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September 2003 witnessed the commencement of a self funded Physical Theatre Pilot Project for disabled people with physical and sensory impairments and for people with learning difficulties at three venues in Norfolk. An open door policy was adopted resulting in over 50 participants taking part in the project which ended on June 24th 2004 with a celebration of 'Diversity & Difference' at Norwich Playhouse. This event was unique for Norwich and Norfolk, the first of its kind and was in the words of the appreciative audience "an amazing experience". Three pieces of innovative theatre were performed, devised from work-shopped material put forward by the participants. The work was complimented by original soundtracks, created by a local MA student.

This project set out to use theatre as a tool for empowerment and social change giving a voice to those previously unheard. It also set out to investigate the potential for setting up a theatre company. A company that would produce work reflecting the desires, aspirations and concerns of those involved. It was evident within a few weeks of commencing the project interest in forming the theatre company was phenomenal and plans immediately developed to ensure that this would be the outcome of the pilot project.

To ensure fairness and that all individuals were fully represented in the Theatre Company a 'Person Specification' was compiled that informed the selection criteria. The selection criteria were based on skills acquired and developed throughout the pilot project and the potential of individuals to acquire and develop these essential skills with appropriate support. Following interviews 15 adult company members were appointed.

Following a successful Summer School in August 2004 for a younger client group aged 14-25, Thalia Theatre Youth was created.

Thalia's achievements to date

  • Performed at Norwich Playhouse Theatre 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 & 2010 (Read reviews of our performances here)
  • Performed at Chrysalis Arts Festival, Norwich 2006
  • Attended the Big Youth Theatre Festival in London 2005
  • Worked with MA students from the UEA 2005 & 2006
  • Collaborative project with Barrington Farm Artists and the mental health charity MIND 2005-2006
  • Performed at Norwich Fringe Festival 2005 & 2006
  • Worked with Amici Dance Theatre 2005 & 2006
  • Residency with Rambert Dance Company 2006 & 2010
  • Faciliated workshops with over 300 people throughout Norfolk and Suffolk 2005-2006
  • Worked with mime artist, professional musicians 2006
  • Facilitated Summer Schools for young people 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 & 2008
  • Worked with Garlic Theatre 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 & 2011
  • Worked with Freelance Film maker 'Shelley Telly' 2007
  • 'Performance and Meet the Company' events at Norwich Puppet Theatre 2007, 2008 & 2011
  • Workshop with Anna Mudeka 2008
  • Residency with Tanya Raabe, Visual Artist 2009
  • Performed at Victim Support "Are You OK?" event 2009
  • Workshop at Burston Secure Residential Provision (complex mental health illness) 2010
  • Dereham Members Open Event and Performance 2010
  • Hip-Hop Dance workshop with Hannah Parsley 2010
  • Thalia launched on Facebook 2010
  • Meet the Company Event, Performance and Photography Exhibition at St Peter Mancroft Church, Norwich 2010
  • African Drumming Workshop with Gary Newland 2011
  • Sculpture residency with Bridget Heriz 2011
  • Worked with Hall School on 6 week project exploring Graffiti Art 2012
  • Performance and Art Making workshop at Dereham to celebrate the Breckland Olympic Torch Relay 2012