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2019: An Interview with Oily Cart, the creators of JAMBOREE

Oily Cart are back at bOing 2019 doing what they do best:  transforming everyday environments into colourful, tactile wonderlands. bOing! visitors are invited to join them in their world of imagination and experience JAMBOREE, where it’s time to dance, laugh and make some noise!  

We spoke to Flossie Waite to find out more…

What can bOing! audiences expect from your upcoming show, JAMBOREE?

JAMBOREE is Oily Cart’s vibrant gig-performance made for and with teenagers with complex needs (age 12+), and their friends and families. Our Balkan band will guide you through a colourful world, where the music can be felt through your whole body! Using tunes co-composed with young people with complex needs, the show is a sensory theatrical riot like no other.

If you would like to find out more about what to expect, we will be sharing preparation materials, including a visual story on our website before bOing! festival.

Where did the idea come from for JAMBOREE?

Our Artistic Director, Ellie, was inspired by a recent gig: a brass band playing David Bowie. With the vibrations of the instruments, the communal experience, and the catchy songs, it was a really sensory experience that seemed to appeal to everyone. She wanted to capture that feeling and add a strong visual element to create a riotous, fun piece of gig-theatre.

For us, inclusivity means thinking about those with the most profound and complex needs first in the creative process, both as audience and artists. Collaborating with teenagers with complex needs is at the heart of the show – much of the music you hear will have been co-composed by young people. JAMBOREE is at the heart of it, about being visible and being heard…a theme which we feel is particularly relevant to our young audiences and collaborators.

Will there be more fantastical and colourful outfits?

Absolutely! JAMBOREE will be spectacular – think David Bowie meets Björk.

Can young people get involved with the show?

JAMBOREE will have a festival-like atmosphere – with brilliant Balkan-style tunes, MCs to guide you, and sensory elements to interact with, the audience can dance, shout, vocalise, wander around and join in as much as they like. In fact, we positively encourage it!

What instruments will you be using?

There will be beautiful singing and a range of Balkan brass instruments. Our favourite is the tuba, which is an amazing sensory instrument you can feel.

What was Oily Cart’s journey towards focusing on work for early years and for young people with complex needs?  

Oily Cart was founded in the early 1980s, and our first shows were for children under 5. The founders Tim Webb, Max Reinhardt, and Claire de Loon, created interactive, highly visual theatre, which always involved live music, to challenge the commonly held assumption at the time that young children wouldn’t enjoy or understand anything other than a clown act or puppet show.

In 1988, Oily Cart were invited to perform under-fives shows in a school for young people with severe learning disabilities. When the company discovered that the students were aged 3-19, we asked if we could research and create a piece that was age appropriate. This set Oily Cart off on the quest for theatre that would truly communicate with young people with high support needs.

Today, Oily Cart specializes in creating sensory performance work for children under 6, and for young people with complex needs, who are on the autistic spectrum, and/or who are deafblind.

Access note: Please be aware that JAMBOREE will be a highly sensory/stimulating experience.

Click here to find out more about the show.