Sorry it has been a while since we have blogged, tour came to an end and it was straight into preparations for the new show, but more about that later. Our great intentions of consistent blogs about the venues we toured to came to an end due to the intensity of performing two shows a day, getting the set in and out, the miles of driving and touring with 3 children under 3 (+ 3 grandparents!) Firstly let us tell you about how The Forest tour went:
We visited 26 venues from end of August 2015 – beginning of December 2015. We reached 402 people with PMLD, 411 Carers, 34 additional family members (some carers were family carers), 179 additional people (students, artists, general public), 160 members of Theatre staff and 13 members of press. Overall The Forest played to 1199 people.
We made some wonderful connections with venues. For many venues it was the first time they had programmed a show specifically for our audiences needs. The Forest really opened their eyes to the possibilities of working with audiences with PMLD again in the future. We hope to return to most of these venues with our next production ‘Home’. We also returned to a number of venues we had taken Tunnels to. We saw some of the same audiences that had been to see Tunnels and it was really heart-warming how we were welcomed back by theatre staff and audiences.
During The Forest tour we also spoke to a lot of other artists and students about our work and the methodologies behind it. We really hope that our enthusiasm has rubbed off on some of these people and there will be more work created for audiences with PMLD in the near future.
The Forest tour was full on, especially being on the road with all our children and grandparents, but we had the best time. We visited towns we had never been to, met fantastic enthusiastic theatre staff but most of all we enjoyed engaging with our audience and their families and carers. I will leave you with some audience quotes from the tour:
Thank you so much for a fabulous morning! It was a real joy to see the communication and interaction between yourselves and the students. Every single student engaged with your production throughout and every one of them thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Teacher – Bordon Pheonix
Extremely impressed with the professionalism, thought and planning that allowed Ellie to partake and enjoy, despite this being a day when her epilepsy was active and can interrupt her enjoyment. Would highly recommend. Mum – Attenborough Arts Centre
Lauryn is tactile defensive and places/environments like these that are unfamiliar are challenging. However, she loved it. Even the few things she was unsure about were tolerated so well. Your team are fantastic. Thank you. Respite Carer – Attenborough Arts Centre
All of our pupils were engaged and enjoyed the show. It’s great to have something aimed at PMLD people. Teacher – Grand Pavillion
Exceptional, inspiring. Mark responded in a way I haven’t seen before. Carer – Dorchetster Arts
Absolutely fabulous. Rachel LOVED it and followed everything. She usually falls asleep in the afternoons. I was moved to tears with how well she reacted – as did all our children. Teacher – The Garage
What can I say? Such talented performers. Amazing, very creative and inspirational performance. Entirely inclusive, loved every moment, a treat for all the senses! Respite Carer – The Garage
I felt the show was inspired. Very personal and inclusive. The time spent with the individuals was really nice. It wasn’t rushed and very non-judging. Excellent. Mum – Gulbenkian