Daughters of Fortune: Anna – Exploring Learning Disability and Parenthood

Anna is an interactive Forum Theatre piece that explores scenarios that may be experienced by learning-disabled people when they consider being, or become, a parent.

Anna will enable learning-disabled adults to explore their own understanding, thoughts, experiences and options around the subject of ‘becoming a parent’. It is also aimed at professionals working in the Health and Social Care sectors who wish to develop and improve their own practice.

This 1.5-hour workshop is lead by a team of 3 professional learning-disabled performers and a facilitator. They present 4 scenes that participants watch and then suggest changes to, to see if they can change the outcome. The performers then play out those changes, or if participants want to they can ‘step in’ and act out the scene themselves to see what would happen. Anna offers participants a unique and thought provoking insight into situations, whilst still having fun!

Anna isn’t about presenting a specific opinion but aims to make complex issues simple, and difficult subject matter accessible.

Forum Theatre is an interactive workshop format that can be described as ‘a rehearsal for real life’. It provides a safe, supportive environment for individuals to explore complex situations that often have no ‘right’ or ‘one size fits all’ answers. Through using theatre, difficult subject matter is made both accessible and fun.

“Anna is a brilliant conception of a very important production. It was acted with power and sensitivity and deserves a huge audience.”Sarah Bennett, Midwife

Anna is available to book. Contact Senior Producer Lisa Mallaghan or call 01274 487390 for more information.

Past Performances

Date Venue Details
29 November 2016 University of Leeds Workshop for students
10 November 2016 Arena Theatre, Wolverhampton Mia touring activity
18 & 19 October 2016 MTG Studios, Bradford Safeguarding Week
13 October 2016 The Palace, Aldershot Health & Social Care Conference
23 September 2016 MTG Studios, Bradford Mia touring activity
12 September 2016 LIFT, Islington Workshop for learning disabled parents
1 August 2016 The Lowry, Salford Mia touring activity
10 June 2016 West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds Beyond Festival
20 May 2016 Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal Workshop for learning disabled artists
18 May 2016 MTG Studios, Bradford Work in Progress sharing

Comments & Reviews

  • Maria Spadafora

    Can’t wait to see the finished pieces. Really enjoyed the forum theatre – Great interaction

  • Amanda McKie

    Excellent, well created, great facilitation!

  • Sarah Bennett

    Anna is a brilliant conception of a very important production. It was acted with power and sensitivity and deserves a huge audience.

  • Jonathan Hawkins

    It was definitely an experience that will stay with me and I feel other for a long time.

  • Vicki Maxfield

    I thought the day was very well planned. The group put us at ease straight away, were incredibly friendly and the pace and energy of the workshop was perfect. The performance was fantastic, the actors clearly knew the piece very well and the style was easy to follow. I would have liked further information to back up facts and to signpost to support and help on the subject.

  • Louise Thompson

    Enjoyed the drama exercises.

  • Andy Wright

    The story was interesting, the actors were good.

  • Izzy Brookes

    It would’ve been lovely to have had more time to explore the issues further.

  • Rosa Cooper-Davies

    It was a really great way to handle challenging subjects and to get input from the people these issues affect. It would have been great to be able to take the place of some of the other characters in the performance, but I was really impressed with everyone from Mind the Gap.

  • Andrew Evans

    I thought the whole day was good. I enjoyed taking part in the workshop. I liked watching the performance. I liked meeting new people.

  • Anonymous

    Really proud to stop the performance and get up on stage. Made you happy, liked the drama.

  • Thomas Joseph Hanley

    It was performed very well.

  • Catherine Coulthard

    Thanks for coming to Kendal on Friday. The workshop was great and the performance really powerful. The forum theatre aspect was balanced really well and allowed for some really powerful contributions.

  • Sarah Irish

    Really good. Would like to do this again. Liked the story of Anna very much. Liked the actors, especially Paul.

  • Jo Bradley

    It was a great way of provoking thought and discussion and promoting the service. Also engaging all agencies.

  • Sophie Becic

    I liked the audience interaction but would like to see other characters being added – (advocate). I think it would be interesting to see Anna adapt as her character when the people around changed and got warmer.

  • Alison McIntyre

    Very realistic – made me think about relationships behind closed doors.

  • Jayne Airey

    Well performed – gave me a good insight into the different factors influencing ‘Anna’ and her pregnancy and the lack of choice, control and advocacy someone in her position may have.

  • Zoe Tyas

    Enjoyable and will help in my career (midwife).

  • Vicky Donnelly

    Wondered how it would impact if shared with young women with learning disabilities so they develop the confidence to put things in place.

  • Sarah Roberts

    This is a subject that is not discussed enough. It is hidden away and people with learning disabilities are often confused and disempowered.

  • Marie Gibb

    Really powerful way of exploring a difficult subject. Also engaging and entertaining – Fabulous!

  • Charlie Wilson

    The use of the play really highlighted the gap in service for parents with LD and how the inequalities they are faced with can have catastrophic affects. The format of forum theatre allowed for people to see how with the use of reason / able adjustments the outcomes can be greater.

  • Richard Bunn

    The forum theatre style of learning is perfect for this subject.

  • Mary Rhodes

    Brought some significant points and issues out into the open for discussion – can be used around other issues not just pregnancy as touched on accessible info positive relationship building etc.

  • Julia Faulkner

    Having worked with parents with LD for a number of years, I felt this performance reflected many common issues parents experience. Also the actors were fantastic! :-)

  • Martin Wallin

    I enjoyed the performance and being interactive in the role-play.

  • Alison Richardson

    Great way to discuss issues. Real and relevant stories brought to light in a professional and thought provoking way

  • Ursula Wood

    Excellent production that was thought provoking and inspiring. An excellent way to challenge current issues and illustrate better ways to manage situations. Thank you!!

  • Jane Williams

    A well performed inspiring play. Was great to see everyone getting involved.

  • Janet Throup

    It’s great that you do these events. I am sure they will be very helpful for many people, especially professionals who provide services to people with disabilities.

  • Claire Drake

    Really well put together and it works well with participants with learning disabilities.

  • Rebecca Spalding

    I like how this show helps people like Anna get support.

  • Naelah Shahzad

    It was great to see and hear what people with a learning disability have to actually combat and tackle in real life and also a bit upsetting too, by the pre-judgement and inequality that they face.

  • Jeanette Conyers

    Great acting and the performers did well at adapting the piece when the audience participated.

  • Hannah Bennett

    Excellent production tackling real issues.

  • Olly Hemens

    The fact that the performance is based on true events makes it much more powerful and effective.

  • Natalie Assender

    Whilst a very serious matter, the show was fun and where appropriate entertaining. The actors were very good, I learnt a lot, thank you!

  • Anonymous

    Fabulous, keep up the amazing message.

  • Claire Gunn

    It was very realistic and thought provoking.

  • Mary-Jane Steiger

    Anna was an excellent production and really made me think differently about learning disabilities and how people access services when they have a learning disability.

  • Christine Edler

    A refreshing look at the challenges faced by people who have disabilities.

  • Kim Haarhoff

    I thought the interaction part of the performance was very entertaining. Well done to all of the fabulous actors!

  • Helen Foot

    The use of forum theatre was an interesting way to challenge the audience and offer ways to explore different outcomes, which audience can learn from. This is definitely a great way to develop on from Mia.

  • Mandy Riley

    Never been to a forum performance. Really interesting getting opinions / ideas as the show progressed. Really felt part of it.