Venue: The Lowry
Proud and Loud Arts present their new show, Beyond the 4th Wall in which this dynamic and progressive theatre company explore and present their view of how people with disabilities can feel about how they are treated by those who care for them and the isolation they experience from the rest of the world.
Life in the Cul-de-Sac is comforting and familiar to those who live there. An environment of love and support has been created in which the residents have no need to experience the outside world where discrimination, fear and hardship exist. Everything the residents needs is provided so why do some of the younger members of the community want to leave? Why are they so interested in what is out there despite the more mature residents warning them against it? Can you really protect them from everything?
The beauty of this piece is that the personalities of the cast are allowed to shine and come through which gives the show depth and anchors it in reality whilst creating a credible piece of drama. The stories told focus the mind of the audience of what it can be like to have a disability and live in the mainstream world without coming across as a tale of woe and self-pity but one of genuine discrimination and belittling; often by those who profess to help and care.
Nerissa Cargill Thompson‘s set also works well and allows all the performers to make full use of the stage space as well as reinforces the idea of the Cul-de-Sac being a safe haven but at the same time, keeping the rest of the world out.
Witty, well performed and quite touching in places, Proud and Loud have produced a strong show that is evocative and entertaining. Well thought out and well directed, Beyond the 4th Wall does not fail to deliver and packs a punch without being too militant.
– Ruth Lovett