Ramps on the Moon: normalising inclusion in theatres

Tuesday 13 February 2018

And now, thanks to fresh funding from the National Lottery, it is set to continue this great work to ensure that inclusion becomes the ‘norm’ rather than the exception.

With The Government Inspector and Tommy firmly under its belt, Ramps on the Moon has already achieved great things. The fully integrated casts for both performances lit up the stage, delivering performances that have wowed audiences across the country.

The full cast of Tommy is on stage. They are grouped up in the foreground looking at the camera with a mix of shock and panic. In the background, three of the cast are stood on a balcony overlooking the main stage.

Cast of The Government Inspector. A Birmingham Repertory Theatre production in association with Ramps on the Moon. Photo credit Robert Day.

And now the seven partners, led by New Wolsey Theatre, have received £2.1million of National Lottery funding through the Arts Council's Strategic Touring Programme to continue their important work to transform mid-large scale mainstream touring theatre and break down barriers to participation. New Wolsey Theatre is also a National Portfolio Organisation.

Through its work, Ramps on the Moon is normalising the inclusion and contribution of D/deaf and disabled people in our theatres. And this latest funding will support years four, five and six of the Ramps on the Moon project. It will enable the seven partners to bring about lasting change by continuing the strong, collaborative touring circuit that engages more D/deaf & disabled audiences and participants.

William Grint, Michele Taylor, Donna Mullings and Sarah Holmes are standing facing the camera. Sarah is holding an award that Ramps on the Moon has just won for Promotion of Diversity at the UK Theatre Awards

William Grint, Michele Taylor, Donna Mullings, Sarah Holmes (L to R) at the UK Theatre Awards, where New Wolsey Theatre and Ramps on the Moon won the Promotion of Diversity Award.

Hedley Swain, Area Director, South East, Arts Council England, said: “We’re delighted to continue our support for Ramps on the Moon. In just three years, the project has illustrated what can be achieved when we proactively get out there and make change happen. To date the project has produced fantastic, high-quality mid-scale theatre and, because the project champions integrated casts, it resonates with audiences and gives people the chance to see a ‘reflection’ of themselves on stage.

“But Ramps on the Moon is about more than that, it is about wholesale change. Yes, it is about attracting and inspiring new audiences. But it is also about creating new career pathways for Deaf and disabled actors, directors and back-stage staff – making sure the opportunities are there for them to realise their ambitions and to break down barriers.”

Sarah Holmes, Chief Executive at the New Wolsey Theatre, and Michele Taylor, Director for Change at Ramps on the Moon, said: “We are delighted that Arts Council England is continuing to invest in Ramps on the Moon following our achievements to date. This funding will allow us to consolidate and take further our mission to embody the Creative Case for Diversity and achieve a sea change in our industry.”