‘Hanging by a Thread’ – our next multi-sensory performance

Photo: ‘Hanging by a Thread’ – our next multi-sensory performance

DIY’s Core Company has been working on our next performance project ‘Hanging by a Thread’. This will be a multi-sensory performance piece based on environmental themes and highlighting the importance of connecting with nature. Over the Autumn term the Company has explored and tested out new ways with multi-sensory interactions, considered the environmental messages we want to get across and had a lot of fun recycling props, costumes and characters!

We can see Martin and David sitting facing each other. David has a piece of silky fabric which he is holding to his face. We can see the word 'gently' on a piece of paper. Sophie Coward is sitting looking on and smiling.

Developing our multi-sensory techniques

Multi-sensory specialist Sophie Coward ran sessions with the Company in October and November. As well as exploring the five senses of sight, touch, smell, hearing and taste, Sophie introduced us to the senses that help us to control our body awareness and spatial orientation. During the second session we split into pairs and explored what happens when when we adapt the pace, force and distance when we offer sensory objects to audience members.

This was a fun, practical session that really got us thinking about how the changes we make in our approach to multi-sensory theatre made us feel, both as artists and as audience members.

we can see lots of people around a table which is piled high with different coloured fabric. In the foreground Charlotte is bent over working with tome brown material.

Recycling is centre stage!

DIY Core Company members have had great fun exploring lots of different materials and developing our magical story. We have ‘recycled’ one of our favourite characters Woolly, who starred in our first multi-sensory show ‘Following the Thread’. Last time Woolly took audience members with Profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities (PMLD) on a multi-sensory, watery journey. In ‘Hanging by a Thread’ Woolly will take audiences on a magical journey into the woods.

All of the costumes and props for ‘Hanging by a Thread’ will be made from a mix of recycled materials and re-used/refreshed costumes from earlier shows. Working with designer Nerissa Cargill Thompson, we spent a fun afternoon ripping up old clothes and recycling materials.

‘Hanging by a Thread’ will be created and performed by actors with learning disabilities.

When we meet again in January 2023 DIY actors will create original music and make puppets for the show. The piece will be piloted with sensory learners within four education settings. DIY will be running an education programme alongside performances, and we will also be making a film about our creative education work.

We are very grateful to Arts Council England who are funding this work.

Arts Council England logo