Months of planning, preparation and rehearsal paid off with fantastic public performances of ‘Total Ripple Effect’ at the Crucible Theatre on Friday 7th June featuring some familiar faces from Sheffield Mencap and Gateway.

Total Ripple Effect on stage

Total Ripple Effect is the latest in a series of productions from ‘Launchpad’, Sheffield Theatre’s group for adults with learning disabilities and/or Autism. The project brings theatre professionals and people with a learning disability/Autism together to create a unique performance. Launchpad begins with a series of workshops to build skills and confidence, followed by developing an original drama production.

This year’s production told the story of a group of housemates testing out a new video game, with unexpected consequences. Total Ripple Effect transported players – and the audience – back in time to key moments such as the Titanic’s maiden voyage and the moon landing, managing to change the course of history in the process! The sold-out audiences were gripped as they watched the performers journey to bring life back to normal.

No nerves were visible during the performance, with the professionalism of everyone on stage matching the high production values of the show. The actors talents were enhanced by creative lighting, sounds and narration – all designed to be inclusive and mindful of neurodiversity.

Sheffield Mencap Drama Group Leader, Dave Oxley, who has been involved throughout the Launchpad project, told us more:

It was a huge success. I worked backstage and helped with devising and improvising of scenes. I think our members get a great deal out of it from confidence, learning lines, and actually appearing on stage in a proper working theatre. Everyone enjoyed it and everyone benefitted.

You can find out more about Launchpad here.

Some of our members having fun during rehearsals!