The Wigan Autistic Theatre Company is well underway, just a couple of months after the initial registration evening. With many new member sign ups on the evening and more in the following weeks, the group are already in the process of putting together their first production "Wheeler Fortune".
We caught up with Martin Spencer, the WATC director, to find out a bit more about the company and Martin himself.
What inspired you to start WATC?
Well, I was a front of house volunteer at the Bolton Octagon and most of their shows are in house casting and I thought while I was volunteering here at The Old Courts, "Wouldn't it be good if we had a in house theatre company for ages 18+?" The more I thought of it the more I wanted to do something. Recently, I got the go-ahead after a few talks with The Old Courts and it was decided that it would be good to do something different with a theatre company for the public. So, we decided that the main focus would be to be inclusive and to focus on autism.
How did you come up with the name?
Well it wasn't actually me who came up with the name (a shock I know as I am good at ideas!). It was my creative partner for the group, Sammy Holding.
What is your favourite theatre show?
Bat out of hell the musical - there ain't not doubt about it!
What person in theatre inspires you?
Well, this is a very hard question to answer because if you were to ask me what what theatrical celebrity inspires you, then I would have to say Andrew Lloyd Webber. But I must say, everyone that I've worked with in the past on shows and who i'll be working with in future shows, they are the ones that inspire me. I think we all inspire each other to do the best we can to create a brilliant show for the audiences who pay to see us and give them a memorable time for that 2-3 hours on stage. We all want to give them a really good top quality show.
What do you want to achieve with WATC?
I would love to share the knowledge I have learned from working with other theatre companies around the north west and share that with members in the group and give them the best experience possible in WATC.
You don't require any previous experience within theatre or acting. There are opportunities both on and off stage and you don't have to be autistic to get involved. We want to create an inclusive, safe and welcoming atmosphere for those who love theatre or want to try something new.
Ages 18+ only.
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