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BRAKE BACKS PLANS FOR ACCESSIBLE THEATRE EVENING

October 25, 2008 8:26 AM
Tom Brake with some of the Cast from Seussical the Musical

Seussical the Musical will have a sign language interpreter

Tom Brake MP was so impressed with one group of young people locally that he showed up at a rehearsal of their musical, Seussical the Musical, last Sunday. The group have been working together to help people with disabilities access and enjoy musical theatre in Sutton.

Tom said "If the performance is half as good as the rehearsal, the audience will have the experience of a life-time. As there will be a British Sign Language interpreter on hand, this will be one of those very rare occasions when people with hearing difficulties will be able to enjoy the performance to the full as well. This is a great initiative!"

The team of 16-25 year olds came up with the idea for the project after realising that people with hearing impairments were restricted from enjoying the theatre. Rhiannon Thomas, 17, says "I have a family friend who is deaf and she always wanted to come and see me take part in my theatre group on stage but she couldn't hear the music or the words so she felt like she couldn't come. I wanted to organise an event which would help to encourage people with hearing impairments to come to see shows." In fact the project that Rhiannon has set up with a group of friends encourages people with any kind of registered disability to come to the theatre and even take part!

She has been working with the local successful group Mayhem Musical Theatre Company who are currently rehearsing for their next show, "Seussical The Musical." The show is a big colourful family musical based on the Dr Seuss stories including The Cat In The Hat, Horton Hears a Who and Green Eggs and Ham. The show is due to be performed at the Secombe Theatre in Sutton on 5th-8th November and the group have organised to give away 50 free tickets to people with registered disabilities in the area for the showing on 6th November and a BSL interpreter to sign the show to enhance the enjoyment of the show for those people that have hearing impairments. They have even managed to get some funding from volunteering charity "V" to cover the travel expenses of anyone who is eligible for a free ticket, helping them have a free night out.

In fact the project has been a fantastic opportunity for young people across the borough to volunteer helping out with publicity, research and even backstage roles such as hair and make up. Rhiannon and her friends loved helping out so much that they now all have roles in the show as well!

Anyone with a registered disability who would like to get their hands on some of the free tickets for the special show on 6th November should email Jon Wade at jon.w.wade@gmail.com. Please note, tickets are on a first come first served basis with a maximum of 2 free tickets per person with a disability.

For those who are not eligible for free tickets but would still like to see the fantastic show on any night between 5th-8th November bookings can be made online at www.ticketsource.co.uk/mmtc or by telephone with the Secombe Theatre Box Office on 0208 770 6990. Tickets are £13 for adults and £8.50 for concessions.

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