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Today was my first day at Mind the Gap, a theatre and training company based in Bradford for those with learning disabilities. I started on the Making Theatre course they do, which is four days a week. Day 1 went like this:

First thing, we get told that we will be performing in a piece at the end of October, that MtG is devising for possible performance as part of the Olympics in 2012. We get to perform outside, at the Cow & Calf of Ilkley Moor, just before November - oh joy. Next, we move into the regular first session of each Tuesday, a dance-based warm-up and activity session. Now, I'm not a mornings person, and asking me to do dance-type things practically first thing, and freeze into imaginative shapes when told to, is not something I'm particularly eager to do. Still, it's an assessed part of the course, so I have to do it. Oh, and I found the parallel position (with the feet a hands-breadth apart) uncomfortable and unbalanced, I need to find some gripper socks to wear (as otherwise it has to be done barefoot, and I have hideous feet that don't grip well on polished wood), and I'm nowhere near flexible enough to do some of the things we were asked to.

Next, we had an induction session, which basically meant we got issued fobs to let us through the doors, and a tour of the building. Fine, lunch.

After lunch, which was later than usual because of the induction, we tried on hoodies so they could get sizes for each of us for the Olympics thing. Then we experienced a roving production throughout all three of MtG's studios from the Acting Company, as a away of introducing us to them and the stuff they do. This involved a chef chasing a chicken. We were then treated to a pair of Renaissance gentlemen walking in, armed with plastic Zorro swords (basically foils, in a situation and costume that would require at the very least an epee, preferably a rapier). They proceeded to have a very brief fight, (badly) using their weapons as sabres over the honour of a woman. When one had "died" (and I'm talking a death like the one Salzella suffered in Maskerade), we went into the main studio to see the rest of the piece, which basically consisted of a quick-change fashion show for the Acting Company to tell us about the various shows they'd done.

And then it was home time, so I went home, with a shiny new student bus pass in my pocket.

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