Formed in 1988, Mind the Gap is England’s largest learning disability theatre company that creates work for both UK and international audiences. As part of their Daughters of Fortune series, Mia, aims to explore the subject of people with Learning Disabilities becoming parents, expose the myths and expand on the truths.
Mia has just found out she is pregnant, how will she cope? Can she afford it? Will she make a good mum? What if she screws it all up? Questions all new parents would ask themselves, the only difference being non learning disabled parents have the right to make their own choices about their child and are at the heart of all decisions made. Having a Learning Disability means Mia will have to face many assessments, endless meetings and potentially fight for the right to keep her own child, as currently around 40% of parents with a Learning Disability have their child removed, although advocacy groups estimate this figure to be closer to 90%.
Such a monumental subject matter could have the potential to be heavy and difficult to discuss, however Mind the Gap excel at making this sensitive subject accessible and manage perfectly to approach things from a no nonsense and honest point of view. They bring their own unique brand of humour which cleverly pokes fun at the ridiculous and absurd way in which people with Learning Disabilities are at times treated. Director/Devisor Joyce Nga Yu Lee has worked with her performers to deliver a thought-provoking and powerful piece. The four actors Alan Clay, Anna Gray, JoAnne Haines and Alison Short each offer something uniquely special to the production. Each excelling in several roles and delivering with confidence a compelling and engaging piece of theatre. The mock quiz show section Don’t Drop The Baby was a particular highlight, funny and engaging whilst still delivering an important and strong message. With a great amount of well-timed humour, Mia will make you laugh just as much as you’ll feel tears welling as the cast open up about how it feels to be a person with a Learning Disability who may ultimately not have the final say in such a life changing and monumental decision.
Mia is a wonderful piece of theatre, bold, absorbing and engaging, an absolute must see and a credit to all involved.