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Sunday, 13 November 2016

Sunshine In My Pocket- A Celebration Of Mushroom Theatre Company


On Sunday 20th November you will have the opportunity to see for yourself why Mushroom Theatre deserves to be viewed as the best example of fully inclusive theatre in the UK. Tickets are selling fast so book your tickets now and then read why you made the right decision...
I have a problem with children's shows and Gang shows in particular. My experiences have been mixed to say the least and the worst experiences can be attributed to poor writing and less than effective performances. Don't get me wrong, I am not looking for perfect theatre, does that even exist?, but I believe that just because a production is written for children shouldn't mean there is a compromise on either the quality or the standard of the production. I have reviewed a rehearsal of Mushroom Theatre's upcoming production because I am passionate with the tremendous work that they do. Too often the bandwagon of inclusive theatre is jumped on and not because people seem to care about the performances but because some sort of half hearted tick box exercise is being undertaken. I know Penny Bubb (the passionate and talented creator of Mushroom Theatre) well enough to know that there will be no tick boxing evident here on in anything Mushroom Theatre puts its name to.

Sunshine In My Pocket is a family orientated show that serves as a perfect example of what can be achieved when you don't see different or mixed ability as an obstacle to delivering phenomenal entertainment. My concern on reviewing the show was that I am not remotely dance aware, I have two left feet myself and whilst appreciate quality when I see it I cannot intelligently review. I didn't need to worry as the show perfectly achieves to provide entertainment no matter what standard your understanding is. The production is a glorious showcase to the astounding talent that Penny has nurtured and developed through Mushroom Theatre and there is so much to enjoy! From the opening all inclusive number you are assured of a show that will challenge your preconception that mixed ability means poor performance. The standard of the choreography is wondrous to behold and all of the performers are clearly relishing every moment they spend on stage. The combined talents of dance, singing and acting are testament to the level of teaching available at Mushroom Theatre. Across the age ranges and in every single moment, there are Mushroom Theatre students that just shine so much so that is it no surprise that casting agents contact the Company for their support.


It is more than a celebration of ability over disability as there is another essential element that is obvious from the very opening of the show. They care and support each other and it feels like you are watching a family work together. The senior students work so well both off stage and onstage with the younger members. Encouraging and prompting gently with smiles and words of praise and support and it was a heart warming and stunning experience to watch how far true inclusivity goes. Here in our broken and selfish society within the well put together show there is something even more important. Real care and love isn't something you can fabricate or pretend, its either there or its not and with Mushroom Theatre it is there in an abundant supply. Student cares for student and teacher and support staff lead by sparkling example. Sunshine In My Pocket is a show that makes you smile so much that your face hurts and it is a well spent two hours when you leave feeling a little more hopeful that, at least in some areas of our community, there are those that still care and want to celebrate success.

I truly hope that this show awards Mushroom Theatre Company the level of success and recognition that it richly deserves. No one is seeking fame within this company but with wider exposure there will come more opportunities to connect with students who really could do with their dreams realised. Sunshine in my pocket it may be but Mushroom Theatre's light is starting to get noticed and I truly welcome it!

Book your tickets here and find out more about Mushroom Theatre by visiting their website. www.mushroomtheatre.co.uk


Photo used with permission

12 comments:

  1. Love this review and it's great that abilities are being promoted over disabilities. May I wish the company every success in the future.

    Serina Hartwell - Author

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  2. As a parent of a student who has been with Mushroom since she was 18 months old and is now a student teacher, I am so proud to have association with Penni and her team. My wife and I are even in the show this year which shows the level of inclusivity. Age, gender and disability are no barrier. Thank you Penni and the team for everything you do for the lives of our children xx Phil Turner

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