In anticipation of our upcoming Learners without Limits Summer Workshop, we sat down with Phil Janssen, Creative Head and Co-Founder of Bedazzle to find out a bit more about what’s in store for our Summer Workshop participants…

1. Tell us a bit about Bedazzle Projects…
Bedazzle Projects is a charity that was set up in 2010, dedicated to enabling young people and adults with learning disabilities access the arts through weekly classes, stage shows, residential workshops, film and sound recording projects, work experience, paid work and accredited exams.

We have been enrolling students in the LAMDA Examinations Syllabus for ten years in Verse and Prose, Acting, Musical Theatre, Group Recital and Devised Drama. With well over 1,200 examinations we have a 100% pass rate, almost all at top 'Merit' and 'Distinction' level. Our students have a range of learning disability diagnoses, many on the Autism Spectrum, others with Downs Syndrome and Fragile-X Syndrome. All our students have enormous potential and as one parent fed-back at our most recent pre-LAMDA exam recital:
 "I felt I needed to put into writing, a big thank you to you all for all your hard work for the LAMDA pieces.  I was just amazed at how much you expected of the students and how well they all did."
2. What would you say has been your biggest achievement with Bedazzle Projects so far? 
Our students have performed on stage on many occasions at professional venues in the West End and locally. Each year ends with a celebratory integrated show 'Imagine...' performed at West Road Concert Hall in Cambridge. This exciting event brings together around ninety students in one amazing show, sixty of whom have additional needs.

We also have a casting agency, with one student in an independent film and one who has appeared in EastEnders. 

3. We’re really excited for your upcoming Summer Workshop at LAMDA on Tuesday 25 July – can you tell us a bit more about what the afternoon will involve?
We want our afternoon to be informative, entertaining and inclusive. It’s an opportunity for us to share our working practices and hopefully our audience will share some of theirs.

We’ll have twenty of our students with us who are very excited to share their insights and contribute to the success of the afternoon.  We shall have a mix of practical demonstrations, film clips, drama games with a bit of bite challenging the status quo, Q & A opportunities and some regular favourites from our weekly sessions!
4. Who do you think will benefit from this particular workshop? 
Anyone who appreciates the value in others and is interested in seeing past the obvious!
5. What do you hope participants of your workshop will gain from the experience / take away with them?
Bedazzle is all about celebrating the individual, whether that individual be a teacher, a student or an audience member. Everyone has something to offer so we hope people leave feeling inspired and open to listening differently.

We still have a limited number of places on our Learners Without Limits Summer Workshop on Tuesday 25 July at 2pm – click here to read more and book your spot.

You can browse our full Summer Workshop Programme here

Published on Tuesday 18 July 2017. 

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