MaD Theatre Company, based in Moston in Manchester, provides quality and affordable drama workshops for disadvantaged young people and adults in the Greater Manchester area.
MaD Theatre enable young people to gain experience and skills in all aspects of performance to increase their confidence, self esteem and life skills and to improve their education and employment opportunities. As well as offering accreditation and employment they also devise and perform original plays at numerous professional theatres throughout Greater Manchester.
Rob Lees set up MaD Theatre Company as he found that there were little or no creative platforms available to members of the community. His motivation was to provide young people, who would not normally be given a voice, with a way to express themselves creatively. As a local, Rob believes “Mancunians have a unique air about them and I wanted to showcase this through the medium of theatre.”
Over 200 people per week are involved in their drama groups and rehearsals. Under Rob’s direction, the theatre works with local members of the community to encourage adults and children to get involved in all aspects of theatre production including acting, set design, writing and marketing, and works 6 to 7 days a week offering affordable drama workshops and accredited courses to around 150 people.
One of the groups young performers suffers from a disease that leaves him in constant pain. Every few months he has to go to hospital for treatment, but never complains. He has excelled in his performance skills, has grown in confidence and is a fantastic physical performer. At school he struggles academically, but in his drama class he is on course to gain an A in his GCSE. He first came to the group to make friends as, due to his illness, he felt isolated. He now has a strong group of friends he has made at the group who he socialises with every weekend. He said: “I love the drama and I love performing and making people laugh. Saturday is my favourite day, I do drama in the morning then go to Manchester with the lads from the group to look at the Marvel comics and pull girls!”