Barrowland Ballet case study


Natasha Gilmore is Artistic Director and founder of Barrowland Ballet, one of Scotland’s most exciting and successful contemporary dance companies.

In 2017, Natasha came to the Edinburgh International Children’s Festival where she saw Storm, a production by Bamboozle Theatre. Storm was designed specifically for young audiences on the autism spectrum – as one headteacher put it: 'extremely high quality theatre, tailor made for SEN’. Natasha was inspired by seeing Storm. She felt sure dance would lend itself to this audience and realised that there is a need for more productions of this kind to be made in Scotland. She wanted to give children with autism in Scotland more opportunities to experience transformative theatre.

With this inspiration and fire in her belly, Natasha formed a partnership with Ellie Griffiths and through funding from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation they undertook research into making theatre for autistic children and young people who are mainly non-verbal, and who have high or complex support needs.

Out of this collaboration, a new theatre production, Playful Tiger, has been created which has been warmly received by autistic children and their carers. You can watch highlights from a performance below.