Sat 27 Mar. 2021

Fabba Theatre Group - President's Charity!

This year I have chosen to Support The Fabba Theatre Group in Norfolk and Suffolk. The self-funded group supports individuals with learning difficulties, physical disabilities, autism, and mental health needs. They focus on progressing their members in all aspects of performance including voice projection, improvisation, portraying emotion and communicating effectively.

Our President's Charity

Fabba are a self-funded group which means they have limited resources for staging, costumes, and transport. Any contribution would make such a difference to an important cause; as many of you will know, there is a severe lack of this type of support and development within our region, which has been made worse by the ongoing global situation.

My younger sister Dani (short for Danielle, but I cannot remember the last time I used her full name), is part of Fabba and from the photo you can tell how much she loves it. Dani has always struggled with speech and speaks in a whisper most of the time. Fabba encourages her to keep developing her voice projection and she absolutely loves meeting up with the other members of the group. She tells me I am her best friend and I would love to give something back to a cause that I know she loves.

If you would like to donate, please visit our Justgiving page: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/ciiipswichsuffolknorthessex

Fabba Theatre Group

The Leading Lives Vision: To support people to lead the lives they choose

The Fabba Vision: Developing skills and confidence through drama

INTRODUCTION

The Fabba theatre group in Lowestoft was set up to meet the needs of adults with learning disabilities within the wider community, at the time there were no other drama groups in the Waveney area that supported individuals with learning disabilities, making Fabba a unique opportunity, for people to progress in all aspects of performance, including voice projection, improvisation and emotion, learning lines and communicating effectively.

Building on Fabba’s success, and filling an unanswered need, we are planning to set up a new branch of Fabba in Great Yarmouth, based at the St Georges Theatre.

FABBA LOWESTOFT

Fabba theatre group was set up in 2009 with £2,000 from a locality budget, and a lot of passion and enthusiasm from staff and future members. Fabba developed from a drama group based at the Lowestoft centre (now Leading Lives Community hub), which had limited access opportunities for people who did not meet the criteria of entering day services at that time. Members of Fabba have varying needs, with the criteria covering learning disability, mental health issues, sensory impairement, physical disability, people living in the community and people from residential homes. In the first 2 shows, there was a heavy staff presence on the stage, through learning skills and confidence there is now minimal staff support, and this is mainly backstage.

“I love being in Fabba, I find it stimulating, I love acting”

Member of Fabba

Fabba has opened up the opportunity of choice for the actors, to learn new skills through acting and learning about all aspects of theatre, build up their confidence, bring structure into their day, make friends, keep healthy through dance, and to be recognised as valued members of the theatre and wider communities, as well as participate in workshops from Shakespeare’s globe theatre and the old time radio club. Fabba have performed a variety of shows, including :- Fabba mia, Henry V, The Tempest, Indifabba Jones, Jurassic Fabba, Hamlet, the Wizard of Oz, Dracula, Treasure Island, Spandex, Brothers Grimm, Macbeth, Robin Hood and most recently An evening with Fabba.

“It was fantastic, loved it.”

Audience member after ‘An evening with Fabba’

Fabba Lowestoft is non-profit making, and is based at the Seagull Theatre in Lowestoft. The individuals pay a set fee of £10 for the day, this covers the cost of a qualified drama tutor, who teaches, writes and directs the groups 3 productions a year. The fee also covers the hire costs for the theatre each week for rehearsals.

As members of Fabba, we expect the actors to commit to which ever show we are rehearsing. We promote an environment, where individuals have to support one another working as a team, with the emphasis on rights, responsibilities, and fun.

“I feel pride, being in Fabba”

Member of Fabba from ‘An evening with Fabba’

Through hard work, and great performances, Fabba now have a healthy fan base, with audience numbers rising by 61% since they started, and are listed in the Seagull theatres literature as one of the resident company’s. Fabba is a leading lives community project supported by qualified staff and covered by leading lives policies and procedures.

“I feel like I’m famous, and I feel loved by my friends.”

New member of Fabba

Please see below the Fabba information flyer available to download if you or someone you know may be interested in joining.

Obviously due to the current ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Fabba are not meeting up but hope to be back performing soon.