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Exploring unspoken barriers

In our Community View column in the Docklands and East London Advertiser, Communications Manager Stephen reveals how a new co-production for ages 3-6 started life in 2019 in Bethnal Green.
Read the Docklands and East London Advertiser e-edition

Exploring unspoken barriers

The festive season is upon us and the majority of people are concentrating on celebrating the next few weeks with family and friends. However, at Half Moon, we’re firmly fixed on 8 January 2024, when we start rehearsals for Boxed In, our new co-production for ages 3-6 about (mis)understanding the rules.

We’re excited to be working with the ground-breaking Disabled-led theatre company Daryl & Co. on this new show, which offers a poignant exploration of diversity for the very young. It explores the unspoken barriers of attitudes, social etiquette and behaviour that surround us all. How do you know a barrier is there if you can’t see it? And if you can’t see it, how can you remove it?

Boxed In started life back in 2019 with participatory activities at Globe Primary School, in Bethnal Green. The Daryl & Co. team started with a simple creative prompt for the young participants, ‘Help us create a story about someone that breaks the rules’. Our approach values the voices of young people, so instead of being educational, the show is engaging and creative.

Daryl & Co.’s previous show (A Square World) looked at physical barriers. That was an easy thing to understand because it involved shapes – you could turn stairs into a ramp and people understood that you were making it accessible. With this show, we’re finding that within our society there are lots of barriers. There are lots of things that are preventing people from taking part, but they come down to people’s attitudes, or the unspoken rules that we have as a society.

Daryl Beeton, the director of Boxed In and one of the performers, told us: “If you’ve got a physical Disability, if you’ve got a physical impairment, then people understand. But actually, if you’ve got a hidden impairment, or an invisible Disability, then it’s a lot harder for people to understand why you need to do things in a certain way.”

Boxed In is largely non-verbal and will be presented in a relaxed environment. It offers an exciting visual experience filled with humour and fun, giving little ones and their grown-ups a way to think about how rules work and whether they work for everyone.

Boxed In is at Half Moon from 1-6 February 2024 before heading off on a 7-week nationwide tour. Tickets cost £7.

Stephen Beeny is the Communication Manager at Half Moon

Explore the Boxed In tour dates

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