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

Disability Arts Online

> > Richard Downes

I once wrote for life now I write in life. I'm looking forward to developing a blog presence with personality for DAO whilst delivering comment, reviews, photos and views on disability and how it's represented.

A Cracking Carol

1 February 2012


photo of a man standing behind a big book

Richard Downes takes a family day out to share a favourite club with others and to make lasting relationships in the arts Scene 1: The Past. A room in Tottenham. Summer. A long, long time ago. Franz Shealey, then a lip reader is watching Phil Sherman speak. He asks; "What is your favourite story?" Fran replies' "A Christmas Carol". "Wow!!!! That's mine too", reposts Phil. Immediately, Fran and Phil; the clown and mime artist respectively behind children's theatre...

Comments: 1

Keys To The Karamel’s Sweet Konnektions

1 March 2012


Up early, yesterday, sitting at the PC, marvelling at an early youtube clip sent by Chris Sheehan of Robert Plant getting up to sing a rollicking rock blues with Charlie Wood .. Late last night going home having seen Chris compere for Charlie’s chilled out jazz grooves at the Karamel Music Club, Wood Green, London, I thought I need to tell my readers about this place. This story reflects on Keys to the Karamel Club’s Sweet Konnektions. Chris Sheehan, Creative Director of Karamel...

Comments: 1

Get stuck into Karamel Music for the last time this season

17 July 2012


Rosely Funari is manager of the Karamel Club and she is is very serious. Every time she talks to me she talks to me about Disability Issues. I listen to her, she tells me what she is doing and then I buy a drink. Her latest pride other than employing a disabled person is the new ramp and an access audit that says other than the gap between bars the loo is accessible. She is so serious she won't even turn on the glitter ball because she was asked to turn it off once. I'm teasing her...

Comments: 0

Reason To Believe

22 January 2013


It is 2013. Happy new year. Back in the old year I reported much on the Karamel Music Club – a favourite haunt. Free music, cheap food, good company, accessible premises. Well in this age of austerity, the collective’s masterful leader, Chris Sheehan, has only gone and opened another club night ‘The Northern Embassy’, dedicated to northern songwriters in the heart of Soho, which access aside retains much the same endearing qualities. And so it was, on a cold, wintry,...

Comments: 3