MAKING THEATRE

We’re working to ensure a better future for the theatre industry by making theatre that reflects society back at itself, with a particular focus on normalising the presence of deaf and disabled people on stage. Here you’ll find our insight into making theatre that achieves these objectives.

Oliver Twist: How We Made It

The Green Room: Ramps on the Moon Takeover

How Leeds Playhouse and Ramps on the Moon made their landmark co-production of Oliver Twist.

All is revealed as Ramps on the Moon takes over Strive Collective’s The GreenRoom with a series of video podcasts delving into the fascinating process that brought Oliver Twist to the stage in Leeds and to homes across the country as part of a digital streaming rollout. 

The GreenRoom is a video podcast where Deaf, disabled Hard of Hearing and disabled creatives and their allies chat about their experiences, best practice and the future of the arts. The Ramps on the Moon takeover comprises five video podcasts in which The GreenRoom hosts chat with cast and creatives from the bold, brutal and beautiful production of Oliver Twist. They discuss in detail the challenges and joys of bringing this new adaptation to life – both on stage and digitally for audiences to enjoy at home.

THE VIDEO PODCAST SERIES

EPISODE ONE: The Writing Process

Pull up a chair and enjoy a fascinating behind-the-scenes conversation with the writer and director of Oliver Twist, discovering how its journey from page to stage began. Director Amy Leach and Writer Bryony Lavery discuss the R&D process and where the inspiration came from for Leeds Playhouse and Ramps on the Moon’s landmark co-production. Hosted by Clare-Louise English, who plays Nancy in the show.

EPISODE TWO: The Deaf Perspective, with Amy Leach & Daryl Jackson hosted by Stephen Collins.


A lively and insightful conversation with director Amy Leach and BSL Consultant Daryl Jackson on blending BSL with gesture, physicality and spoken English on stage and why including The Milan Conference and its impact on Deaf people, into the story was so important. Led by Stephen Collins who plays Bill Sikes in the production.

EPISODE THREE: Accessible Design, with Hayley Grindle & Kirsty Blades hosted by Jo Sargeant.


Join this design trio as they talk all things set and costume. Learn how Hayley Grindle designed the Oliver Twist set to be accessible to visually impaired audiences with bold use of colour, how Wardrobe Supervisor Kirsty Blades used costume to add to the aural storytelling and how conversations with actors at costume fitting added to characterisations.

EPISODE FOUR: Working with Learning Disabled Actors, with Rebekah Hill & Kirsty Pennycook hosted by Clare-Louise English.


Rebekah Hill talks to fellow Oliver Twist performer Clare-Louise English, about playing Luna
in this exciting new adaptation. They are joined by Creative Enabler, Kirsty Pennycook, as we
ask.. What is the role of the Creative Enabler? And How to make your rehearsal room
inclusive?

EPISODE FIVE: The Blind Perspective, with Chloe Clarke & John Biddle hosted by Ben Wilson.


Ben Wilson, who plays Mr Bumble in Ramps on the Moon’s new production of Oliver Twist
hosts a lively and interesting conversation about Audio Description and how to make it an
exciting creative tool. They discuss the challenges of integrating it into the production and
the importance of the Sound Design to support the aural storytelling.

Inside Stories

Inside Stories is a series of unedited snippets from conversations between people who have been involved in some way with Ramps on the Moon. Directors, actors and Agents for Change chat about the discoveries they have made, lessons learnt and how this has affected their creative processes.

Inspired by the BBC’s Listening Project, we brought seven pairs of people together for a chat for about an hour. We then took five minutes of unedited conversation and turned them into two versions of the same conversation: the original audio with subtitles but no visuals, and then BSL interpretations with no audio (with D/deaf actors performing conversations).

BSL Consultant: Ramon Woolfe

There are six conversations to discover and they will be released fortnightly:

Episode One: Dan and Amy

Dan Bates is the Chief Executive of Sheffield Theatres and Amy Leach is Associate Director at Leeds Playhouse and has directed their production of “Oliver Twist”, the fourth Ramps show.

Episode Two: Garry and Max

Garry Robson and Max Runham are both performers who were in the New Wolsey’s production of “The Who’s Tommy”, the second Ramps show which won the UK Theatre Best Touring Production Award in 2017. Garry played Uncle Ernie and Max played Captain Walker. Max and Garry are both disabled.

Episode Three: Kerry and Alim

Kerry Michael directed the New Wolsey’s award-winning production of “The Who’s Tommy”; Alim Jayda was in the show playing Frank.

Episode Four: Ben and Laura

Ben Wilson and Laura Guthrie are Ramps on the Moon Agents for Change, disabled people employed by Ramps partners as catalysts for change in the host theatre. Ben is Sheffield Theatre’s Agent, and Laura is Nottingham Playhouse’s Agent. Both Ben and Laura are also theatre-makers themselves; Laura is a designer and director and Ben is a writer, director, and performer with a passion for creative audio description. He is in Leeds Playhouse’s production of “Oliver Twist”, the fourth Ramps show.

Episode Five: Caroline and Rebecca

Caroline Parker is a Deaf performer who is in Leeds Playhouse’s production of “Oliver Twist”, the fourth Ramps show. She participated in a week’s R&D for Scary Little Girls, working on developing their existing show, “Peter Pan” with a mixed company of Deaf, disabled, hearing and non-disabled performers. Rebecca Mordan is Artistic Director of Scary Little Girls and produced that week’s R&D.

Episode Six: Sarah and Michèle

Sarah Holmes is Chief Executive of The New Wolsey Theatre, lead partner in Ramps on the Moon. Michèle Taylor is Director for Change of Ramps on the Moon and is a disabled person.

 

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Episode One: Amy and Dan

Version one: original audio with subtitles no visuals

Version two: BSL interpreted

Pink circle with central white star divides sections

Episode Two: Garry and Max

Version one: original audio with subtitles no visuals

Version two: BSL interpreted

Pink circle with central white star divides sections

Episode Three: Kerry and Alim

Version one: original audio with subtitles no visuals

Version two: BSL interpreted

Pink circle with central white star divides sections

Episode Four: Ben and Laura

Version one: original audio with subtitles no visuals

Version two: BSL interpreted

Pink circle with central white star divides sections

Episode Five: Caroline and Rebecca

Version one: original audio with subtitles no visuals

Version two: BSL interpreted

Pink circle with central white star divides sections

Episode Six: Sarah and Michèle

Version one: original audio with subtitles no visuals

Version two: BSL interpreted

SUBMIT A REVIEW FOR

Making Theatre

SUBMIT AN ARTICLE

There are going to be plenty of ways to get involved with An Agent for Change across the country as more Agents for Change positions are created more opportunities will arise. This is an exciting time for the development of access and this is your chance to get involved!

If you would like to submit an article from elsewhere, blog post about an experience you have had (positive or negative!) or even a video of something you have seen that helps tell our story of change, you can do it here. Please make your stories compelling and shareable, relevant and provocative, and we’ll do the rest.

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