Mind the Gap take critically renowned show CONTAINED to Roubaix, France


Mind the Gap, England’s largest learning disability theatre company is heading to Roubaix, France from Tuesday 24th to Thursday 26th January 2017 for their Crossing the Line Festival. Three days of performances, workshops, screenings, discussions and networking opportunities from three leading European, learning-disability theatre companies: Mind the Gap (Bradford, UK), Compagnie de l’Oiseau Mouche (Roubaix, France) and Moomsteatern (Malmo, Sweden).

A picture of a man stood up talking into a microphone. Four people are sat on green chairs in the background, two of them are holding hands and looking at each other.

Liam Bairstow stars in the current MTG production: ‘Contained’ Pic © Tim Smith, 2015

Three companies, three countries, three ways to dive into European theatre! Crossing the Line Festival is the outcome of a two year small scale Cooperation Project made possible thanks to a grant from the EU’s Creative Europe funding programme. As well as seeing some incredible work made by top European learning disability theatre companies, there will be plenty of opportunity to network with artists, directors, producers and other experts in the field from across Europe.

The three companies have been learning about each others methodologies and practices over over the past two years through a series of exchanges and residencies.

Mind the Gap will be taking their critically acclaimed performance CONTAINED – a vibrant, compelling and personal show: nine interwoven true stories about family and friendships, love and loss, the everyday and the extraordinary.

Combining live performance, film, photography, music and dance, Contained explores those small moments in life that suddenly become meaningful: moments that teach us about ourselves, and the world that we live in.

“It forces us to rethink the dominant narratives around disability, defiantly and joyously trashing any idea of lives diminished and less fully lived and experienced.”
Lyn Gardner, The Guardian

The show has also been specially adapted to incorporate French translation exclusively for the Crossing the Line Festival.

The cast of CONTAINED features nine learning-disabled performers including Liam Bairstow (Alex in ITV’s Coronation Street). Liam said: “I’m looking forward to performing in CONTAINED again. It’s a different challenge being on stage rather than TV. I always enjoy being in a live show and being able to perform in France is very exciting.”

Festival goers will have the opportunity to see works by the other two companies including Compagnie de l’Oiseau Mouche’s ‘Pourvu qu’on ait l’ivresse’ and Moomsteatern’s ‘A dream play’.

Following the festival, Mind the Gap will be taking CONTAINED to four venues in the North of England thanks to a grant of almost £50k from Arts Council England’s Strategic Touring Fund. Catch this renowned production on tour at West Yorkshire Playhouse on 10 & 11 March before heading to Northern Stage, Newcastle upon Tyne (4 & 5 May), The Lowry, Salford (24 & 25 May) and Square Chapel Centre for the Arts, Halifax (8 & 9 March).