Theatre company Access All Areas will bring a new immersive experience to the Shoreditch Town Hall from the 13th March.
Inspired by the way in which people with learning disabilities are treated in the UK, Access All Areas has created a new immersive show that explores what institutions mean to people with learning disabilities today.
With a refusal to be silent, and a history of being ignored, these artists will reside in a maze-like institution, growling to be heard, and waiting for a revolution that is forever promised. Illusionist David Munns questions whether the Victorian label of freak persists today; choreographer DJ Hassan spins between joy and loneliness; Dayo Koleosho asks how easy it is for learning disabled people to live independently; Imogen Roberts celebrates the ancient Olmec tribe who worshipped those with Down Syndrome as gods; and acclaimed performance poet Cian Binchy imagines himself as London’s oldest baby.
Over the last two years, Access All Areas has been working with people with learning disabilities, both professional artists and community participants, to learn about how previous generations of people with learning disabilities were treated, and to respond to how government policy effects people with learning disabilities today.
Talking about the production, Access All Areas Artistic Director Nick Llewellyn said: “The history of the institutionalisation of people with learning disabilities being locked away in long stay hospitals is a very recent history, with the changes that were long fought for being forgotten and the progress being vanished from the public consciousness. With MADHOUSE re:exit, we cross-reference the past with our current climate and the lack of a holistic support structures for people with learning disabilities. We examine how the four walls of the hospitals where people were locked away from society are now being replaced with the four walls of people’s bedrooms, as they have a lack of opportunities for engagement or support.”
The production features designs by Jo Scotcher, sound by Jethro Cooke, digital design by Nathan Theys and costume design by Carley Hague.
MADHOUSE re:exit will be performed at the Shoreditch Town Hall from the 13th to the 28th March. For more information and to book tickets visit: https://shoreditchtownhall.com/whats-on/madhouse