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Alice Holland is a trainee producer, shadowing Trish Wheatley for a year to learn Arts Management and Producing for Disability Arts. She has previously been a showgirl, fire-eater, pornographer and continues an illustrious career as an uppity feminist.

iF Platform, Brighton Fringe

11 May 2016

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The iF Platform is back, this time taking on Brighton Fringe and a fresh audience of curious, critical and creative disabled artists and allies. Hosted by Stopgap Dance and the Sallis Benney Theatre on Monday May 9th 2016. Bookended by daft flatulent cabaret from Moxie Brawl and ‘The Awakening Process’ film from Stopgap, the first session was on Funding, always a tricky subject and a conversation frequently filled with high emotions, wether it be down to cuts, broader social...

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2016: In with the old and the new!

6 January 2016

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Alice Holland and Mat Fraser hug each other

Hi everyone! It’s been a little while since my last update and a glance at my increasingly mangled diary (apparently I do most of my smoking and hair dyeing towards the middle of the month) makes me wonder if I’m not perhaps a tad over-stretched. But with so many wonderous arts projects to get my grubby little paws on I’d rather regularly sleep on trains and get home late than miss out. I did have a couple of anxiety attacks recently though so I’m cutting back on the...

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Edinburgh: Lost Voice Guy

23 September 2015

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Lost Voice Guy and a plush puppet man pose on a fake cover of a book 'Disability for Dunces' to advertise his Edinburgh show

I tried stand-up once and it was horrible. Being used to the open-armed cabaret audience I was surprised to find that comedy punters were a lot more ‘Go on then, do your jokes’ than ‘Yay! Jokes!’ Not exactly how a life-long jazz fiend had imagined her first gig at Ronnie Scotts, but I limped through with a basket of fruit on my head and had a nice time getting pissed with the acts who were off of the telly afterwards. My respect for a comic who can nail it went up...

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Fix Up, Look Sharp.

21 September 2015

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Of all the many exciting things I’m being allowed to put my clammy little paws on during this training, one of the most thrilling has to be Viewfinder. I was seconds from stepping on stage to ringmistress for a circus when I found out we’d secured the funding (thank you Arts Council!) so the audience got QUITE the performance out of me that night! Trish, Colin and all the project partners and I have been rustling up the goods to get Dao’s most ambitious project on the road,...

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Fringe Diary Day 3: All For One

1 September 2015

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One of the best things about this trip to the Fringe has been meeting other producers (trainee and pro) to have a good old rant, especially when it's in an absinthe bar full of circus honeys. Hey, when I'm working late I want to be at a party, even when I’m not drinking (touch me, I’m a saint). I’ve spent the week banging on about funding, curation, policy, mentoring, what a racket the Fringe is, what a great thing the Fringe is, how far disability arts has come and...

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Fringe Diary Day 2: Advances and Advantages

1 September 2015

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I am in bits. Sue MacLaine and Nadia Nadarajah have taken me apart by subtle means, by invisible means, with fast-moving fingers, and I am discombobulated by unnamed emotions after their performance of Can I Start Again Please? MacLaine and Nadarajah’s dissection and examination of language, meaning and intent is so elegant that even though I knew the themes of the piece were going to be hard; abuse, survival, silence; the slow burn build still took me by surprise when I found myself...

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Fringe Diary Day 1: Champions

26 August 2015

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Alice Holland stands holding a trophy, wearing a showgirl outfit with an applauding crowd around her

Yesterday I was supposed to be swanning about Edinburgh seeing shows and catching up with old pals, but an airport bomb scare threw things off so all I managed was to go to the iF Platform launch and British Council Showcase opening party and give myself a hangover before leaving. Should have had more cheese nibblies. Today; actual work, in the form of the If Not Now, When? conference, attended by the great and the good, and the new and wide-eyed. As a rookie producer also pretty green to...

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Edinburgh Fringe Picks

30 July 2015

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Le Gateau Chocolat poses in false eyelashes, glittering make-up and feathers, looking away from the camera

Thrilled as I am to be representing Dao at the Fringe this year, from even the briefest glance at the programme I can tell I'm going to be a whimpering, knackered mess by the end. There are so many performances and events by and for disabled artists this year that I'll need equal amounts of speed, spirulina and 'shut up, you have the coolest job going' to keep me going. Unlimited and the British Council are in town, and shows touching on everything from mental health to...

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Shaping A Diverse Future

16 July 2015

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portrait photo of Mhairi Black

Hey everyone, howdedo? I'm pooped from another Immersed in 360 exhibition (running at Plymouth Uni until Friday) but cheered to have found a new poitical in-up in the barnstorming form of Mhairi "halt the rollout of PIP in Scotland" Black who's maiden speech this week made me want to stand on my chair and cheer. Love her.  Bleak times are upon us, but Black's vigorous performance and absundance of common sense and compassion are giving me hope for a new generation of...

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Review: Beneath the Streets: Lost & Found from Punchdrunk Enhance and Hijinx

29 June 2015

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Two actors in blues dresses and red aprons stand in a white laboratory set

Full disclosure: I’ve seen, and worked in, a lot of immersive and promenade theatre and its offshoots. Probably too much.* 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. Sensibly-shod, I entered...

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“There’s no rule about what an artist should do

29 June 2015

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photo of Rowan James

Ahead of his first Edinburgh Fringe show ‘Easy For You To Say’, I met up with punk poet Rowan James to welcome him to my neck of the woods and find out his ambitions and motives behind the piece. Rowan has been based in Ipswich for many years but has come to the warm, cidery bosom of Bristol to develop his first feature show in a new context and to gain a bit of perspective on all that he has achieved so far, an impulsive decision his producer Luke Emery regards as typical of...

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Crowdfunding: Basics and Case Study

9 June 2015

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Proving wildly successful for some and a total wet fart for others, crowdfunding is a formulaic process that requires planning, perseverance and, preferably, an existing strong fanbase or audience for whatever it is you’re trying to achieve. It’s easy to focus on the funds, but without a crowd you ain’t gonna get ‘em. Alright kids, this is going to be a long post as it's something I've been thinking on for weeks whilst I've been putting together a...

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Training Update: 360 Degrees of Potential

30 April 2015

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Alice Holland and Mat Fraser hug and smile at a party, both dressed in black leather

I am sitting in a darkened theatre watching Sue Austin fly around me in her underwater wheelchair at her first ever hometown show, and I feel the traces of her soaring ambitions everywhere. This will be a more personal blog than my last; not because I’m not engaged in the work of this exhibition but because the journey I am taking feels poignant today. As a dreamer of dreams and a maker of bold moves I hope Sue will forgive me for not giving a more thorough coverage of the piece here, but...

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'Figures' Production Report

7 April 2015

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Staring vaguely into the middle distance in a chalet in rural Wales, it’s hard to process that for the last week I’ve been on a tidal schedule; a wind-burnt face and a sleep-deprived sense of befuddlement my only souvenirs of a week on the bank of the Thames helping Liz Crow bring her ‘Figures’ project into being. Was it only a few days ago we stood outside Parliament giving interviews to Finnish news channels and to Occupy? The BBC DID show up, didn’t they? The...

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Art, Austerity, Activism

12 March 2015

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Three unfired clay figures representing individual stories of the cost of austerity

In the week dominated by coverage of Martin Sheen’s speech on the danger of middle-of-the-road politics whilst the NHS is eroded I found myself sporadically weeping into the pelt of a Golden Retriever called Archie and plotting to blow up Parliament. Welcome to arts administration. In preparation for Liz Crow’s new sculpture performance ‘Figures’, I had the grisly-yet-illuminating task of copy-editing 650 stories of the human cost of austerity, each one to be represented...

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Producing the Producers, an introduction

6 March 2015

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Hello everyone, howdedo? Big news..... I am thrilled to be the first ever Producing the Producers guinea pig, an Arts Council England-funded scheme cooked up by Trish Wheatley of Dao to address the lack of producers with appropriate skills and knowledge to work with disabled artists. JOY!!!  Paid training in anything is amazing, but paid training in exactly what I want to be doing....WELL. Happy dances all round my dears! The past two years of my life have been...

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