Information Officer

Coffee Clubbers act out 'nightmare' museum visit

Our Coffee Clubbers have been helping to raise awareness among Reading museum staff of the type of issues facing people with learning disabilities.

In an unusual type of workplace training they took forum theatre - where a play or scene is shown twice - to the Museum of English Rural Life.

They acted out various difficult scenarios that could be encountered, such as contending with an unhelpful receptionist, finding the buttons in the lift confusing and coming across obstacles around the galleries. 

When the scenes are replayed any member of the audience – a ‘spec-actor’ – is allowed to shout ‘stop’ and suggest how the situation could be changed to enable a better outcome.

The scenarios were exaggerated but based on difficulties people with learning disabilities may face in their day to day lives, such as problems being understood, mobility issues and being unable to read and understand complicated signs and instructions.

Coffee Club meets every Monday from 10am – 1pm at the Museum of English Rural Life (MERL), Redlands Road, Reading RG1 5EX.

One of the club’s key aims is to support its members to have a voice.

Coffee Club members take part in forum theatre

Coffee Club members have trouble using the lift

This trip to the theatre is a nightmare


Unhelpful receptionist