|Image Credit: Tim Smith|
Another actor, Paul, turns to the performance arts to combat stress and anger from his experiences but is grateful for his current foster family, who love him for who he is. The remaining performers share their stories, including Alison, from Bradford. She has lived through some poignant experiences and is also a talented saxophone player.
On stage, the performers are supported by Charli Ward, the company’s academy director, who works holistically and in unison with the actors. The show is accessible with visual screenings of texts, kinesthetic use of videos when stories are shared one by one, and a sign language interpreter is also present on stage.
At the end of the production, each performer consolidates their story, and there is a heartfelt and optimistic finale of I am fine, sung collectively. This emphasises their beliefs in freedom and being themselves, not conforming to existing perceptions. Significantly, it is about not being figuratively contained and is thought-provoking for all to reconsider disability in general.
Contained is a moving, poignant and powerful production that celebrates ability and artistic successes. The production is colourfully reflective, giving the viewer an opportunity to learn about the world through the perspective of those with learning disabilities. This is an unmissable production and one which is incredibly well done, and well received by the audience from beginning to end.