Extraordinairy spectacle in Halifax Piece Hall. And a really important message most people would never consider.
The performance was unlike anything I’ve ever seen. A 30ft high baby, cranes, an armoured vehicle, a cast of 100, an audience of 1600, and a story about the every day reality of learning disabled people who have children.
The performance was on over the bank holiday weekend, and has now moved on to London, and from there, I know not. The cast were mostly learning disabled, not that you’d know it from the audience, and the issue raised as high as the child itself was the plight and circumstance of people with leaning disabilities having families. Do they get to keep their children, or don’t they?
If you’ve ever had to deal with a Goverment Agency, claiming benefits, or even doing a tax return, you’ll have a microscopic glimpse into the world of forms and bureaucracy that can be laberynthine in nature. Imagine having learning disabilities, and having to go through that process, hundreds of questions in the PAMS (Parent Assesment Manual) and the consequence of failing is the removal of your child.
It’s a reality for many people. How many? Who knows. How many pass and fail? Who knows. The point of the production isn’t to cast blame here or their, it’s simply to raise the issue. Make it big, and visible.