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New project to explore the benefits of ASMR on audiences with learning disabilities

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Concrete Youth have announced The ASMR Project – a ground-breaking new project, taking place in August, to explore the benefits and effects of autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) on audiences with profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD). 

Concrete Youth is a multi-award-winning company dedicated to creating ground-breaking and exciting multi-sensory theatre for audiences living with profound multiple learning disabilities (PMLD). 

ASMR signifies the subjective experience of “low-grade euphoria characterised by “a combination of positive feelings and a distinct static-like tingling sensation on the skin”. It is most commonly triggered by specific auditory or visual stimuli, and less commonly by intentional attention control. A genre of videos intended to induce ASMR has emerged, over 13 million of which had been published on YouTube by 2018.

Despite people with PMLD often being called ‘sensory beings’, ASMR is a sensory experience that has been little used with them. Concrete Youth’s project will examine and explore how ASMR benefits and impacts people with PMLD, before exploring how ASMR could be integrated into a new multi-sensory theatre production.

Daniel Swift, Concrete Youth’s CEO & Co-Artistic Director, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to be launching this project today. We’re dedicated to pushing the boundaries of what multi-sensory theatre can be, as well as creating new opportunities for our audience, and what better way to do that than developing a new, slightly unusual, sensory experience for them?

We’ll be working with over 750 people with PMLD across the country, countless specialists, carers and consultants across the UK, US and Singapore, and a stunning creative team on this project to develop ASMR as an established sensory experience for this audience and make a brand-new show integrating ASMR off the back of it. We can’t wait!”

The ASMR Project is funded by Arts Council England and Hull City Council. Co-commissioned by Back To Ours and Stratford Circus. In partnership with Leeds Playhouse, Stratford Circus, Sheffield Theatres, Gig Buddies Mencap and Danny’s Dream. Supported by Hull Truck Theatre.

More information about The ASMR Project can be found at https://www.concreteyouth.co.uk/theasmrproject.

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