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Leicester theatre group takes to national stage

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Leicester theatre group takes to national stage

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Published by University of Leicester Press Office for University of Leicester in Education and also in Communities

Event aims to raise profile of learning disabled artists and performers in the UK

Embrace Create Connect will take place from March 15 to 16 at Embrace Arts, Lancaster Road, University of Leicester

A Leicester-based theatre group of adults with learning disabilities will showcase their work on a national stage as part of a conference at Embrace Arts, the University of Leicester's art centre.

Movers Theatre Company will perform for artists, venue organisers and experts in arts and learning disability from across the country at the Embrace Create Connect conference.

The event, held on March 15 and 16, aims to find new ways of raising the profile of learning disabled artists and performers in the UK.

Movers consists of 10 members, with ages ranging from 20 to 60, who will perform extracts of their forest-themed show Visitor as well as leading workshops for other learning disabled companies and participating in discussions during the conference.

The group is a partnership project between Speakeasy Theatre Company, based on the Saffron Lane Estate in Leicester, and Embrace Arts, and it put on its first show in 2005.

Movers performed at the opening ceremony of the Special Olympics in 2009 to an audience of 25,000 including former Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

Bob Christer, Lead Artist for Speakeasy Theatre Company, said: “We are definitely excited about the conference. We will meet a lot of learning disabled theatre companies which we have heard of but have never got to work with. It will be a brilliant opportunity to share positive experiences.

“There is lots of good work being done by these companies who are creating a different style of performance – but it is not in the mainstream yet. Things like this can only help us to reach out to mainstream audiences.”

Emma Shuttlewood of Movers feels the conference will give her a chance to work with new people and develop her skills as a performer and workshop leader.

Emma, 30, from Scraptoft, said: “I like doing workshops and getting new people to join - we learn from them, with them, and we can teach them new things.”

Louisa Milburn, co-director of Embrace Arts, which is organising the conference, said: “Movers are our theatre company in residence and we’re delighted that they are able to recreate their unique show Visitor as part of our conference.”

Embrace Create Connect will take place from March 15 to 16 at Embrace Arts, University of Leicester.

To book your place at Embrace Create Connect visit www.embracecreateconnect.co.uk

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