This site now acts as an archive only. For the latest news, opinion, blogs and listings on disability arts and culture visit disabilityarts.online.

Disability Arts Online

> > Reviews

17 February 2012

Within this section you will find reviews of work across the arts and disability spectrum by disabled writers. Please let us know what you think of our reviewers opinions, by filling in the comment form at the end of each article.
A-Z listing

Review: Brighton Festival: Complicite The Encounter

Brighton Festival: Complicite The Encounter

17 May 2016

Inspired by the book Amazon Beaming by Petru Popescu, Complicite’s The Encounter brings the limits of human consciousness into startling focus in an ambitious national and international co-production. Review by Colin Hambrook.

Review: Brighton Festival presents Art Of Disappearing’s The Last Resort

Brighton Festival presents Art Of Disappearing’s The Last Resort

16 May 2016

The Last Resort commissioned by Brighton Festival is a site-specific sound journey in which artists Rachel Champion and Tristan Shorr welcome an audience, in pairs, on a journey through a barren, industrial area of Portslade beach, reimagining the location in a science fiction context. Review by Liz Porter

Review: National Theatre presents The Suicide

National Theatre presents The Suicide

10 May 2016

National Theatre gives Nikolai Erdman’s classic Soviet-era satire, The Suicide a modern, urban reboot. It plays the Lyttleton Theatre 14 April – 25 June. Review by Simon Jenner.

Review: Thompson Hall: 'Home Away from Home'

Thompson Hall: 'Home Away from Home'

3 May 2016

Thompson Hall was commissioned by Outside In and HOUSE to produce a new solo exhibition, Home Away from Home for the HOUSE Festival in Brighton. The exhibition runs from 30 April – 29 May at the Regency Town House. Review by Colin Hambrook.

Review: Birds of Paradise: Wendy Hoose

Birds of Paradise: Wendy Hoose

27 April 2016

Johnny Mcknight’s Wendy Hoose is, quite simply, a hilarious piece of writing says Sarah Ismail as this ribald romp originally supported by Unlimited in 2014, returns to London’s Soho Theatre.

Review: Ramps on the Moon and Birmingham Rep present The Government Inspector

Ramps on the Moon and Birmingham Rep present The Government Inspector

7 April 2016

Ramps on the Moon is a project run by a consortium of seven theatres aimed at addressing the under-representation of disabled people in the sector over the next six years. The latest production in association with Birmingham Rep is Nikolai Gogol’s The Government Inspector which is touring 19 March – 25 June 2016. Liz Porter caught a performance in Birmingham.

Review: DaDaFest and Turf Love present Unsung

DaDaFest and Turf Love present Unsung

5 April 2016

Unsung, the DaDaFest and Turf Love production, had its first run at Liverpool’s Everyman Theatre 9-12 March 2016. The play, written by John Graham Davies and James Quinn, features the life story of Edward Rushton, an important but largely forgotten figure in Liverpool’s history, who campaigned for the abolition of slavery and established the Royal School for the Blind. Review by Trish Wheatley

Review: Unlimited: Kaite O'Reilly: Cosy

Unlimited: Kaite O'Reilly: Cosy

24 March 2016

Kaite O'Reilly's new play ’Cosy’ premiered at Cardiff’s Millennium Centre with an exploration of the sensitive subject of death - when and how it comes to us all - with a light, often irreverent touch. Review by Chloe Phillips

 

Review: Mind the Gap: 'Contained'

Mind the Gap: 'Contained'

24 March 2016

Combining live performance, film, photography, music and dance, Contained explores those small moments in life that suddenly become charged and life changing. As the cast from 'Mind the Gap' present themselves to their audience the show displays clear political intent, says Colin Hambrook

Review: Hijinx presents Meet Fred

Hijinx presents Meet Fred

16 March 2016

Meet Fred is the new comedy theatre puppet show by inclusive company Hijinx in association with Blind Summit. The production toured across Wales from 26 February to 9 March. Tom Wentworth was strung along to one of the dates.

Review: SICK! Lab: Bryony Kimmings: Fake It ’Til You Make It

SICK! Lab: Bryony Kimmings: Fake It ’Til You Make It

15 March 2016

Contact Theatre, Manchester hosted SICK! Lab a focussed 4-day programme of performances, presentations and discussions from 9-12 March. Alice Holland reviews a sell-out performance of a show that lifts the lid off men and mental health

Review: DaDaFest Art D’Visions

DaDaFest Art D’Visions

15 March 2016

On 11 March Liverpool’s Everyman Theatre played host to Art D’Visions organised by DaDaFest – a one-day conference aimed squarely at addressing the glaring lack of diversity, not just in the mainstream, but within the Disability Arts world itself. Joe Turnbull reports.

Review: Open Theatre Company's 'Is That All There Is?' conference highlights work by young people with learning disabilities

Open Theatre Company's 'Is That All There Is?' conference highlights work by young people with learning disabilities

15 March 2016

Where are the artists with learning disabilities in the debate about diversity? What does work by young people with learning disabilities have to teach the artistic mainstream? With a showcase of solo work including Vault Festival award-winner The Misfit Analysis, the Is That All There Is? conference was all about inspiring new practice right across the arts sector: from the boardroom and rehearsal space right to the centre of the stage. Review by Bella Todd

Review: Birds of Paradise Theatre present Purposeless Movements

Birds of Paradise Theatre present Purposeless Movements

10 March 2016

Written and Directed by Robert Softley Gale with performers Laurence Clark, Jim Fish, Pete Edwards and Colin Young and with musicians Scott Twynholm and Kim Moore, this movement-based piece that tells the stories of five guys with cerebral palsy. Sophie Partridge saw the show at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh

Review: Kris Halpin The Gloves Are On

Kris Halpin The Gloves Are On

7 March 2016

To celebrate Independent Venues Week in January, Attitude is Everything hosted The Gloves Are On, headlined by musician and technologist Kris Halpin aka Winter of '82. The show hit four venues across Guildford, Coventry, Bristol and London. Rowan James caught the performance at the Half Moon in Putney.

Review: Daily Life Ltd and Bobby Baker 'Letting in the Light'

Daily Life Ltd and Bobby Baker 'Letting in the Light'

3 March 2016

An intimate, glowing haven of wild colour and intricate detail illuminates Stratford High Street, London with a series of large light boxes featuring images of paintings, drawings, digital and mixed media work. – Kate Lovell visits 'Letting in the Light'

Review: Graeae's The Solid Life of Sugar Water at the National Theatre

Graeae's The Solid Life of Sugar Water at the National Theatre

2 March 2016

After a successful outing at last year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Jack Thorne’s The Solid Life of Sugar Water is currently touring. Joe Turnbull caught a performance at the National Theatre to see if the production could live up to its hype in such a prestigious setting.

Review: Curing Perfect Lab at Brighton Science Festival

Curing Perfect Lab at Brighton Science Festival

1 March 2016

Learning disability-led organisation Carousel is currently developing Curing Perfect, an online graphic novel which challenges users to think about the nature of perfection in the context of genetic screening. They hosted a drop-in event at Brighton Science Festival on 19 February. Review by Sarah Pickthall.

Review: Shape Open 2016

Shape Open 2016

12 February 2016

This year Shape present their fourth Open Exhibition with what promises to be the largest attendance yet, undoubtedly helped by the fact it is held in Yinka Shonibare’s Guest Projects studio, just off the thriving gallery scene of Vyner Street in Hackney. Review by Colin Hambrook.

Review: Reframing the Myth: Graeae and Central Illustration Agency

Reframing the Myth: Graeae and Central Illustration Agency

11 February 2016

Celebrating 35 years of Graeae Theatre, prominent figures from its history were paired with artists and illustrators from the Central Illustration Agency to create 40 new artworks. Kate Lovell visited the exhibition at the Guardian’s offices in London, wishing that it had shouted louder and been bolder.

Review: Mental Spaghetti: The Mind Machine

Mental Spaghetti: The Mind Machine

28 January 2016

Mental Spaghetti is an Outsider Art organisation whose name fits the aesthetic of their exhibition The Mind Machine, which took place at the Menier Gallery, London from the 18th – 23rd January. Review by Colin Hambrook.

Review: Ridiculusmus: Give Me Your Love

Ridiculusmus: Give Me Your Love

27 January 2016

Ridiculusmus take the ridiculous to extremes in their latest piece Give Me Your Love. Following the story of a soldier with post-traumatic stress disorder back from the Iraq War, the play asks how does society support those who’ve been pushed to the darkest corners of existence. Review by Colin Hambrook.

Review: #SummitPortrayed: Tanya Raabe-Webber

#SummitPortrayed: Tanya Raabe-Webber

25 January 2016

Tanya Raabe-Webber's new exhibition at Glasgow’s Project Ability is so much more than just some sketches of the participants at a recent conference, as Paul F Cockburn discovers.

Reviews: Dao Writers on Literature

Dao Writers on Literature

18 January 2016

Dao is building a collection of essays about representation of disability within literature. To date Dr Emmeline Burdett has reviewed Courting Greta by Ramsey Hootman, The Mysterious Death of Miss Austen by Lindsay Ashford, The Norwich Wheelchair Murders by Bill Albert and You Have Not A leg To Stand On by DD Mayers.

 

Review: The Art of Bedlam: Richard Dadd

The Art of Bedlam: Richard Dadd

4 January 2016

Between 7 November and 6 February, Bethlem Museum of the Mind – the ‘original Bedlam’ – plays host to an exhibition of the Victorian artist, Richard Dadd, who produced a number of works whilst detained at the hospital. Deborah Caulfield surveys the scene, finding a few gaping holes in this retrospective.

Review: Amandla! by Freewheelers Theatre Company

Amandla! by Freewheelers Theatre Company

22 December 2015

Amandla! (power to the people) written and directed by Chris Haydon tells the life story of Nelson Mandela. It was performed by Freewheelers Theatre Company at Leatherhead Theatre in Surrey on 3 December. ‘Poppy’ delivers an audience-member’s review.

Review: Signdance Collective International present Carthage

Signdance Collective International present Carthage

10 December 2015

On 26 November, as part of the Together! 2015 Festival, innovative dance-theatre troupe Signdance Collective International performed Carthage, written by Caridad Svich. Angus McKenzie-Davie was at the Old Town Hall in Stratford to bear witness.

Review: Lizzie Emeh See Me Part 1 - The Clan

Lizzie Emeh See Me Part 1 - The Clan

2 December 2015

Heart N Soul's eclectic, soulful music artist Lizzie Emeh’s new EP, See Me Part 1 - The Clan was released in November with a launch event at the Albany, London. The EP is the first of a three part release. Ivan Riches casts his expert ear over it.

Review: UK Disability History Month 2015 Conference at the BFI

UK Disability History Month 2015 Conference at the BFI

1 December 2015

UK Disability History Month takes place between 22 November – 22 December every year. With this year’s theme being Portrayal of Disability in Moving Image Media, what better place could there be than the BFI to host an opening conference addressing the subject. Joe Turnbull was in attendance. 

Review: Heart N Soul - Soundlab - Play Space

Heart N Soul - Soundlab - Play Space

30 November 2015

Soundlab - Play Space is an innovative digital technology project created and delivered by creative arts charity Heart N Soul in conjunction with Goldsmiths University of London and the Public Domain Corporation. It took place in London on 25 November and Robin Surgeoner aka Angryfish, was amongst the crowd.

Review: Spill Festival 2015 - the fiery spirit of marginalisation

Spill Festival 2015 - the fiery spirit of marginalisation

25 November 2015

SPILL Festival is an experimental artist-led festival produced by UK-based arts organisation Pacitti Company. This year's festival took place across multiple venues in London between 28 October and 8 November. Artist, and former SPILL performer Dr Martin O'Brien gives his personal response to the festival as a whole.  

Review: Attenborough Arts Centre Launch – Art, Life, Activism

Attenborough Arts Centre Launch – Art, Life, Activism

24 November 2015

University of Leicester’s Attenborough Arts Centre first opened 18 years ago, conceived by acclaimed actor Richard Attenborough as a space explicitly for disabled artists and audience members. 17 November saw the soft launch of its new £1.5 million three-gallery space. To celebrate, the space is hosting a major multi-artist exhibition Art, Life, Activism as its inaugural show. Joe Turnbull was in attendance for the launch event.

Review: Goldsmiths Disability Research Centre Launch Event

Goldsmiths Disability Research Centre Launch Event

17 November 2015

The Disability Research Centre at Goldsmiths is a new interdisciplinary research grouping which will both conduct and promote research relating to disability and highlight the endemic nature of disablism. 12 November 2015 saw its launch with a series of talks delivered around the pertinent topic of disability and austerity. Joe Turnbull reports.

Review: Shape Gallery: Ilham Exhibition

Shape Gallery: Ilham Exhibition

15 November 2015

Ilham (inspiration) was originally exhibited at the Museum of Islamic Art, Doha, Qatar, as part of the Definitely Able conference that explored issues of disability and equal access to arts and culture in the Middle East. A sample of work by the four UK based artists from that show is on exhibition at Shape Gallery in Stratford until 30th November. Review by Colin Hambrook

Review: Oska Bright Film Festival 2015

Oska Bright Film Festival 2015

10 November 2015

Colin Hambrook reports on Day One of the 7th Oska Bright international festival of short films made by people with learning disabilities  at the Corn Exchange, Brighton 

Review: Assessing access at the Royal Academy of Arts: InPractice

Assessing access at the Royal Academy of Arts: InPractice

4 November 2015

Several times a year the Royal Academy of Arts (RA) hosts InPractice, as part of its wider access programme. The sessions aim to provide a platform for disabled artists, and others whose work faces barriers, to share best practice through talks and debates. Artist and regular DAO contributor Deborah Caulfield went to the latest event to see if it delivers on its promises.

Review: Karen Finley relives the AIDS crisis in ‘Written in Sand’

Karen Finley relives the AIDS crisis in ‘Written in Sand’

3 November 2015

Acclaimed American performance artist Karen Finley weaves together a collection of texts, letters and poetry from 1983-1994 which reflect her deeply personal testimony of the AIDS crisis. Written in Sand combines poetry, spoken word and music, with the help of talented multi-instrumentalist Paul Nebenzahl. Joe Turnbull was transported back in time.

Review: Picture Taking: Exploring Myself Through Photography

Picture Taking: Exploring Myself Through Photography

2 November 2015

Hackney Museum plays host to Picture Taking: Exploring Myself Through Photography, an exhibition featuring the work of pupils from a local SEN school. Reviewer, Richard Downes finds the show raises difficult questions about representation. 

Review: Deafinitely Theatre's Grounded at Park Theatre

Deafinitely Theatre's Grounded at Park Theatre

30 October 2015

Deafinitely Theatre's latest production is a bilingual version of George Brant's acclaimed play Grounded which charts the intimately personal journey of a female fighter pilot who loses her wings. Joe Turnbull went along to London's Park Theatre to see if it reaches the heights.

Review: Creative Minds one day conference 2015

Creative Minds one day conference 2015

29 October 2015

Why is the work of learning disabled artists under-represented in the wider arts world – and why does this matter? This was the question driving the Creative Minds conference on October 28th 2015, a gathering of artists, programmers, funders, academics, participatory organisations and professional companies organised and presented by people with learning disabilities. Bella Todd reports.

Review: Shadows Waltz Haltingly by Alan Morrison

Shadows Waltz Haltingly by Alan Morrison

23 October 2015

Alan Morrison's collection of poems Shadows Waltz Haltingly charts the struggles of his late mother with Huntington’s Chorea, depicting in 'meticulous detail' the full effects of the illness. The title alludes to the original name for the illness, 'St Vitus's Dance'. Review by Dave Russell.  

Review: Unlimited: Jack Dean's Grandad and the Machine

Unlimited: Jack Dean's Grandad and the Machine

22 October 2015

Writer, poet, musician extraordinaire Jack Dean brought the full force of his Unlimited-backed 'steampunk fairytale' Grandad and the Machine to bear on the unassuming space of Camden People's Theatre from 13-15th October. Joe Turnbull went along for the ride.

Review: Signdance Collective International, Bad Elvis with Iris Theatre

Signdance Collective International, Bad Elvis with Iris Theatre

21 October 2015

Bad Elvis, written by Katie Hims was originally conceived as a drama for BBC Radio 4. The rambunctious Signdance Collective International have since adapted it for stage with their own unique style. They recently performed it for Iris Theatre in London, Sophie Partridge was in attendance.  

Review: London Film Festival Diversity Town Hall Discussion

London Film Festival Diversity Town Hall Discussion

16 October 2015

A year ago the BFI announced its ‘Three Ticks’ scheme, making all its Lottery-based funding conditional on meeting set diversity criteria. Joe Turnbull was in attendance for a special event which discussed the progress of the scheme, the state of diversity in the film industry and how the industry can make steps going forward.

Review: Vital Xposure: The Disappearance of Dorothy Lawrence

Vital Xposure: The Disappearance of Dorothy Lawrence

27 September 2015

Vital Xposure sets out to produce cutting edge theatre that celebrates hidden voices with extraordinary stories to tell. In doing so ‘The Disappearance of Dorothy Lawrence’ follows on from the companies’ 2011-2013 production ‘The Knitting Circle’, which evolved out of research into the testimonies of women locked away in long-stay institutions. Review by Sophie Partridge

Review: Theatres of Learning Disability: Good, bad or plain ugly

Theatres of Learning Disability: Good, bad or plain ugly

24 September 2015

Published by Palgrave Macmillan, Matt Hargrave’s is the first book to focus exclusively on theatre and learning disability from an artistic perspective. Over five years Hargraves researched the work of several companies and artists giving detailed analysis of work by Back To Back, Mind the Gap, Dark Horse, the Shysters and Full Body and the Voice. Review by Gus Garside

Review: Vital Xposure: The Disappearance of Dorothy Lawrence

Vital Xposure: The Disappearance of Dorothy Lawrence

23 September 2015

Vital Xposure sets out to produce cutting edge theatre that celebrates hidden voices with extraordinary stories to tell. In doing so ‘The Disappearance of Dorothy Lawrence’ follows on from the companies’ 2011-2013 production ‘The Knitting Circle’, which evolved out of research into the testimonies of women locked away in long-stay institutions. Review by Colin Hambrook

Review: Unlimited: Liz Carr: Assisted Suicide The Musical

Unlimited: Liz Carr: Assisted Suicide The Musical

23 September 2015

The Boiler Room at Pleasance Theatre, Camden played host to a 4-day R&D period for Liz Carr’s Unlimited commission, Assisted Suicide The Musical with an invited audience for a showing of work in progress on Friday 18th September. Review by Trish Wheatley

Review: FACT, Liverpool: Lesions in the Landscape

FACT, Liverpool: Lesions in the Landscape

21 September 2015

'Lesions in the Landscape' asks ‘How does our individual and collective memories influence our understanding of society?’ Susan Bennett reports on an exciting art/ science collaboration on show at FACT, Liverpool, which parallels the effects of amnesia on one woman and the evacuation of the inhabitants of St Kilda in the North Atlantic in 1930.

Review: Bounce Festival 2015: ‘Reassembled… Slightly Askew’ by Shannon Yee

Bounce Festival 2015: ‘Reassembled… Slightly Askew’ by Shannon Yee

16 September 2015

Samantha Blackburn's highlight of the Bounce Festival produced by Arts & Disability Forum in Belfast was the  sonic arts piece ‘Reassembled… Slightly Askew’ by Shannon Yee. Designed for a limited audience of four people per show and described by The Stage as ‘a daring, disorientating artistic collaboration’ the piece was shown at the Lyric Theatre from 3-6 September.

Review: CripFest 2015

CripFest 2015

31 August 2015

26th July 2015 marked the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, a key point in history for disability legislation in the USA. To mark this occasion OneOfUs, co-directed by Julie Atlas Muz and Mat Fraser, produced CripFest, their first one-day disability arts festival with support from the British Council. Trish Wheatley was at the Bam Fisher, Brooklyn, soaking up a performance, visual arts and discussion programme sure to excite any diehard disability arts fan.

Review: Edinburgh Festival: Jo Bannon presents Alba

Edinburgh Festival: Jo Bannon presents Alba

25 August 2015

Supported as part of the iF (Integrated Fringe) Platform at the Edinburgh Festival, Jo Bannon’s Alba is showing from 24-28 August at the Drill Hall, home of the Forest Fringe. Described as being influenced by the artists' albinism the performance tells a story about paleness, blending in and standing out. Review by Colin Hambrook

 

Review: DoesLiverpool: DesktopProsthetics workshop and exhibition at FACT

DoesLiverpool: DesktopProsthetics workshop and exhibition at FACT

25 August 2015

DoESLiverpool are developing an iteration of the Enabling the Future project within the 'Build Your Own: Tools For Sharing' Exhibition at FACT in Liverpool until 31 August 2015 with the Crafts Council and in association with Norfolk Museums Service and Norwich Hackspace. Review by Susan Bennett

Review: Extant:ComBUStion at Liberty 2015

Extant:ComBUStion at Liberty 2015

30 July 2015

The team at Extant are in playful mood with their latest project ComBUStion which premiered as a work in progress at London’s Liberty festival. Review by Stephen Portlock

Review: SprungDigi Festival

SprungDigi Festival

27 July 2015

SprungDigi - an interactive digital arts festival in Horsham, West Sussex from 10-12 July featured giant portraits of learning disabled people projected onto buildings, a game played with an accessible mapping app and an inclusive, high-tech design workshop to re-imagine a town centre. Gary Thomas was there soaking up the digital vibes.

Review: All is calm, all is chaos, in Mark Wood's world

All is calm, all is chaos, in Mark Wood's world

13 July 2015

Mark Wood, who died tragically in 2013 at the age of 44, was a prolific creative who worked in photography, painting, cartoon, poetry, short story and music composition. Deborah Caulfield reviews ‘Spirit of Nature’ an exhibition of his work on show at Oxford Town Hall until 22 July.

 

Review: Vici Wreford-Sinnott: The Art Of Not Getting Lost

Vici Wreford-Sinnott: The Art Of Not Getting Lost

12 July 2015

Vici Wreford-Sinnott’s production The Art Of Not Getting Lost explores our attitude to mental health issues through two main protagonists: Everyone and No-one who have made their home in the hidden tunnels of London’s Bakerloo Station. Aidan Moesby saw a performance at the Northern Stage in Newcastle

Review: Beneath the Streets: Lost & Found, Punchdrunk Enrichment and Hijinx Theatre

Beneath the Streets: Lost & Found, Punchdrunk Enrichment and Hijinx Theatre

29 June 2015

With companies like Shunt, Carnesky's Ghost Train, You Me Bum Bum Train and Punchdrunk leading the scene there have been some pretty awesome feats of immersive/ interactive theatre pulled off over the last 15 years, but it’s a tricky thing to get right, and often it fails to engage, let alone transport. Alice Holland reviews the collaboration between Punchdrunk and Hijinx shown as part of the Unity Festival in Cardiff

Review: Birds of Paradise Theatre Company present Crazy Jane

Birds of Paradise Theatre Company present Crazy Jane

18 June 2015

Birds of Paradise Theatre's latest production 'Crazy Jane' tells the story of Jane Avril, star of the Moulin Rouge who was immortalised in the iconic posters of Toulouse-Lautrec. Directed by Written by Nicola McCartney and directed by Garry Robson the show has recently toured Scotland. Review by Paul F. Cockburn

Review: Pulse Festival: Ramps on the Moon

Pulse Festival: Ramps on the Moon

10 June 2015

On 5 June New Wolsey Theatre’s Pulse Festival brought together 60 representatives from the world of theatre for 'Ramps on the Moon': a day of reflection and performance centred around the involvement of Deaf and disabled people in the sector. Liz Porter gives an overview of a day of provocation and discussion.

Review: Pulse Festival: Laura Dannequin: Hardy Animal

Pulse Festival: Laura Dannequin: Hardy Animal

9 June 2015

An important aspect of ‘Ramp’s on the Moon’ day hosted by New Wolsey Theatre at Pulse Festival, as part of the theatre's Agent for Change programme, was showcasing high quality work that offered an opportunity for the audience to consider impairment-related theatre, language and communication and aesthetic access. Review by Liz Porter. 

Review: The Deaf & Hearing Ensemble present People of the Eye

The Deaf & Hearing Ensemble present People of the Eye

3 June 2015

The Deaf & Hearing Ensemble formed in 2013 as a group of D/deaf and hearing theatre makers who come together to tell each other stories, to explore the performative nature and beauty of sign language and to pull together D/deaf and hearing audiences in a shared experience – breaking down barriers on stage and off. Review by Colin Hambrook

Review: Zendeh presents Cinema

Zendeh presents Cinema

3 June 2015

Produced by Zendeh and written by Steven Gaythorpe, Cinema recalls the story of an act of terror that sparked a revolution in Iran on 19th August 1978 from the point of view of Shahrzad, feral cat and teller of tales. Sophie Partridge reviews a performance at the Arcola, London on 30 May.

Review: Touretteshero goes Backstage to Biscuitland

Touretteshero goes Backstage to Biscuitland

12 May 2015

On election night in the Brighton Dome Studio Theatre we learn that “Nigel Farage is at home washing his tortoise.” And Jess Thom aka Touretteshero is on fire, an irrepressible force of nature, welcoming her audience to Biscuitland with a charm and an affectionate grin that cannot fail to woo. Review by Colin Hambrook

Review: Daily Life Ltd: Expert View Symposium... let them eat cake

Daily Life Ltd: Expert View Symposium... let them eat cake

11 May 2015

Led by Dr. Bobby Baker and the team at Daily Life Ltd, The Expert View Symposium promised to be an entertaining, inspiring and fun day of discussion, debate and performance, relevant to anyone with an interest in understanding the relationship between the Arts and Mental Health. Colin Hambrook was there, amongst other things, for the butterscotch cake.

Review: Tanvi Bush ‘Witch Girl’

Tanvi Bush ‘Witch Girl’

30 April 2015

Through a unique blend of witchcraft, AIDS activism, religious extremism, Tanvi Bush's first novel weaves together a thrilling narrative with vivid descriptions and unforgettable characters in her first novel published by Modjaji Books. Review by Emmeline Burdett

Review: Q S Lam: Schizophrenics Can Be Good Mothers Too

Q S Lam: Schizophrenics Can Be Good Mothers Too

17 April 2015

Published by Muswell Hill Press, 'Schizophrenics Can Be Good Mothers Too'  takes the reader on the artist Q S Lam's journey through the labyrinthine passages of psychosis describing her strategies and struggles to recover from the impact of the illness on everyday life, drawing on her personal experience, using art, not medication, to keep well. Review by Colin Hambrook

Review: Shape: Shortlist 7 Exhibition

Shape: Shortlist 7 Exhibition

27 March 2015

Shape’s Shortlist 7 exhibition shows work by the 2014 Adam Reynolds Memorial Bursary winner Carmen Papalia, currently in residency at the Victoria & Albert Museum, plus the other shortlisted artists: Laila Cassim, Omeima Mudawi-Rowlings and Peter Matthews. Review by Colin Hambrook

Review: Group Therapy: Mental Distress in a Digital Age at FACT, Liverpool

Group Therapy: Mental Distress in a Digital Age at FACT, Liverpool

27 March 2015

Originating from FACT’s extensive work within mental health and wellbeing, Group Therapy explores the complex relationship between technology, society, and mental health. Jade French responds to the brilliant lens the exhibition holds up to some of the darker aspects of living with mental health issues.

Review: SICK! Festival: Brian Lobel: Sex, Cancer & Cocktails

SICK! Festival: Brian Lobel: Sex, Cancer & Cocktails

19 March 2015

SICK! Festival is currently revealing and debating some of our most urgent physical, mental and social challenges in venues across Brighton and Manchester. Launched in 2013, the festival’s third outing explores some key aspects of life and death and how we survive them (or don’t). Colin Hambrook went to a show about sex and cancer with Brian Lobel

Review: SICK! Festival: Eric Steel: The Bridge

SICK! Festival: Eric Steel: The Bridge

17 March 2015

This year SICK! Festival has pushed boundaries by opening up debates and airing work on the theme of suicide. One of pieces shown was a documentary film by Eric Steel, which enters dark spiritual territory focusing on the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, symbol of the West and of freedom and site for the highest number of suicides of any single place in the world. Review by Colin Hambrook

Review: Extant Theatre: Flatland

Extant Theatre: Flatland

9 March 2015

Flatland takes place in an immersive, pitch-black world of sensation and sound built within a disused church in Southwark Park. Collaborators from the fields of robotics, sound design and the arts have worked with Extant’s visually impaired team and researchers from Open University’s Pervasive Media Lab to create a unique audience experience. Review by Stephen Portlock

Review: Bush Theatre: 'Islands' by Caroline Horton

Bush Theatre: 'Islands' by Caroline Horton

9 March 2015

Olivier Award-nominated Caroline Horton's devised play Islands showed at the Bush Theatre from 15 January to 21 February. Described as an ink black comedy about tax havens, enormous greed, and the few who have it all, Sophie Partridge reflects on the play from a disability perspective.

Review: Tate Britain Audio-Described Tour: Femme Fatale

Tate Britain Audio-Described Tour: Femme Fatale

29 January 2015

The Tate Britain run an ongoing series of free BSL-interpreted and Audio-described tours of work in their collections. Dao sent Stephen Portlock to review an audio-described talk on Monday 19th January by Auntie Maureen, exploring artworks in the collection in terms of the archetype of the 'Femme Fatale'. 

Review: Theatre Re: 'Blind Man’s Song' recalls a lost magic

Theatre Re: 'Blind Man’s Song' recalls a lost magic

23 January 2015

Using theatre, mime, sound and original live music in exploring the power of imagination to seek wisdom beyond our senses, Theatre Re’s 'Blind Man’s Song' opened the London International Mime Festival at Jacksons Lane. Colin Hambrook reviews a VocalEyes audio-described performance on 22nd January.

Review: James Leadbitter: 'Madlove'

James Leadbitter:  'Madlove'

16 January 2015

It's a Wednesday night at Liverpool's FACT and Jade French is sat in its cadbury purple cinema space for a talk titled 'Madlove'. This new and innovative project asks, if we could design our own asylum – then what would it look like?

Review: Ivan Riches and Simon Puriņš: 'Children of the Great War'

Ivan Riches and Simon Puriņš: 'Children of the Great War'

13 January 2015

Originally shown at the APT Gallery, London between 8-11 January 2015, Ivan Riches and Simon Puriņš: 'Children of the Great War' is due to go to Alexandra Palace on Saturday 7th February and every first Saturday of the month. Produced as part of a London-wide Age Exchange project the dual-screen film and digital media installation records memories and experiences of the First World War passed down through families and across communities. Review by Emmeline Burdett

Review: The Ugly Girl: A Musical Tragedy in Burlesque by Terry Galloway

The Ugly Girl: A Musical Tragedy in Burlesque by Terry Galloway

10 January 2015

This no-holds barred musical examines what it means to be the typical Ugly Girl adrift in a comically hostile universe through slapstick, music and dark humour. Starring Julie McNamara and Liz Carr, The Ugly Girl is reviewed by Roger Cliffe-Thompson as 'a classic of it's genre'.

Review: Disability Arts Touring Network: The Why? Festival

Disability Arts Touring Network: The Why? Festival

17 December 2014

Dao looks back at the Why? Festival, which ran from 21st – 28th November at the Forest Arts Centre, Walsall and The Glasshouse, Stourbridge highlighting the successes and learning curves of taking Disability Arts to places it rarely gets seen. 

Review: DaDaFest International 2014: Sheila Hill's 'Him'

DaDaFest International 2014: Sheila Hill's 'Him'

11 December 2014

Writer/theatre-maker and installation-artist Sheila Hill received an Unlimited research and development award to work with actor Tim Barlow to create ‘Him’. The resulting film was shown at DaDaFest 2014 as part of a session titled 'Unlimited: the Artists Voice'. Review by Liz Porter

Review: DaDaFest International 2014: Kazzum Theatre: Where’s My Nana?

DaDaFest International 2014: Kazzum Theatre: Where’s My Nana?

9 December 2014

Combining Kazzum’s ability to create high quality inclusive playful theatre and Slung Low’s technological ‘know-how’ to make adventures for audiences outside of conventional theatre spaces, the Unlimited research and development commission Where’s My Nana? showcased at DaDaFest. Review by Liz Porter.

Review: DaDaFest International 2014: Staff Benda Bilili

DaDaFest International 2014: Staff Benda Bilili

7 December 2014

Congolese band Staff Benda Bilili’s exuberant live shows and extraordinary story have caused a stir across the globe. To round off DaDaFest 2014, the band set the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall alight with their powerful rumba-rooted beats, overlaid with elements of old-school rhythm 'n' blues and reggae. Review by Susan Bennett

Review: DaDaFest International 2014: Ship of Fools

DaDaFest International 2014: Ship of Fools

5 December 2014

Colin Hambrook responds to 'Ship of Fools', the vacuum cleaner’s self-initiated Anti-Section action, residency and mental creative space documented as a video diary on show in 'Art of the Lived Experiment' at the core of DaDaFest 2014

Review: DaDaFest International 2014: Syndrome 3.1: Music/ Brain Experiments

DaDaFest International 2014: Syndrome 3.1: Music/ Brain Experiments

30 November 2014

Mixing science, music and the visual arts to explore the nature of performance and deafness, using realtime brainwave scanning to generate a live improvised score. Susan Bennett witness a performance culminating from a 4-day residency with the Frozen Music Collective, Ruth Montgomery and Danny Lane from Music and the Deaf, and a team of neuroscientists and coders.

Review: DaDaFest International 2014: Unsung Hero: Liverpool's Most Radical Son

DaDaFest International 2014: Unsung Hero: Liverpool's Most Radical Son

28 November 2014

Edward Rushton, poet, activist and scouser has been forgotten and left in the margins of our history... until now.  As part of this years’ festival, DaDaFest have partnered with The International Slavery Museum, The Museum of Liverpool and the Victoria Gallery and Museum to celebrate the life of this fascinating figure through a series of displays featuring at each site. Review by Jade French

Review: Disability Arts Touring Network: The Ugly Girl

Disability Arts Touring Network: The Ugly Girl

28 November 2014

Featuring an international cast of disabled actresses The Ugly Girl is a currently touring to Salford, Wolverhampton and Liverpool. Obi Chiejina reviews a performance of the show at The Continental, Preston on 20 November

Review: Maggie Sawkins: Zones of Avoidance

Maggie Sawkins: Zones of Avoidance

26 November 2014

Multimedia live literature production Zones of Avoidance was written and performed by poet Maggie Sawkins and directed by Mark C Hewitt with film sequences from Abigail Norris. Colin Hambrook reviews a performance at the All Saints Centre, Lewes on 29 October

Review: DaDaFest International 2014: Sophie Partridge's 'Song of Semmersuaq'

DaDaFest International 2014: Sophie Partridge's 'Song of Semmersuaq'

24 November 2014

Song of Semmersuaq is adapted from an Inuit mythical tale. Written and performed by Sophie Partridge, it is the story of a 7ft tall chief’s daughter from a tribe who live in a world of snow.   - Cate Jacobs reviewed a performance at the Unity Theatre,  Liverpool on 21st November

Review: DaDaFest International 2014: The Life and Impact of Edward Rushton

DaDaFest International 2014: The Life and Impact of Edward Rushton

24 November 2014

Unsung - Liverpool's Most Radical Son is an exhibition at the Museum of Liverpool celebrating the bicentennial of the life of Edward Rushton  (1756 – 1814). DaDaFest marked the beginning of Disability History Month with a day of talks in the museum about the life and impact of the City's most implacable anti-slavery abolitionist, human rights activist and pioneer for disability rights. Review by Cate Jacobs

Review: DaDaFest International 2014: 'Unsung' by John Graham Davies and James Quinn

DaDaFest International 2014: 'Unsung' by John Graham Davies and James Quinn

24 November 2014

Edward Rushton (1756–1814) was Liverpool’s most implacable anti-slavery abolitionist, human rights activist and pioneer for disability rights. If like Susan Bennett, you had not heard of him, then Saturday 22 November at DaDaFest gave an opportunity to catch up with three events highlighting the bicentenary, social activism and legacy of the man, including a rehearsed reading of a new play inspired by his life 

Review: UK Disability History Month 2014: War And Impairment

UK Disability History Month 2014: War And Impairment

21 November 2014

On 18 November, Disability Rights campaigners, disabled people, carers and allies gathered to celebrate the fifth anniversary of UKDHM at this year’s Launch event in Unite House, Holborn, London.  Review by Sarah Ismail

Review: Disability Arts Touring Network: Krip-Hop Nation

Disability Arts Touring Network: Krip-Hop Nation

19 November 2014

Krip-Hop Nation continues to grow internationally as a platform for disabled artists and a voice for disability-led justice and politics. Featuring MCs, rappers and DJs from the US, Germany, Uganda and the UK, supported by the Disability Arts Touring Network (DATN). Review by Cate Jacobs of their show at the Citadel, St Helens on 13 November

Review: DaDaFest International 2014: The City Speaks

DaDaFest International 2014: The City Speaks

19 November 2014

The City Speaks is a guided tour to Liverpool's political and cultural history of the city and its people. Created by sound artist Chas de Swiet, the audio work provides an aural tapestry made up of snippets and snapshots of Liverpool past and present, stories told in song, poetry, interviews and observations, all set against natural background sounds. Review by Deborah Caulfield

Review: Gobscure present Collector of Tears

Gobscure present Collector of Tears

10 November 2014

Sean Burn’s Collector of Tears is a poetic and epic love story spanning over four hundred years. A powerful play, encompassing sexual and survivor politics, the touring production was directed by Jackie Fielding and performed by Madeline McMahon. Review by Simon Jenner

Review: Rite of Passage: a gravedigger's memoir by Peter Street

Rite of Passage: a gravedigger's memoir by Peter Street

3 November 2014

Published as an ebook by Natterjack Press, Wendy Young unearths some graveyard humour in Peter Street’s memoir 'Rite of Passage' with its tales of a young disabled grave-digger in a 1960s world that most of us would not be able to ‘dig’!

Review: Shape Open 2014: Too Wonderful to be [in]Visible

Shape Open 2014: Too Wonderful to be [in]Visible

27 October 2014

This year's Shape Open exhibition questions how we perceive disability, using painting, audio, textile, and even a mask made of meat to look beyond that which is visible. Currently in its third year, Shape Open is an annual call-out for both disabled and non-disabled artists to submit work of any medium in response to a disability-focused theme - this year, '[in]visible'. Mik Scarlet wheeled his way through the vast Westfield shopping complex to the exhibition.

Review: Creative Minds South West one day conference

Creative Minds South West one day conference

18 October 2014

In spite of grisly weather, the turn-out for The Creative Minds Conference on 14th October at Bristol’s Harbourside was excellent with nearly 200 delegates arriving for registration. Tanvir Bush was there from the start, soaking up the palpable excitement, energy and general feeling of great warmth and camaraderie amongst the performers and organisers.

Review: The Greatness of ‘Great Britain’ at the Theatre Royal Haymarket

The Greatness of ‘Great Britain’ at the Theatre Royal Haymarket

18 October 2014

Richard Bean’s fast and furious play is an anarchic piece about the press, the police and the political establishment. Star Lucy Punch who plays Paige Britain was recently reported in the Independent to describe the satire as ‘a fond look on tabloid journalism’. For Mik Scarlet it is a laughter-filled satire based on a truth almost too real to be funny.

Storylines: Mapping the past - a Carousel project

Storylines: Mapping the past - a Carousel project

1 October 2014

Storylines is a project which brings the memories and stories of older people with learning difficulties to the public through live events which combine video projection, performance and poetry. The pilot project has been led by young learning disabled artists Becky Bruzas, Jason Eade, Tina Dickinson and Sarah Watson from the Oska Bright steering committee. Review by Alan Morrison

Review: Actors Touring Company [ATC]: Blind Hamlet

Actors Touring Company [ATC]: Blind Hamlet

15 September 2014

Produced by Actors Touring Company [ATC] Blind Hamlet is currently doing the rounds on a nationwide tour. Written by Iranian playwright Nassim Soleimanpour, best known for his work White Rabbit, Red Rabbit, Colin Hambrook looks at how the author plays with theatrical convention using an exemplary charm and wit to explore metaphors on ‘sight’ and 'truth'

Review: Unlimited 2014: Caroline Bowditch: Falling in Love with Frida

Unlimited 2014: Caroline Bowditch: Falling in Love with Frida

13 September 2014

Combining monologue and dance, Caroline Bowditch’s Falling in Love with Frida is a passionate reclamation of Frida Kahlo as a disabled artist and a reflection on how we are remembered by others. Victoria Wright reviews a performance at the Queen Elizabeth Hall as part of the Unlimited Festival.

Unlimited 2014: Touretteshero: Backstage in Biscuit Land

Unlimited 2014: Touretteshero: Backstage in Biscuit Land

13 September 2014

Victoria Wright learns never to put an elephant in an envelope after experiencing Jess Thom, aka Touretteshero, and her accomplice Jess Mabel Jones performing Backstage in Biscuit Land as part of Unlimited at the Southbank Centre.

Review: Penny Pepper: Lost in Spaces

Penny Pepper: Lost in Spaces

11 September 2014

Award winning writer, poet, performer and rights activist, Penny Pepper presented her highly anticipated, unique one-woman show, Lost in Spaces at the Soho Theatre last Monday. Review by Colin Hambrook

Review: Unlimited 2014: Jo Bannon: Exposure

Unlimited 2014: Jo Bannon: Exposure

10 September 2014

Jo Bannon's Exposure was a ten minute one-on-one performance event, which took place in a room on the fourth floor of the Royal Festival Hall. Sue Austin describes its impact on her in the context of her own live performance art

 

Review: Unlimited 2014: Juan delGado: The Flickering Darkness (Revisited)

Unlimited 2014: Juan delGado: The Flickering Darkness (Revisited)

9 September 2014

Juan delGado's The Flickering Darkness is a video installation filmed at the Corabastos market in Bogotá (Columbia), the largest of its kind in Latin America. Produced during a three-month residency in the city in 2009 and re-edited for Unlimited, the project explores the journey produce sold at the market takes, from its arrival before dawn to its consumption. Review by Gary Thomas

Review: Unlimited 2014: Bekki Perriman: The Doorways Project

Unlimited 2014: Bekki Perriman: The Doorways Project

8 September 2014

Bekki Perriman’s installation ‘The Doorways Project’ explores homelessness through spoken word and photography. Nina Muehlemann reflects on the quiet and cautiously assembled work in the Royal Festival Hall, that is part of this Unlimited research and development award.

Review: Unlimited 2014: Unleashed

Unlimited 2014: Unleashed

7 September 2014

The premise of ‘Unlimited Unleashed’ is simple enough – some of the performers of various Unlimited productions do something on stage that they don’t normally do. The result is a stunning, chaotic cabaret night. Nina Muehlemann reports from this very special variety show.

Review: Unlimited 2014: Touretteshero and Captain Hotknives

Unlimited 2014: Touretteshero and Captain Hotknives

7 September 2014

In the hallowed foyer of the Queen Elizabeth Hall, arty eclectics and normal people buzzed and filled the rather large space to standing room only for the arrival of not just any old superheroes...  Wendy Young was at the 'Unlimited Friday Tonic' for biscuits and songs about animal sex, from Touretteshero and Captain Hotknives

Review: Unlimited 2014: the vacuum cleaner: Madlove

Unlimited 2014: the vacuum cleaner: Madlove

6 September 2014

James Leadbitter aka the vacuum cleaner has been asking people how they would design a safe place to go mad, in a series of 3 hour workshops in the Royal Festival Hall. What would the ideal mental hospital be like? John O'Donoghue went to find out about the blueprint for a Madlove Designer Asylum.

Review: Unlimited 2014: Michelle Ryan & Torque: Intimacy

Unlimited 2014: Michelle Ryan & Torque: Intimacy

6 September 2014

In a funny, moving dance-theatre piece, staged in the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Michelle Ryan shares her most private thoughts and feelings in a collaboration with theatre-makers Torque Show and a live score by Lavender Vs Rose. Review by Amardeep Sohi

 

Review: Unlimited 2014: Drake Music: Seasons 4.0

Unlimited 2014: Drake Music: Seasons 4.0

6 September 2014

Sophie Partridge went to a sharing of a Drake Music’s Seasons 4.0 an Unlimited commission featuring a collaboration across electro-acoustic music, contemporary dance and interactive technology. The event took place at Rich Mix in Bethnal Green on Friday 5 September.

Review: Unlimited 2014: Perceptions of Difference: DAO & Survivors' Poetry

Unlimited 2014: Perceptions of Difference: DAO & Survivors' Poetry

4 September 2014

On Level 5 on the Royal Festival Hall lies the Saison Poetry Library: an eclectic crowd gathered to hear poetry from four stalwarts of the Survivors' Movement. Wendy Young was there for the inspiring words of Hilary Porter, John O’Donoghue, Debjani Chatterjee MBE, Frank Bangay the Bard of Hackney!  MC’d by Colin Hambrook.

 

Review: Unlimited 2014: Claire Cunningham: Guide Gods

Unlimited 2014: Claire Cunningham: Guide Gods

3 September 2014

Religion and art are uncomfortable, but necessary bedfellows argues Colin Hambrook in a critique of Claire Cunningham’s dance/ theatre piece, which tells the stories of the religious beliefs of a range of disabled people

Review: Unlimited 2014 Opening event: Does It Matter? World War I Shorts

Unlimited 2014 Opening event: Does It Matter? World War I Shorts

2 September 2014

Like the excellent opening of Glastonbury 2014 Festival’s Sunday programme with the English National Ballet performing Akram Khan’s World War I themed ‘Dust’, Unlimited Festival got into full swing with five disabled artists’ responses to the centenary of The Great War. Review by Trish Wheatley

Review: Liberty 2014

Liberty 2014

1 September 2014

Trish Wheatley caught up with events at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford for National Paralympic Day 2014, featuring The Liberty Festival on 30 August

Review: Francesca Martinez: ‘What the **** is Normal?!’

Francesca Martinez: ‘What the **** is Normal?!’

19 July 2014

Francesca Martinez' memoir is about growing up with Cerebral Palsy. Rosaleen McDonagh reviews the comedians reflections on her life - an arduous journey through crippledom, illustrating how the public persona of wanting to be the ‘funny girl’ contradicted her internalized oppression.

Review: Jez Colborne: GIFT at the Southbank Centre

Jez Colborne: GIFT at the Southbank Centre

8 July 2014

Jez Colborne’s live sound installation GIFT is one of 20 pieces commissioned by the New Music Biennial and destined for this year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Gus Garside saw Mind the Gap’s latest production at the Southbank Centre on 6 July.

Review: DaDaFest: Working Lives: Here & There

DaDaFest: Working Lives: Here & There

24 June 2014

Working Lives: Here & There is the latest exhibition by DadaFest, a disability and deaf arts organisation based in Liverpool, aiming to explore disability and employment, not just locally in Liverpool, but worldwide, through photographs and supporting narratives of disabled people in their workplaces. Review by Jade French

Review: Shape Gallery: Shortlist 6

Shape Gallery: Shortlist 6

20 June 2014

Shape have just launched Shortlist 6: an exhibition of work marking the 6 years of the Adam Reynolds Memorial Bursary awards. Colin Hambrook visited Shape’s pop-up gallery in Westfield Shopping Centre, Stratford to see the work of the most recent bursary-winner, Aaron McPeake alongside that of three of the shortlisted artists.

Review: Owen Lowery: Otherwise Unchanged

Owen Lowery: Otherwise Unchanged

20 June 2014

Unlimited is supporting a reading tour of Owen Lowery’s first major poetry collection, Otherwise Unchanged, published with the major literary publishing house, Carcanet. The inspiration for the book is as wide-ranging as the poems that it includes, with work drawn from everyday experiences of love, life, and disability, and others that owe their inspiration to myriad literary and artistic interests. Simon Jenner reviews

Review: Stratford Circus, Face Front Theatre & Ramira Arts Collective: No Barriers with Barriers

Stratford Circus, Face Front Theatre & Ramira Arts Collective: No Barriers with Barriers

19 June 2014

Peter Faventi of Stratford Circus’s Blue Sky Actors and associate artist at Face Front Inclusive Theatre Company, with Ramira Arts Collective present: No Barriers with Barriers a striking site-specific play performing at Rowans Bowling Alley, in the heart of Finsbury Park London. Sophie Partridge went along to find that access barriers are still grossly misunderstood…

Review: SenseAbility: Peter White on inclusion in the arts

17 June 2014

Peter White, reknowned BBC correspondent and editor of Radio 4’s In Touch, rounded off ‘SenseAbility’ - a successful four-day event from 10-13 June, at the Pound Arts Centre in Corsham, Wiltshire. Organized by Tanvir Bush in partnership with Bath Spa University, SenseAbility explored inclusion in the arts. Review by Emmeline Burdett

Review: Allan Sutherland: Neglected Voices at DAiSY Fest 2014

Allan Sutherland: Neglected Voices at DAiSY Fest 2014

14 June 2014

On the same bill as Penny Pepper at DAiSY Fest on 4 June was veteran disability arts performer Allan Sutherland (author of the groundbreaking Disabled We Stand 1981). In his introduction to the event Dao editor Colin Hambrook, described his mission to present art as a tool to counter prejudice. Review by Wendy Young

Review: Gary Thomas: Hidden at DAiSY Fest

Gary Thomas: Hidden at DAiSY Fest

14 June 2014

DAiSY Fest at GLIve on 4th June showcased Gary Thomas’s monologue Hidden starring Nathan Thompson. Taking his audience on a journey through some of the darkest thoughts we can share about ourselves: following a police stop and search, the principle character Sam’s delusions take over to the point that he becomes a person he no longer recognizes. Review by Deborah Caulfield

Review: BBC Four: John Ogdon: Living with Genius

10 June 2014

BBC Four’s profile of Britain's greatest ever classical pianist and of one of the most successful musical partnerships of the last 50 years, that of John Ogdon and wife Brenda Lucas Ogdon was shown on 6 June. Review by Wendy Young

Review: Deafinitely Theatre's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream

Deafinitely Theatre's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream

4 June 2014

Following the success of Deafinitely Theatre's production of Love's Labour's Lost as part of the 2012 Globe to Globe project, they return to Shakespeare's Globe with a performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream in British Sign Language, until 7 June. Review by Melissa Mostyn

Review: Poet in the City: Poetry and Sign

Poet in the City: Poetry and Sign

19 May 2014

Poetry and Sign was a unique event exploring the relationship between sign language, spoken poetry and dance, which took place at King's Place in central London on 15th May. Review by Melissa Mostyn

Review: The Dandifest Fete, Norwich

The Dandifest Fete, Norwich

8 May 2014

Amongst the days entertainment at the glorious May Day Dandy Village Fete, in Norwich on 5th May, Ann Young encountered poet/ producer Vince Laws and the force of nature that is Bonk, (aka Dickie Lupton).

Review: CoolTan Arts Largactyl Shuffle @ Science Museum LATES launch

CoolTan Arts Largactyl Shuffle @ Science Museum LATES launch

2 May 2014

Wendy Young went to the launch of ‘CoolTan Arts Stays Up, LATES’, a collaborative book and DVD on mental health heritage, held at The Science Museum’s Dana Centre in South Kensington. The publication is the finale of a year long HLF funded project in which CoolTan Arts Largactyl Shuffle volunteers researched and led a series of guided gallery tours at The Science Museum’s popular ‘Lates’ evening events.

Review: Extant present The Chairs

Extant present The Chairs

1 May 2014

Extant, the UKs only theatre company of visually impaired professionals has been touring with a production of Ionescu's classic Absurdist drama, The Chairs. Colin Hambrook saw the show at the Albany, Deptford

Review: The Norwich Dandies present Dandifest!

The Norwich Dandies present Dandifest!

1 May 2014

The first ‘official’ Dandifest event by the Norwich Dandies exploded into colour in St Margaret’s Church of Art on 28 April. Ann Young took part and came away with this review

Review: ‘Ivor Gurney: The Poet Who Loved the War’, BBC4

24 April 2014

This BBC 4 documentary, shown on 4th April, tells the remarkable story of the First World War soldier-poet who broke all the rules. Ivor Gurney wasn't an officer but a private who initially joined up in the hope that the ordered army life would help ease a mental health condition. Review by Emmeline Burdett

Review: Graeae and Circo Crescer e Viver present Belonging

Graeae and Circo Crescer e Viver present Belonging

24 April 2014

Earlier this month Graeae joined forces with Circo Crescer e Viver at the Roundhouse in Camden for a short run of a new circus-based piece of work ‘Belonging’ as part of the Roundhouse Circus Fest. Review by Liz Porter

Review: ‘Good Kings Bad Kings’ a novel by Susan Nussbaum

‘Good Kings Bad Kings’ a novel by Susan Nussbaum

22 April 2014

Winner of the Pen/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction, 'Good Kings Bad Kings’ (Oneworld Publications, 2014) by the American playwright and disability campaigner Susan Nussbaum, is a novel about life inside the walls of the Illinois Learning and Life Skills Center (ILLC), - an institution for juveniles with disabilities. Review by Emmeline Burdett

Review: Sky One: The Smoke

Sky One: The Smoke

17 April 2014

Sky's television drama series The Smoke presents a central disabled child character played by disabled actress Eve Smith. Having received accolades by the critics, Ju Gosling reviews the role of Grace from a disability perspective

Review: If These Spasms Could Speak by Robert Softley

If These Spasms Could Speak by Robert Softley

23 March 2014

'Informed', 'irreverent' and 'humane' are three words used on the SICK! Festival brochure welcome page to introduce the aims of the festival in shining a light on issues that often remain hidden, taboo or misunderstood in daily life. Colin Hambrook explains why If These Spasms Could Speak fits the bill admirably.

Review: Hayward Gallery host Martin Creed's 'What's the point of it?'

Hayward Gallery host Martin Creed's 'What's the point of it?'

19 March 2014

Winner of the 2001 Turner Prize, Creed uses a wide range of artistic media and including music, his art changes everyday materials and actions into surprising reflections on life. Jessie Woodward sent in the following review of access within the exhibition, which is on show until 5 May. 

Review: Graeae Theatre present The Threepenny Opera

Graeae Theatre present The Threepenny Opera

18 March 2014

Graeae's production of Brecht and Weill's The Threepenny Opera attempts to provoke thinking around approaches to creative access. Liz Porter caught the show in Ipswich and sent in the following review, written from a visually impaired perspective

Review: Chris Fonseca: So Beautiful Choreography

Chris Fonseca: So Beautiful Choreography

18 March 2014

Chris Fonseca's debut dance video was created with the lyrics to 'So Beautiful' by Musiq SoulChild in mind. Melissa Mostyn asks what makes this piece of romantic choreography unique?

Review: You're Not Alone by Kim Noble

You're Not Alone by Kim Noble

17 March 2014

As if by divine orchestration an unusual and eerie fog descends on Brighton a few hours prior to the start of You’re Not Alone – Kim Noble’s only performance as part of the eclectic and brilliantly programmed SICK! Festival in Brighton. Sarah Pickthall returned through the mists to send in this review.

Review: Vital Xposure presents Julie McNamara’s Let Me Stay

Vital Xposure presents Julie McNamara’s Let Me Stay

13 March 2014

Described as A tender and unique exploration of the impact of Alzheimer's on family relations, Julie McNamara’s Let Me Stay evokes her mother's songs and stories to create a personal piece of theatrical storytelling. Cath Nichols saw the performance at the Bluecoats, Liverpool on12th March.

Review: Creative Minds South East one-day conference

Creative Minds South East one-day conference

12 March 2014

It’s a bold question to pose, especially at a time when funding cuts conspire to put all creative organisations on the defensive: how do we perceive, discuss and measure quality in work by artists with learning disabilities? Bella Todd reports on the performing arts aspect of the Creative Minds conference, held on 10th March at Brighton Dome - and asks some pertinent questions to stimulate further debate.

Review: Frozen by fingermsiths

Frozen by fingersmiths

9 March 2014

Originally developed at the National Theatre Studio, Frozen sees a cast of Deaf and hearing actors bring fingersmiths' visual and physical theatre style to the stage, in the first major production of the play in 10 years. Review by Melissa Mostyn.

Review: Kiruna Stamell and Gareth Berliner: One of Us Will Die

Kiruna Stamell and Gareth Berliner: One of Us Will Die

20 February 2014

Presented by the Disability Arts Touring Network in association with DaDaFest, Susan Bennett and Michelle Stubbs caught Kiruna Stamell and Gareth Berliner's latest comedy show 'One of Us Will Die' at the Citadel in St. Helens on 7th February.

Review: Stopgap Dance Company tours Artificial Things

Stopgap Dance Company tours Artificial Things

17 February 2014

Artificial Things marks an important moment in the 19 year evolution of Stopgap Dance Company as the debut stage production for Lucy Bennett. Karl Newman caught the touring production at the Ivy Arts Centre in Guildford.

Review: Disability: A New History on BBC i-player

Disability: A New History on BBC i-player

6 February 2014

In this ten-part radio series Peter White presents a history of disability in the 18th and 19th centuries. First broadcast on Radio 4 last year, podcasts and transcripts are available on the BBC’s website. Review by Dr Emmeline Burdett

Review: Growing Up Downs: Blue Apple Theatre documentary on BBC 3

Growing Up Downs: Blue Apple Theatre documentary on BBC 3

6 February 2014

Last night BBC 3 aired a documentary telling the story of how Blue Apple Theatre took a touring production of Shakespeare’s Hamlet to 12 mainstream theatres across the south of England playing to an audience of over 3,000 people from April - July 2012. Colin Hambrook reviews

Review: Beauty and the Beast by One of Us in co-production with Improbable

Beauty and the Beast by One of Us in co-production with Improbable

7 January 2014

Mat Fraser and Julie Atlas Muz poke fun at the absurdity of normality in their new production of the age old tale of Beauty and Beast. Directed by Phelim McDermott, Artistic Director of Improbable, the company conspire to make an adult fairytale like no other. Tam Gilbert reviews a performance at the Young Vic, London

Review: Together 2013

Together 2013

16 December 2013

Dao posts reports by Richard Downes and Stephen Portlock on performing arts and visual arts at the month-long Together! Festival held in the London Borough of Newham from 22 November - 19 December

Review: The Anatomy of Melancholy produced by Ovalhouse and Stan's Cafe

The Anatomy of Melancholy produced by Ovalhouse and Stan's Cafe

3 December 2013

A 500,000 word text on the nature of melancholy, first  published in 1621: Stan's Cafe have made Robert Burton's archaic text into a stage play. Quirky and illuminating, or insane and heavy-going? And what does it  all tell us about what we would call 'depression?' Nicole Fordham Hodges went to the Ovalhouse Theatre on 30 November to find out.

Review: BBC Imagine: Turning the Art World Inside Out

BBC Imagine: Turning the Art World Inside Out

25 November 2013

The latest in Alan Yentob’s ‘Imagine’ series on BBC One attempted to examine how we define ‘Outsider Art’ asking “Why in 2013 is Outsider Art finally being feted by the art establishment, and what took it so long?” Michelle Kopczyk gives a critical analysis of how the programme failed to provide answers.

Review: Hastings Storytelling Festival: The Velvet Curtain

Hastings Storytelling Festival: The Velvet Curtain

22 November 2013

Produced by 18 Hours for the Hastings Storytelling Festival The Velvet Curtain featured an evening of adult entertainment with burlesque performers Penny Pepper, Liz Bentley, Caroline Smith AKA Mertle Merman and Crimson Skye. Esther Fox was there as the curtain parted to reveal four mistresses of the titillating tale.

Extraordinary Change: Engage International Conference 2013

20 November 2013

Engage are an advocacy and support organisation for gallery education. Liz Porter attended their international conference in Birmingham on  7-8 November, which explored the challenges that education in galleries and the visual arts face in a period of uncertainty.


 

Review: BBC One's Ripper Street

BBC One's Ripper Street

19 November 2013

Sophie Partridge reviews 'Am I Not Monstrous?' - episode 2 of the BBC One murder mystery drama Ripper Street, which features a fictionalised account of Joseph Merrick 'The Elephant Man' 

Review: Oska Bright Film Festival 2013

Oska Bright Film Festival 2013

18 November 2013

John O'Donoghue went along to the launch of Oska Bright at Brighton's Corn Exchange. The bi-annual film festival features the work of learning disabled artists both from the UK and from international entrants. Each film has to be a short and include learning disabled artists in the film-making process. Now in its tenth year Oska Bright continues to showcase work that is innovative, striking, quirky.

Review: DYSPLA Festival 2013

DYSPLA Festival 2013

14 November 2013

Colin Hambrook attended the palpably intense, hugely inventive DYSPLA Festival at Camden Peoples' Theatre, London on 13 November.

Review: The Shape Open 2013: Disability Re-assessed

The Shape Open 2013: Disability Re-assessed

15 October 2013

Shape’s annual visual arts competitive exhibition invites disabled and non-disabled artists to submit work on a disability theme. Tim Hayton reviews this years' exhibition on show at The Nunnery Gallery in London E3 until 20 October 2013.

Review: Day Six: When Motherhood and Madness Collide

Day Six: When Motherhood and Madness Collide

14 October 2013

'Day Six: when Motherhood and Madness Collide' is Jen S Wight's personal story of Post Partum Psychosis. Has early motherhood ever been so harrowing? Nicole Fordham Hodges reviews this taboo-busting, searingly honest, assertively political and never self-indulgent book.

Overview: Common Pulse: Intersecting Abilities

Common Pulse: Intersecting Abilities

8 October 2013

Ju Gosling reports on Common Pulse a bi-annual festival and symposium curated by Durham Art Gallery in rural Ontario, focusing on ‘important current developments that are taking place in the Canadian art and culture scene’. The theme for 2013's festival was Intersecting Abilities.

Review: Short Circuit: When Disability And Digital Collide

Short Circuit: When Disability And Digital Collide

12 September 2013

Disabled people aren’t strangers to technology. From hearing aids to wheelchairs we’ve been drawing on human inventiveness to give us not just access but options. John O'Donoghue went along to look how digital technology is changing the face of disability art.

Review: DaDaFest On Tour: Young DaDaFest 2013

DaDaFest On Tour: Young DaDaFest 2013

14 August 2013

Young DaDaFest is a performance showcase for and by young Disabled and d/Deaf people aged 13-25. Young DaDa member Michelle Stubbs reports on this years' performance on 18 July at the Johnson Foundation Auditorium of Liverpool John Moores’ Art and Design Academy.

Review: Don’t Call Me Crazy - documentary season on BBC Three

Don’t Call Me Crazy - documentary season on BBC Three

2 July 2013

Don’t Call Me Crazy launches It’s A Mad World - a season of films on BBC Three looking at a range of mental health issues affecting young people in Britain today. Sarah Tonin responds with a review asking who will speak out against this kind of exploitative representation?

Review: Extrêmitiés by Cirque Inextremiste as part of the Unity Festival

Extrêmitiés by Cirque Inextremiste as part of the Unity Festival

27 June 2013

Billed as circus performance the Cirque Inextremiste were appearing for the first time in Wales, presenting their newest piece Extrêmités, as part of this year’s Unity Festival at the Wales Millenium Centre in Cardiff. Tom Wentworth witnessed the loud bangs, bright lights and spectacular surprises!

Review: Souzou: Outsider Art from Japan at the Wellcome Collection, London

Souzou: Outsider Art from Japan at the Wellcome Collection, London

28 May 2013

The first major display of Japanese Outsider Art in the UK is showing at the Wellcome Collection until 30 June. The 46 artists represented are residents and day attendees in social welfare institutions across Japan. Nicole Fordham Hodges went to see and experience the power which is 'Souzou'. 

Review: COnscription by Caglar Kimyoncu

Review: COnscription by Caglar Kimyoncu

9 May 2013

COnscription explores the call-up to military service for people who don't 'fit the mould'. The four-channel film is on show at the Old Truman Brewery, London until 18 May. Joe McConnell reviews a multimedia installation which follows the stories of four individuals who meet at a military hospital - three subjects under assessment and their doctor.

Review: Vital Xposure presents The Knitting Circle

Vital Xposure presents The Knitting Circle

6 May 2013

Currently on national tour Julie McNamara's latest production 'The Knitting Circle' is billed as a gripping celebration of the forgotten lives of women who survived long term institutional incarceration. Review by Joe McConnell

Review: CoolTan Arts presents 'Making it Happen' at the BFI

CoolTan Arts presents 'Making it Happen' at the BFI

28 March 2013

CoolTan Arts film project let participants explore the process any individual needs to go through to access a personal budget, by expressing their experiences of the personalisation process through their own words, filmmaking and animation. Richard Downes attended a screening at NFT2, British Film Institute on 25 March

Review: SICK! Festival presents Sick Notes an online archive

SICK! Festival presents Sick Notes an online archive

26 March 2013

Sick Notes is part of SICK!, an ambitious, cross art-form festival that seeks out new ways of talking about and dealing with the experience of sickness. Sick Notes is an online video archive of sick jokes and funny stories about illness. John O’Donoghue likes a good laugh. But will Sick Notes deliver?

Review: Taking Flight Theatre Company present Real Human Being

Taking Flight Theatre Company present Real Human Being

25 March 2013

Taking Flight is an inclusive youth theatre project based in Cardiff. Written by Matthew Bulgo, 'Real Human Being’ uses forum theatre to deal with the issue of disability hate crime. Tom Wentworth saw a performance at Corpus Christi High School on 22 March.

Review: Side by Side Exhibition at the Southbank Centre

Side by Side Exhibition at the Southbank Centre

23 March 2013

The Rocket Artists, in partnership with the University of Brighton, present Side by Side - an international exhibition showcasing learning disability, art and collaboration. **Nicole Fordham Hodges** reviews the exhibition, on show in the Spirit Level, Southbank Centre, London until 5 April

Review: SICK! Festival presents the vacuum cleaner's acclaimed show Mental

SICK! Festival presents the vacuum cleaner's acclaimed show Mental

18 March 2013

SICK! Festival of Contemporary Performance Art produced by contemporary performance organisation the Basement, played in Brighton from 1- 16 March. John O'Donoghue went to see the vacuum cleaner's show Mental, which documents 10 years of being an outlaw, inpatient and artist activist.

Review: WOW festival presents Claire Cunningham's Ménage à Trois

WOW festival presents Claire Cunningham's Ménage à Trois

15 March 2013

Claire Cunningham makes work based on honing skills specifically created by her physical impairment and looking at perceived limitations as advantages. Nina Mühlemann was there to see this production created with choreographer/video artist Gail Sneddon at the Queen Elizabeth Hall for Southbank's Women of the World festival.

Review: The Portrait Anatomised at the National Portrait Gallery

The Portrait Anatomised at the National Portrait Gallery

15 March 2013

Inspired by neuro-scientific imagery, Susan Aldworth's experimental printmaking explores the relationship between our physical brain and our sense of self. Her portraits of three people with epilepsy are now showing at the National Portrait Gallery until 1 September. Nicole Fordham-Hodges went to see this haunting, thought-provoking exhibition.

Review: Criptease at Southbank Centre's WOW festival

Criptease at Southbank Centre's WOW festival

15 March 2013

New York Legendary Nightlife Artstar Julie Atlas Muz guest-hosts Criptease, an outlandish, outrageous evening of neo-burlesque celebrating disabled women's bodies for Women Of The World 2013. Nina Muehlemann reviews this burlesque performance by deaf and disabled artists, at the Southbank Centre on 9 March

Review: SICK! Festival presents Jochem Stavenuiter's Eleonora

SICK! Festival presents Jochem Stavenuiter's Eleonora

8 March 2013

SICK! Festival of Contemporary Performance Art produced by contemporary performance organisation the Basement plays in Brighton from 1- 16 March. John O'Donoghue saw Jochem Stavenuiter’s tale of what happened when his mother Eleonora had a stroke

Review: SICK! Festival presents Under Observation

SICK! Festival presents Under Observation

4 March 2013

SICK! Festival of Contemporary Performance Art produced by contemporary performance organisation, the Basement plays in Brighton from 1- 16 March. Colin Hambrook went along to an afternoon of durational performance and film entitled Under Observation

Review: Spare Tyre Theatre present 'Scratches'

Spare Tyre Theatre present 'Scratches'

2 March 2013

Spare Tyre’s Associates join forces with their Company of Artists to showcase stories, imaginations and physicalities through spoken word, song, dance, movement and film. Nicole Fordham Hodges saw 'Scratches' at the Albany Theatre, London on 27 February. It was joyous, playful and rude.

Review: Birds of Paradise present 'In An Alien Landscape'

Review: Birds of Paradise present 'In An Alien Landscape'

12 February 2013

Glasgow-based theatre company Birds of Paradise is currently touring a new production that promises ‘an ironic and humorous journey entering the world of brain injury, consciousness, memory and creativity’. Paul F Cockburn asks: did it work?

Review: Unlimited: an evening of film in the Southbank Centre

Review: Unlimited: an evening of film in the Southbank Centre

10 February 2013

'Total Permission' follows conductor Charles Hazlewood, founder of the British Paraorchestra, as he encounters the artistry within 12 of the Unlimited commissions. Nina Muehlemann went to the launch of the film at the Southbank Centre on 6 February

Review: TransAction Theatre present dIRTy

Review: TransAction Theatre present dIRTy

6 February 2013

Described as an explosive, visceral portrayal of disintegration, TransAction Theatre's 'dIRTy', written and performed by Joey Hateley and directed by Julie McNamara, was performed at the Contact Theatre, Manchester on 31 January. Mari Elliott reviews the experience

Review: Light Show at the Hayward Gallery, Southbank Centre

Review: Light Show at the Hayward Gallery, Southbank Centre

5 February 2013

Light Show brings together sculptures and installations from 22 artists who use light to sculpt and shape space. Richard Downes is disturbed and illuminated by this exhibition of immersive environments, free-standing light sculptures and projections on show at the Hayward Gallery, London until 28 April 2013.

Review: Improbable Theatre: Devoted & Disgruntled 2013

Review: Improbable Theatre: Devoted & Disgruntled 2013

5 February 2013

Liz Porter reflects on Improbable Theatre’s Devoted & Disgruntled Open Space event, inviting theatre practitioners and venues to talk about prioritising access at Unicorn Theatre in London, January 2013

Review: Fox Searchlight Pictures present 'The Sessions'

Review: Fox Searchlight Pictures present The Sessions

28 January 2013

There has been a surge of documentaries and films in recent times which claim to be exposing taboos about disabled people. The Sessions is the latest in a list including 'Rust and Bone' and 'The Undateables'. Most seem to be exploitative, narcissistic and made with the able-bodied gaze says Rosaleen McDonagh

Review: Shape present 'Perceptions Of Balance'

Review: Shape present Perceptions Of Balance

28 January 2013

Nine artists, brought together as part of Shape’s Creative Steps programme, use varied media to illustrate and express their encounters with how they may or may not experience equilibrium. The exhibition is on show at Lauderdale House until 3rd February 2013. Review by Richard Downes

Review: Together 2012: End Of Festival Party

Review: Together 2012: End Of Festival Party

20 December 2012

Richard Downes reviews the end of festival event for 'Together 2012', Newham’s friendly Disability Arts Festival, held at The Hub, East London on 18 December

Review: ActOne ArtsBase present A Sense of Beauty

Review: ActOne ArtsBase present A Sense of Beauty

20 December 2012

ActOne ArtsBase are currently producing a dance and performance workshop called 'A Sense of Beauty' for schools, hospices, hospitals, theatres and outdoor venues across the East of England and surrounding areas. Katie Fraser discusses her experience of being part of the organisations training programme.

Review: CoolTan Arts: 'The Winter Edition'

Review: CoolTan Arts: 'The Winter Edition'

13 December 2012

'The Winter Edition', the second in a series of exhibitions exploring the life, work and heritage of Charles Dickens, is showing at Southwark Cathedral until 14 January 2013. Nicole Fordham Hodges was at the private viewing, which illuminated a dark December night.

Review: Hijinx, Odyessy present Whispers on the Waves

Review: Hijinx, Odyessy present Whispers on the Waves

10 December 2012

Hijinx Theatre presented a new production from inclusive community group, Odyssey, at Wales Millennium Centre from 6-8 December. Whispers on the Waves eavesdrops on stories from the last century as they wait for Christmas to turn the corner. Review by Tom Wentworth

Review: The Lowry present Arabian Nights

Review: The Lowry present Arabian Nights

10 December 2012

Set in the Turkish pink Quays Theatre, experiencing the Arabian Nights production by the Library Theatre Company at the Lowry in Salford was, says Susan Bennett like being in the kasbah itself. It brought together larger than life the stories of One Thousand and One Nights.

Review: The Place present Fresh 2012

Review: The Place present Fresh 2012

9 December 2012

Bringing together some of the UK’s most dynamic youth and professional dance companies including Cando2, Fresh is The Place's annual celebration of dance designed for young people. Sophie Partridge reviews...

Review: Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet

Review: Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet

23 November 2012

Currently being screened at a cinema near you, 'Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet' directed by Jason Vile, carries Independent Living messages spotted by Richard Downes

Review: The World Press Photo Awards 2012 at the Royal Festival Hall

Review: The World Press Photo Awards 2012 at the Royal Festival Hall

12 November 2012

The World Press Photo Exhibition returns to Southbank Centre, bringing together award-winning photographs from around the world which capture the most powerful, moving and sometimes disturbing images of the year. Richard Downes trips through the horrors to find glimmers of hope

Review: Abigail McLellan (1969 – 2009): A Retrospective at Rebecca Hossack Gallery

Review: Abigail McLellan (1969 – 2009): A Retrospective Rebecca Hossack Gallery

8 November 2012

Abigail McLellan was an acclaimed artist when she was diagnosed with MS in 1999. She continued to produce and refine her intense, vibrant art for the last ten years of her life, often using ingenious techniques to outwit the effects of her illness. She died aged 40. Nicole Fordham Hodges went to the Rebecca Hossack Gallery to see the retrospective of her work on show until 1 December.

Review: Changing Lives, Changing Times

Review: Changing Lives, Changing Times

31 October 2012

Sophie Partridge saw a recent performance of 'Changing Lives, Changing Times' by students from the Cathedral Academy of Performing Arts and Cockburn School, staged by the The Centre for Disability Studies and School of Performance & Cultural Industries at Leeds University. She sent the following review to DAO

Review: Outside In: National 2012

Review: Outside In: National 2012

25 October 2012

The biggest visual arts treat of the year so far, has arrived in the form of Outside In: National which opened today at Pallant House Gallery in Chichester, West Sussex. Colin Hambrook extols the exhibitions virtues as a beacon for creativity.

Review: Mugenkyo Taiko Drummers

Review: Mugenkyo Taiko Drummers

25 October 2012

Newly acclimatising to a cochlear implant, Susan Bennett reviews a performance by The Mugenkyo Taiko Drummers at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall on 15 October.

Review: Rosaleen McDonagh's ‘Mainstream’

Review: Rosaleen McDonagh's ‘Mainstream’

18 October 2012

Colin Cameron responds to a rehearsed reading of Rosaleen McDonagh’s ‘Mainstream’ held at The Projects Arts Centre, Dublin on 13 October to discover a play that gives insight into disabled people's experience of oppression

Review: Karamel Gallery presents I Am An Artist

Review: Karamel Gallery presents I Am An Artist

18 October 2012

Karamel Gallery in North London, plays host to an art exhibition produced with a group of people with learning difficulties. The students from Area 51 further education college were engaged in painting portraits of their favourite competitors. Richard Downes happened along and sent in the following review.

Review: Celebrating The Legacy of Woody Guthrie

Review: Celebrating The Legacy of Woody Guthrie

19 September 2012

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of music legend Woody Guthrie’s birth, Billy Bragg curated a performance at Queen Elizabeth Hall on 16 September with singer-songwriters Joe Henry and Grace Petrie. Richard Downes responds to the songs and the legacy handed down by Guthrie - arguably one of the most influential musicians of the 20th Century.

Review: Unlimited: Bee Detective by Tin Bath Theatre

Review: Unlimited: Bee Detective by Tin Bath Theatre

11 September 2012

Written by Sophie Woolley & Directed by Gemma Fairley Tin Bath Theatre Company’s Bee Detective is a family show about the life and work cycle of bees. Liz Porter saw the show at the Unlimited Festival at the Southbank Centre

Review: Unlimited: The Garden

Review: Unlimited: The Garden

8 September 2012

Amardeep Sohi reviews Graeae and Strange Fruit's Unlimited offering at the Unlimited Festival on the Terrace at the Southbank Centre.

Review: Unlimited: Maurice Orr's 'The Screaming Silence of the Wind'

Review: Unlimited: Maurice Orr's 'The Screaming Silence of the Wind'

7 September 2012

Maurice Orr's paintings are designed to be touched. His innovative use of dried fish skins as media, and the unusual access he gives to his paintings, makes this exhibition - on show in the Festival Village at the Southbank Centre until 9 September - a memorable experience. Nicole Fordham Hodges saw and touched these respectfully wild landscapes

Review: Unlimited: Sinéad O'Donnell's 'CAUTION'

Review: Unlimited: Sinéad O'Donnell's 'CAUTION'

6 September 2012

Sinéad O'Donnell's Unlimited commission CAUTION explores notions of identity, similarity and difference through journeys, actions and performance in real-time and online resulting in an exhibition of installation and performance. Colin Hambrook took part in the performance in the Royal Festival Hall on 1 September

Review: Unlimited: Simon Allen's 'Resonance At The Still Point Of Change'

Review: Unlimited: Simon Allen's 'Resonance At The Still Point Of Change'

6 September 2012

Richard Downes tries to stave off his emotional responses to a situation created by Simon Allen and his team through a song cycle backed with musical and natural sounds, electronic processes and multi-screen images. Part of the Unlimited Festival 'Resonance At The Still Point Of Change' was performed in the Queen Elizabeth Hall on 4 September

Review: Liberty Festival 2012

Review: Liberty Festival 2012

4 September 2012

Liberty was 10 years old this year. Penny Pepper was there, on 1 September, soaking up the vibes along London's Southbank, outside the National Theatre and in the BFI.

Review: Unlimited: Mark Brew Company’s 'Fusional Fragments'

Review: Unlimited: Mark Brew Company’s 'Fusional Fragments'

2 September 2012

Fusional Fragments is a fast-moving, athletic fusion of classical ballet and contemporary dance, featuring Dame Evelyn Glennie and the British Paraorchestra. Amardeep Sohi reviews the performance at Queen Elizabeth Hall, on 31 August, as part of the Unlimited Festival

Review: DaDaFest 2012

Review: DaDaFest 2012

1 September 2012

DaDaFest brings artists from across the globe to Liverpool to showcase and celebrate the best in Disability and Deaf Arts. These pages contain a selection of reviews, and responses from Colin Hambrook, Trish Wheatley, Cate Jacobs and Susan Bennet to the eclectic programme of international performance arts, visual arts and discussion that took place between 13 July - 2 September 2012

Review: Fairport’s Cropredy Festival 2012

Review: Fairport’s Cropredy Festival 2012

25 August 2012

Fairport Convention's Cropredy 2012 took place near Banbury in Oxfordshire from 9 - 11 August. Richard Downes tells a woeful tale about access provision at the festival.

Review: A Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

Review: A Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

15 August 2012

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time has been adapted by Simon Stephens, from the novel by Mark Haddon, and is playing at the National Theatre, London until 27 October. Nicole Fordham Hodges went to the preview earlier this month.

Review: Superhuman at the Wellcome Trust

Review: Superhuman at the Wellcome Trust

13 August 2012

Superhuman at the Wellcome Trust gallery in London, looks at the history of humanity’s desire to be more than human. But John O’Donoghue came away uneasy about the whole idea.

Review: Battle for the Winds with Breathe at Weymouth live site

Review: Battle for the Winds with Breathe at Weymouth live site

6 August 2012

The impressive Olympic live site on Weymouth beach provided the setting for the culmination of Battle for the Winds incorporating the Unlimited commission Breathe. The large-scale outdoor performance took place on 28th of July to mark the beginning of the sailing events at the stunning Dorset location.

Review: New Music 20x12 at the Southbank Centre

Review: New Music 20x12 at the Southbank Centre

31 July 2012

New Music 20x12 brought twenty composers together with arts organisations to create exciting new music, which will be performed across the length and breadth of the UK. Richard Downes attended a celebration at the Southbank Centre on 15 July.

Review: Youth Dance England’s 'U Dance 2012'

Review: Youth Dance England’s 'U Dance 2012'

30 July 2012

Richard Downes popped in to see U.Dance 2012, Youth Dance England’s flagship event. Showcasing some of the best young dance groups from across the UK, the event took place between 13-15 July at Cecil Sharp House, London.

Review: Road to 2012: Aiming High

Review: Road to 2012: Aiming High

27 July 2012

Nicole Fordham Hodges visits the National Portrait Gallery's exhibition following its biggest ever photographic commission.

Review: The Festival of the World Museum at the Southbank Centre

Review: The Festival of the World Museum at the Southbank Centre

26 July 2012

At the same time as London's Southbank Centre prepares to showcase the 29 Unlimited commissions by disabled and deaf artists, located at Spirit Level on Level 1 of Royal Festival Hall is the Festival of the World Museum, which displays a few prominent moments from the history of Disability Arts.

Review: The Gershwins’ Porgy And Bess by Cape Town Opera

Review: The Gershwins’ Porgy And Bess by Cape Town Opera

22 July 2012

Staged at the London Coliseum, Cape Town Opera’s production of Gershwin's 'Porgy and Bess' relocated the work’s enduring message by shifting the action to apartheid-era Soweto. Richard Downes went looking for something that is not missing.

Review: Edvard Munch: The Modern Eye at Tate Modern

Review: Edvard Munch: The Modern Eye at Tate Modern

16 July 2012

Tate Modern are showing a retrospective of the later works of reknowned Norwegian painter Edvard Munch until 14 October. Deborah Caulfield reviews the exhibition, which contains works from a period in the artists life when he became visually impaired.

Review: Simon McKeown's 'Motion Disabled: Unlimited'

Review: Simon McKeown's 'Motion Disabled: Unlimited'

14 July 2012

Motion Disabled Unlimited - the award winning exhibition and installation by Simon Mckeown - got a public outing at the torch relay celebrations, in South Park, Oxford on 9 July. Deborah Caulfield ponders the meaning of Disability Art writ large and loud at such a mainstream event.

Review: Niet Normaal: Difference on Display

Review: Niet Normaal: Difference on Display

12 July 2012

Adapted from a landmark Dutch exhibition, Niet Normaal (a popular phrase literally translated as ‘not normal’, but also meaning ‘cool’) features work in a variety of media. DAO is gathering a range of responses to the major DaDaFest exhibition on display at the Bluecoat Gallery, Liverpool from now until the 2 September.

Review: Priceless London Wonderground present Cantina

Review: Priceless London Wonderground present Cantina

11 July 2012

Cantina is the headline act of Priceless London Wonderground, London's largest festival of Cabaret and Circus. Nicole Fordham Hodges obeyed the instruction to 'leave your real life at the door' as she entered the gorgeous 1920s Spiegeltent. Oh, except that she took her mother along.

Review: Damon Albarn presents Dr Dee

Review: Damon Albarn presents Dr Dee

10 July 2012

Richard Downes reviews English National Opera’s London premiere of renaissance man Damon Albarn’s visionary new opera ‘Dr Dee’ at the Coliseum, with some thoughts on its relevance to current times.

Review: Unlimited: Ramesh Mayyappan presents 'Skewered Snails'

Review: Unlimited: Ramesh Mayyappan presents 'Skewered Snails'

7 July 2012

Ramesh Mayyappan’s Skewered Snails is a darkly comic tale following a son who escapes his brutal home. Maggie Hampton from Disability Arts Cymru caught the theatre piece at The Weston Studio, Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff on 28 June.

Review: the British Paraorchestra

Review: the British Paraorchestra

2 July 2012

DAO Director Trish Wheatley saw the debut performance of the British Paraorchestra in the impressive grounds of Glastonbury Abbey on Sunday 1 July. World-renowned conductor and Somerset resident Charles Hazlewood introduced the ensemble to the crowd on the final day of his Orchestra in a Field festival.

Review: Unlimited: Sue Austin creating 'Creating the Spectacle!' at the Fleet, Dorset

Review: Unlimited: Sue Austin creating 'Creating the Spectacle!' at the Fleet, Dorset

1 July 2012

Another of the Unlimited commissions got a public outing on 27 June when Sue Austin - whose work, ‘Creating the Spectacle!’, will be enacted in its entirety on 29 August and filmed for showing at the London 2012 Festival in September - showed off the wheelchair which is the star of the show and her vehicle to another world. Gini went along to soak up the atmosphere

Review: Yoko Ono 'To The Light'

Review: Yoko Ono 'To The Light'

28 June 2012

Richard Downes catches up with Cut Piece, from a major exhibition of Yoko Ono's work at the Serpentine Gallery, London until 9 September.

Review: Graeae present Prometheus Awakes

Review: Graeae present Prometheus Awakes

22 June 2012

DAO editor Colin Hambrook reviews Graeae's spectacular Prometheus Awakes event which opened the Greenwich+Docklands Festival at 10pm on 22 June.

Review: Handspring Puppet Company present Crow

Review: Handspring Puppet Company present Crow

20 June 2012

Breathing theatrical life into Ted Hughes’ mythic Crow poems, Handspring Puppet Company combine puppetry with choreography in a dance theatre performance as part of the Greenwich + Docklands International Festival. DAO Editor Colin Hambrook looks on and weeps...

Review: Deaffest 2012

Review: Deaffest 2012

9 June 2012

For the first time in five years, Charlie Swinbourne went to the UK's Deaf film and television festival Deaffest as a journalist rather than a filmmaker. He reviews the festival and this year's batch of films.

Review: 2Heavy Productions present Blue/Orange

Review: 2Heavy Productions present Blue/Orange

2 June 2012

Deborah Caulfield explores the range of emotions and breadth of ideas in 2Heavy Productions' Blue/Orange and finds it depressingly believable yet unexpectedly energising.

Review: Southbank Centre's 'Festival of the World'

Review: Southbank Centre's 'Festival of the World'

1 June 2012

Colin Hambrook witnesses the launch of the Southbank Centre's 'Festival of the World' - happening from 1 June to 9 September. Overwhelmed by the range, breadth and scale of the programme, he focuses on a couple of highlights.

Review: Amadou and Mariam

Review: Amadou and Mariam

31 May 2012

Richard Downes takes imagined journeys from a front room, that is a boat on top of the Queen Elizabeth Hall, at the Southbank Centre, where Amadou and Mariam appeared in a live, screened performance on 23 May.

Review: Abnormally Funny People

Review: Abnormally Funny People

29 May 2012

Richard Downes strolls down to the Soho Theatre Downstairs on 21 May to spend yet more time with Abnormally Funny People

Preview: One Morning In May - Noëmi Lakmaier

Preview: One Morning In May - Noëmi Lakmaier

28 May 2012

If you are in the City of London today (28 May), you will get a chance to see Disability Art in action as Noëmi Lakmaier makes her way from Toynbee Studios heading towards the City of London and one of London's most iconic buildings, The Gherkin... on her hands and knees.

Review: imove - LeanerFasterStronger

Review: imove - LeanerFasterStronger

26 May 2012

imove - Yorkshire's cultural programme for London 2012 commissioned Kaite O’Reilly’s new play 'LeanerFasterStronger' focusing on diversity and the interplay between sport and art. Jo Verrent reviews a performance at the Sheffield Crucible

Review: Abnormally Funny People

Review: Abnormally Funny People

17 May 2012

Abnormally Funny People have a run of gigs at the Soho Theatre Downstairs. Richard Downes went along on 24 April to find himself waking up to what comedy by disabled people is all about

Review: Unlimited - DaSH's M21 Live Art Festival

Review: Unlimited - DaSH's M21 Live Art Festival

16 May 2012

DaSH's (Disability Arts Shropshire) M21 Live Art Festival was commissioned by the Unlimited programme, part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad. Lynn Cox gives a Visually Impaired Person’s perspective on the event which took over the mediavel town of Much Wenlock in Shropshire from 5-6 May.

Review: Unlimited - David Toole's 'The Impending Storm'

Review: Unlimited - David Toole's 'The Impending Storm'

13 May 2012

Acclaimed dancer David Toole has collaborated with Lucy Hind and Remix Dance Company from South Africa to create an Unlimited commission: 'The Impending Storm'. Jo Verrent caught this compelling visual feast at DanceXchange in Birmingham on 2 May.

Review: My Song: a film about inclusion and exclusion

Review: My Song: a film about inclusion and exclusion

11 May 2012

My Song follows Ellen, a young deaf girl stuck in the middle of the deaf and hearing worlds. Scripted by Charlie Swinbourne and directed by William Mager, DAO writer Richard Downes examines the themes of inclusion and exclusion and finds parallels from his own experience.

Review: The Hunterian Museum present Anatomize

Review: The Hunterian Museum present Anatomize

8 May 2012

‘Anatomize’ a site-sensitive performance is the culmination of a creative partnership between The Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance and the Hunterian Museum and Archives. Obi Chiejina explores...

Review: Birmingham Rep Theatre present Gravity

Review: Birmingham Rep Theatre present Gravity

7 May 2012

Faced paced, dynamic and educative 'Gravity' is a gripping contemporary play about violence in schools. Obi Chiejina links the unfolding events with iconic occurrences from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. 'Gravity' continues to tour to schools and colleges throughout 2012.

Review: Shape Open

Review: Shape Open

4 May 2012

The award ceremony for the Shape Open exhibition at Portobello Gallery, last night, was a crowded affair. Colin Hambrook went along to soak up Shape’s outing into a mainstream gallery space in West London.

Review: Laurence Clark: Health Hazard

Laurence Clark: Health Hazard

21 April 2012

Health Hazard is a touring comedy show that compares the state of health-care in the UK and the US. Richard Downes saw Laurence Clark's performance at Dugdale Centre, Enfield, 19th April 2012.

Review: Liz Porter reflects on Carousel's inaugural performance of Gold Run

Gold Run

11 April 2012

In celebration of Carousel’s 30th birthday, the organisation have teamed up with the music education department at Glyndebourne and artists from the Pallant House ‘Outside In’ project to create a new Cultural Olympiad show that tells the story of the special Olympics through song, film, music and visual arts.

Review: Next Swan Down the River Might be Black

Next Swan Down the River Might be Black

4 April 2012

‘Next Swan Down the River Might Be Black’ has been described by playwright Sean Burns as a personal response to being sectioned under the Mental Health Act. Obi Chiejina concludes that whilst the subject matter may be unfamiliar to theatre audiences the quest for personal fulfilment the play explores, is rooted in English romantic fiction.

Review: Anatomy of an Athlete Elite sport, surgery and medical art

Anatomy of an Athlete Elite sport, surgery and medical art

29 March 2012

'Anatomy of an Athlete' is showing at The Royal College of Surgeons’, Hunterian Museum until 29 September. Obi Chiejina put the exhibition of four new artworks from five medical artists under the microscope to discover that the boundaries between sport sciences and the illustrative arts are not as distinct as she thought.

Review: Deafinitely Theatre present Gold Dust

Deafinitely Theatre present Gold Dust

29 March 2012

Deafinitely Theatre's new production Gold Dust, written by Andrew Muir and based on the stories of the deaf community in the Black Country, plays at Soho Theatre, London from 28 - 31 March. Writing from his experience as a family man, Charlie Swinbourne recommends the companies latest excursion into themes that inform deaf culture

Review: Extant present Sheer

Extant present Sheer

28 March 2012

Performing arts company Extant have blended a mix of burlesque, horror, comedy and magic to create an immersive experience. Deborah Caulfield witnessed 'Sheer' at Stratford Circus, London.

Review: Robert Softley presents If These Spasms Could Speak

Robert Softley presents If These Spasms Could Speak

26 March 2012

Writer/actor Robert Softley asked a simple question while preparing his new show, as part of the 2012 Behaviour festival at The Arches in Glasgow. Given how much their bodies define how others see them, what do disabled people think of their bodies themselves? The answers, as Paul F Cockburn discovered, might surprise you.

Review: We Won’t Drop The Baby

We Won’t Drop The Baby

25 March 2012

Richard Downes reviews 'We Won’t Drop The Baby', featuring disabled comedian Laurence Clark and his family... and finds a four-fold joy. The documentary is part three of BBC1's Beyond Disability Series.

Review: Cooltan Arts: Women of Dickens exhibition

Review: Cooltan Arts: Women of Dickens exhibition

23 March 2012

'Women of Dickens', an exhibition of art, poetry and textiles, was launched on March 14th at CoolTan Arts, with a series of workshops and a poetry reading. Nicole Fordham-Hodges went along, and discovered a secret code.

Review: Abnormally Funny People

Review: Abnormally Funny People

21 March 2012

Rich Downes is becoming an Abnormally Funny People (AFP) regular. Last time, he went, he felt down and needed lifting. AFP worked for him! Looking at the line up, of Mat Fraser, Liz Carr, Laurence Clark performing on Monday 19 March at Soho Theatre, he knew it would be good.

Review: SELECT EDIT: PUBLIC PRIVATE

SELECT EDIT: PUBLIC PRIVATE

19 March 2012

Windows with a Difference presented a day of artists' talks at The New Art Gallery Walsall, on 29 February 2012. Tamar Whyte's personal and moving interpretation of this event on the theme of Art and Health, demonstrates the perspective of artists, and the enrichment of talking about our diversity.

Review: Ceramic Impressions/ British Dental Association

Ceramic Impressions/ British Dental Association

12 March 2012

The ceramic artist Judy DiBase extracted dental exhibits from the British Dental Museum to produce a series of quirky ceramic 'memories' for the temporary exhibition 'Ceramic Impressions'. Obi Chiejina explores the use of these extracted dental exhibits and their ceramic responses as forms of human communication, artistic expression and interpretation for the museum visitor. The exhibition runs at the BDA Museum until 24 May.

Review: Picasso and Modern British Art

Picasso and Modern British Art

12 March 2012

Deborah Caulfield recently spent two glorious hours at Tate Britain’s Picasso & British Modern Art exhibition. She urges you to go, even if your passion for Modern Art is barely lukewarm.

Review: Launching Rockets Never Gets Old

Launching Rockets Never Gets Old/Camden Arts Centre

9 March 2012

'Launching Rockets Never Gets Old' looks at the artistic accidents generated by Raphael Hefti by interfering in industrial glass processes. Obi Chiejina assesses the impact of these accidents upon the artist and gallery visitor. The exhibition runs until the 18th March 2012 at Camden Arts Centre, London.

Review: God/Head by Chris Goode

God/Head by Chris Goode

5 March 2012

God/Head is the latest piece to be written and performed by the acclaimed theatre-maker Chris Goode. Deborah Caulfield saw it at The Ovalhouse, in South London. She came away with a messed-up head and a longing to be somewhere safe.

Review: The Madness of George III

The Madness of George III

5 March 2012

Deborah Caulfield saw 'The Madness of George III' written by Alan Bennett, which is being re-run at The Apollo, London, until 31 March. She was greatly amused!

Review: Bernadette Cremin tells tales about her Altered Egos

Bernadette Cremin tells tales about her Altered Egos

2 March 2012

Bernadette Cremin has brought her Altered Egos to the New Venture Theatre, Brighton. This follows its preview as a work-in-progress at Brighton Fringe 2010 where it was runner-up in the Latest Award for Best Literature Performance. Marian Cleary and Trish Wheatley review this new outing for six women with untidy lives.

Review: '1 Beach Road' by RedCape Theatre

'1 Beach Road' by RedCape Theatre

1 March 2012

1 Beach Road is a new touring production by Turtle Key Arts working with RedCape Theatre - an intriguing drama which explores the metaphorical connection between Alzheimer’s and coastal erosion. Deborah Caulfield reviews a performance at South Street Arts Centre, Reading on 28 February 2012

Review: Improbable Theatre present 'The Devil and Mister Punch'

Improbable Theatre present 'The Devil and Mister Punch'

27 February 2012

350 years on from the invention of the Punch and Judy puppet show, Improbable Theatre have brought the character alive in their stage show 'The Devil and Mister Punch.' Colin Hambrook shook with laughter at the last performance of the show at the Barbican on 25 February.

Review: The Optimism Bias - a talk at the Southbank Centre by author Tali Sharot

The Optimism Bias - a talk at the Southbank Centre by author Tali Sharot

27 February 2012

Tali Sharot is a rising star at U.C.L.'s department of Cognitive, Perceptual and Brain Sciences. Her book 'The Optimism Bias' came out to great interest and rave reviews. Subtitled "a tour of the irrationally positive brain," Sharot's talk at The Southbank Centre on 15 February, was a tour of a tour. Nicole Fordham Hodges went along for the ride.

Review: Absolutely Funny People

Absolutely Funny People

24 February 2012

Abnormally Funny People have a run of gigs at the Soho Theatre, Downstairs. Rich Downes went along on the 20th February and lifted himself out of "a bad place" - infected by the humour of Tanyalee Davis, Steve Day, Noel James, Sophie Woolley and Penny Pepper.

Review: Deafinitely Theatre: 4Play 2012

Deafinitely Theatre: 4Play 2012

23 February 2012

Every year, Deafinitely Theatre hold a showcase of short plays by four young deaf writers who have won their place on the Deafinitely Creative scheme. Charlie Swinbourne began his own scriptwriting career with the company back in 2006, so he went along to review this year’s intake.

Review: Graeae Theatre Company's 'Reasons To Be Cheerful'

Graeae Theatre Company's 'Reasons To Be Cheerful'

22 February 2012

A national tour of Reasons to be Cheerful goes to Ipswich, Hull, Watford, Dundee, London and Nottingham. Written by Paul Sirett and directed by Graeae's Jenny Sealey, this acclaimed coming of age tale features the greatest hits of Ian Dury and the Blockheads. Deborah Caulfield caught the show at the Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich, on 16th February 2012.

Review: Signs for Sounds: Contemporary Letterforming and Calligraphy

Signs for Sounds: Contemporary Letterforming and Calligraphy

20 February 2012

'Signs for Sounds' explores the contemporary practice of letter-forming from traditional calligraphy to the use of digital technologies and performance art. Obi Chiejina saw the Harley Gallery Touring Exhibition curated by Jeremy Theophilus, at the Bilston Craft Gallery, Wolverhampton.

Review: Retina Dance's 'Layers of Skin'

Retina Dance's Spring Tour of 'Layers of Skin'

19 February 2012

Retina Dance's 'Layers of Skin' examines the artistic process of 'hiding' and 'revealing' in contemporary dance. Obi Chiejina uncovers some complex ideas behind the performance which tours the UK and Europe until Autumn 2012.

Review: Lucian Freud Portraits

Review: Lucian Freud Portraits

19 February 2012

The most ambitious exhibition of the work of Lucian Freud for ten years is now showing at the National Portrait Gallery until 27 May 2012. It is the first to focus on his portraits. Nicole Fordham Hodges went along, and took a friend.

Review: Liz Carr - The Benefits Downstairs

Liz Carr -The Benefits Downstairs

14 February 2012

Richard Downes enjoys a frosty February night, keeping faith in friends. He caught Liz Carr do a sit-down comedy routine 'Downstairs at the Kings Head' in Crouch End, London N8

Review: An Instinct for Kindness

An Instinct for Kindness

12 February 2012

An Instinct for Kindness, written and performed by Chris Larner, tells a personal story of how the author took his ex-wife Allyson, to the Dignitas clinic in Switzerland, to commit suicide. Nervously and with some trepidation, Deborah Caulfield went to see the play at Swindon Arts Centre on Thursday 9th February.

Preview: Graeae’s Reasons To Be Cheerful

Graeae’s Reasons To Be Cheerful

9 February 2012

A year on from its critically acclaimed run in Ipswich and London, the original cast of Graeae’s hit musical ‘Reasons To Be Cheerful’ have reunited for a new tour. Charlie Swinbourne visited their rehearsals.

Review: A Bigger Picture: David Hockney at the Royal Academy

A Bigger Picture: David Hockney at the Royal Academy

7 February 2012

A Bigger Picture at the Royal Academy showcases David Hockney's landscape work. Included are oil paintings, photo-collages, charcoal drawings, watercolours, prints and film. With over 150 works displayed, spanning Hockney’s career of over fifty years, it is as much a celebration as an exhibition and, as such, it exudes generosity and abundance. Debbie Caulfield was profoundly affected.

Preview: Deaf Teens in a Hearing World, BBC3

Deaf Teens in a Hearing World, BBC3

3 February 2012

On Monday 6th February, BBC3 are broadcasting a brand-new documentary about five deaf teenagers taking their first steps in the hearing world. Charlie Swinbourne previews the film.

Review: Death: Southbank Centre's Festival For the Living

Death: Southbank Centre's Festival For the Living

2 February 2012

In the foyer of the Southbank Centre, a small group of toddlers were gathered around a cardboard coffin, decorating it with glitter and flowers. This was 'Death: a festival for the living,' which took place between 27-30 January. Nicole Fordham Hodges speaks the unspeakable.

Review: Kulunka Teatro's 'Andre & Dorine

Kulunka Teatro's 'Andre & Dorine

31 January 2012

Richard Downes came away deeply moved by 'Andre & Dorine' by Basque company Kulunka Teatro - which played at the Purcell Room, Southbank from 26-29 January - as part of the London International Mime Festival.

Review: Pathways to the Profession Symposium

Review: Pathways to the Profession Symposium

27 January 2012

Scottish Dance Theatre (SDT), produced the Pathways to the Profession Symposium which took place in Dundee, Scotland between 19-20 January. Jo Verrent airs her views on what was learnt.

Review: Rubix and Elephant - spoken word

Rubix and Elephant - spoken word

26 January 2012

Rubix and Elephant two poetry collectives from Camden's Roundhouse came to Oval House Theatre on 14 January 2012. Nicole Fordham Hodges recalls some key moments at this spoken word event.

Review: Mike Leigh's play 'Grief'

Review: Mike Leigh's play 'Grief'

25 January 2012

Charlie Swinbourne reviews Mike Leigh's play 'Grief' - in production at the The National's Cottesloe Theatre until 28 January.

Unsilenced Voices: Romani Voices

Unsilenced Voices: Romani Voices

22 January 2012

Exiled Writers Ink support and give a platform to exiled writers from around the world. Nicole Fordham Hodges went along to one of their monthly readings on 5th December at the Poetry Cafe, London WC2. She heard some Romani voices, and they certainly hadn't been silenced.

Preview: Death: Southbank Centre's Festival for the Living

Death: Southbank Centre's Festival for the Living

21 January 2012

From Friday 27th – Monday 30th January, the Southbank Centre is hosting an unusual event: four days of talks, music, performance and poetry that gently lift the lid on the subject of death. Previewed by DAO New Voices writer, Nicole Hodges

Infinitas Gracias: Mexican Miracle Paintings

Infinitas Gracias: Mexican Miracle Paintings

18 January 2012

Infinitas Gracias: Mexican miracle paintings is on show at the Wellcome Collection, London until 26 February 2012. DAO New Voices writer Obi Chiejina explores the mystery behind this exhibition of votive paintings.

Review: Fresh with Cando2 Youth Dance Company

Fresh with Cando2 Youth Dance Company

8 January 2012

Cando2 performed a site specific dance piece - as part of FRESH - an event showcasing extracts from some of the UK’s best youth and professional dance companies hits of 2011. Sophie Partridge gives a danger warning after her attendance at the event at the Place in London on 3 December.

Review: Edward Burra Retrospective at Pallant House Gallery

Edward Burra

1 January 2012

The first major exhibition for 25 years of the highly individual work of the popular British artist Edward Burra (1905–1976) is on show at Pallant House Gallery, Chichester until 19th February 2012. Colin Hambrook reviews the life and works of this exceptional watercolourist who documented significant moments in the second half of the 20th century.

Review: ‘Defying Definitions: disability arts in the mainstream’

‘Defying Definitions: disability arts in the mainstream’

15 December 2011

Alan McLean attends a thought-provoking symposium produced by DaSH, at the end of a series of 'Outside In' commissions. Held at the Arena Theatre Wolverhampton, on 2 December, the day explored Dash's support of work at New Art Gallery Walsall, Oriel Davies Newtown and Wolverhampton Art Gallery.

Review: William Blake Largactyl Shuffle

Review: William Blake Largactyl Shuffle

8 December 2011

CoolTan Arts’ Largactyl Shuffle group staged an enjoyable and successful walk, exploring the life and work of William Blake, in a unique guided cultural tour starting at Tate Modern, ending at Bunhill Cemetery.

Review: Oska Bright Film Festival 2011

Oska Bright Film Festival 2011

28 November 2011

Colin Hambrook reviews Oska Bright 2011 - the international film festival of short films by people with a learning disability, which took place in Brighton's Corn Exchange from 22-24 November 2011

Review: The View From Here

The View From Here

24 November 2011

Trish Wheatley reviews an exhibition featuring works by Martin Bruch, Juan delGado, Aidan Moesby and an intervention by DAO blogger Gini, currently on show at Salisbury Arts Centre, as part of the Re-Imagining Exhibitions programme.

Review: Alf Wiltshire

Review: Alf Wiltshire

4 November 2011

John O'Donoghue reviews the work of Outsider Artist Alf Wiltshire and discovers a gentle humour in the poems, text art and paintings of a prolific artist.

Review: Dementia Diaries by Maria Jastrzebska

Dementia Diaries

27 October 2011

The Dementia Diaries has been touring the UK. The play, directed by Mark Hewitt tackles the impact of living with dementia. John O'Donoghue saw a performance which was hosted by Brighton and Sussex Medical School at the Sallis Benney, as part of their Ethics In Performance season.

Review: Diary Drawings: Mental Illness and Me by Bobby Baker

Diary Drawings: Mental Illness and Me by Bobby Baker

15 October 2011

John O'Donoghue reviews Bobby Baker’s award-winning book of 158 diary drawings, which give a record of the artist's dealings with mental health services, coping with breast cancer, and her struggle to get the treatment she felt she needed.

Review: Channel 4's 'Seven Dwarves'

Channel 4's 'Seven Dwarves'

10 October 2011

Deborah Caulfield hates reality TV and really hates pantomime. She watched Seven Dwarves, a seven-part documentary, recently screened on Channel 4.

Reviews: The 5th decibel Performing Arts Showcase

The 5th decibel Performing Arts Showcase

13 September 2011

A team of DAO writers went to the 5th decibel Performing Arts Showcase in Manchester from the 12th - 16th September 2011. Here you can read reviews of a large selection from the 50 performances which happened during the week.

Review: Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2011

5 September 2011

Gary Thomas Visited Edinburgh Fringe for the first time this year. He gets about a bit! Here’s a couple of reviews, including the highlights.

Review: Outside In Launch

Outside In Launch

22 July 2011

Outside In is now open for submissions. Liz Porter went along to the launch event at Pallant House Gallery in Chichester to soak up the excitement.

Review: The Times Cheltenham Science Festival

The Times Cheltenham Science Festival

22 June 2011

The Times Cheltenham Science Festival 2011, 7th – 12th June, held a huge mix of events on every subject under the sun, from stem cells to the psychology of war. Debbe Caulfield attended two linked events under the heading Alternative Ways of Thinking, curated by The Arts Catalyst and Shape focusing on Alternative Ways of Thinking.

Preview: The End by film-maker Ted Evans

Preview: The End by film-maker Ted Evans

16 June 2011

Melissa Mostyn-Thomas previews a chilling new film by Deaf film-maker Ted Evans. Premiered at Deaffest, The End can be viewed on Film4, the Community Channel; on the BSLBT website.

Review: Colin Hambrook '100 Houses'

Review: Colin Hambrook '100 Houses'

2 June 2011

Simon Jenner reviews an illustrated poetry collection by Colin Hambrook commissioned by Up-Stream as a strand of Accentuate. The book charts the author's journey through mental health breakdown and survival.

Review: Up-Stream

Up-Stream

1 June 2011

Up-Stream set out to showcase engaging, contemporary live and visual art works by disabled and Deaf artists - presented as part of Brighton Festival between 24-26 May 2011.

Review: 'Labyrinth of Living Exhibits'

Labyrinth of Living Exhibits

19 May 2011

Simon Raven gives his impressions of 'Labyrinth of Living Exhibits' - a performance event curated by Aaron Williamson at the Hunterian Museum, London, presented by Shape and Arts Catalyst.

Review: RippleFest

RippleFest

6 May 2011

Plymouth’s very first disability arts event was a weekend packed full of creativity and learning. Kate Cotton went along to sample the workshops and performances.

Review: Resistance; Which Way the Future

Resistance; Which Way the Future

25 April 2011

Debbe Caulfield and three disabled friends saw Liz Crow’s 'Resistance; Which Way the Future' at The Brewhouse Theatre & Arts Centre in Taunton on 12th and 29 March 2011. It made them think…

Review: The Great Wall of Vagina by Jamie McCartney

The Great Wall of Vagina by Jamie McCartney

14 April 2011

Sue Kent reviews The Great Wall of Vagina - a series of panels using moulds taken directly from the body to produce sculpture - on show from 6 - 31 May 2011 at Jamie McCartney Sculpture Studios, 7 Ship Street Gardens, Brighton, as part of the Brighton Fringe Festival.

Review: Mind the Gap – Of Mice and Men

Mind the Gap – Of Mice and Men

16 March 2011

The latest outing of Mind the Gap’s Of Mice and Men is a beautiful and evocative production and highly recommended viewing. Kate Cotton saw the show at the Ariel Centre, Dartington, 3 March, 2011

Review: Access All Areas

Access All Areas

10 March 2011

Hosted by the Live Art Development Agency, Access All Areas was a two-day public programme, a showcase and inquiry into the work of disabled artists whose medium is Live Art, where the artist’s most important piece of kit is their own body. Debbe Caulfield investigates.

Review: Mental: A History of the Madhouse

Mental: A History of the Madhouse

14 January 2011

Colin Hambrook reviews a BBC documentary which tells the story of the closure of Britain's mental asylums through testimonies from patients, nurses and doctors.

Review: DaDaFest International 2010

DaDaFest International 2010

23 November 2010

DaDaFest – the UK’s leading and biggest deaf and disability arts festival celebrates its tenth year in 2010. In celebration, disabled and non disabled artists from all over the world will perform and exhibit at DaDaFest International 2010, a two week extravaganza of artistic wonder which showcases and celebrates the best in disability and deaf arts.

Review: The House of Vernacular

The House of Vernacular

13 October 2010

Wendy McGowan discovers some new meanings behind our interpretation of everyday photographs in 'The House of Vernacular' - on show at Fabrica Gallery, Brighton until 28 November 2010.

Review: Are you having a laugh? TV and Disability

Are you having a laugh? TV and Disability

2 July 2010

BBC 2 recently aired a 55 minute documentary charting portrayal of disability on TV over the last 50 years. Narrated by David Walliams the programme looks at the journey from Ironside to Cast Offs, and from Monty Python to The Office and Little Britain. Colin Hambrook comments.

Review: Face Front present Counting the Ways

Face Front present Counting the Ways

17 May 2010

Face Front and the European Art Company present the simple story of a couple facing the concerns and many facets of their relationship - is it absurd or real life? Kate Larsen reviews her 'loves' and 'love nots.'

Review: Lisa Hammond and Rachael Spence present No Idea

Lisa Hammond and Rachael Spence present No Idea

10 May 2010

Lisa and Rachael wanted to make a show together but they didn’t have any ideas. How do you make a show with no idea? Kate Cotton saw Improbable Theatre's production at the Plymouth Drum Theatre on 5 May 2010

Review: Bernadette Cremin performs Altered Egos

Bernadette Cremin performs Altered Egos

3 May 2010

Award-winning poet Bernadette Cremin crafts work from her three collections into a series of six monologues of women who have "catwalked and crawled" out of her poetry. Colin Hambrook caught the opening performance in an inaccessible dive in the Brighton Fringe.

Review: Polar Bears by Mark Haddon

Polar Bears by Mark Haddon

26 April 2010

Mark Haddon approaches disability from another angle with his stage-writing debut, Polar Bears. Kate Larsen critiques his new play - on at the Donmar Warehouse, London until 22 May 2010.

Review: Really Old, Like Forty Five by Tamsin Oglesby

Really Old, Like Forty Five by Tamsin Oglesby

8 March 2010

Kate Larsen reviews this 'furious comedy', which attempts to grapple with the realities of dementia and Alzheimer’s. Really Old, Like Forty Five is playing at the Cottesloe Theatre, London until 20 April 2010.

Review: Billy Childish - Unknowable but Certain at the ICA, London

Billy Childish: Unknowable but Certain

22 February 2010

The Institute of Contemporary Arts exhibits Billy Childish's first major retrospective of work in London, bringing together a cross-section of works from the artists career as a musician, artist, novelist, film maker and poet. Colin Hambrook reviews the show by this talented, infamous artist.

Review: Wings are Giving Out by Sean Burn

Wings are Giving Out by Sean Burn

21 December 2009

Wings are Giving Out is Sean Burn’s third full length collection from Skrev Press. Colin Hambrook reviews the latest collection from one of the UKs foremost experimental writers.

Review: Wild Things - Sounds of the Disabled Underground Vol 2

Wild Things: Sounds of the Disabled Underground Vol 2

17 December 2009

Following the success of last year’s Wild Things CD, Brighton punk band Heavy Load launched the second compilation on their Get in or Get Out label on 10 December 2009 at Komedia, Brighton. Colin Hambrook reviews Volume 2, a double CD featuring artists from all over the world. All proceeds go towards the Stay Up Late campaign

Review: DaDaFest09 - Mat Fraser performs From Freak To Clique

DaDaFest09_Mat_Fraser_review

30 November 2009

From Freak To Clique is a work-in-progress written and performed by Mat Fraser, currently starring in Channel 4s' Cast Offs. Mandy Redvers-Rowe caught Mat's performance - commissioned by DaDaFest - at the Bluecoat, Liverpool on November 27 2009

Review: DaDaFest 2009 - It Hasn’t Happened Yet by Liz Carr

It Hasn’t Happened Yet by Liz Carr

26 November 2009

It Hasn’t Happened Yet! is a comedy about comedy that asks just who and what a disabled comedian can actually laugh at these days? Mandy Redvers-Rowe caught Liz Carr's performance at the Unity Theatre, Liverpool on 21 November 2009

Review: DaDaFest 2009 - Sally Booth at The Bluecoat

Sally Booth lightboxes

25 November 2009

Sally Booth received the Adam Reynolds Memorial Bursary in 2008. A series of light boxes inspired by her subsequent residency at the Bluecoat, Liverpool is on show there until 5 December 2009. Susan Bennett visited.

Review: DadaFest09 - the Magic Hour at FACT.

The Magic Hour at DadaFest09, Liverpool

22 November 2009

Susan Bennett reviews The Magic Hour, a compilation of short stories by five different directors, each with a disability. The film, produced by leading producers, 104 Films, showed at FACT in Liverpool as part of DaDaFest09.

Review: Oska Bright Film Festival - The Big Awards Night

Review: Oska Bright Film Festival - The Big Awards Night

20 November 2009

The amazing Oska Bright International Film Festival in Hove - which had over 200 entries this year - ended with a final fling of celebration, partying and the presentation of awards to winning film-makers.

Review: Jon Adams - the Goose on the Hill

Jon Adams - the Goose on the Hill

14 October 2009

Colin Hambrook caught up with the opening of the ‘goose’ and offers his impressions of Jon Adams retrospective on show at Pallant House Gallery from 13 October – 22 November 2009

Decibel 09 review: Crossings by Julie McNamara

Crossings by Julie McNamara

6 October 2009

Crossings was originally commissioned as a theatre work in progress by DaDa (Deaf and Disability Arts) Festival, Liverpool. Peter Street reflects on Julie McNamara's gripping piece of drama which examines racist times from the past with contemporary racist attitudes.

Review: Disability Action in Islington's 'Regular Freak Show'

Disability Action in Islington: A Regular Freak Show

1 September 2009

Kate Larsen reflects on a screening of Richard Butchins' documentary 'The Last American Freak Show', followed by a live performance from London's raw and edgy punk rock band Unity & DeVision at O2 Academy, Islington, London on 26 August 2009.

Review: Russell Jones presents Unleashed

Russell Jones: Unleashed

12 August 2009

Colin Hambrook reviews Unleashed - an exhibition of paintings by Russell Jones presented by Creative Future at Brighton Media Centre Gallery July 2009

Review: 'Outside In' at Pallant House by Colin Hambrook

Review: Outside In at Pallant House by Colin Hambrook

11 August 2009

Colin Hambrook revels in a show that puts outsider art centre stage in the delightful setting of Pallant House in Chichester. More than 500 artists sent over 800 works in to the show, with 150 selected for display. As the show opened, six prize winners were announced from the displayed entries.

Extant: Effing & Blinding Cabaret

Extant: Effing & Blinding Cabaret

17 December 2008

Extant's latest production at Rich Mix, which met with acclaim when it ran in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August 2008

Aaron Williamson: Performance, Video, Collaboration

Aaron Williamson: Performance, Video, Collaboration

14 December 2008

Colin Hambrook reviews the rise of Aaron Williamson as performance and video artist over the last eight years; as documented in a recent publication produced by The Live Art Development Agency.

The Hunchback of Notre Dame

BBC Radio 4 and Graeae Theatre: The Hunchback of Notre Dame

9 December 2008

A BBC Radio Drama, North production, developed in association with Graeae Theatre Company. Review by Colin Hambrook.

Rachel Gadsden: Whispers from the past

Rachel Gadsden: Whispers from the past

24 November 2008

Rachel Gadsden was appointed to be the first Artist in Residence at Hampton Court Palace In November 2007. Rachel has been uncovering stories trapped within the fibre of the building over the past year.

Review: High Wyrrd 2008

High Wyrrd 2008

1 October 2008

An international showcase of disability, deaf and inclusive arts companies from around the globe took to the streets of High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire between 19 - 21 September 2008.

Paralympic Handover day

Paralympic Handover day

23 September 2008

Liz Porter relived some memories at the Paralympic Handover event at Stoke Mandeville on 17 September 2008

Graham Lewis

Graham Lewis

2 September 2008

Some lively new work is on show as part of the St Ives September Festival

Art and Power: transformARTive

Art and Power: transformARTive

13 August 2008

Kate Cotton talks to art + power about their programme for supporting artists' professional development On the eve of their tenth anniversary art + power showed their latest exhibition, transformARTive at the Grant Bradley Gallery, in their hometown of

Dada-South @ DadaFest International 2008

Dada-South @ DadaFest International 2008

25 July 2008

Dada-South bursary winners sampled the rich and diverse programme of events at DaDaFest International 2008 and were invited to report back in a range of ways.

Signdance Collective: Three Films + One

Signdance Collective: Three Films + One

11 July 2008

Signdance lead the way in experimental performance with their most challenging piece of work to date

The Signdance Collective premiered the launch of their new production Three Films + One at Holton Lee on 28 June 2008.

Ju Gosling: Abnormal

25 April 2008

Joe McConnell reviews Ju Gosling's recent exhibition culminating from her residency with the National Institute of Medical Research

Laurence Clarke: 12% Evil

Laurence Clarke: 12% Evil

24 December 2007

Tanya Raabe reviews Laurence Clark sizing himself up to find out just how evil he can be

Theatre Resource: The Conquest of the South Pole

Theatre Resource: The Conquest of the South Pole

17 December 2007

A moving play about the problem of long-term unemployment, in which four disabled friends stave off the despair of joblessness by re-enacting Amundsen's expedition to the South Pole.

The Studio Project: Intoart

9 November 2007

Tim Hayton investigates a project based in South London set up to support artists who have no access to mainstream art education

Oska Bright 2007

30 October 2007

Colin Hambrook reviews the latest Oska Bright at the Old Market Arts Centre and talks to some of the steering committee.

Liberty Festival 2007

Liberty Festival 2007

7 September 2007

Colin Hambrook reviews this year's big disability celebration in Trafalgar Square

Edinburgh Fringe 2007

Edinburgh Fringe 2007

26 August 2007

Jo Verrent reviews eight disability-related shows at the Edinburgh Festival

Envisage Review

Envisage Review

8 May 2007

Liz Porter reviews the current status of Audio Description, in response to a symposium at the Oxford Playhouse

Paddy Masefield: Strength

16 December 2006

Deborah Williams went to a launch of Paddy Masefield's book. She recounts her first impressions of the man, his passion and commitment to disability arts.

Inner Worlds Outside

Inner Worlds Outside

16 December 2006

Colin Hambrook went to the Whitechapel Gallery in London to see the latest exposure of Outsider Art.

Deborah Williams: oUo maan

16 December 2006

Lindsay Carter caught Deborah William's; one-woman show oUo maan at Caedmon Hall, Gateshead

The Fingersmiths: In Praise of Fallen Women

16 December 2006

The Fingersmiths latest production incorporates spoken and projected text with theatricalised British Sign Language. Penny Pepper caught their performance at the Drill Hall, London.

Birds Eye festival

16 December 2006

Penny Pepper tells us about the Bird's Eye View Festival of women's film

Paul Cade: Light Being

16 December 2006

Colin Hambrook looks at Paul Cade's Light Beingwithin the context of disability arts.

Lynn Manning: Weights

1 July 2005

Colin Hambrook saw the new production of Lynn Manning's autobiographical play Weights in Brighton, at the beginning of its UK tour.

Extant: Resistance

Extant: Resistance

1 January 2005

Extant are the only blind theatre company in the UK. Over the past few years they have been developing new styles to create access for blind performers and audiences alike. Colin Hambrook takes a look at their remarkable achievement.

Robert Wyatt: Free Will and Testament

1 December 2004

Colin Hambrook wonders why disabled artists of the repute of Robert Wyatt have never joined the fray within the disability movement?

Sign Dance Collective showreel

1 December 2004

Sign Dance Collective are fast developing a Europe-wide reputation for their imaginative new style of sign dance theatre. Colin reviews their show reel.