Lung Ha Theatre Company Turns 40

April marks the start of 12 months of the Company’s 40th anniversary celebrations.

By: Apr. 17, 2024
Lung Ha Theatre Company Turns 40
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Lung Ha is an Edinburgh-based theatre company for actors and theatre makers with a learning disability and autism which produces award-winning productions and works with a year-round, 25-strong Ensemble to develop their practice and remove barriers to participation into the arts. 

April marks the start of 12 months of the Company’s 40th anniversary celebrations which will see it take part in or present: 

A remounting of the Company’s 2021 hit An Unexpected Hiccup at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the world’s biggest stage. Originally created and performed under strict COVID procedures during the global pandemic, the show is a tale of comic misunderstandings, sinister goings on and dangerous eccentricities.

This will also be the inaugural production of the Lung Ha Touring Company which will provide further opportunities for performers to create and tour new and existing work, with bespoke and specialist actor training. 

An Unexpected Hiccup is a co-production with Plutôt La Vie featuring five Lung Ha actors, written by Michael Duke after a devising process with the Company. It will be presented between 2 and 10 August at Zoo Southside.

The Company is also commissioning initial research to develop an Access and Creative Principles Toolkit which will support the launch of Lung Ha Touring Company. The research aims to cover three main areas: 

  1. To understand the access support structures required for learning-disabled actors in a professional company.  
  2. To apply fair and equitable pay remuneration frameworks for ourselves and other theatre companies working with actors and artists in receipt of varied and complex benefit arrangements. 
  3. To create a practical toolkit for working with learning-disabled actors which has a wider culture sector benefit and application. 

The first publication of findings is expected in spring 2025. The project is funded by RS Macdonald Charitable Trust.

Lung Ha Theatre Company has been invited as a guest contributor at the Europe In Action Conference, a partnership between Inclusion Europe and Enable in May 2024 in Glasgow during Learning Disability Awareness Week, hosted by Enable who are also marking an anniversary year (70th). The Company will be hosting the closing session of the conference with the theme of deinstitutionalisation, including a presentation about the Company’s work and a focus on the award-winning production Castle Lennox from 2023. 

Also in May, Lung Ha Theatre Company will host the World Premiere of its short film, Love Like Salt, at Traverse Theatre – a loose adaptation of Shakespeare’s King Lear, featuring the Lung Ha Ensemble and co-created by Maria Oller, Susan Worsfold and Stuart Platt. The evening will also feature a short snippet from an anniversary documentary about the Company made and edited by a Lung Ha actor, Emma McCaffrey.

Throughout the year Lung Ha will be spotlighting our Ensemble actors using commissioned portraitsfrom photographer and long-time collaborator Peter Dibden. The photoshoot was a glamourous “Met gala meets night at the theatre” extravaganza. The actors were given the opportunity to curate their own costumes and threw themselves into model poses and characterful performances which are beautifully captured in this series and in our commemorative 40th anniversary Ensemble group photograph. 


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