Farted on with glitter
Zack and his pals (Harry and Cameron) went to The Lowry on Saturday to watch Home. It promised to be a show that incorporated sensory interaction created especially for audiences with PMLD (Profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities). We were not disappointed.
I am still gobsmacked at how good they were, it's the first time I have been to an event that completely and utterly captured what it means to reach out to someone like my son. The performance blended all five senses, we didn't just watch we felt it, we heard it, we could smell it and we could touch it. To Zack that is conversation, that is interaction and that is bringing the world to him.
The story follows two characters stranded within a desolate world ravaged by sand storms left behind to fend for themselves. It touches upon fear, hope, survival, friendship. I mean if I wanted to deeply explore these themes that's possibly the life span of a special needs parent.
We move through their journey and in a variety of creative mediums we become part of the performance. Within the first two minutes we looked like we had been farted on with glitter by Guy Diamond. Then we got to sniff some rather pleasant smelling clothing items. Lovely.
There were bubbles, more smells, flavoured water sprayed on tongues, some weird contraption that made massive long foam bubbles. Zack loved it all.
The best part was when they came round and asked each child their name incorporating it into song. Repeating their name over and over again. In fact, can I point out that not only were the cast talented but they also managed to memorise each child's name throughout the time we were there. I mean I can just about remember my name at the best of times.
And lets not forget the talented chap who played a plethora of instruments. He came round with guitars and saxophones and gongs. Again a massive tick in the box for engagement.
You see what they set out to achieve is to reach those who don't ordinarily get to see or experience live theatre and they did it and then some.
To me they are leaders in their field. Massive standing ovation. Loved it.
By the way, Zack's wheelchair still looks like it's gone ten rounds with a gold glitter gun but we don't mind it was totally worth it.
Wake up theatre world, take note, we need more of this.
*Special thank you to Yasha and Sarah for letting me steal their photographs.