We talk to Sharron at Catherine Care about their Christmas spectacular performance. Catherine Care joined the Choice Care Family in 2023.
Sharron said: We perform two big shows a year and smaller community performances in-between.
Our most recent show was the Christmas show, where we had two performances. There were 120 people in the audience at each performance - it was absolutely brilliant and we are so proud of everyone involved!
Our shows really are a massive joint effort – as we have the woodworking group (known as The Hammers!) who produce most of the props: this is part of their weekly sessions where they not only gain skills in woodwork but they also learn about safety and design. The arts and crafts team often help with the painting of the props and scenery. The costumes we have gathered over the years or are made by staff friends and parents and the music, sound effects and lighting were carried out by our apprentice.
How do you decide what you are doing for the shows?
We get together as a team and the clients dictate what they want to do and then we put it all together and tie a theme into it. It is very much a variety show.
There are usually 40 plus people with a learning disability or autism in the cast and the show is their show. The performances are practiced during our drama sessions on a Monday and Wednesday for the main drama group and then the other groups practice on different days. We have our own stage which we built in the building so the cast are familiar with it and we always do a signing set of a few songs using Makaton.
Everyone is included and encouraged to participate in the shows. For some of the people we support the show environment is too busy, so we produce a series of filmed pieces and they are shown on the night. We have a DVD produced of every show which are wonderful because we have a very talented filmmaker who volunteers his time for us.
We have been creating shows for 13 years and during this time as the service has grown so have the productions. The staff love to support the and enjoy it as much as the clients do. It is a really good team building experience. The clients, staff and parents are always buzzing about it. There is always a lovely atmosphere following a show production.’