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Hull: LD Theatre Company Invited To Speak At Prestigious Event In Prague

April 26, 2023

    A theatre company in Hull is to give a presentation in Prague on creating productions which are accessible to people with learning disabilities.

    Concrete Youth’s research into autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) was used in their 2022 touring production The Whispering Jungle.

    The Prague Quadrennial is the world’s largest festival of scenography, theatre design and architecture.

    The four-yearly event has been running since 1967.

    Concrete Youth has specialised in creating inclusive theatre for people with profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD) and used its research into ASMR to give audiences a sensory experience during a 2022 tour.

    Daniel Swift, Concrete Youth’s chief executive co-artistic director, said they were “thrilled” to have been invited to Prague.

    “This is a huge moment not only for Concrete Youth, but also for our audience with profound and multiple learning disabilities, who are some of the most invisible members of society.

    “This platform will spread international awareness of this community of people, the barriers they face and the lack of cultural provision that they experience daily.”

    The company, which receives financial support from Hull City Council, began its ASMR project in 2020 and in 2021 expanded it to include work with hundreds of people with PMLD across the world, including specialists, carers and consultants in the UK, US and Singapore.

    It was that work which would be included in the Whispering Jungle tour, which featured sensory play and sensory puppets in an immersive show.

    Kath Wynne-Hague, head of culture at Hull City Council said their work was “incredibly valuable”.

    “It provides the opportunity for people usually excluded from a typical theatre experience to not only participate, but experience something created specifically for them.”

    Concrete Youth is the only touring organisation in the UK to have an exclusive sensory offer for people with PMLD in education and care settings and their talk in Prague will take place on 8 June.

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