CONTAINED by Mind the Gap at The Lowry
I went to see a play - find out what I thought...
Growing up, I loved performing. I was a member of several drama and theatre groups and still love going to watch shows at the Theatre, whenever I can. When the team at The Lowry asked me to review CONTAINED, I was very excited.
The show was created by Mind the Gap. They are England’s largest learning disability theatre company, which creates work for UK and international audiences. The performance is made up of Nine true stories about life with a learning disability.
The show is made up of monologues, music, song, dance and drama. If you read my blog regularly, you'll already know my son has Autism, and I have two older siblings with learning disabilities. I think this made me relate and respond to the stories on a very personal level. I literally cried, cheered, laughed and shook my head at the stories we were told.
The show was full of raw emotion, and you could see the feelings pouring from the actors during the performance. The music performed in the show was great. Jez (one of the performers) composed and wrote the show's music himself - his disability definitely hasn't affected his creativity or talent for composing and performing. He played keyboard and was joined by 2 drummers, his saxophone playing wife, a beatbox genius, a bass guitarist and vocals by the other performers.
After the show, there was a Q&A with the cast. This was a great insight too.
I don't want to give too much away about the show, but I left the performance feeling optimistic for my own son's future. After hearing the performers' stories and seeing how much they have achieved, my positivity was renewed.
When we left the theatre, I found this board, which was packed with the cast's stories and other members of Mind The Gap.
Reading these stories was also an amazing insight into living with a learning disability. The audience (and readers) are given a peek into how it feels to be a UK citizen with special needs. It encourages people to talk about what they have seen, and to understand a little more about life with a disability.
All told, I really enjoyed the performance, and I'd encourage anyone who can, to get along to watch this or any other Mind The Gap Productions when they are in your area.