A young adult at Prior's Court with a passion for the performing arts has been supported to access his first-ever theatre show in the community, giving his parents hope they can see a musical together as a family in the future.

Jamie paid a visit to see Matilda: The Musical at The Hexagon, in Reading, earlier this month, supported by staff members Courtney and Nyree from his residential home within our Young Adult Provision.

Jamie had a fantastic time at the show, singing along to the songs and making use of the props given out to the theatre-goers.

Jamie loves to engage with visits by travelling theatre companies to come to Prior's Court, enjoying getting on stage and becoming part of the show, but this was his first time seeing a show live at a theatre in the community.

Courtney said: "We worked with Jamie to teach him he cannot get on stage and that we need to sit in the audience and watch what is happening. We have worked on teaching Jamie that in Prior's Court he can get on stage and act but when he is out of Prior's Court he has to watch."

To tailor to his individual needs, Courtney and Nyree (pictured above with Jamie) had sat and talked through things with Jamie on a one-to-one basis, free from distractions, about what he can and cannot do in a theatre show. Jamie prefers this approach to a social story or other support strategies as it allows him to ask questions and get more personalised responses.

Courtney added:

Ever since the show, Jamie has carried on singing the song and reenacting the scenes from the musical. Both myself and Nyree are very proud of him.

Jamie and his family starred in an award-winning film explaining the power of the performing arts for the young people supported at Prior's Court, in aid of our ongoing Performing Arts Centre appeal.

Jamie's parents, Lindsey and Alan, said: "This is such a fantastic achievement for Jamie. For the first time, Jamie was able to sit through the whole show without trying to get up on the stage to perform alongside the actors!  

"For him now to be able to enjoy theatre visits without trying to be part of the production, especially musicals which he enjoys so much, is a major step forward and something he has only been able to achieve with the help and support that Prior's Court has been able to offer him.

"We are so delighted and it makes us feel so proud. Hopefully, it will enable us to take him to theatre shows in the future."