Sterts Theatre’s new production of ‘Oliver’ was staged in a special ‘Access’ performance on Sunday afternoon, for everyone who lives at Coombe House and members of Liskeard Memory Café.
The Upton Cross based Arts Centre has recently had a serious refurb, making disabled access to the open-air theatre much easier.
The idea was conceived by the show’s director Mark Sidey and Coombe House’s Ann Gray. A fabulous cast of children and adults presented a specially slimmed down version of the classic musical take on Charles Dickens’ novel, with so many memorable numbers written by composer Lionel Bart. These included ‘Consider Yourself’, ‘Who Will Buy’ and of course Fagin’s tour de force ‘You’ve Gotta Pick a Pocket or Two’!
Half a dozen people in wheel-chairs had a birds-eye view at the very front of the stage as everyone, their families and many staff from Coombe, sang and clapped along. After the show, wheelchair vehicles were able to drive right up to the backstage entrance to collect everyone.
Director Mark said “This was a memorable occasion for us – everyone loved doing it!”. Ann Gray said “This was so special. Very moving to see our residents and their families able to enjoy a great show with such ease.”
As well as better access, the improvements include excellent disabled lavatories and new washrooms. Ann added “We are so grateful to Sterts. Huge thanks also to Peter Woodward who collected some of us in the Upton Cross mini-bus! We all hope that this will become an annual event now.”