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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?

As  a outline the fee for a day’s experience of Firebird in 2021 was £1,195. This was 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 Firebird 2022 Coming soon

To express interest in the upcoming tour email firebird@bamboozletheatre.co.uk

More information

Download the Firebird – Companion Pack for Teachers and Support Staff

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.

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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