Catapult Theatre Company’s inaugural production, Statements, is a direct response to experiences of working with children with special educational needs and aims to enhance the pursuit of effective education for people of all abilities and backgrounds.
Samuel Clayton is the writer and performer of Statements and is keen to draw on his own experiences to bring this topic to the public eye in his own one-man show:
Like many actors, finding the right day job to keep myself motivated has been important to me. I’m certainly not the only actor who has had jobs ranging from bar & restaurant work to corporate events dressed as Buzz Lightyear. But working with children has always been a particularly enriching experience for me – I’ve been able to keep my creative foot in the door through running drama workshops and teaching LAMDA alongside my work in schools.
My work with children with special educational needs brought me into contact with a wide range of ages, conditions and abilities. No two days were the same and I gradually began to learn different strategies to help facilitate the needs of individuals. I was keen to dramatise some of the stories I’d collected and so Statements is, in part, the result of this. It’s been carefully researched and developed and the characters include children, parents, teachers and various educational specialists.
The show was given its first performance at the King’s Head Theatre in early December 2017. The intimacy of the space felt perfect for each character’s story and it was warmly received. I spoke with some educational specialists from the audience after the show and they were interested in a Q&A to accompany the play. They suggested that it might explain the process of Statements as a piece of theatre, as well as highlighting some of the issues explored to a wider audience.
I believe this to be a topic which needs increasingly greater exposure and discussion
Statements is only a snapshot of this world as I have seen it and is based on my own discussions, observations and research; but there are many more stories to be told…
To read more about Statements, which plays the King’s Head Theatre from 14 – 15 January 2018 and the Bread & Roses Theatre from 13 – 17 February 2018, follow the theatre company on Twitter (@CatapultPlays) or visit their website – www.catapulttheatreco.com