On the road again – Hanging by a Thread

Photo: On the road again – Hanging by a Thread

DIY Theatre Company have been on the road again with our sensory show Hanging by a Thread.

Hanging by a Thread is DIY’s third show specifically designed for sensory audiences.

All the children were smiling”
DIY Actor

Created by DIY’s skilled company of artists with learning disabilities, the show invites intimate audiences to connect with the natural world. Interactive theatre, songs, live music, puppets and sensory props combine to create a magical experience for each audience member.

They really enjoyed going into the woods – everyone wanted to do it. They invited each-other into the forest”
DIY Actor

Between January and March we have performed Hanging by a Thread at University of Salford, Piper Hill Post 16 College in Manchester, Firwood School in Bolton and Springwood Primary School in Salford. Core Company members have been very excited to share our multi-sensory show with new audiences and feedback to date has been very positive.

Sharing our skills with drama students

At University of Salford our performance was part of a training session around sensory theatre with a group of drama students. The students engaged really enthusiastically with the show and were then invited to create their own multi-sensory environments.

photo: a group of people are sitting in a circle watching a small group of people in blue and green costumes with a large orange bird puppet. The wings are seethrough so we can just see that someone in a wheelchair is behind operating the bird puppet.

photo: we are looking into a large room. Two people are standing in the middle of the room and looking through binoculars. We can see other people sitting around the edge of the room looking in. There is a long line of strips of fabric running around the which creates a sort of curtain.

Loved the songs and the performance was amazing!
Drama Student, University of Salford

photo: we can see two people standing facing each other across a room. They are holding aloft a large bright pink fabric piece. Two other people are sitting in wheelchairs, also facing each other accross the space and holding up a large sheet - this time of silver fabric. We can also see other people in the background. Everyone looks busy and engaged in whatever it is they are doing!

It was very inclusive. I enjoyed the full sensory experience.
Drama Student, University of Salford

Celebrating Arts Award achievements with post 16 students at Piper Hill School

We performed at Piper Hill School, Post 16 Department, Manchester in February. This performance was the culmination of a Bronze Arts Award that DIY has been running with the school. The show was followed by a certificate presentation to celebrate the young peoples’ achievements. Congratulations to April, Fatima, Kyle, Sanjay, Cody, Leen, Stephanie, Jakey, Ahmed, Max  and Eri who successfully completed their Bronze Arts Awards. 

They really loved the certificate presentation. It was great to see the pupils’ faces light up when they got their Arts Awards”
DIY Actor

Returning to Firwood to share our finished performance

Pupils and staff enjoyed the interaction with the actors. They enjoyed the music and engaging with the props, especially the tree.”
Feedback Firwood School

photo: looking into a brightly lit room. There is a young person in school uniform on the left. They are holding a hand up to their face and looking at a bright orange bird puppet. This is about 30cm tall and looks soft and squishy. It is being held by a person wearing a strange green and blue costume. We can also see a woman sitting behind looking on and smiling.

We performed twice for two sensory audiences at Firwood School on Tuesday 5th March. Pupils and staff  at the school had helped us during the development stage of Hanging by a Thread. They gave some really helpful feedback and it was great to return to the school with our finished show.

When I was going round and singing the hello song there were smiles on their faces”
DIY Actor

Performance for Springwood Primary’s Art Week

We performed Hanging by a Thread twice at Springwood School on Tuesday 26th March.

Staff from both classes have been to see me to say how much they loved the sessions, and that pupils were so engaged and got so much from it. I’m glad you all enjoyed it too, and we would love to work with you again in the future.”
Feedback Springwood Primary School

This was the third year that we have visited Springwood Primary School as part of their Arts Week. Each time it’s been a really enjoyable experience.

Next on the tour

We are looking forward to future performances at Langworthy Cornerstone, Waterside and St Georges (for Aspire in Salford) and in the July we will be performing outdoors as part of Rochdale’s Darnhill Festival.



Free Fun Resources to raise awareness of environmental issues

We have had a lot of fun with Nerissa getting creative using recycled materials. We have been making flowers out of egg boxes, toilet rolls and magazines. We have been creating maps and a whole array of fantastical sock creatures.

phot: a happy young man is holding a red fabric bird in one hand and a stripy lumpy thing in his other hand. Both have paper features stuck on - we can see the glue, it's not yet dry!
DIY’s Hanging by a Thread sensory show promotes nature connectedness and environmental awareness. To enhance this we produced a series of free educational resources to support our members, our partner schools and other organisations to raise awareness of environmental issues and the importance of recycling.

Nerissa Cargill Thompson, DIY Freelance Artist, has designed this series of fantastic education resources to accompany our Hanging by a Thread show. Nerissa’s own work explores environmental issues like climate crisis, plastic pollution and waste. She creates artworks using recycled materials and mixed media sculptures of textiles and concrete cast in the plastic packaging that people use and discard on a daily basis.

Take a look at the Hanging by a Thread resources which are free to view and download from our website The worksheets support the exploration of environmental themes, using recycled materials to create fun sock creatures and flowers.

logo: "Hanging by a Thread!" is hand written in green. A figure in a wheelchair is holding onto the bottom of the letter g, they are holding a dotted line which loops underneath the words with more colourful stick figures holding on or jumping from it.



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

Arts Council England logo

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