Expressive Edge is our theatre company for adults with learning disabilities and has been running at The Edge since 2011. The company is led by Nikki Mailer, one of our drama specialists.
Between 15 and 20 learning disabled actors attend weekly sessions at the Edge, topped and tailed with tea and biscuits. The sessions include: theatre games to develop speaking and listening, working as a group, concentration, focusing and fun; Improvisation to develop creativity, spontaneity and imagination; devising to develop planning and thinking skills; and performances to develop presentation skills, confidence/self-esteem and to give our participants a platform to talk about what matters to them.
Since its inception, Expressive Edge has formed a core part of our activities at The Edge and most of the actors have been with us from the beginning. This has given us a chance to get to know them as individuals and for them to get to know us, feel safe and to achieve a real sense of ownership of The Edge. There is always a great buzz and much laughter in the building on a Thursday!
The group work towards 2 shows a year and these productions give families an opportunity to see the actors achieving and flourishing in a way that other, more formal and less creative activities may not be able to do. The feedback we get from our audiences is extremely good and we have received donations from happy audience members after a production on several occasions. This is clearly a very important and positive part of our participant’s lives, which in turn has a positive effect on families.