A BRADFORD theatre company’s play about living in isolation, based on the experiences of people with learning disabilities, has been made into a film.

Mind the Gap has teamed up with Ipswich-based Gecko Theatre to create A Little Space, which opened in 2019 and toured to 10 venues before the pandemic.

Set in an apartment block, A Little Space follows the lives of five people and what happens when they connect and disconnect from each other, through choice or enforced isolation.

Drawing on the performers’ own experiences, it has been acclaimed as a powerful piece of physical theatre.

Now the theatre companies are working with Meerkat Films to bring it to the screen in a production described as a “mash-up of theatre and film”.

“Streaming has come into its own throughout the pandemic and that’s been hugely beneficial for everyone,” said co-creator Charli Ward from Mind the Gap.

“But this is much more than streaming a theatre production into homes and venues - what we have done is made a piece of theatre into a film and the result is wonderful hybrid of both.”

Rich Rusk from Gecko Theatre added: “In a theatre the audience’s eyes see everything at the same time; it’s up to us to control that with lighting and staging. Film gives us the opportunity to get down to the details of the stories, the details of the characters, and to pick out very minute touches.

“If you see the film and the stage production you will have a very different experience. It’s definitely not like a Hollywood movie on location - it’s all in one place so exists very theatrically but with a cinematic edge.”

The opportunity to create the film came in June 2020 when it was commissioned by The Space, a digital agency that helps to promote engagement across the arts and cultural sector.

“We are very grateful to The Space for their support,” said Charli. “To blend the two artforms has been a fascinating and new experience and a great opportunity for our artists and creatives alike.”

Mind the Gap, based in the old Silk Warehouse at Lister Mills in Manningham, is England’s largest learning disability-led performance and live arts company.

It is renowned for its highly acclaimed and ambitious theatre productions, which include the giant outdoor spectacular ZARA, which featured a model baby the size of a double-decker bus, a tank, two cherry pickers and a cast of over 100 and was staged at Piece Hall in Halifax and in London.

Mind the Gap is at the forefront of increasing access provision for people with learning disabilities as artists, participants, and audience members in the arts sector.

Gecko is an internationally acclaimed physical theatre company which has toured across the world and collaborates with diverse creative partners, including electro musicians The Chemical Brothers at the Glastonbury festival in 2019.

Meerkat Films is an award-winning production company specialising in television and film. Based in Newcastle, it works across a range of genres including drama and documentary.

* A Little Space will be premiered on You Tube and Facebook on Saturday, July 17 at 5pm. It is free to watch.

To view the trailer go to youtu.be/lISnsUP3tjI