Unique theatre show for people with learning disabilities comes to Scotland

An innovative new show aimed at people with complex learning difficulties is coming to theatres in Scotland.

Thursday, 13th April 2017, 1:00 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 6:37 pm
Frozen Light production Home is aimed at people with  Profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities
Frozen Light production Home is aimed at people with Profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities

Frozen Light theatre company is touring with its show, Home, which has been devised for audiences with profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD).

The company’s co-artistic director Amber Onat Gregory said: “We want to enable people who rarely attend high street arts venues to experience the theatre.

“With this tour, we hope to reach as many people with PMLD as possible.”

The show follows the characters Scarlet and Olive as they attempt to navigate a world they don’t understand or recognise.

One reviewer, Susan Elkin, on seeing a preview said: “Home is powerful piece of theatre about loss,separation, fear, loneliness, reconciliation, hope and rebuilding relationships – human life, in fact.

“These are all things that matter just as much to people with PMLD as much as they do to anyone else.”

The actors take the audience from the foyer to the main auditorium, allowing them to adjust to the environment, as for many it will be their first trip to a theatre. The cast interact with the audience, singing directly to them at some points and letting them touch the props and examine them close up.

The company, which had success at the Edinburgh Fringe last year, believes this helps the audience to understand the play better and to feel more involved in the story.

‘The palpable joy of the audience, many witnessing live performance in a theatre environment for the first time is a wonder to behold,” said Sarah Holmes, chief executive of New Wolsey Theatre, Frozen Light’s associate company.

Lucy Garland, Frozen Light’s other co-artistic director, added: “By putting accessible theatre into theatre venues rather than centres or homes we hope to increase the visibility of people with PMLD and create activities for them to access within their local community.”

Last year’s festival show, The Forest, sold out all of its performances and the company hopes to take Home to the Fringe this year.

As part of a current UK-wide tour, Scottish audiences can see Home in Aberdeen, The Lemon Tree, April 25; Glenrothes, Rothes Hall, April 26; Glasgow, The Bridge, April 27 and 28; and Stirling Macrobert Arts Centre, April 29.

For more details of times and prices for the individual venues visit the website at frozenlighttheatre.com.