more people with PMLD than ever before

    Activities

    » Use our existing relationships with venues we've toured to before and follow up on our commitment to previous audiences
    » Work on touring to areas with low arts engagement to reach people with PMLD who may not have accessed theatre before, increasing their opportunities.

    By collecting audience feedback and data in terms of number of attendees and number of first-time theatre goers, and target groups who may not have been to the theatre before.


  • Impact

    Impact

    We will increase arts engagement amongst people with PMLD across the UK, and demonstrate this using our collected data. Our project will also aid community inclusion, visibility in society and help to change attitudes in the way that the public view those with high-support needs, especially in terms of theatre professionals thinking about programming accessible work in future. This will become clear by an increase in accessible work being put on in theatre venues.

    Risk

    The largest risk is our audience coming to the show on time. Due to their high care needs are audience often come to shows late can be challenging due to tight get ins/get outs. We will manage this by working closely with the venues to ensure there is additional time post-show in case we finish a little late. To allay worries our audience may have we provide pre-show material that carers can look over with the person they support, train venue staff and perform in fully accessible venues.

    Reporting

    We use our social media to share updates on every project very regularly, and send personalised thank yous to larger donors with a full project report, with quotes, audience info, photos, and full project detail.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £33,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £10,000 Development and rehearsal Artist costs, set designer, props, set build
      £3,000 NNF Premier Performer and productions costs
      £20,000 National Tour Tour costs include artists fees, accommodation, travel
  • Background

    Location

    The project will begin in Norwich and East Anglia, and then tour the UK in Autumn 2018 and Spring 2019. Our focus panel is from a local Norwich special school and the majority of our rehearsals will take place in London and East Anglia. Premiering at the Norfolk and Norwich Festival 2018 means the project will reach people across the whole of the Norfolk region.

    The national tours in 2018-19 will reach thousands of people with PMLD, their carers and family members across the whole of the UK.

    Beneficiaries

    Our beneficiaries are people usually aged 13+ and adults with Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties (PMLD):

    “All people who have profound and multiple learning disabilities will have great difficulty communicating. Many people will have additional sensory or physical disabilities, complex health needs or mental health difficulties.” (About Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties – PMLD Network)

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Our co-artistic directors Amber and Lucy both have years of experience creating work for diverse community groups before Frozen Light, and have worked in social care settings. Frozen Light have successfully toured 3 shows since 2012 across the UK for this audience group (reaching 2143 people over the first two tours), become the first company to tour theatre for people with PMLD to Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and created really strong links with so many venues committed to accessible theatre.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.

    People

    Amber Onat Gregory

    Co-artistic Director, mainly overseeing the business, marketing and finance aspects of the project, as well as booking the tours.

    Lucy Garland

    Co-artistic Director, mainly overseeing the technical and performance aspects of the project, as well as artistic development and artist management.

    Alistair Watts

    Musician and composer, creating the original score for the show and then performing in it.

    Zoe Fletcher

    Project Administrator, leading on developing audiences, marketing, communication and other administrative tasks.

I was blown away. The joy it brought to the people watching was palpable. Although it is designed for people with multiple and profound learning disabilities I was totally enthralled. How wonderful that there are theatre companies doing shows like this for all members of the community.

Trustee - Colchester Arts Centre