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About Us

We’re knowledgeable about empowering the lives of people with learning difficulties through the arts

Changing the Culture

Our Vision

We believe people with learning difficulties have the right to participate in society as equal citizens with opportunities to succeed.

Our Mission

We believe the arts can unlock the talents and capacity of people with learning difficulties to take charge of their lives, as active citizens, visible artists and agents of change.

The Lawnmowers Company

The Lawnmowers is a producing theatre-arts company run by and for people with learning difficulties and operating in Gateshead and the surrounding regions.  The original actors formed in 1986 as a community group and in 2000, set up and developed The Lawnmowers Independent Theatre Company to try to achieve community cohesion.  The Company’s  track record is very impressive and includes working with our members to co-produce 14 full shows, hundreds of performances and drama and theatre workshops, numerous films, TV appearances, working with legislators and policy makers and the production of DVD’s, accessible information and booklets.

The Lawnmowers  is an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation (NPO).  NPO’s are described by Arts Council England as setting an example, delivering work of high artistic quality and taking a civic leadership role in the community.

Through growth over the last 20 years, The Lawnmowers now offers projects including theatre, singing, DJ and technical training, theatre and theatre outreach, dance, music and percussion to people with learning difficulties, including youth groups.

Our members flourish at The Lawnmowers and perform at various venues regionally, nationally and occasionally internationally.  The artistic programmes aim to increase confidence, self-esteem and aid wellbeing for participants and communicate a positive message to their community and audiences about the contribution people with learning difficulties can make to wider society.  Since 2000, The Lawnmowers has worked directly with core member artists with learning difficulties daily, brought our message to over 147,000 beneficiaries, audiences and external participants and worked in partnership or given assistance to over hundreds of oganisations and related bodies.

A Social Change Company Run By and For People With Learning Difficulties

The Lawnmowers Members bring a formidable array of participatory theatre techniques to bear on the challenges of learning disabled self-determination and advocacy in wider civic society. Lawnmowers is recognised regionally, nationally and internationally as a pioneering theatre for social change organisation. All of Lawnmowers’ work is rooted in the experiences of people with learning difficulties and articulated through the language of performance, within the broader context of social justice.

Participation and Performance

Members take part in training in theatre, singing and songwriting, DJ and technical percussion and dance.  They take their productions into the community to perform at a range of venues, gigs, festivals and theatres. We offer a variety of arts-based training including to those with a personal budget. People can also participate through evening drop-in clubs in drama, music and dance and through attendance at our regular evening Krocodile Klub Nightclubs.

Breaking Down Barriers – Engaging With People With Learning Difficulties

Lawnmowers Members are called upon by individuals with learning difficulties, organisations (statutory and voluntary), bodies such as NHS Trusts, University students, lecturers & departments, social workers, teaching colleges, schools and adult learning providers to provide drama, performances, outreach and creative workshops to help change attitudes and raise awareness of issues relevant to people with learning difficulties.

Opportunities For All Ages

Through piloting potential new projects during previous phases, the organisation has evolved significantly to include a whole of life approach to Lawnmowers work, introducing new permanent arts-based participatory programmes for younger and older people with learning difficulties.