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Oily Cart

Light Show

LIGHT SHOW was for 3–11 year olds and came in two tailored versions:

1. For children with profound and multiple learning disabilities

2. For those on the autism spectrum

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 took 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.

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"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 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.   



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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



Written and directed by Tim Webb
Designed by Claire de Loon
Music Composed by Max Reinhardt

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.


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Complex Disability Version

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

Baby Version

Creating trust and confidence is important, as Oily Cart Director Tim Webb is well aware. So, in its sensory world of colour, sound and smells, Tube encourages young children both as individuals and part of a social organism.

Reviews Gate

The lights went down and the entire space was filled with illuminated outlines of our little ones playing with the ever changing balls. One little girl said in awe “it’s truly magical”. She was correct.

Mums Day Blog


Pool Piece

Pool Piece was a hydrotherapy pool show that toured special schools in London during June and July 2008 and to special schools around the UK in September and October 2009. In each show two young people and their carers joined Umbrella Man, Bubbles, and Sponge in the water for a series of interactive multi-sensory sessions. Our underwater lighting transformed the pool into a magical environment and live music was played on authentic gamelan instruments at the side of the Pool.

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"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, July 2008


"The Blues" are played from Memphis to Mali. An intimate show involving original live music, innovative lighting, and interactive video projection, Blue took place within a specially constructed installation, the ‘Blues Shack’. The audience were 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 awaited 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.

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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, July 2006

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.

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"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, June 2004

"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 July 200

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

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"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, July 2009


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.


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.

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