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We are looking for awesome session volunteers!

WE're hiring!-2

Volunteering with Electric Umbrella is YOUR opportunity to join our movement, challenge the perceptions of people with learning disabilities, and create a sense of purpose and worth for some of the most vulnerable members of our society.

If you have some time to share, a ‘can-do’ attitude, and a willingness to get stuck in and constantly find solutions to make things possible for our members, we’d love to hear from you. A full description of the role is available here.

Please send an expression of interest* by 1st February 2018 to: Mel Boda, Managing Director at / 07452 806517

*an email, a phone call, a video, a song, a short story, a poem, a cake…

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Alternative Alternative Xmas Market!

IMG_2473Gutted to have our Alternative Christmas Market snowed off today. However, we are delighted to announce our Alternative Alternative Christmas Market…online! Item’s available for home delivery or collection from our ‘pop up’ Christmas Markets taking place at 1pm – 3 pm on Thursday (14th Dec) at Watford Pump House and Friday (15th Dec) at Roundspring Farm, Bridle Lane, Rickmansworth.
Please visit our shop here. Happy shopping! All proceeds to Electric Umbrella.
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Little Yellow Theatre Update!

A couple of months have now passed since the accident that wrote off our lovely Little Yellow Theatre. Now that we are over the shock and the initial logistical hurdles of getting the vehicles recovered from the roadside and getting the car back on the road (which took a shocking 39 days!), we have been able to turn our attention to the more exciting part of what happens next!

We remain seriously blown away with the love and support from the Electric Umbrella community who so quickly raised us a significant amount of money to get the Little Yellow Theatre back on the road. And it’s not just about the money – wonderful people have offered time and expertise too, and we really are so very grateful for it all.

We had hoped to have been up and running with the LYT2 in time for our Christmas tour, but unfortunately we need a little more time to get it right…trailers that are tall enough to accommodate Tom (and the occasional scissor-kick) are hard to come by!!! The good news is that our Christmas busking tour WILL still go ahead, and the LYT2 will follow in the Spring!

The even better news is that the original Little Yellow Theatre, so lovingly crafted with the incredible expertise of Steve at Sunnyside Rural Trust will not go to scrap, and we have conjured up a plan!!! Although it will no longer be towable and ‘on the road’ it will be repaired to the point that it will be able to live on site at the Hemel Food Garden and function as a a museum of all things Electric Umbrella! We are anticipating that over the next few weeks, the relevant repairs will be made to the trailer in order to make it watertight, and it will then be moved from the workshop and sited in it’s new home beside the Sunnyside Up Cafe. Once we hit Spring and some warmer weather, and visitors to the cafe are sitting in the outside seating area – they will be perfectly placed to take a look inside and find out more about Electric Umbrella and what we’ve been up to, as well as watch live performances from the trailer that will also double up as a little live stage and opportunity to provide music to those in the cafe.

Alongside this, our plans are also underway for the replacement (that was only made possible thanks to all of you!) So, please bear with us… watch this space and we will be in touch with another update in the new year.

For anyone that has donated money towards this appeal and is disappointed that we are not up and running in time for Christmas – please make contact with us if you would like to request a refund! Thank you for your patience and unwavering support… and hope to see you at our Xmas events!

Mel and Tom

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Electric Umbrella’s Alternative Christmas Market


Join us for an afternoon of Electric Umbrella-style festive fun, food, music and joy.

Free entry to the market.

Refreshments including mulled wine, mince pies, tea and coffee and homemade cakes will be available in our ‘Christmas as a Punk’ pop up cafe!

Experience our Electric Umbrella-style grotto and plenty of opportunity to purchase our hand-made Christmas gifts, cards, and wreaths and the chance to buy second hand instruments.

Join our crafting workshops and create Christmas tree decorations to take home with you… fun for all the family!

Step away from the hustle and bustle of the market and join us in the Theatre for a Christmas gig promising an abundance of festive joy. There is no better way to get into the spirit of Christmas! Get your tickets now for our exclusive Christmas gigs – 30 minute performances by incredible people taking to the stage to prove that having a learning disability isn’t a barrier to creating incredible music and being proud of who they are. Tickets £5. Gigs at 1.30pm, 3pm and 4.30pm. Tickets available in advance here or on the door (if available):

1.30pm Hemel Group Christmas Gig

3pm Watford Group Christmas Gig

4.30pm Rickmansworth Group Christmas Gig

All proceeds to Electric Umbrella.

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Christmas as a Punk

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Electric Umbrella’s, ‘Christmas as a Punk’ single is a song about a punk rocker who feels uncomfortable with the social etiquette and niceties of Christmas. In many ways, it is a metaphor for people who feel out of place and are misunderstood and misrepresented by society.

Please listen, download, buy and share our brilliant ‘Christmas as a Punk’ song, professionally produced and mastered at the world famous Abbey Road Studios, and written and recorded with all 60 of our fabulous members! Go on… lets turn Christmas yellow this year! More about it at

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We’re hiring!

WE're hiring!

We are looking for a part-time Session and Event Co-ordinator.

Full job description available here: Session and Event Co-ordinator JD

To apply for the role, please send your CV and a covering letter outlining why you are suited to this role to

Closing date for applications, Sunday 29th October 2017.

Any queries regarding the role can be directed to Mel Boda, Managing Director on 07452 806 517.

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Fundraising Golf Day!


Calling all golfers! We are holding our very first Golf Day to raise funds. It’ll be at Chorleywood Golf Club on Friday 27th October. 12.45pm meet for a 1.30pm shotgun start. Places are limited and must be booked in advance. If you cannot attend, a donation, hole sponsorship or raffle prize would be gratefully accepted!

To book a place please contact Marie Holian on 07779 640 818 or by email at

Please share details of the event with anyone you know who may be intested.

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Please help us rebuild out LYT in time for our Xmas tour.


We are fine but as you can see our beautiful Little Yellow Theatre is not. Following a mechanical fault and a narrow escape we are heartbroken to say that the Little Yellow Theatre is currently closed for business. The show must go on. Please help rebuild Electric Umbrella’s Little Yellow Theatre in time for our Christmas Tour. Lots of people are asking how they can help so here is a start. Thank you for all your support and well wishes.

Mel and Tom were involved in a road traffic accident on the A12 just as they approached the Olympic Park with the Little Yellow Theatre on tow for an event. The wheel bearing went on the trailer causing it to crash. Mel and Tom had a very lucky escape and everything is fine, but understandably they are gutted at the loss of the Little Yellow Theatre.

The Little Yellow Theatre was a product of weeks of hard work, goodwill, love, fundraising, commitment… and in it’s very short existence made such a huge impact on those who experienced it. It was a massive asset to the charity and held such tremendous potential and opportunities for the members of Electric Umbrella over the coming months.

Please help Electric Umbrella rebirth the Little Yellow Theatre in time for their Christmas tour, and bring back something they all loved. You can donate here

Huge thanks as ever go to the unwavering Electric Umbrella community for their support now and always xx

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The Little Yellow Theatre.

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.

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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.”


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The Big Show on DVD – available to pre-order now!

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The Big Show on DVD! Yes, that’s right – your chance to see the entire BIG SHOW all over again! And for those of you that missed it, this is the next best thing!

Best show I’ve been to and I’ve seen Springsteen twice“, member of the audience, The Big Show, Watford Palace Theatre, May 18th 2017.

DVDs £12 plus £1.50 postage.

Pre-order yours now by clicking here. 

*DVD’s dispatched week commencing 24th August.

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Umbrellafest Workshops

Following the success of last years workshops, we will be running Umbrellafest workshops again this year over 4 days. Each day will take on a slightly different focus, but include all the usual Electric Umbrella joy as well as a new and exciting collaboration with Sunnyside Rural Trust – we will be working together to create a tiny but perfectly formed accessible theatre on wheels, in the back of a box trailer – it will join us as we tour festivals this summer and be another outlet to showcase what we do! Our members will be able to get involved with every aspect of The Little Yellow Theatre from creating the theatre itself to making content for the performances and we can’t wait to get started!
You are welcome to pick and choose the days you wish to attend, but we ask that you only select the Friday session if you are attending at least one other day.
Umbrellafest workshops will take place as follows:
Tuesday 1st August, 10am – 4pm Sunnyside Rural Trust, Hemel
Wednesday 2nd August 10am – 4pm Sunnyside Rural Trust, Hemel
Thursday 3rd August 10am – 4pm Sunnyside Rural Trust, Hemel  
Friday 4th August 10am – 4pm at Roundspring Farm (a day for sharing what we have done throughout the week, and an opportunity to get involved with the festival preparations.)
There will be a maximum of 30 places each day. The cost per day is £40.
You will need to bring a packed lunch. Drinks and snacks will be available for purchase on from the Sunnyside cafe.
Umbrellafest workshops are open to members and non-members over the age of 18. To reserve a place of fid out more, please contact us.
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“Best gig I’ve been to and I’ve seen Springsteen twice.” 

What a night!!! We have been absolutely blown away by the turnout and amazing feedback from the hundreds of you that came to support what was our BIGGEST and BOLDEST SHOW EVER!!!

We are still buzzing from the evening.

Here are a few wonderful moments captured by Stuart Bendig.

Thank you to everyone who supported us.