WHAT IS AN ACCESS SYNOPSIS?
This document aims to provide information about what you will experience when you come to see Mia at the theatre.
If you have any questions about the show or wish to check anything with us, please contact Lisa Mallaghan at Mind the Gap:
Tel: 01274 487390
WHAT MIA IS ABOUT
‘Mia’ is a 60-minute performance about learning disability and parenthood, performed by a cast of 4 professional actors.
The play aims to show some of the myths and truths about learning disability and parenthood in today’s society. It is fast, fun and entertaining. It also includes some quite difficult, real life, subjects.
‘Mia’ is not one person’s story. The show includes real stories from a wide range of learning disabled parents, and is about their experiences. It also includes scenes that are not based on real life stories, and scenes that are ‘abstract’ – this means that the scene gives you an idea of a feeling, or what someone is thinking about, without clearly ‘telling a story’.
The show is aimed at people aged 14+; there is some adult content. There is more information about this below.
GENERAL ACCESS NOTES
Music and Sound
There is pre-recorded music and background sounds throughout the show. The music can be loud at times. At one point a flute is played by one of the actors. The audience might clap along to the music.
As well as watching the actors, you will hear recordings of other people talking about their experiences of parenthood.
Information, images and films are shown on a TV screen and a projector screen at different points in the show.
There are some fast moving images in the films and some mild sexual references, such as people kissing.
Some parts of the films have subtitles, but not all the way through.
The audience will come in to the theatre and sit down. In some venues you will have a numbered seat and in others you can sit anywhere you like. Make sure you’ve told the theatre before your visit if you need something specific, like a seat on the front row or a sign language interpreter. The venue will do everything they can to meet your request but sometimes they may not be able to.
The lights will go down.
The actors are 3 women and 1 man.
Each of the actors plays lots of different characters throughout the show.
There is not just one ‘Mia’ in the play, each ‘Mia’ you see is a different person – like you might know lots of different people called Sarah in your own life.
On stage you will see 4 lockers, a table with 3 chairs, a microwave, a stainless steel catering table on wheels, a TV screen on wheels and a Microphone with stand.
During the show there is some direct audience interaction and at one point volunteers are invited to join actors on stage.
WHAT HAPPENS IN THE SHOW
SCENE 1: Welcome
The show starts with the cast greeting the audience asking them the question, “What is challenging about being a parent?”
SCENE 2: A Birth Story
An actor puts popcorn in the microwave, stands at a microphone and tells a birth story.
SCENE 2: Giving Birth to Ideas
A film is shown, it includes a mixture of short clips from TV programmes and music videos.
Access note: There are some fast moving images in the film and some mild sexual references, such as people kissing. Some parts of the film has subtitles, but not all the way through.
SCENE 3: Am I Sexual?
The actors dance to a variety of pop songs, expressing their sexuality.
Access note: The music is lively and quite loud. The audience might clap along. There will be a small amount of fake smoke, and flashing lights.
SCENE 4: Reality Check PAM
Mia is being interviewed by a social worker, Pam. The actor who plays Pam sits in the audience with a microphone and asks questions. A camera films Mia and you can see her face on the TV screen. The camera does not film the audience. At one point all the lights go out and we hear the actors shouting at each other.
Access note: All the lights go out for a short period of time. In complete darkness, we hear a loud and angry argument, a woman is scared of a man. There is swearing and some people may find this moment distressing. We do not see anything.
SCENE 5: Looming Shadow
2 actors perform a dance that make shadows.
SCENE 6: A Day in the Life
This scene shows ‘A Day in the Life’ of another Mia, her husband and their baby. A camera is used to show the audience what their baby sees, using the TV screen. The camera does not film the audience.
SCENE 6: Don’t Drop the Baby
This is a fun game show scene. The 3 female actors play contestants and they are all called Mia. They are given questions to answer and tasks to do. At one point the actors will ask the audience for 3 volunteers to come on stage and take part in the game show. The volunteers will be asked to play along, answering questions set by the gameshow host.
SCENE 7: Science
This is a fun scene that shares the facts and figures related to learning disabled parents. The actors use sweets to help explain complicated scientific things about learning disabled people, like genetics and chromosomes. The actors use the TV screen to show some science images and words.
SCENE 8: Percentages
An actor sweeps up the mess from previous scenes and uses popcorn to explain statistics relating to learning disabled parents, such as how many people have learning disabilities, and how many are parents.
SCENE 9: Pippa
We see a video of woman called Pippa telling a real story about becoming a parent. Pippa’s story is a happy one. One actor plays the flute at the same time as the film.
SCENE 10: It’s Real, It’s Here
An actor tells us her real story about being an Aunt and wanting to become a parent in the future.
SCENE 11: Who Says it’s Easy?
All the actors share their own thoughts about parenthood.
They begin to create digital music and they dance, using the ideas given by the audience at the beginning of the show. The music and dance develops, to show how difficult it can be to be a parent.
Access note: the music becomes fast and chaotic, it doesn’t have a melody.
When the show finishes the audience may clap and cheer. The lights will come back on. The Director of the show will then announce a short break and invite people to come back for the Post Show Discussion. Some people in the audience will choose to stay for the discussion and some will choose to go home.
POST SHOW DISCUSSION
A Post Show Discussion is when the actors and the Director sit on the stage and answer questions from the audience. The lights stay on.
They are not acting. You can ask them anything you like.
Someone will lead the discussion, if you have a question just put your hand in the air and the person leading will point to you when it is time for you to ask your question.
Sometimes there aren’t many questions, and sometimes there isn’t enough time to answer everyone’s questions.
The Post Show Discussion will usually last around 20 minutes. The person leading the discussion will announce that it has ended and everyone then leaves the theatre.
As you leave the theatre you will be handed a feedback form to tell people what you thought of the show. You can fill this in yourself or ask someone to help you. The feedback is important to the actors so they know what people think and can improve their work.
THANK YOU FOR COMING!