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The Little Yellow Theatre.

Yes that’s right – Electric Umbrella have created a teeny tiny yet fully accessible, fully functioning theatre on wheels – in the back of a box trailer!

Released today, 4th August, our ‘Little Yellow Theatre’ has been built just in time to debut at Umbrellafest on Sunday! The launch celebration took place this morning at Hemel Food Garden in partnership with Sunnyside Rural Trust and saw 150 people of all abilities come together as the Little Yellow Theatre left the site where it was built and made it’s first journey. The Little Yellow Theatre led the procession in which our very own marching band entertained the crowds that flanked the route. Dacorum Mayor, David  Collins, and Hertfordshire County Council’s Vice Chairman, William Wyatt Lowe were both in attendance.

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Following a successful grant from the Boltini Trust and a Herts CC locality budget, we commissioned Sunnyside Rural Trust (a social enterprise supporting people with a learning disability to engage in hands-on work) with the conversion of the trailer; transforming the 3m long ex-military vehicle into a beautiful theatre space for 3 performers and an audience of up to 8 people on antique yellow velvet theatre seats from the 1930’s.

Keely Charlick, CEO Sunnyside Rural Trust says,

“Sunnyside Rural Trust provides training and employment to young people and adults with learning disabilities. Electric Umbrella are an incredible project and it was such a privilege to be commissioned to build their Little Yellow Theatre. Our team, led by Steve Thorne have worked hard to deliver the theatre and we look forward to seeing Electric Umbrella musicians bring it to life. Community partnerships like this build ties for people with learning disabilities, make excellent use of local resources and produce great things.”

Featuring full light and sound equipment, it’s own box office and vintage yellow velvet theatre seats and opera glasses (yellow of course). Our Little Yellow Theatre will tour festivals this summer and be used to give festival go-ers and members of the general public awe-inspiring and memorable co-performances by adults with learning disabilities and professional musicians to challenge the perception of people with learning disabilities – showing people what we CAN to TOGETHER.

Melanie Boda, co-founder and Managing Director of Electric Umbrella says,

“It’s massively exciting to make something so quirky to profile what we are all about. But the real excitement for me has been the collaboration with Sunnyside – the opportunity to work shoulder to shoulder with another charity with such similar values to us has been very special, and we are really enjoying celebrating people with learning disabilities, together.”

 

The Big Show on DVD – available to pre-order now!

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The Big Show on DVD! Yes, that’s right – your chance to see the entire BIG SHOW all over again! And for those of you that missed it, this is the next best thing!

Best show I’ve been to and I’ve seen Springsteen twice“, member of the audience, The Big Show, Watford Palace Theatre, May 18th 2017.

DVDs £12 plus £1.50 postage.

Pre-order yours now by clicking here. 

*DVD’s dispatched week commencing 24th August.

Umbrellafest Workshops

Following the success of last years workshops, we will be running Umbrellafest workshops again this year over 4 days. Each day will take on a slightly different focus, but include all the usual Electric Umbrella joy as well as a new and exciting collaboration with Sunnyside Rural Trust – we will be working together to create a tiny but perfectly formed accessible theatre on wheels, in the back of a box trailer – it will join us as we tour festivals this summer and be another outlet to showcase what we do! Our members will be able to get involved with every aspect of The Little Yellow Theatre from creating the theatre itself to making content for the performances and we can’t wait to get started!
You are welcome to pick and choose the days you wish to attend, but we ask that you only select the Friday session if you are attending at least one other day.
Umbrellafest workshops will take place as follows:
Tuesday 1st August, 10am – 4pm Sunnyside Rural Trust, Hemel
Wednesday 2nd August 10am – 4pm Sunnyside Rural Trust, Hemel
Thursday 3rd August 10am – 4pm Sunnyside Rural Trust, Hemel  
Friday 4th August 10am – 4pm at Roundspring Farm (a day for sharing what we have done throughout the week, and an opportunity to get involved with the festival preparations.)
There will be a maximum of 30 places each day. The cost per day is £40.
You will need to bring a packed lunch. Drinks and snacks will be available for purchase on from the Sunnyside cafe.
Umbrellafest workshops are open to members and non-members over the age of 18. To reserve a place of fid out more, please contact us.

THE BIG SHOW!

“Best gig I’ve been to and I’ve seen Springsteen twice.” 

What a night!!! We have been absolutely blown away by the turnout and amazing feedback from the hundreds of you that came to support what was our BIGGEST and BOLDEST SHOW EVER!!!

We are still buzzing from the evening.

Here are a few wonderful moments captured by Stuart Bendig.

Thank you to everyone who supported us.

 

 

Thank you Watford Borough Council!

141.gifA HUUUUGE thank you goes out to Watford Borough Council for agreeing to fund our upcoming BIG SHOW at Watford Palace Theatre. This means that in addition to our audience coming to an incredible evening full of music, wonder and joy, the income from each ticket sold will continue to subsidise Electric Umbrella’s weekly sessions for 60 adults with learning disabilities well into 2017. Thank you WBC, your generous support means so much to us all.

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Thank you London Freemasons.

You may have just gotten over the the Xmas 2016 ear worm ‘Christmas as a Punk’. Whilst we might be singing it (slightly) less now it’s Spring, it’s success is hugely impacting our current programme as the income generated from the single release is hugely subsidising what we are delivering at the moment.

We would again like to thank the London Freemason’s for covering the cost of producing the single by donating £500 to Electric Umbrella last November. Their donation and our subsequent single release brought over 50,000 people on social media a lot of Xmas cheer, hugely raising the profile of Electric Umbrella and meeting our purpose of ‘challenging the perceptions of people with learning disabilities’.

Incredibly, the donation also meant every bit of income generated through CD sales, downloads, merchandise, busking and gigs went straight back into Electric Umbrella to benefit our members and wider audiences.

You can read more about it here, on page 24 in the London Freemason’s quarterly magazine, Arena which is out now.

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The Big Show at Watford Palace Theatre

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Everyone is invited to Electric Umbrella presents…The Big Show!

Thursday 18th May, 7pm at Watford Palace Theatre. Tickets £10. 

Our biggest and boldest show yet! Enjoy an evening of performances by incredible people taking to the stage to prove that having a learning disability isn’t a barrier to creating incredible music and being proud of who they are.

Tickets from Watford Palace Theatre box office online or over the phone. Details here. 

The Big Show is a full length performance featuring a blend of techniques and styles devised to free up people of all abilities to express themselves; including invisible pianos, banana synthesisers and adapted violins. Expect to hear unique interpretations of classic songs, original material and a special performance from our home grown Orchestra of Joy.

Have your mind opened by wonder and share in an evening full of joy and emotion to help Electric Umbrella members put themselves in the the spotlight for all the right reasons.

Electric Umbrella is a registered charity. All profits from this performance will be used by Electric Umbrella to continue enriching and empowering the lives of our members from across Watford and Hertfordshire. To find out more and get a taste of what you can expect, please visit electricumbrella.co.uk or search Electric Umbrella on Facebook.

Please share details of this event with those that may be interested in attending. Thank you.

Spring Tour 2017

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Over the coming weeks, all  60 of our members from across all three of our groups  will be touring throughout our local area to provide Electric Umbrella gigs at day services, schools, residential homes, shopping centres and the general public.

Our tour supports our purpose, to challenge the perceptions of people with learning disabilities by empowering and enriching lives through music.

This year our tour is kindly sponsored by Watford Borough Council, and we are aiming to perform to 1000 people that wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to experience live music of this kind.

Tour dates:

Monday 20 March –  Dacorum Day Service

Thursday 23 March – Rickmansworth Day Service

Friday 24 March –  Brakespeare School

Monday 27 March – Pebble Brook School

Thursday 30 March – Watford Day Service

Friday 31 March – West Herts College

Monday 3 April – Marlowes Shopping Centre, Hemel

Wednesday 5 April – Rickmansworth Gateway Club

Thursday 6 April – Watford and Three Rivers Trust

Friday 7 April – Cafe in the Park, Rickmansworth 

A big thank you to all the host venues, and of course to Watford Borough Council for making it possible to bring so much music and joy to so many.

 

Seb’s 27 mile walk for Electric Umbrella

 

“Just under 27 miles completed in just over 9 hours and two very sore feet! Having received a video (watch here) last night from Electric Umbrella wishing me well there was no stopping me today! So happy to have been able to contribute something to such a worthy cause! Thanks to all those who have supported my cause and of course to thanks to my fellow walkers featured in the photos!”

Well done and a massive thank you to Seb Bryce whose donations are still coming in thick and fast!

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ElectricUmbrellaWalk

Fundraising Quiz Night!

Please join us on Saturday 4 March for our very first fundraising Quiz Night!

All welcome. There will be tables of 8, come with a table or join others to make up a table!

Bar with wine, beer and soft drinks. Raffle too!

Tickets are £12.50 each including tapas.

7pm for a prompt start at 7.30pm

St Margaret’s Sports Centre, Merry Hill Road, Bushey, WD23 1DT

For tickets please click here. (50 pence booking fee applies) Tickets are limited and must be purchased in advance.