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Understanding Learning Disability
UnderstandingLearning Disability


  • Mayflower Panto Trail Project – Robin Hood
  • ETC – Exploring Theatre Craft
  • Chinese Cultural Festival


Mayflower Panto Trail Project

Mayflower Panto Trail 2017...


The Panto Project will not be running in this year, but rumour has it that Snow White is this year’s offering! 



Robin Hood - Mayflower Panto Trail Project 2016


Participants in our Mayflower Panto Trail project enjoyed the rewards of attending the project, by visiting the Trail and Sir Harold Hillers Gardens in mid December on a warm, dry winter’s day. They also saw a matinee performance of Robin Hood at the Mayflower Theatre in early January and met some of the cast.



Participants visited Hilliers Gardens before Christmas 2016 Participants visited Hilliers Gardens before Christmas 2016


We were delighted to work with Chris Bennett as drama coach and public artist. He is an old friend of EBR MENCAP, having worked with us since 2006; he knows many of our participants well.


Participants in Panto project Participants who completed all three workshops will also be invited to see the Trail at Hilliers in December and attend a performance of the Panto Robin Hood, together in January. Happy Days!
Participants in Panto project Participants working on designs for the Panto trail

Exploring Theatre Craft

Funded by Grants for the Arts in 2016, it offered seven events with our partners at the Nuffield Theatre. Participants were able to learn about acting and the theatre with the opportunity to practice drama in workshops, see professional performances and what happens back stage.


Exploring Theatre Craft (Event 7)

Dancing the Death Drill - The Loss of SS Mendi

Exploring Theatre Craft Workshop: Dancing the Death Drill Exploring Theatre Craft Workshop: Dancing the Death Drill
Exploring Theatre Craft - The loss of SS Mendi Exploring Theatre Craft - The loss of SS Mendi


Our partnership with the Nuffield Theatre Southampton came to an end this July with our final event of the project, Exploring Theatre Craft. This project has run since 2016 and was funded by Grants for the Arts.


The fabulous Isango Ensemble...

We were very privileged to have a dance, singing and movement workshop with some of the cast of the show, Dancing the Death Drill. The cast were from Cape Town in South Africa and were members of the ISANGO Ensemble. They are the most fabulous dancers and singers!

We had a walk in Andrews Park behind the theatre after our workshop to cool down, then dinner at The Spitfire pub and we returned to the theatre to see our new friends performing in Dancing the Death Drill. This was a very touching show and has provided lots of discussion topics.


On 21 February 2018, 26 people went to the new NST City Theatre in Southampton to see the new play, Shadow Factory.


Written by local playwright, Howard Brenton, the play is about the covert construction of the Spitfire in World War II after the Super Marine Factory at Woolston had been bombed.


Our event included a back stage and theatre tour, exhibition about the show, an hilarious drama workshop, pub dinner at The Spitfire pub nearby and the evening show.


Members loved the warm welcome from staff who they know well now. They were impressed by the design of the new theatre and creative spaces. Definitely a night for us to remember.

ETC Event Six - Shadow Factory ETC Event Six - Shadow Factory
ETC Event Six - Shadow Factory - Spitfire ETC Event Six - Shadow Factory - Spitfire

Exploring Theatre Craft (Event 5)

Pygmalion - Wednesday, 3 May 2017


One flower girl. Two experts. Free lessons. 
Six months. Duchess required.



We have another evening visit to the Nuffield Theatre planned. This visit includes:

  • a technical tour backstage, 
  • a workshop about the play,
  • supper at nearby pub,
  • ticket to see the show, PYGMALION and 
  • then to meet up and share thoughts after the show.

Essential carers will have free tickets to the show. Limited number of places, call 023 8048 3471 for details and to book. Payment required by April 21 to secure place.


Puppet workshop John, Lauren and Sarah manipulate the “golden child”

Event 4 - The Puppets!


Our partnership with the Nuffield Theatre continued last month with a puppetry workshop using the puppets made by Jimmy Grimes of Warhorse fame.


Members of the group had a chance to make their own puppets but also to use the professionally made puppets which included the golden child in the photograph here but also birds, cats, a locust, snake, dog, and raven. All these puppets had moving parts and were incredibly life-like when manipulated.


Next event: end of April/May

Exploring Theatre Craft 3 Participants in our costume workshop in December 2016

Exploring Theatre Craft 3 - 2016


Wedding of the year?


Please note the bride's mother wiping away a tear from her beards!


Chinese Cultural Festivals

Chinese Cultural Festival - 27 October 2017 - Pavilion on the Park

Starting, this time, with a traditional Dragon Dance! Performances and workshops will lead you on a lovely Chinese culgural Journey.


Please tell your friends about this great event! More details on the poster...


Chinese Festival 2017 Poster
Chinese Festival 2017 poster.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [156.6 KB]


This annual project, a day of Chinese cultural workshops and performance art for disabled adults, is organised by the Confucious Institute at the University of Southampton. The performances include aditional Chinese Lion Dance Chinese music, folk dancing, a Chinese historical costume show, a traditional Chinese wedding ceremony followed by a variety of Chinese cultural workshop.


There are opportunities for people to try out paper cutting art, playing Mah Jong, lucky knot tying, dressing up in Chinese costumes, learning Mandarin, seeing the tea making ceremony and tasting Chinese food. The staff and students talk to everyone about their skills and talents, and many participants are keen to join in with the activities and often take souvenirs of the day away with them.


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Phone: 02380 483471 .. Email: .. Registered Charity Number 263620 .. affiliated to Royal MENCAP Society