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creating possibilities for disabled children

The audience gathers. The music swells.  The mist swirls.  Anticipation.  Then arriving in the playground the full-grown Firebird.  Its five-metre wingspan hovers above the audience, circling, swooping and diving.

Based on the myths and legends of the Phoenix, this spectacular new production, touring summer and autumn 2021, promises to bring an unforgettable experience into your school grounds. Book now for a day like no other, full of unique Bamboozle puppetry, comic characters and live music, including a chicken jazz band!

Which of my students will the show be suitable for and how many can access it?

Who is it suitable for? This show is devised for a wide range of learning-disabled students, including those sometimes described as SLD, MLD and some students on the autistic spectrum.  While it is not specifically designed for those described as PMLD there will be Bamboozle’s customary mix of sensory possibilities, this will be more suitable for PMLD students who respond to sound, as there will be a lot of live and recorded music.

Who is it not suitable for? We will be working within Covid restriction guidance, so will not be able to offer close-up interactions in person.  This will limit the possibilities for students described as PMLD who are visually impaired, though, as above, it will suit those who respond to sound. It is not suitable for those on the Autistic Spectrum who need to be able to move around freely nor for those with the sort of challenging behaviour that makes it difficult to guarantee calm observance of boundaries.  This is because the actors will need to remain socially distanced from the audience.  In addition: The Firebird and other puppets\props cannot be touched in the way Bamboozle shows normally accommodate for both Covid secure reasons and to avoid any unintentional damage.

How many can experience it? The show is designed to play to four class bubbles of any size.  The climax of the production takes place outdoors, with all four class bubbles watching at the same time, so there must be a suitable outdoor space, large enough for you to safely distance the class bubbles.

What happens if it rains?

The performance will go ahead unless the Bamboozle team judge the weather to be so serve that it poses a safety risk.  Therefore the school will need to ensure pupils have warm clothing, wet weather gear and umbrellas available to cope with the British summer!  If you have a covered outdoor area, then we can also work with you to see how we could stage the performance such that the audience can stand under cover if the rains come.

This sounds great, what else do I need to know?

This experience is a unique one and will be different in each school, we will need to work closely with you to plan where and when each part of the action will unfold, please read The Firebird in your School to understand more about how the experience is likely to work across a school day.

How much does it cost?

The fee for a day’s experience of The Firebird is £1,195. This is a heavily subsidised rate thanks to public funding from Arts Council England and the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund: Here for Culture.

When is it available and how do I book?

Touring dates for The Firebird are as follows (if you would like to book more than one day, then we can explore the possibility of doing consecutive dates).

Summer term

  • Wednesday 16 June 2021
  • Monday 28 June 2021
  • Wednesday 30 June 2021
  • Wednesday 7 July 2021
  • Friday 9 July 2021

Autumn term

  • Wednesday 8 September 2021
  • Friday 10 September 2021
  • Wednesday 15 September 2021
  • Friday 17 September 2021
  • Wednesday 22 September 2021
  • Friday 24 September 2021
  • Wednesday 29 September 2021
  • Friday 1 October 2021

To book, email firebird@bamboozletheatre.co.uk and let us know as many of the available dates as possible that could work for your school. Please note that dates are booking fast and we already have penciled bookings for a number of these dates. We are keeping a waiting list,  should any of the penciled dates fall through, so please do send us all possible dates that could work for your school.

For any questions, please email firebird@bamboozletheatre.co.uk 

More information

Download the Firebird – Companion Pack for Teachers and Support Staff

The Wildings

Outdoor immersive sessions specifically designed for families with children who are on the autistic spectrum.

On a quiet Wildlife plot on an allotment site in Leicester, is an oasis of calm and creativity waiting to be explored and brought to life by Bamboozle artists.

Being in nature has been proven to be a great healer, and over the last year, many of us have discovered the green spaces on our doorsteps and how important they have been for our wellbeing.

During the wilding experience, you and your child will be encouraged to relax and recharge alongside Bamboozle artists who will skillfully provide a safe and engaging space to explore the natural elements within the site. You may come across some of your favourite Bamboozle characters, like Arthur the gardener in Down to Earth. Each experience will be organic in the way it develops – it will be age-appropriate, child-led, and responsive to how the young person chooses to engage with the environment. Invitations of creative activities and stimuli will be made by the Bamboozle team.

If you would like to join Bamboozle in their Backyard and sign up for these FREE Wildings sessions please fill in the booking form below. Let us know the dates you can attend, and if you would like to attend on your own (just your family) or if you would be comfortable attending with just one other family. Due to the size of the space, we are confident we can safely adhere to socially distanced measures and accommodate up to 2 families/groups per session.

Please fill in the below booking form with your availability, you will then be contact if we have any sessions available that match your availability. Places are not guaranteed by filling in this form, a member of our team will always confirm a slot with you via phone or email. Places are offered on a first come first serve basis.

Booking form  

Each session will be up to 1 hr and half long.

Location – Rowley Fields Allotments 165 Meredith Rd, Leicester LE3 2EU

If you would like to find out more about these sessions or Bamboozle the organisation and its other opportunities please either email info@bamboozle.co.uk

Thank you to our funders!

We are able to provide these session for free thanks to vital investment from Arts Council England: National Lottery Project Grants; BBC Children in Need; The Henry Smith Charity and The National Lottery Community Fund. As well as Bamboozle’s individual, corporate and community supporters.

 

Re-Wilding Characters you might meet

                Glendolyn                                    Aurora Sue                                    Mac George                               

               Aurora Dawn                                     Tayosong                                      Chandeni                                    

                     Mirillow                                        Samaqua

 

 

 

 

Our Front of House performances are designed to bring a burst of live music and colour to your front door!

Our performances provide a 30-minute set of acoustic and electric songs from a team of three musicians and a technician. The team arrive and set up a festival-themed performance area in either a front of back garden, or on street outside your house.

Front of House performances have been designed to ensure that our team can remain socially distanced from each other and from our audience. In order to for us to set up, we’ll need room to put up a 3m x 3m gazebo, with at least another 3m in front of the gazebo, and a meter either side for speakers.

If weather permits, families can sit outside to enjoy the performance, or remain inside the home to enjoy the music, e.g. this set up is recommended if you and your family are shielding, or if social distancing might present an issue for your children.

We encourage neighbours to listen in from a safe distance, too, whether in their own gardens or from their doorsteps. We will provide flyers that you can put through letterboxes to notify neighbours about our visit in advance.

NEXT AVAILABLE DATES: Wednesday 11th, Friday 13th, Saturday 14th, Monday 16th and Sunday 22nd August. 

Our Front of House performances are available free for families on the above specified dates.

We are encouraging interest from those with Nottinghamshire postcodes, as this iteration of Front of House is part funded by Nottinghamshire County Council.

We aim to visit as many families as we can during a day, so places for performances are extremely limited, and are dependent on our ability to travel to you on our available date.

To enquire about booking a Front of House experience, please email: jennifer@bamboozletheatre.co.uk.

What families have said about our Front of House performances

“A special privilege of having a private concert on our front garden! My daughter laughed and danced and it felt so special to have those memories”. Andrea, parent

“I was humbled by the effort Bamboozle had gone to specifically to entertain my daughter. Our neighbours were thrilled to be invited and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. It was really lovely to see and be able to talk to people we hadn’t had any face to face contact with for some considerable time. It brightened up our weekend and lifted our spirits”. Iona, parent

“My daughter absolutely loved the performance, which was truly unique and something she hadn’t experienced before. She loved the fact that the performance was taking place in her garden and so she didn’t have the anxiety she would normally experience going out to a venue to see it. Tess, parent

“Amazing experience, so special just for our family. Unforgettable” Judith, parent

“It was something extremely special for my daughter as she has been shielding. It was a way of keeping her connected to the things she loves through this tricky time. Her visual difficulties mean she struggles to access things via a screen so this was perfect for her”. Joanne, parent

What you need to know

Recommended age range: flexible

Possible triggers: Loud music (volume can be altered as appropriate).

Download visual story

See an example of our flyer for neighbours

 

Please contact us via info@bamboozletheatre.co.uk and we will respond either via email or with a phone call if that is more suitable.

Photo of Bamboozle AS production Rain Rain at Victoria Education Centre
Rain Rain at Victoria Education Centre. Photo by John Godber, 2020

“Amazing – awe-inspiring and thoroughly engaging. Beautiful and mesmerising. Thank you so much”. Lisa Boyes, Victoria Education Centre

Patience and Bird are waiting for rain in the dusty, dry heat of the American Dust Bowl when Clanky Jane arrives with her ‘Cloud-O-Matic’ rain making machine.  Featuring captivating visual effects, puppetry, live music and a sprinkling of water, Rain Rain will immerse your children in a safe and engaging adventure.

This intimate show for just 6 children is specifically designed for audiences of children on the autistic spectrum.  The actors are highly skilled at creating a welcoming and calm space where time is given to accommodate the particular needs of individual children.  Parents can relax safe in the knowledge that Bamboozle has a well-earned world-wide reputation for creating theatre for children on the spectrum.

About Rain Rain

Rain Rain is the autism-specific version of our original show Pulse, which was developed with the aim of creating a production with three different versions that were adaptable for the needs of our different audiences; disabled audiences with complex needs, those on the autistic spectrum and inclusive audiences. Rain Rain toured to special schools through the UK in March 2020 – a tour which was sadly cut short due to the mounting risks of Coronavirus at the time.

Watch this video to see our ‘relaxed’ version for inclusive audiences:

About Bamboozle’s shows for audiences on the autistic spectrum

Bamboozle’s productions for  audiences on the autism spectrum are designed to cater for groups of up to 6 children, aged 8-16, and their family groups or teachers and support staff. The shows accommodate the very wide range of abilities within the autistic spectrum.

Bamboozle’s continuing research has highlighted the need for performances that are accessible to all levels of the spectrum including those children and young people who are described as being hard-to-reach or those who may present behaviour that challenges us.

Performances are tailored to each child’s needs by a team of Bamboozle performers who are highly experienced in adapting to, and interacting with, children and young people who have a variety of complex and differing needs.

“Children who would not usually initiate independent exploration stood up and actively engaged in the scene. Vocalisations, words and phrases were made and said that are rarely heard in the classroom setting. A wonderful performance and I was overwhelmed by the response from our children! They thoroughly enjoyed it!” – Josie McGrath, Priory Woods School

“The show has it all: sensory stimulation, catchy songs and beats and beautiful participatory moments where each child felt important and like the only one in the room. A compelling story with a realistic message of hope and determination.

It brought me to tears to witness the children interact, laugh out loud, get lost in the show, overcome moments of fear, and ultimately have fun watching a show so accessible for them. There needs to be so much more arts accessible for everyone – it has possibility to create change and Bamboozle did that today”. Kathryn Oscier, Portfield School

What you need to know

This show can be adapted for individual sensory sensitivities by informing our team of any particular sensitivities ahead of performances.

The production features natural sensory materials including Children’s Play Sand mixed with organic cinnamon, diluted essential basil oil, (not applied directly to skin), cornflakes, rubber wellington boots and hessian sacks. The production also features some loud percussive sounds, and a light sprinkling of water over the audience.

Recommended age range: 8-16 years

Further information and resources

Listen to our Rain Rain theme by artist Gren Bartley

Example of Visual Story

Rain Rain Companion Pack for Teachers and Support Staff

We are currently unable to tour  Rain Rain due COVID-19. We will update this information page when the production becomes available.

Photos of Bamboozle's AS production Moon Song at Shanghai Children's Art Theatre. An actress listens to the voice on a young audience member through a long silver tube.
Photo credit: Moon Song at Shanghai Children’s Art Centre, 2019

“It was magical to see how the pupils engaged with the show. The staff are so highly skilled and adjusted to every students’ needs”. Antonia Peters, Lakeside School.

Moon Song tells the story of Megan who falls asleep dreams of going to the moon where she encounters silvery creatures, flying saucers and shooting stars. Welcomed into the performance with relaxing music, audience members are invited to join Megan on a space-themed adventure.

This enchanting, intimate production is designed to put audience members at ease throughout, giving them space and time to move freely and experience the show in their own way.

Using Bamboozle’s calm approach, incorporating invitation and interaction, this sensory show caters for groups of six children on the autistic spectrum along with their families and carers or school staff.

About Moon Song:

Moon Song has toured to UK schools and theatres and toured internationally to Shanghai Children’s Art Theatre.

About Bamboozle’s shows for audiences on the autistic spectrum

Our Autism specific performances are intimate shows for a maximum group size of 6 children accompanied by their teachers, carers, or family group.

In school settings these performances are suitable for children who may be described as hard-to-reach, where we accommodate smaller group sizes of four audience members to enable a 1:1 ratio with our team of four performers.

Maintaining small audiences enables our team to provide a high level of focussed attention and the opportunity for intensive interaction. Each moment will be tailored to each child’s needs by a team of Bamboozle performers who are highly experienced in adapting to, and interacting with, children and young people who have a variety of complex and differing needs.

“Fantastic! Our students find everyday a challenge, often needing constant direction and support to keep themselves and others safe. Your performances allow our students freedom to be themselves and for us to observe them in a place they can connect and understand”. Alex Sawyer, Yeoman Park School.

“Very moving – it was incredible to see the actors interact with the children and the time that was taken to give attention to each child individually. It really felt like a safe space was created where the children could join in and express themselves”. Nosheen Rara, Phoenix Primary and Secondary School.

What you need to know

This show can be adapted for individual sensory sensitivities by informing our team of any particular sensitivities ahead of performances. The show includes moments of loud acoustic music, loud voices and interactive props.

Recommended age range: 6 – 14 years

Further information and resources

Watch our short film about the show

  Watch our longer film (20 minutes) with commentary from Artistic Director, Christopher Davies.

Listen to our Moon Song theme by artist Tayo Akinbode.

Moon Song Companion Pack for Teachers and Support Staff

We are currently unable to tour our production Moon Song due to health and safety issues presented by COVID-19. We will update this information page when the production becomes available in the future.

 

 

 

 

Image of Storm at Shanghai Children's Art Theatre
Image of Storm at Shanghai Children’s Art Theatre

‘‘It was a magical, theatrical, atmospheric delight. Transporting our young people to a magical island, the interaction between actors and students created a unique shared experience.” Joni McAuliffe, The Avenue School

Inspired by Shakespeare’s Tempest, Storm tells the story of the magician Prospero, his apprentice Ariel and the creature Caliban.

Designed for children and young people who are on the autistic spectrum, this enchanting, intimate production has been carefully designed to put audience members at ease throughout, giving them space and time to move freely and experience the show in their own way.

Using elements of The Tempest and a limited amount of Shakespeare’s language, Storm tells a dramatic story of the sea, ships, islands and magic. Audience members will be welcomed into the performance space with relaxing music and during the performance will be invited to interact with the actors and the setting.

About Storm

Storm has toured UK schools, featured at the Edinburgh International Children’s Festival, and toured to Shanghai and Egypt. A Chinese version of the show has been created in partnership with Shanghai Children’s Art Theatre.

About Bamboozle’s shows for audiences on the autistic spectrum:

Our Autism specific performances are intimate shows for a maximum group size of 6 children accompanied by their teachers, carers, or family group.

In school settings these performances are suitable for children who may be described as hard-to-reach, where we accommodate smaller group sizes of four audience members to enable a 1:1 ratio with our team of four performers.

Maintaining small audiences enables our team to provide a high level of focussed attention and the opportunity for intensive interaction. Each moment will be tailored to each child’s needs by a team of Bamboozle performers who are highly experienced in adapting to, and interacting with, children and young people who have a variety of complex and differing needs.

“I am speechless. The performance excelled all expectations. It was fantastic. Never before have I watched a show that is so inclusive and adaptable to all needs. The intensive interaction applied was extremely inspiring”. Imogen Pearce, Radlett Lodge School

“Wow, it was breath-taking. A real privilege to watch our students so engaged and present in your show. To see their responses and even communicating with words they heard within the performance was magical. Thank you”. Aimee Robinson, Priory Woods School

“I couldn’t hope for a better, more sensitive, engaging performance. Fully immersive, totally exciting!!’’ Ian Bearcroft, Oakleigh School

What you need to know

This show can be adapted for individual sensory sensitivities by informing our team of any particular sensitivities ahead of performances. The show includes moments of loud acoustic music, loud voices and interactive props.

Recommended age range: 6 – 14 years

Further information and resources

Watch a short film about the show in a school setting

A short film of Storm at Hakawy International Arts festival for Children

Download our Companion Pack for Teachers and Support Staff

See an example of our Visual Story

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