Summerstage was such a positive and life affirming experience. It gave him an opportunity to 'fly' - that in itself was priceless. We are so thankful for everyone who made it happen for him.”

Our forthcoming relaxed performance of hit musical Mamma Mia! in November went on sale on 7th September and sold out before we could take a breath!  Having bought out the whole house, we’ll be filling it with families with children with special needs, re-pricing the tickets to £2.50 - £20 so that any family regardless of their income can attend. 

At a relaxed performance, theatre etiquette does not apply, allowing parents who cannot usually take their child to the theatre for fear of their behaviour upsetting other audience members, to cast aside these worries.  They are wonderful, joyous occasions, with all the families able to relax in an environment where no-one tuts and stares, where every other family there understands, as you can see from this video of our last Mamma Mia! relaxed performance in 2013.

<embed youtube video  https://youtu.be/s000FxBZ6N0 >

In our August update, we told you all about our performing arts summer school, Summerstage, for disadvantaged teenagers.  One mother wrote afterwards to explain the incredible impact Summerstage had on her child.  We wanted to share her very moving words with you:

“I want to say a huge thank you for the amazing Summerstage experience.  Trying to find activities for Simon to do in the summer is a nightmare. He is too 'high functioning' to access some special needs schemes, yet has too many special needs for many mainstream groups to be confident to take him.  I can't tell you how reassuring it was for you to be so 'ok' about all his issues and quirks, you were so kind and accommodating.

Seeing him happy and motivated to get up in the morning was amazing – he was so eager to go and learn more. And managing the train journey every day was a step towards independence and a boost to his confidence. 

Simon spends a lot of his life in a highly anxious state. The tears, the meltdowns are just a 'normal' part of our lives as he struggles to fit into the world which doesn't understand or accommodate his Autism.  When we saw the final Summerstage performance, we were totally blown away. My son was totally transformed:  Where was my anxious, fearful boy?  He had vanished and in his place, stood a confident, self-assured young man. I was choked up hearing him sing solo on stage and so proud. For once in his life, he seemed able to acknowledge that he had done well.  The child who believes he is 'rubbish' felt good about himself and believed in his own ability. It was so special for us to see that in him.

It is not the final performance alone that counts - he learns so much on the journey, how to focus, to cooperate with others, to work as part of a team, to explore feelings and emotions. I hope that some of these skills will transfer gradually into everyday life as he discovers himself further and grows in confidence and self-belief.

Summerstage was such a positive and life affirming experience. It gave him an opportunity to 'fly' - that in itself was priceless. We are so thankful for everyone who made it happen for him.”

Finally we all want to give a standing ovation to Ed for his epic marathon!  Gayle and Keara from Mousetrap were so pleased to be at the pub party to celebrate his amazing achievement.