In 2008 Ormerod established a drama group for adults with learning disabilities in St Annes on Sea. Soon after this, a second group was set up in Fleetwood and in 2013 a third group started in Blackpool.
Over the last 6 years the groups have produced over 10 productions including the highly successful ‘Toys that Time Forgot’ at Thornton Little Theatre. They have launched numerous productions from 2008 to the present day at Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Centre, St Annes including A Kind of Magic, The Mystery of the Mad Monk, and Sleeping Beauty. In the summer of 2010 the magical ’Once Upon a Teatime’ based on childhood stories, was performed in the grounds of Lytham Hall to delighted audiences.
At the end of 2013 all three groups combined under the name of The Ormerod Theatre Company, to produce ‘Then and Now’ – a history of The Ormerod Trust over the last 40 years telling the stories of people with a learning disability and how their lives have changed. This show played for 2 nights at the Lowther Pavilion in Lytham and served to enlighten, entertain and inspire audiences, some of whom knew very little about what was happening before their very eyes in the lives of people with a learning disability, living in the local community of the Fylde Coast.
In 2014 all three drama groups worked on adaptations of Shakespeare plays to perform for the Fylde Coast Shakespeare Festival 2014. Two of the plays, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Macbeth, were performed to local schools in Fleetwood and Blackpool, establishing links which will hopefully break down barriers and dispel misconceptions about people with learning disabilities to the next generation.
In December 2014 each of the three drama groups performed individual productions on the theme of Space Fantasy. All three scenarios were developed within the drama workshops and actors contributed ideas about their characters and the unfolding storylines. Activate Drama Group performed ‘Stranded on Planet Zapp’ which proved to be a fun and entertaining afternoon attended by friends and families. St Annes Drama Group, who this year voted to rename themselves Dramatized, performed their play, Emergency on Planet Wipples to a delighted audience in St Annes. In early January 2015, Three Piers Drama Group in Blackpool, performed their original and hilarious show, Date a Planet, based on the idea ‘what if the planets of the Solar System were people?’ The show took the form of a Blind Date-type live show and proved very popular with the capacity audience. The actors worked on ideas for the show over several months and parts of the script were actually penned by the actors themselves, a real leap forward in the progress and development of the individual members.