Leicester event hopes to raise learning disabled artists’ profile

Steve Orme

A Leicester-based theatre group of adults with learning disabilities will showcase their work on a national stage as part of a conference at Embrace Arts, the University of Leicester's art centre.

Movers Theatre Company will perform for artists, venue organisers and experts in arts and learning disability from across the country at the Embrace Create Connect conference.

The event, on Thursday and Friday (15 and 16 March), aims to find new ways of raising the profile of learning disabled artists and performers in the UK.

Movers consists of ten members aged from 20 to 60 who'll perform extracts of their forest-themed show Visitor as well as leading workshops for other learning disabled companies and participating in discussions.   The group is a partnership between Speakeasy Theatre Company, based on the Saffron Lane Estate in Leicester, and Embrace Arts.

Movers performed at the opening ceremony of the Special Olympics in 2009 to an audience of 25,000 including former Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

Bob Christer, lead artist for Speakeasy, said, "We're definitely excited about the conference. We'll meet a lot of learning disabled theatre companies which we've heard of but have never got to work with. It will be a brilliant opportunity to share positive experiences.

"There's lots of good work being done by these companies who're creating a different style of performance. Things like this can only help us to reach out to mainstream audiences."