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Trailblazing theatre group in Ulster visit

By Matthew McCreary

A pioneering theatre group for people with a learning disabilities is visiting Northern Ireland this week to show off its work.



The Lawnmower Independent Theatre Company from Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, use comedy, music and dance to help highlight issues around learning disability. They research, devise and tour shows, as well as running nightclubs and workshops.

The group have been invited to Northern Ireland by local learning disability charity Positive Futures and will host workshops for young people.

Pauline Ferguson, who manages Positive Futures' Family Support Services, described the group as "trailblazers". She said: "Positive Futures would like to form a similar theatre group here. The workshops are a first step and the Lawnmowers will be showing our young people how drama can give people with a learning disability a voice."

The group has built up an international reputation, with appearances at the Edinburgh Festival and international arts festivals in Barcelona, Toronto, Gdansk and Galway.

It has also been short-listed for the Best National Arts Project in the UK National Lottery Awards.

"The company has a great reputation and is one of the leading learning disability organisations in these islands," said Chris Ledger, Arts Council development officer for Arts and Disability.

"I've seen their work many times and never been disappointed. They deal with challenging contemporary issues in a very direct way.

To find out more log on to www.thelawnmowers.co.uk

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