After the success of their previous online show Shebaa’s Adventure to Jopplety How, Concrete Youth presents new show Winter Wonderland in partnership with Hull New Theatre. Directed by Belle Streeton, the production aims to engage audiences living with profound and multiple learning disabilities through an online sensory theatre experience.
This snowy show is full of wintery sensory moments and holiday fun. We journey with the Snow Queen and her brother Jack Frost as they embark on a mission to fix the broken snow machine and save winter. Audience members (‘Winterns’) are encouraged to follow along with the help of various sensory items.
Great effort has been taken to ensure audience members are comfortable and catered for. The show programme and item list include plenty of options and instructions to ensure ‘Winterns’ can enjoy the experience safely and to the fullest. The show has a pleasantly gentle, unrushed feel, with moments of quiet throughout as the actors leave ample time for audience members to explore the sensory elements. What’s more, with light humour, music, singing, and even a bit of celebratory dancing, Winter Wonderland has a little something for everyone.
Emma Prendergast as the Snow Queen and Sami Kali as Jack Frost carry the story with enthusiastic, expressive performances. Particularly admirable is their ability to create a connection, both to each other and the audience; there’s a feeling of togetherness and fun between the two of them, not an easy feat with online theatre. Their engaging storytelling is further supported by the use of Makaton throughout, guided by Makaton Consultant Prit Chouhan.
Concrete Youth has managed to tick several boxes with Winter Wonderland, providing a fun, accessible, online theatre experience for those living with profound and multiple learning disabilities. Not only that, it’s also a touching tale with the valuable message that it’s okay to ask for and accept help. All in all, a meaningful theatrical experience that brings some much needed holiday cheer.