Since its inception in 1979 as the Theatre In Education Company for Mid Glamorgan, Rhondda based Spectacle Theatre, has developed into an international award winning company that specialises in participatory theatre.
Spectacle Theatre has a long history in developing methods to engage creatively with vulnerable young people and the challenging issues they have to deal with. Our work over three decades has aimed to provide creative opportunities to boost soft outcomes – raising self-esteem, confidence and communication skills through the use of drama.
It became clear to us that what prevented young people from progressing is the unresolved issues they face – abuse (sexual, physical and emotional), domestic violence, family breakdown, neglect, lack of support for those who identify as LGBTQ+, leading to poor mental and emotional health.
These issues are at the root of the low self-esteem and confidence and fundamental mistrust of the adult world that prevents them from participating and reaching their potential. Unless these issues are tackled and resolved progress is difficult. We also know that young people want to tackle these issues and, if a safe context is provided, most jump at the opportunity. The use of participatory theatre provides that safe context. Our participatory practice, developed over many years, allows us to see beneficial change in behaviours that young and older people adopt as an outcome from creative participation. We know it is effective, based on the evidence and feedback we have gathered over long periods of time. Our work is delivered in partnership with schools and colleges, young offenders’ institutes, residential homes, housing associations, voluntary organisations, hospitals, social enterprises and the public sector. Our services are delivered in English or Welsh by experienced staff who hold enhanced DBS certificates and are trained in child protection and working with vulnerable people.