The Aqueous Humour creative team of Tom Hogan & Nerissa Cargill Thompson were brought in to direct and design this show by Proud and Loud Arts, a disability led theatre company in Salford. Proud and Loud created “Beyond the 4th Wall” with writer Cathy Crabb about whether a perfect world where every want and need is catered for without prejudice or unnecessary medical intervention would really be so perfect. As usual with their work, there is a lot of comedy in the piece but also as always some bold truths.
Tom began the devising process by exploring what it means to live an independent life with the members of Proud and Loud. It became clear very quickly that the role of the carer plays an important role in personal independence. Some group members felt that the people they care for and those who care for them were influential in the choices they make for themselves. Some were happy with the support they received but many felt their potential was being restricted by the care they were receiving.
Rather than use an actual child or video as we have done in the past, Nerissa created a puppet to play the part of young Taylor. He was made the correct size for a 5 year old and used real clothes but chose not to attempt to create a naturalistic finish as felt it would make him seem doll-like so left the puppet quite blank. After initial apprehension from the group saying he was scary, this worked very well and everyone fell in love with him. This was thanks to Aisling Leyne from Puppet Pool who brought him to life so beautifully.
A review of the first performance from 2012 can be found here. The show toured the northwest in Feb/March 2013.“Beyond the 4th Wall” seems even more relevant now than when we devised it,with the current government cuts to disability allowances, and the reduction in social care hours.
The photos of the show were taken by Nicola Jaye from www.mcrphotographer.co.uk. Please contact her via the website for permission to use any of them or to book her for your event/performance.