I loved every moment, very entertaining, very glad I came
- Sara Palmer, Stoney Ridge Day Centre about 4 Seasons
The story of Mind the Gap
Mind the Gap was set up by Tim Wheeler (our current Artistic Director) and Susan Brown. The company performed in residential homes, in skips, and anywhere else they found interesting.
Augusto Boal came to train Mind the Gap in his ways of making theatre. Called Theatre of the Oppressed, it is all about showing people how the world can be, and looks at ways of making things different. Mind the Gap loves this kind of theatre, and went to Brazil for some more in 1993.
Mind the Gap started taking its tours around the country in 1993, and toured devised work until 2000, when they started making theatre adaptations of classic books as well. Mind the Gap picks work to adapt that will mean something to learning disabled people, and looks a bit differently at the stories, issues and characters.
In 1998 Mind the Gap launched its first actor training course. In 2001 it became Making Theatre, a course for people who want to learn about theatre and work towards a qualification.
Mind the Gap has toured adaptations of Of Mice and Men (2005, 2000), Don Quixote, Pygmalion and Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.
In 2002 the company was given the Stage Award for Outstanding Achievement in Regional Theatre at the Barclays/TMA Awards, for its adaptations of classic texts.
Staging Change began in 2005. It has helped 38 aspiring learning disabled actors to participate in training at some of the UK’s top drama schools, through the Dance and Drama Awards scheme.
Mind the Gap was a key partner in Yorkshire’s 2006 BEAM festival which showcased the work of disabled artists across the region. In 2007 Mind the Gap set up CAST!, a conference day for learning disabled actors and people who want to work with, train and employ them.
In 2008 Mind the Gap converted an empty warehouse into a state-of-the-art performing artists’ workspace. The Silk Warehouse includes fully accessible purpose built rehearsal studios, which are available to hire, and fabulous new offices for the company to work in.
Mind the Gap toured Boo by Mike Kenny a completely new work inspired by the character of Boo Radley from Harper Lee’s classic To Kill a Mockingbird. In partnership with CCCD, the company also recreated the Moth Ball event in Hong Kong.
Thanks to the facilities available at Mind the Gap Studios the company have been able to explore new areas of work such as dance and new media. They also supported Jez Colborne to create a new piece Irresistible, inspired by his life-long fascination with warning sirens. What will your Mind the Gap story be?