NEWS: Oily Cart launches Uncancellable Programme with Doorstep Jamboree

Faced with a future of not being able to show work in venues, Oily Cart have devised their ‘Uncancellable Programme‘ to find new ways of connecting with their audience, kicking off with ‘Doorstep Jamboree.’

The Doorstep Jamboree travelling band will be popping up across London this September on the doorsteps of families with young people labelled as having complex needs who are still shielding.

The band will play Balkan-inspired tunes from Oily Cart’s sensory gig Jamboree. A colourful and joyful celebration of resilience, the tour is also a protest and advocacy tool to make sure those shielding are not invisible at this time.

” Shielding should not affect anyone’s right to creativity, their right to connection and their right to play.”

Ellie Griffiths, Artistic Director of Oily Cart

Each performance will be unique and responsive to the individual family. Families who have been nominated and selected will be able to choose from a menu of performance activities based on their needs and preferences.

Activities include a personalised zoom performance with a song dedicated to the young person. This is recorded and added to an album of songs from Jamboree that the family will be sent afterwards.

Alternatively, the young person can select their favourite musician from the band to improvise outside their house for an hour. On arrival the musician will post bespoke sensory props through the letterbox, so they can jam together through the window or letterbox.

There is also the option for the full band to visit the family in their colourful Jamboree van, getting the whole street involved with a colourful parade and doorstep party. This will be designed to connect the local neighbourhood and make sure the shielding family are visible and an active part of the community.

Oily Cart Jamboree Trailer

Doorstep Jamboree is the first project in Oily Cart’s ‘Uncancellable Programme’, developed in response to the global health crisis. Over the next 18 months, the company will take work online, into homes and onto the streets to ensure they are serving their community throughout this difficult time.

“There’s a whole population of young people and adults who are not able to speak and who are having to shield, but they deserve to be listened to.”

Robyn Stewart, Jamboree Band Member & Disabled Activist

Doorstep Jamboree will take place at five homes in Oily Cart’s home borough Wandsworth and five more throughout London. There will be a ‘pop-up’ version that will visit the Richard House Children’s Hospice as well as children’s outdoor play centres and residential schools.

As part of this tour, Oily Cart will be releasing the Jamboree Album. This will feature tunes that were co-created with young musicians who are non-verbal and labelled as having complex needs through a research process which placed the Jamboree band in specialist schools around the country.

The album has been created for everyone, enabling young people who are non-verbal to be listened to even if they are not being seen out in public spaces.

“I think it is still crucial to share experiences of families who are shielding, as this will hopefully help us as a society to keep them involved, included, empowered, even though circumstances may remain uncertain for them.”

Thea McMillan, parent to young artist Greta McMillan, who has been shielding over the last few months

Oily Cart’s Uncancellable Programme also includes a BBC Proms at Home collaboration, creating engaging and fully accessible online content that families can use at home which is connected to the classical music performances.

A sensory art film for neurodivergent young people is being made in lockdown, in collaboration with two artists who have experienced long term isolation through disability. The company is also developing ‘Space to Be, an ‘at home’ project which combines sensory objects delivered to young people’s homes throughout the UK, with a supporting online component. The activity will develop over a week as a ‘slow performance’, with a focus on the wellbeing for the young person and their adult.

Doorstep Jamboree and the accompanying album is proudly part of the We Shall Not Be Removed campaign. This is an alliance of the UK’s disabled artists and disabled-led companies, coming together to campaign for an inclusive cultural recovery. #WeShallNotBeRemoved

Since 1981 Oily Cart has been taking its pioneering form of sensory theatre to children and young people in arts venues across the UK. Challenging accepted definitions of theatre and audience, they create innovative, multi-sensory and highly interactive productions for all children and young people, centering those labelled as having complex needs. Find out more at