Spotlight: MaD Theatre Company
Entering into the performing arts scene is difficult and, like many things, life has a tendency to get in the way somehow. However, that doesn’t take away from the achievements of a person in pursuit of their dream career – a factor that Rob Lees, MaD Theatre’s writer and director, wants people within the industry to acknowledge.
In this episode of Spotlight, we chatted with MaD Theatre’s writer and director Rob Lees. An Oldham native, Lees has a background in drama but from early on in his career noticed the need to provide a space for disadvantaged people to express themselves in drama and performance art.
Lees discussed with us the changing landscape of Manchester (specifically the north-south divide throughout the city), and the effect of class in the drama world. Our discussion eventually led to highlight the benefits of drama, and the skills it teaches which people take with them & use throughout their lives, whether they become an actor or not.
But what is MaD Theatre? Since 1996, MaD have produced over 40 original plays that grapple with real and emotive issues & as a charity, provide quality and affordable drama workshops for disadvantaged young people and adults. Most interesting is MaD’s ability to turn the space around them into a stage, performing at standard spaces like The Lowry alongside regular performances in Care homes, giving the residents some well-deserved entertainment.
Furthermore, MaD’s workshops in hospitals and their collaboration with the Home Office to create ‘County Lines’ demonstrates the educational nature of their work – their ethos is to help not just those in the company, but for the wider community.
At the centre of MaD is the need to create content for and about Manchester’s residents and with performances such as Shelagh Delaney’s ‘Sweetly Sings the Donkey’ and their upcoming ‘Me, You and George Clooney’ under their belt they have certainly achieved this.
Listen to the full conversation below.
‘Me, You and George Clooney’ will be arriving at The Lowry on September 13th, and you can buy tickets here.