Meet the ‘cutting edge’ theatre inspiring and training hundreds 

Meet the ‘cutting edge’ theatre inspiring and training hundreds 

By Ellise, Jill Dando News, Disabilities Correspondent

Cutting Edge Theatre is one of Scotland's leading small theatre companies based in Edinburgh and helping hundreds of people.

With over 28 years of history they aim to make a difference in the lives of people and communities.

They give opportunities to young people and adults with disabilities who attend their weekly INSPIRE Disability Arts sessions, led by experienced drama professionals

They also develop the creative potential of offenders who devise theatre work with them in the criminal justice setting

And they engage with diverse communities in their open-air promenade plays and our touring theatre productions around Scotland

A spokesperson said: “Our main objective is to strive for an equitable society and recognise that access to drama experience provides a springboard to positive change and improved wellbeing.

“We use one of the major strengths of Cutting Edge Theatre - our ability to harness the transformative power of theatre to promote awareness, provoke dialogue, and inspire action.”

Some years ago, we, with the help of the Citizen’s Theatre called together a meeting of over 40 individuals and organisations working within the disability sector and the Arts.

The spokesperson added: “We established that there were no formalised drama training pathways for learning disabled people especially and no centre for disabled people to train in an accessible building in a supported environment.

“Whilst it is important to establish these opportunities, it was recognised that there were limited employment opportunities and so, we need to be encouraging all Arts providers in Scotland to consider opening up their employment opportunities to more disabled people.

“This will also bring about more positive representation of disabled people on our stages and screens.

After this meeting, we went on to create a “ladder strategy” that addresses the lack of provision for drama sessions geared towards disabled people and are working to roll that out across Scotland.”



• They aim to increase the diversity of people accessing the creative industries in Scotland and to do this we will:


• They aim to increase participation in the creative industries for those who are more marginalised and to do this we will:


  • They aim to increase the visibility of disabled artists creating within the creative industries in Scotland and to do this we will:

1. INSPIRE FIFE- 2 adult groups

2. Drop in Drama Classes for Children aged 8-12

3. YOUTH THEATRE – a Youth Theatre for learning disabled young people aged 13-17

4. Cutting Edge Theatre Young Company – a 3 year training programme for learning disabled young people aged 18-25

5. Drop in Drama Classes for Adults aged 18+ - Friday afternoons in Edinburgh.

The spokesperson added: “We believe that EVERYONE has something to offer and INSPIRE is a great programme, helping people realise their potential.

“We are currently developing a new musical “Now, Voyager” which has a role for a neurodivergent young actor and a production entitled “Phased Out” with one of our Associate Artists who has cerebral palsy, is a wheelchair user and non-verbal – so we are exploring new ways of telling her story!”

They added: “Every year we stage an open air, promenade Community play in Edinburgh telling the Easter story in an accessible and relevant manner.

“This year, instead of having BSL interpreters at the side, we worked with them to integrate BSL into the production.

“We and others are all working towards creating an inclusive society that sees equal access to the performing arts for disabled people of all ages as audience members, participants and professionals!”

Ellise became Disability Correspondent for Jill Dando News last July after delivering a superb talk to Priory Community School Academy - part of The Priory Learning Trust - last July.

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