The Bamboozle Theatre Company (UK)
The Bamboozle Theatre Company (UK) ©

Copyright: The Bamboozle Theatre Company 

The British Council and National Arts Council presented internationally acclaimed Bamboozle Theatre Company’s (UK) The Bamboozle Approach, exceptional approach to making theatre for children with autism and complex disabilities.

Since 2003, Bamboozle has worked with hundreds of families with children with special needs. Families, artists and educators are invited to attend the British Council's GREAT lecture at the Artground, a contemporary children's arts space at the Goodman Arts Centre. The Bamboozle Theatre Company is known throughout the UK for providing some of the country's most disabled children the opportunity to interact meaningfully with the world, and to confound expectations of what children with special needs can achieve.  

Artistic Director Christopher Davies and Nicole Arkless shared their experience working with schools, families and artists in creating possibilities for children and treated audiences to a live demonstration of the Water ritual.  The lecture was attended by a diverse crowd of art makers, venue programmers, educators and parents. Artground was an exciting new venture for the children’s theatre sector and the ideal location for a public lecture.

Artground was able to create a space that welcomed both children with special needs and their parents, which was important for the Water Ritual demonstration that Bamboozle wanted to conduct. A total of 6 children and their parents participated in the Water Ritual segment, 5 of whom have special needs. The leader of the parent support group had positive feedback for the event, citing:

  • The conduciveness of the location
  • The provision of volunteers to tend to their special needs children so that they could attend the lecture
  • The Water Ritual demonstration helped the audience to understand the unique Bamboozle approach
  • The best takeaway was that they felt inspired by Christopher to work with their special needs children

The lecture was held on Friday 22 September 2017 at The Artground (90 Goodman Road #01-40 Goodman Arts Centre, Singapore 439053).
As part of British Council’s Inclusive Arts Programme, there was sign language interpretion at the GREAT Lecture for audience members with hearing impairments. 

About Bamboozle Theatre Company

Bamboozle Theatre Company was founded in 1994 by Christopher Davies and Sue Pyecroft, since then we have been delivering magical, memorable, multi sensory experiences for children and young people with moderate to profound learning difficulties as well as those with emotional and behavioural difficulties. We have built a strong reputation for the quality and integrity of our work. The impact can be transformational; from helping an individual child with extremely challenging behaviour to stay in a room, work with others and contribute their own ideas to supporting whole families to connect and play together to effecting the attitudes and practice at a whole school level

About Christopher Davies (Artistic Director)

Christopher Davies is a director, writer and educator and co-founded Bamboozle Theatre Company in 1994. As Artistic Director, Christopher writes and directs the company’s touring shows, runs the acclaimed training programme, facilitates Bamboozle’s residencies for schools and families, produces resources for use in schools, and is developing Bamboozle’s “ways to engage students with Autism” programme

Christopher continually seeks ways in which we can improve our methods of communication with young people for whom making themselves understood is a daily and life-long challenge.

After 13 years teaching in primary schools, Christopher spent an inspiring year at The Central School of Speech and Drama in London. He then joined the Leicestershire Drama Advisory Service where he ran courses for teachers, worked in special schools and set up youth theatres for students with learning difficulties. He has tutored on Leicester University’s MA drama course, run INSET courses nationally and led training workshops for many organisations including The National Theatre and Shakespeare’s Globe. As a director, he has created work for the London and Edinburgh Fringe and toured internationally.

Bamboozle UK also delivered a series of workshops targeted towards artists and educators interested in theatre-making for children with autism and complex disabilities. The programme ran from 19 to 21 September 2017. It provided an international perspective of inclusive arts and relevant training that  spurred the development of inclusive arts programmes involving children with disabilities.