Disabled Access Day At Birmingham Repertory Theatre - A Blog By Billy Coughlin, Agent For Change
We caught up with our Agent For Change, Billy Coughlin, who chatted to us about Disabled Access Day and Ramps on the Moon.
In a nutshell, I am responsible for working with all departments at The REP to ensure our building is inclusive, accessible, welcoming and representative of the city we live in. This is all part of a ground-breaking initiative called Ramps on the Moon. Each year a show is produced which is entirely inclusive of disabled and non-disabled actors and creatives, as well as creatively combining Sign Language, captions and audio description. The REP kicked it off with our incredibly successful production of The Government Inspector last year, which brought all the forms together beautifully and ensured all audience members could enjoy the show without barriers. Our next production is a musical called The Who's Tommy, which will visit us in May. We are also doing loads of great work in the community, at schools and within our own workforce to enable accessibility to become a central part of our thinking and aesthetics.
Saturday 11 March is Disabled Access Day at The REP and we have some really exciting workshops and tours taking place. We have our first ever BSL Backstage Tour and Backstage Touch Tour, so everyone is able to see the magic and history of the theatre, as well as learning about how a show is created – from rehearsals to set building and wigs and make up to props and costumes. We are also running a Family Non-Verbal Drama Workshop for young people with learning difficulties and their families. This is an hour of fun, creativity, music, drama and physical theatre and is a great way for everyone to get involved in drama without language and verbal communication being a barrier. And to top it all off, these tours and workshops are FREE and open to everyone.
As Agent for Change I thought Disabled Access Day was a wonderful opportunity for people to access our theatre who previously thought it wasn't for them. This theatre belongs to the people of Birmingham and is open and welcome to everybody without exception – I'm really passionate about that!
Billy Coughlin, Agent for Change
Disabled Access Day takes place at Birmingham Repertory Theatre on Saturday 11 March.
To find out more about all The REP's Disabled Access Day events, click on the links below.