Hold Your Peace performance

Hold Your Peace is a drama production devised and performed by learning disabled adults. Set in the summer of 1919 during preparations for a ‘Peace Tea’ garden party, Hold Your Peace tells a thought-provoking tale of the impact of the Great War (1914-1918) on the lives and loves of the residents of The Orchards, and the untold stories of the lives of learning disabled people during the Great War. The horrendous loss of life was unprecedented and brought devastating changes to those at home and this, of course, included learning disabled people.

Creative Director Allie Walton-Robson said: “We are looking back 100 years to discover the history of learning disabled people during this era which is not well documented. Some of the material is challenging – life was very different then. Our cast of 5 includes 4 learning disabled actors. We aim to question attitudes to learning disabled people and to highlight their abilities through the telling of this, their history. It’s a serious subject we treat with dignity to both move and entertain our audience.”


“Lovely, heartwarming and I laughed a lot too!” Michelle O’Brien – Mad Alice Theatre Co

“A beautiful piece.” Ally – Prism Arts, Cumbria

“Inspiring. A lovely piece of theatre for all the family.” Colin Garrow – Writer, Aberdeen

“Deliciously poignant and with gentle humour. Loved the show.” Kevin Jennings

“Heartwarming.” Helen Richardson – BBC




Performed by Headway Arts Theatre Co. Directed and designed by Allie Walton-Robson. Script Consultant: Dave Napthine.

Headway Arts is a multi-award winning arts company based in Blyth, Northumberland. Since 1995 Headway Arts has made authentic, inspiring and meaningful work through their high quality inclusive working methods. This latest piece of entertaining original theatre puts learning disabled actors centre stage and is supported by Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council England.

We gratefully acknowledge the generous support of all our funders which currently includes:

  • Arts Council England
  • Blyth Town Council
  • Community Foundation
  • Edward Gostling Foundation – RW Mann Trust – Shears Foundation
  • Erasmus+
  • Great Northumberland
  • Hadrian Trust – High Sheriff of Northumberland – Rothley Trust
  • Heritage Fund
  • National Lottery Community Fund
  • Northumberland County Council
  • Postcode Community Trust
  • Scope
  • Sir James Knott Trust
  • The 1989 Willan Trust – Wellesley Trust
  • the Coalfields Regeneration Trust