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Celebration of creativity for learning disabled


Image from a previous Beautiful Octopus Club Festival

Leeds Playhouse’s Beautiful Octopus Club Festival – a four-day celebration of creativity for people with learning disabilities – is back from January 29-February 1, offering fun, friendship and a sensory show.

The festival includes an Interaction Day, during which people can explore the Playhouse and take part in activities like drumming and yoga; a club night, with a live band and a DJ; art and craft sessions, and My Life With The Wave from Interplay Theatre, a sensory show created for people with profound and multiple learning disabilities. Interplay is also running a sensory theatre symposium for artists, companies and venues, exploring sensory performance for learning disabled audiences. This will include discussions led by artists specialising in work for learning-disabled people, audience members sharing reflections on their most memorable arts experiences and panels discussing best practice. Among the artists taking part are Jeremy Harrison, an artist and researcher at Playground and Rose Bruford College, and JoAnne Haines from Bradford-based Mind the Gap, discussing her recent show, Dancing with Colours. Other panel members include artists from Interplay Theatre, Frozen Light and Leeds Playhouse. Attendees with profound and multiple learning disabilities or complex needs can experience the symposium through interactive installations, shows and sessions running throughout the day. The bi-annual festival is part of Leeds Playhouse’s year-round programme of activities for people with learning disabilities. It offers a term-time structured weekly arts course and weekend drop-in workshops for young people offering movement, drama, visual art, sensory sessions, fun and friendship.

Find out more about the Playhouse’s programme for people with learning disabilities here


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