Drama group’s murder mystery debuts at museum

Caption: The cast of Posies for the Paupers get ready to perform at the Thackray Medical Museum.

Members of a popular drama group for disabled people took a trip into the past to perform their own museum murder mystery.

The Osmondthorpe Hub drama group’s new play Posies for the Paupers debuted at the Thackray Medical museum on Wednesday.

Set in the murky world of England’s Victorian workhouses, the play looks at how issues like disability and poverty have changed since the 1800s.

Wednesday’s debut was the culmination of months of preparation by the cast, who work alongside the Workers Education Association at the Osmondthorpe Hub in east Leeds.

David Fletcher, senior support worker at the Osmondthorpe Hub, said:

“Our drama group has been popular for a number of years now and the cast have really thrown themselves into this production.

“The atmosphere of the Thackray Medical Museum has given this production that bit of added authenticity which has made it extra special.

“But as well as putting on a great show, this group is all about breaking down some of the barriers that disabled people can face and showing that, with the right support and opportunities, they can accomplish anything.”

Posies for the Paupers was performed by a cast of 13, with actors ranging from those in their 20s up to people in their 60s.

Rehearsing once a week since last September, the production has used costumes loaned from the West Yorkshire Playhouse along with some homemade props.

The new play follows last year’s successful production of chilling ghost story Sarkless Kitty, which the group performed at the Rydale Folk Museum in North Yorkshire.

The drama group is one of a range of rehabilitation projects and workshops which are run at Osmondthorpe Hub.

Part of Leeds City Council’s adult social care, the centre has been supporting the victims of serious illnesses or accidents for almost 25 years.

Working with around 120 adults with a broad spectrum of physical or sensory impairments, staff support those attending to get involved in other opportunities outside the centre.

Last year the centre won a National Workers' Educational Association (WEA) award to recognise the difference they have made to people in the local community.

Councillor Adam Ogilvie, Leeds City Council’s executive member for adult social care, said:

“This imaginative production is just one example of the superb work taking place at Osmondthorpe to break down barriers and involve people with disabilities in projects which give them a chance to use their creativity.

“Projects like this work wonders in not only boosting the confidence of those taking part, but also in challenging some of the misconceptions about the things people with disabilities can accomplish.”

Posies for the Paupers will also be performed at the Osmondthorpe Hub on Wednesday, June 25.


For more information, contact:

Stuart Robinson

Communications Officer

Leeds City Council

Tel: 0113 224 3937

Email: stuart.robinson@leeds.gov.uk