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The Velcro Collective are a group creating accessible theatre

All Areas > Entertainment > Theatre

Author: Thomas Hadfield, Posted: Wednesday, 18th December 2019, 09:00

The Velcro Collective at the Gloucester History Festival. Picture: Jack Offord The Velcro Collective at the Gloucester History Festival. Picture: Jack Offord

The Velcro Collective is a Gloucester-based initiative, focused on bringing accessible performances to audiences across the country. 
The programme began in 2016 and is made up of contemporary dance artists turned producers, Louise Brown and Lucy Ellis-Howell. 
“We’ve worked together for over 20 years on dance and theatre projects,” said Louise. 
“We share a passion for creating high quality, accessible performance work that connects with a diverse range of people.”
The Velcro Collective collaborates with different artists to bring a range of skills and experiences to the group and the work they make. 
Louise continued: “We’re currently working with Gloucestershire-born theatre director Nicola Miles-Wildin and Bristol-based visually impaired dancer Holly Thomas, as well as a Creative Access Designer from Cardiff and four performers from across the UK and Europe.  
“Accessibility is at the heart of our work and we are currently developing methods of combining movement with sound to embed audio description for visually impaired audience members into the creative process.”
The Velcro Collective is funded by Arts Council England and Blueprint: Without Walls R&D Investment Fund.
This, says Louise, has allowed them to research and develop a new interactive outdoor family show about camping, called ‘Pitch Up’. 
And in the new year Louise – who is directing the show – and the rest of the team are looking forward to bringing the finished production to audiences.
She added: “In 2020 we will be developing more material for the show and testing it out in March with audiences that include a mix of visually impaired and sighted people. 
“We’ll use their valuable feedback to continue developing our ideas and work towards producing a finished show that will tour to family festivals and events.  
“It’ll be an immersive and participatory experience where the audiences influence different elements of the show through joining in. We will be inviting audiences to explore some of the fun parts of camping as well as the bits where things don’t go to plan!”
For more information on The Velcro Collective visit www.facebook.com/Thevelcrocollective/ 

Other Images

The Velcro Collective at the Gloucester History Festival. Picture: Jack Offord

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