Yes that’s right – Electric Umbrella have created a teeny tiny yet fully accessible, fully functioning theatre on wheels – in the back of a box trailer!
Released today, 4th August, our ‘Little Yellow Theatre’ has been built just in time to debut at Umbrellafest on Sunday! The launch celebration took place this morning at Hemel Food Garden in partnership with Sunnyside Rural Trust and saw 150 people of all abilities come together as the Little Yellow Theatre left the site where it was built and made it’s first journey. The Little Yellow Theatre led the procession in which our very own marching band entertained the crowds that flanked the route. Dacorum Mayor, David Collins, and Hertfordshire County Council’s Vice Chairman, William Wyatt Lowe were both in attendance.
Following a successful grant from the Boltini Trust and a Herts CC locality budget, we commissioned Sunnyside Rural Trust (a social enterprise supporting people with a learning disability to engage in hands-on work) with the conversion of the trailer; transforming the 3m long ex-military vehicle into a beautiful theatre space for 3 performers and an audience of up to 8 people on antique yellow velvet theatre seats from the 1930’s.
Keely Charlick, CEO Sunnyside Rural Trust says,
“Sunnyside Rural Trust provides training and employment to young people and adults with learning disabilities. Electric Umbrella are an incredible project and it was such a privilege to be commissioned to build their Little Yellow Theatre. Our team, led by Steve Thorne have worked hard to deliver the theatre and we look forward to seeing Electric Umbrella musicians bring it to life. Community partnerships like this build ties for people with learning disabilities, make excellent use of local resources and produce great things.”
Featuring full light and sound equipment, it’s own box office and vintage yellow velvet theatre seats and opera glasses (yellow of course). Our Little Yellow Theatre will tour festivals this summer and be used to give festival go-ers and members of the general public awe-inspiring and memorable co-performances by adults with learning disabilities and professional musicians to challenge the perception of people with learning disabilities – showing people what we CAN to TOGETHER.
Melanie Boda, co-founder and Managing Director of Electric Umbrella says,
“It’s massively exciting to make something so quirky to profile what we are all about. But the real excitement for me has been the collaboration with Sunnyside – the opportunity to work shoulder to shoulder with another charity with such similar values to us has been very special, and we are really enjoying celebrating people with learning disabilities, together.”