The Living Book Theatre Company is an arts project operated by Herefordshire’s opportunities service and was first established in 2005. The company is composed entirely of actors with learning disabilities who all share a passion for performance. Personal expression and individual interpretation are core to each performance and the company are encouraged to make the show their own. It is this enthusiasm that makes the project so popular.
Former productions have included ‘Peter Pan’ and ‘Grim and Grimmer’ – Living Book’s anarchic re-telling of some of our best-loved fairy tales.
They also developed a potted version of ‘A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream’ for audiences from local schools. Devised by the actors themselves under the direction of Lyndsay Maples (writer, drama facilitator and director), the production delivers an original version of Shakespeare’s classic play.
The company took to the stage again to perform ‘We’ll Meet Again’ as part of Herefordshire’s Disability Positive Week. The show was a short musical showing what life was like on the home front during the 1940s. It was so well-received that the group gave a second performance at the Hereford United Football Club’s Starlite Rooms.
Living Book brought history to life in their ‘The Complete History of England (part one)’ performance. This show was funded by English Heritage, who managed to bring the company to St Martin’s Church in Birmingham’s Bullring. Complete with Vikings and Romans, the show was a light-hearted take on English history spanning the first two million years.
Another amazing show was brought to the public when the company performed ‘A Christmas Carol’ at the Courtyard Theatre, Hereford. Jack Butler, who played the iconic role of Scrooge, said this before the show: “I’m looking forward to the play. I’m a good actor and Scrooge is a great character.”
In 2015, the company joined with other performing groups as part of Dancefest. The show was titled ‘Puzzle Pieces’ and included performances of dance, drama and live music created and performed by talented young disabled performers from across Herefordshire. They also performed a series of entertaining sketches at the Score Open Day, that were very well received by the audience of carers, supporters and local dignitaries.
The Living Book Theatre Company also performed at our last Manager’s Conference. They delighted Affinity Trust staff with a showing of their “We’ll Meet Again” play.
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