Tuesday, August 31, 2010

British theatre troupe of people with intellectual disabilities presents musicals about their experiences

From Community Newswire in the UK:

Eight actors with learning disabilities will perform two musicals based on the experiences and challenges faced by others living with learning disabilities.

The Twisting Ducks Theatre Company has developed two musicals called Duck and What's Up Doc, using personal accounts gathered from interviews and workshops involving people with disabilities.

Both shows will be performed at a launch night on September 7 at the People's Theatre in Jesmond, from 7pm to 9.30pm.

Hundreds of adults with learning disabilities living in the North-east will be given the chance to watch the performances and see the life experiences and challenges they have faced transformed into two original musicals.

Both musicals aim to dispel misconceptions about adults with learning disabilities, and promote the need for dignity and respect.

Alison Cane, a member of The Twisting Ducks Theatre Company, said: "I am a lot more confident now because of all the work I have done for the Twisting Ducks Theatre Company.

"I know people want to listen to what I have to say and we want to get our voices and others with a learning disability heard.

"I am dead excited about the launch and feel very proud of the work we have all done."

Fellow member Kylie Wightman said: "Working with the Twisting Ducks has made me more confident.

"Sometimes I say I can't do things and maybe give up too easily, but with the Twisting Ducks I find that I just can't do that because we are a team and we all need to work together.

"Some people might think that people with learning disabilities can't do the things that we can do. We make people aware of the challenges that people with learning disabilities can face.

"Our plays make real changes to the way people with learning disabilities are treated within health care, housing and other services.

"The launch is going to be great, so we can show everyone the work we've done and how far we've come since we started as a theatre company."

Sameena Varris, another member, added: "I think our work is really good I'm proud of that. I am so excited about our launch.

"I can't think of anything I would rather do that be an actor in the Twisting Ducks."

Speaking about Twisting Ducks, Bill Norman, Valuing People co-ordinator for Newcastle Upon Tyne, said: "Their shows put the message of disability equality better than a thousand reports ever could."

The Twisting Ducks Theatre Company has been a registered charity since 2009. The company makes entertaining, accessible and informative drama about issues that are important to people with learning disabilities. It aims to raise awareness about the rights of people with learning disabilities and the challenges they face in a bid to inspire others and change society's attitude towards learning disabilities.