Company of Friends is a theatre company for adults with learning disabilities.
Founded in 2008 by the late John Rand, we have produced and toured a number of plays ourselves as well as dance and movement and visual arts projects.
He himself had a son who has Down Syndrome and who is now an indispensable member of the company. He was very aware that drama plays a huge part in the creative, intellectual, emotional and social development of everybody and not least people with a learning disability. They are often isolated, bored and under-stimulated by the very nature of their ‘condition’ and by the understandable difficulties their families and carers have in providing the vital networks we all need to thrive. And so, Company of Friends was born.
We first met up over coffee in the Sayers café in Bold St in Liverpool, but were later generously offered space in the Black-E Art Centre where we have been ever since.
Completely run by volunteers, Company of Friends has received some funding from the Lottery, the Morgan Foundation, the Hemby Trust, and the John Moores Foundation. We are looking to establish ourselves more firmly as a professional theatre company as well as an open access social hub.
The discipline of workshops, devising, rehearsal and move- and line-learning promote a sense of individual and group achievement and more practically pave the way of one day making some sort of independent living.