DERRY’S Lilliput Theatre Company has launched an appeal for local playwrights to come forward to help it put together its next stage show.
Lilliput, whose actors all have learning disabilities, have just finished with its latest production ‘Dr. Watt’s Squeeze Box’ which raised just short of £500 for the children’s brain tumour charity Camille’s Appeal and is now looking to the future.
“The cast loved doing the show,” Director Gordon Smyth said, “And the charity performances they put on were extra special.”
“They just relaxed more into it and I’ll never forget how they all wanted to help when they heard about the charity,” Gordon said.
Assistant-director Maureen Clarke added: “Our actors don’t see their own disabilities,” she said, “they have an overwhelming empathy for others and always look out for those who are vulnerable.
“They put their heart and soul in to the performances for Camille’s Appeal.”
Camille’s Appeal was set up in 2009 by Hayley and Martin Shave, whose three year old daughter is currently undergoing treatment for an Intracranial Ependymoma.
The charity aims to help children under the age of five who have been diagnosed with brain tumours to receive the best treatment possible, which in many cases would include Proton Radiotherapy which, at the moment is not available in the UK.
“They put on two great nights - and loved the show, which was written by Dave Duggan. Everyone came together to make it a great night and we want to thank everyone for their support and for donating their talent to us.
“It was a great project for Lilliput and all the actors are delighted to have been able to help,” Gordon said.
Commenting on the money raised by Lilliput, Hayley Shave - who is currently supporting Camille through proton therapy in Florida, said: “We are incredibly grateful to the Lilliput Theatre Company and all those involved in the show, the support they have shown to Camille’s Appeal is simply overwhelming.
“We will be announcing plans in spring for the first phase of our paediatric Brain Tumour Rehabilitation project funded by Camille’s Appeal.”
Following the success of its last production Lilliput is hoping the wave of creativity which has accompanied Derry’s successful City of Culture bid will help it secure a memorable and enjoyable script for the cast to take on as their next stage project.
“We know there are a lot of writers in Derry and what we will do is give them the chance to get their work on the stage at the Playhouse.
“Lilliput tend to play to full houses - so it is great exposure to anyone interested in writing,” Gordon said.
Due to the success of Dr. Watt’s Squeeze Box, the group are hoping that their next stage show will also be a comedy as the actors seem to enjoy working in this genre the most.
“Ideally the play should be about an hour long and we would like the playwrights to keep in mind the size of our cast.
“We have to have a minimum of 12 people in the cast - as obviously we like to give as many people as possible the chance to get on stage and do their bit,” Gordon explained.
If anyone has a script they think may be suitable or would like to find out more about how to help the Lilliput Theatre Company then they can contact Gordon Smyth on 07753211692 or email firstname.lastname@example.org