“Snow Child” a Great Success
In November 2015 the Foundation made a grant of £3500 to help fund the production of The Snow Child by Butterfly Psyche Theatre. We were particularly impressed by the theatre’s focus on making live performances a reality for disabled children.
Now that the production run has finished, our guest blogger, Alison Farina, Artistic Director at Butterfly Psyche Theatre, shares with us how successful this ambitious project has been.
“Butterfly Psyche Theatre is a professional, small-scale producing and touring theatre company based in Bath, Somerset. We believe that through theatre difficult issues can be explored, experienced and addressed in a safe environment promoting positive mental health and well-being. It’s really important that our work is socially conscious, relevant and our atmosphere is warm and welcoming.
We created The Snow Child, which is a multi-sensory, interactive theatre production to reach out to as many theatregoers with complex needs as possible. The production worked hard at reducing those barriers preventing families with children who have Moderate (MLD), Severe Learning (SLD), Profound and Multiple (PMLD) difficulties and autistic challenges from attending the theatre. We also did our best to make everyone feel comfortable, welcome and considered. Taking account of the needs of these special children made a huge change to the fraught and anxiety-provoking nightmare a normal theatre outing can cause for families with complex needs.
You can read about the particular techniques and approaches we used at Butterfly Psyche Theatre to open up live production to a wider audience of children and their families on our site shortly.
Here is some of the feedback we received from families with learning disabilities:
“It can be very isolating when there are so many places we just cannot take my son and so many events we cannot do. It is hard to say just how grateful we are to find something like this! Thank you all so much for a wonderful show and your sensitivity.”
- “‘The Snow Child experience’ taught many, many good things to my son. For me as a parent of Special Needs, to have met such a lovely theatre and what they offer to our children and community is so important. Thank you so much!”
- “Our youngest daughter is in a wheelchair and has special needs. We were fine in the front row. The wheelchair seats were already booked at the relaxed performance but we felt comfortable at the main stream show.”
- “My boy has autism. Everything was outstanding!”
- “We needed wheelchair access for my daughter and we found that the Rondo Theatre was excellent for this. Very easy to get into and perfect place to store wheelchair.”
- “With inattentiveness and a tendency to fidget normal shows are a no go but the atmosphere was amazing and the show so entrancing they all had a wonderful time.”
We are hugely grateful to the Parry Family Charitable Foundation for helping to bring live performances of The Snow Child to many disabled children a reality. Without the help of charities like the Foundation this ambitious production would not have happened.”
Butterfly Psyche have told us they are working on a full review of the Snow Child production and their plans for future productions.
Photos by ©OwenBensonVisuals2015