If you go to The Seagull Theatre on a Monday you’ll meet ‘Fabba’. They describe themselves as:
‘…a theatre company for adults with learning disabilities… founded in 2009… for the purpose of giving adults with learning disabilities in the Lowestoft area an opportunity to learn drama skills, gain confidence, take ownership of a project and perform on stage.’
After months of inactivity because of lockdown they finally started meeting again. Last night I went to see their latest production ‘Top Secret’.
Their shows are always a delight. I’ve enjoyed many. This was no exception… secret agents, Dr Proton the baddy… guns, bombs… acting, dancing… enjoyment, confidence…
It was great to see a group of folk appreciated for who they were and what they were achieving. Alongside their disabilities they demonstrated their significant abilities.
Throughout my teaching career ‘learning disabilities’ were ‘special needs’. I like ‘Special’… Special people with special needs that we supported but also special gifts that we discovered and encouraged.
This is true for everybody – students, friends, relations… we all have special needs, disabilities and flaws wonderfully mixed with special gifts, strengths and talents that make us each unique, individual and special.
I’m eating Special K breakfast cereal. The blurb says:
‘The power of multigrain… The flake in all its glory, full of flavour and enriched with nutrients that matter to power you. The truth is in the taste. Simply delicious and that’s the truth…. Because you know what? You can’t fake delicious.’
I haven’t a clue what all that means – or why that makes it ‘Special’.
The Jesus narrative describes a man who saw each individual as unique and special. He supported – and sometimes healed – their special needs and disabilities; he recognised and developed their special gifts and potential; he transformed them to be a better special version of themselves.
Fabba last night were pretty special.
…And I shall seek to follow Jesus example, supporting special needs and appreciating special gifts…