This site now acts as an archive only. For the latest news, opinion, blogs and listings on disability arts and culture visit

Disability Arts Online

> > > Mind the Gap announce new tour dates for CONTAINED

England’s largest learning-disabled theatre company, Mind the Gap have announced a new tour of CONTAINED, a vibrant, compelling and personal project.

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

Over the last year, Mind the Gap has been working with Alan Lyddiard (Artistic Director of the Performance Ensemble and former Artistic Director of Northern Stage) and Denis Darzacq (award-winning French Photographer) to create a gritty, honest and thought-provoking series of work that aims to reflect the lives of learning-disabled people in today’s society.

Following a highly successful autumn tour to ARC (Stockton), Arena Theatre (Wolverhampton), and MTG Studios (Bradford), we’re thrilled to announce that CONTAINED is heading out on tour again in spring 2016. Audiences who saw the show in autumn 2015 were inspired and moved, 96% rated the show as excellent. Here’s what some of them had to say:

  • “Phenomenal, Brilliant, Unforgettable!”
  • “What an absolute pleasure to have shared the room with such an amazing and talented cast. Thank you – Speechless!!”
  • “So ridiculously happy that theatre like this is being made and I saw it.”

CONTAINED: The Performance features nine learning-disabled performers, including Jez Colborne (lead artist of Mind the Gap’s Irresistible, Gift and Trickster) who has written original music and lyrics for the show, and Liam Bairstow (Alex in ITV’s Coronation Street). Together they present 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: The Performance explores those small moments in life that suddenly become meaningful: moments that teach us about ourselves and the world that we live in.

Alan Lyddiard (Director) says:

“Listening to Mind the Gap performers’ stories has been uplifting and I have learnt so many things from them, including some pretty deep thoughts about what it is to be human. The stories have become the true centre of our work, reflecting their lives with honesty and finding new ways of presenting themselves through story telling, music, dance and just by being who they are.”

CONTAINED: The Project includes a live touring show, a series of Short Films, a Music Video and a Digital Exhibition. As well as the spring 2016 tour of CONTAINED: The Performance, Mind the Gap will be holding a series of exciting workshops and discussion events at venues around the country:

At Gulbenkian (Canterbury) we will ‘Consider Aesthetics’ through a series of events involving University of Kent, The Guardian, Magpie Dance and others.
At New Wolsey (Ipswich) we will ‘Explore Collaborative Practice’ through a series of events involving Spin Off (Dance East), CoCo Care, New Wolsey Theatre and Creative Minds.
At The Albany (Deptford), we will ‘Discuss Excellence’ through a series of events involving Goldsmiths University, Spare Tyre, Dr Matt Hargrave and others.

For tour dates and full listings see here.