Contact will present a production of The Forest of Forgotten Discos! this December at Hope Mill Theatre.

The Forest of Forgotten Discos! has been written by stand-up comedian, playwright and theatre maker Jackie Hagan.  The show is designed as an inclusive theatrical experience for all ages and all types of families.  The family Christmas offering, which runs 11-23 December, will integrate sign language and visual storytelling in to all performances in keeping with Hagan’s aim to create work that celebrates the experiences of people left out of the mainstream.

What is The Forest of Forgotten Discos! about?

There is a mystery in the forest – everyone has forgotten about dancing and bright lights and disco. Even Alexa the virtual assistant from the Amazon Rainforest – who normally knows everything – does not understand why this is the case. That is until 7 year old Red, who is afraid of nothing and nobody, explodes on to the scene. Red thinks that dad’s new girlfriend will ruin Christmas and so has run away from home to make a new life in the forest.

Alexa introduces Red to the three bears who live there….Bear Hug who is a creaky bear with a secret; Bear Minimum who has a higgledy piggledy bedroom she cannot keep clean and Bear Grills who just can’t keep his head cool.  Red and the bears embark on a journey through the forest and learn to work together… with some help from the audience along the way.

The Forest of Forgotten Discos! is directed by Nickie Miles-Wilden, Resident Assistant Director at Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre.  Speaking about the Christmas show, Nickie commented, “Having followed the work of Contact for many years, I feel honoured to be working with them on this playful Christmas show. I am really excited about the creative integration of the sign language at each show which we really want to be for everybody – regardless of age, family configuration or background. Working with the very humorous Jackie Hagan means also that rehearsals will be lots of fun.”

Who will star in The Forest of Forgotten Discos! at Hope Mill Theatre?

Playing the role of Red is Paislie Reid who started her career as a child actress in two seasons of The New Worst Witch (CITV).  Sophie Coward – who plays Alexa – trained at the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts (LIPA) and has toured with Mac’s Arcadian in their BSL integrated Great Odds and performed with Paperfinch Theatre in an immersive twist on The Nutcracker at Theatr Clwyd.

The bear family trio is made up of Sara Cocker as Bear Hugs: A former member of Contact’s Young Company, Sara is also one third of Eggs Collective whose work includes Get A Round for BBC2’s Performance Live series.  Marcquelle Ward is Bear Grill, best known for his role as regular character BB in ITV1’s  Britannia High and made his West End debut as Rum Tum Tugger in CATS at the London Palladium in 2015 for which he was nominated for West End Frame’s “Best West End Debut” award.

Completing the trio is Ali Briggs as Bear Minimum. She performs using sign language and lip reading and is an experienced stage and TV actress with credits including Fat FriendsAlphabet Soup and 23 episodes of Coronation Street as Freda.

When does The Forest of Forgotten Discos! run at Hope Mill Theatre?

The Forest of Forgotten Discos! runs at Hope Mill Theatre runs Tuesday 11 December until Sunday 23 December.  Tickets are priced £13/£7.

Contact is presenting the production at Hope Mill Theatre whilst Contact’s permanent home on Oxford Road continues its building transformation.