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Oily Cart

Splish Splash

An Oily Cart & National Theatre Wales co-production, originally commissioned as part of NHS70 Festival

Oily Cart create a watery wonderland, a magical space where every sense is delighted. Hydrotherapy pools will be transformed by underwater lighting, clouds of bubbles drifting from below, curtains of spray, and live music played on specially created floating instruments, with a sound that can be felt as much as heard.

The audience determine the course of the journey as co-creators in this multi-sensory, immersive and interactive production for young people aged 3-19 which comes in three versions: one for those with profound and multiple learning disabilities, another for those on the autism spectrum, and a third for those who are deafblind.

There is an Interactive Social Story available to download from the iBooks store onto IOS devices: type 'Splish Splash Tim Webb' into the search field and it will appear as the only option. The music from the show can be purchased on CD Baby and iTunes. This includes a Splish Splash Multi-Sensory Session (available in both English and Welsh) which can be used as an activity session for young people who have seen the show. You can download the accompanying instructions in English here, and in Welsh here.

Splish Splash toured Wales in July 2018 as part of NHS70 Festival, and across the UK in Autumn 2018 and Spring 2019.

Listen to music from this show

It was absolutely amazing, best experience/opportunity I've seen in a long time.

Children that normally don't open their eyes - opened their eyes at the treasure box, children that are usually difficult to calm were captivated by the music and storytelling.

The show was absolutely fantastic.

The whole production was absolutely amazing.

It was perfect for the children at our school.

Everything was excellent. What a wonderful show. 

Kayleigh Cottam, Anni Dafydd, Hannah Kimpton, Katherine Vernez Gray
George Panda
Company Stage Manager
Beatrice Galloway
Written & Directed by
Tim Webb
Designed by
Jens Cole
Musical Direction by
Max Reinhardt
Music composed by
Max Reinhardt
Music arranged by
George Panda
Associate Directors
Debbie Bandara & Francesca Pickard
Choreography by
Debbie Bandara
Lighting Design by
Andy Hamer
Production Manager
William Aubrey-Jones
Head of Costume
Debbie Williams
Head of Scenic Construction
Hannah Sharp
Production team
Karen Hobbs, Alice Kristina Rose, Hâf Sciacca-Bromwell
Photography by
Suzi Corker and Dan Green
Video by
Paul Williams
Graphic Design by
Ed Currie
UK Press by
The Corner Shop PR & Rachel Furst

Kubla Khan

It was a miracle of rare device
A sunny pleasure dome with caves of ice!

Welcome to the world of KUBLA KHAN, a multi-sensory pleasure dome that you can touch, taste and smell. From the sounds of a kora to the feel of a flowing river, experience the temperatures and textures of Coleridge's acclaimed poem as the aroma of incense drifts by...

Oily Cart's astonishing new work for young people from age 3 to 19 comes in three distinct versions:

For those with profound and multiple learning disabilities

For those on the autism spectrum

And for the first time ever for the Oily Cart, for those who are deafblind with or without any cognitive impairment.

Coleridge’s poem KUBLA KHAN is brought to life in this multi-sensory, highly interactive and all-enveloping production enhanced by live music. The intimate and interactive performance is limited to six young people at a time, each supported by an adult carer to maximize their involvement.

This video demonstrates the best way to sit down on the KUBLA KHAN chairs, and is also an opportunity for the young people attending to familiarize themselves with the characters. Check out the gallery of images from the show here

There is an Interactive Social Story available to download for free from the iBooks store onto IOS devices: type 'Kubla Khan Tim Webb' into the search field and it will appear as the only option. The music from the show can be purchased on CD Baby. The first track is a Sensory Soundtrack Story which can be used as an activity session for young people who have seen the show; you can download the accompanying instructions here.

KUBLA KHAN toured special schools and arts venues in the UK in 2017 and 2018.

Listen to music from this show

A masterclass in sensitive, sensory, immersive theatre.

Susan Elkin, Sardines Magazine

Moving and inspiring in equal measure.

Miles Hedley, The Greenwich Visitor

Our fourth visit to see an Oily Cart performance and they just keep getting better!...I cannot recommend enough. The way they adapted the show for my deafblind daughter was incredible.

Audience feedback, The Gulbenkian

It has been amazing to give our pupils such an incredible experience, one which I think will stay with them and one I know will certainly stay with me.

Teacher, Sheringham Woodfields School

Every single child who went on the KUBLA KHAN adventure demonstrated the most amazing responses - they laughed, they shared their excitement, they reached out to the adults to communicate with them in ways we just hadn't seen, and they had so much fun. After every show, the adults who were supporting the children shared such heartwarming stories that the rest of us were in tears hearing about it.

Teacher, Gibside School

I can't tell you enough what an extraordinary experience it was for me to watch my daughter utterly transfixed by the KUBLA KHAN show yesterday. She was full of awe and wonder throughout. Thank you for giving us memories to treasure.

Audience feedback, Facebook


Mirror Mirror

MIRROR MIRROR is an immersive adventure for 3-19 year olds and comes in two distinct versions:

1. For children and young people with profound and multiple learning disabilities

2. For those on the autism spectrum

Take a seat in Oily Cart’s extra-special salon, designed to make you feel beautiful inside and out!

MIRROR MIRROR’s multi-sensory beauty parlour is a chance to be pampered and get involved in messy play. Soft make-up brushes glide across faces, warm soapy water washes over skin, and mud-packs are massaged into hands in Oily Cart’s production for children and young people with complex disabilities. It’s a world of sparkling light and magical mirrors, complemented by the aroma of perfume and accompanied by live music from a full-sized harp. MIRROR MIRROR is an immersive, interactive treat from head to toe.

There is an Interactive Social Story available to download for free from the iBooks store onto any IOS device, type ‘Mirror Mirror Tim Webb’ in the search field and it will appear as the only option. This video demonstrates the best way to sit down on the MIRROR MIRROR chairs, and is also an opportunity for the young people attending to familiarize themselves with the characters. Check out the gallery of images from the show here.

MIRROR MIRROR toured special schools and arts venues Autumn 2016 and Summer 2017.

Listen to music from this show

As with all of Oily Cart’s work, this piece is immersive, interactive, multi-sensory, transient and experiential, but for all its immediacy, the Oily Cart production lingers long after you’ve left the room. Mirror Mirror leaves plenty to reflect on.

Children's Theatre Reviews

It certainly was an experience we shall be talking about for a while, how amazing it is to have something specifically for children like ours.

Raising A Superhero

Oily Cart have surpassed themselves...Truly an exquisite experience.

Audience feedback

Utterly brilliant as usual, so relevant to all our children.

Teacher, Gulbenkian Theatre

Excellent show - loads of interaction. Simple words, gentle music and movement, touch, sight, sound and smell. What more could you want! 

Teacher, White Ash School


Light Show

LIGHT SHOW is for 3–11 year olds and comes in two tailored versions:

1. For children with profound and multiple learning disabilities

2. For those on the autism spectrum

Oily Cart invites you into a magical paper palace, where the sensory delights of nature unfold to provide the audience with a fully immersive experience.

Creating distinct silhouettes, in an exquisite play of light and shadow, a serene papery white landscape transitions from a beautiful warm day at the beach to a dreamy moonlit wonderland. The show takes participants on a multi-sensory journey of textures, smells and tactile experiences, all accompanied by enchanting live music from a virtuoso double bass player.  

There is an Interactive Social Story available to download for free from the iBooks store onto ipads, type ‘Light Show by Tim Webb’ in the search field and it will appear as the only option.

LIGHT SHOW toured special schools and arts venues in Autumn 2015 and Spring/Summer 2016. 

Listen to music from this show

Entering an Oily Cart production is like entering a different world, and it’s one every child should experience.

Children's Theatre Reviews

It's a show with minimal dialogue—a few of the simplest words, gently created from music and movement, touch, sight, sound and smell too. Its appreciative audience may not believe it but Oily Cart doesn’t always achieve every aim that it sets itself—always striving to provide a better experience. What is certain is that they make a huge difference, bringing new experience and joy into lives that can be far from easy.

British Theatre Guide

The young people were very engaged in what was going to happen. The small responses we might normally see in certain pupils were magnified and all the children, no matter how complex, were engaged throughout.


An absolute pleasure to watch and see such delight in a child's face. 

Teacher, Bluebell Park School, Liverpool

As my daughter has gotten older she has lost more and more confidence and finds it hard to talk to people she doesn't know or interact with others. This was great as she not only interacted with an inanimate creature (!), but she spoke to the actors as well. It was really nice to see her involved and looking so happy. Lovely to be in such a safe feeling space. 

Audience feedback, Tramshed 

The Bounce

Developed with support from Ockham's Razor this new multi-sensory and highly interactive show is created for young people from 3-19 who are defined as having Profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities or who are on the Autism Spectrum.

Using trampolines, video projection and live music with a Middle Eastern flavour we will be exploring bounce in all its forms from gentle to exuberant, carefully adapting our performances to the specific requirements of each participant. The show comes with on-line resources to help you to prepare for and follow up on the live experience.

View an instructional video on how best to get on and off the trampoline here. Download the interactive social story on your ipad by clicking here, it should be opened in ibooks and it might take some time to download.   

THE BOUNCE toured special schools and arts venues in Autumn 2014 and Spring/Summer 2015.

Listen to music from this show

This sort of work requires a huge amount of adaptability and ability to think on your feet and is a very long way from playing a role in a scripted play.

Susan Elkin, The Stage

Carefully devised activity that values its young participants.

Timothy Ramsden, Reviews Gate

A big thank you to the beautiful and amazing Oily Cart performers and crew. My son had a magical experience today and not only was he 'allowed' to be himself but his individuality was encouraged and celebrated. I found it emotional and beautiful to watch him be immersed in such a creative and loving environment. THE BOUNCE is a very special production that's reminded me how special my beautiful son is.

Audience comment on our Facebook page

I have honestly never seen my son as excited and happy as I did today at your show THE BOUNCE. It was a truly special experience for him and one that I don't think either of us will ever forget. It was so refreshing to be at an event that specifically catered for young children on the autistic spectrum and you did it flawlessly. We don't often get to go and 'do things' like most families and I wish there were more companies like you. Thank you once again for making my boy (and his mum) so happy and we'll look forward to your next production!

Audience comment on our Facebook page


TUBE is for 3–11 year olds and comes in two tailored versions:

1. For children with profound and multiple learning disabilities
2. For those on the autism spectrum

Oily Cart returns with a brand new kinesthetic adventure for children with complex disabilities. In a wonderland conjured up from a fabulous variety of tubes – tubes filled with sound, tubes glistening with kaleidoscopic colours, tubes that puff out gentle breezes and the scents of the natural world – young participants will bounce, swing, spin and sway in luxurious leaf chairs.

TUBE is a highly interactive experience, with performers adapting to the specific requirements of each individual in the audience.
View a video on how best to get into the leaf chairs here.
View an introductory video to TUBE, particularly good for children on the autistic spectrum here.

TUBE toured special schools and arts venues in the UK in 2013 and 2014.

Listen to music from this show

It sounds extremely simple and, in a way it is, but this sharing of sensations is beautifully structured to become an entertainment by a set of skilled creators and performers. Just watching, even without direct participation, is a pleasure.

British Theatre Guide

Webb and his team have found ingenious ways of appealing to every sense – hearing, sight, smell, touch and taste – and it is profoundly moving when suddenly you see a door of understanding and enjoyment open for a child who seems normally to be generally trapped within his or her impairment.

The Stage

The show was absolutely fantastic. Completely relevant for our children. I've never experienced anything like this before and could see the children thoroughly enjoyed it!

Teacher, Hope School

Lovely experience (for all!) - students smiling and generally engaged right the way through. Never seen some of our livelier pupils so focussed and so attentive for that length of time. Very different to anything I've seen before.

Teacher, Bidwell Brook School


Pool Piece

In each show two young people and their carers join Umbrella Man, Bubbles, and Sponge in the water of a hydrotherapy pool for a series of interactive multi-sensory sessions. Our underwater lighting transforms the pool into a magical environment and live music is played on authentic gamelan instruments at the side of the pool.

POOL PIECE toured special schools in London during June and July 2008 and to special schools around the UK in September and October 2009.

Listen to music from this show

Watching the children's responses to Pool Piece it is clear that Oily Cart's work is testament to the fact that theatre created with a strong aesthetic and high artistic values can also have tangible other benefits. A silent, unresponsive child suddenly whoops with delight; another movers her eyes to follow both sound and light.

Lyn Gardner, Guardian Unlimited

My first experience of Oily Cart was truly magnificent. It was mesmerising for both myself and the children. I feel very privileged to have been part of it. The children were so absorbed by it all, and it gave them such a magical experience - something they won't forget.

Teacher, Victoria School

Oily Cart was utterly amazing. I had the privilege of being present with my son. The sheer joy and wonder on his face throughout the experience is a memory I shall treasure. I have told many people about how wonderful it all was, but after each conversation had to add that a mere verbal description could not do it justice. You have to see it to believe it! Everyone should see this or be able to experience it. Thank you for every smile and laugh you gave both my son and myself.

Audience feedback


"The Blues" are played from Memphis to Mali. An intimate show involving original live music, innovative lighting, and interactive video projection, BLUE takes place within a specially constructed installation, the ‘Blues Shack’. The audience are invited to enter this ‘wonderland’ evoking the sights, sounds and smells of the deep south, and spending some time with Belle, Lightnin’, Champion, Ace, Skip and Big Jack as they await the arrival of their train.

BLUE toured special schools in the UK in summer 2006 and from May to October 2007 including a three-week residency at the Unicorn Theatre, London.

Listen to music from this show

What's interesting about the work is the way it breaks down all the traditional barriers between performer and audience and the rules that cast the actors as active and the audience as passive. The show opens with the children offering up the contents of their own "blues boxes" of precious memories and objects. This is not a theatrical experience that you watch, but one that you all share. Other contemporary theatre-makers should take note.

Lyn Gardner, Guardian Unlimited

It was a fantastic experience. The pupil I was supporting showed every emotion possible - something I have never seen before. You certainly had a special key to unlock it all. Brilliant.

Teacher, Watergate School

Pupils were engaged throughout and very relaxed and happy. They thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience, evoking very positive reactions. It was an ideal opportunity to engage parents with their children in a non-confrontational situation with no pressures, just shared enjoyment.

Teacher, Paddock School

Many of our pupils continued to talk about the experiences after the performance and act out the different sequences - wonderful recall and communication resulted. Ideal for our pupils - would be extremely difficult to better it. One pupil has carried his postcard day and night since the performance and will let no-one else touch it!

Teacher, Watergate School

Saw BLUE today with our autistic son...To think that he could manage a whole 45 minutes so calmly and enjoying a completely new experience was a true miracle. Please thank the cast for a wonderful afternoon...They might not have realised how much it meant to us to have a positive time with our son.

Audience feedback, Unicorn Theatre

Conference of the Birds

Inspired by the 12th century Persian poem, CONFERENCE OF THE BIRDS took place within an enchanted, nest-like environment. Live music, based on traditional Persian forms, incorporated the young people's names into improvised lyrics as they reclined in gently swaying suspended chairs. The show featured a number of successful innovations, in particular a strand for young people with an additional autistic spectrum disorder and the extensive use of projected video to enhance self-awareness.

CONFERENCE OF THE BIRDS toured from June to October in 2004 and from June to July in 2005.

Listen to music from this show

Every once in a while one discovers a theatre show so special, so beautifully crafted and so emotionally affecting that one feels simply privileged to have experienced it. Conference of the Birds is such a production.

I have no embarrassment in saying I was quite moved to tears by the enthusiasm, joy and contentment which is achieved by this most impressive of theatre productions. * * * * * 5 Stars

Mark Brown, Sunday Herald

A beguiling mixture of art and therapy... It is impossible to know precisely what the children feel; all one can say is that they reacted with visible curiosity to a succession of sensory stimuli. With six performers, [Tim Webb] has created a work that reduces theatre to its simplest ingredients: a story, a message, a succession of physical sensations.

It is all done with tact and charm. As for whether it is theatre or therapy, the point seems academic. It simply reminds one that all art, if it's any good, has a curative aspect. * * * * Four Stars

Michael Billington, The Guardian

Something in the Air

Originally commissioned by Manchester International Festival, SOMETHING IN THE AIR was a collaboration with the aerial theatre company Ockham's Razor. For each show an audience of six young people and six carers were seated in specially created 'nest' chairs and raised into the air to fly in safety and comfort with the Ockham's Razor aerialists. Oily Cart were involved in residencies at three Manchester schools in the run up to the show and there were also six public performances of SOMETHING IN THE AIR at the Contact Theatre in Manchester in July 2009. The show then toured to Newbridge School Oldham, Trinity School Dagenham, The Unicorn Theatre London, and Galeri in Wales during April and May 2010.

SOMETHING IN THE AIR then toured venues and SEN schools around the UK in Spring 2012 to huge acclaim. 

View the Channel M footage of Something in the Air

Listen to music from this show

Their latest piece – created for children with disabilities or autistic-spectrum disorders, and cannily commissioned by the Manchester international festival – is a kinaesthetic adventure for an audience of 12 at a time. Created in collaboration with aerialists Ockham's Razor, it conjures a forest-like setting where the sound of wildlife mingles with eerie music as the cast fly through the air like exotic birds. We watch from flower-covered chairs that rise up into the air, swing, turn and bounce up and down. We feel as if we are flying, too, freed from the restraints of our bodies and gravity itself. The show is truly participatory, unlike so many others in which it seems as if the cast are having more fun than the audience.

Lyn Gardner, The Guardian


Oily Cart toured a version of DRUM which is suitable for very young children with Profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities or an Autistic Spectrum Disorder. The drums in this show were specially made for Oily Cart by Jamie Linwood. Click here to visit his website and see some photographs of the drums being made.

DRUM was so well-received that the rest of the school is demanding an opportunity to see Oily Cart. The actors were patient and professional. I can't speak highly enough of the standard of each performance, the staff and pupils were stunned. The creativity and originality made it a unique and very special experience for our pupils.

Teacher, Castlebar School

I thought DRUM was outstanding - it had original and effective ideas that really interested our children. The actors/musicians were brilliant with the children, and the whole performance was excellently delivered.

Teacher, Woodlands School


Oily Cart returned to Manchester International Festival for a third time from 27th June - 8th July 2011 with a new commission to create a production for children with profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities or an Autistic Spectrum Disorder.

With the support of Seven Scent, fragrance creators for PZ Cussons, Oily Cart transformed four Manchester Special Schools into oases of beautiful fragrances and wonderlands of evocative perfumes.

Oily Cart then toured a version of GORGEOUS in Autumn 2011, suitable for young people with Profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities or an Autistic Spectrum Disorder in SEN Primary and Secondary Schools. 

The Oily team of all-singing, all-dancing beauticians promenading the UK in order to create a series of stylish transformations.

Listen to music from this show

Pupils were engaged, transfixed, animated, focussed, engrossed... There were many 'out of the ordinary' responses from some very hard to reach children. Without exception there was a real sense of calm in each room as the character left at the end of the session with both students and staff aware that they had just been part of a very special experience.

Teacher, Priory Woods School

The show was perfectly suited to the ability of my students and kept them engaged for the entire duration. Students responded by smiling, laughing, singing, making eye contact with performers and were all extremely responsive to tactile stimuli. Some of the students seemed uncharacteristically well-behaved and relaxed during the show, which was quite remarkable to witness!

Teacher, William Morris School