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    Interview: Introducing: Priya Mistry’s Musical Mental Health Cabaret

    3 May 2016

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    Using a sophisticated visual language and brutally honest monologue developed by the ‘all-singing-all-dancing-all-mental’ cast and crew, Musical Mental Health Cabaret debuts at Attenborough Arts this June. Alice Holland meets Priya during rehearsal to find out more about the show and Priya’s work developing new techniques and expressions for artists with mental health issues. 

    Review: Birds of Paradise: Wendy Hoose

    27 April 2016

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    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.

    Interview: Access at Brighton Festival

    20 April 2016

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    Year on year Brighton Festival are making progress with small but important steps in improving the festival’s access offer and are gradually diversifying their audiences. Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival’s Theatre Producer Orla Flanagan talks to DAO about some of the festival’s outcomes, spurred, in part by engagement with Unlimited.

    Review: Unlimited: Kaite O'Reilly: Cosy

    24 March 2016

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    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'

    24 March 2016

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    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

    Opinion: Sick! Lab In Conversation: Launch of DAO’s Viewfinder

    18 March 2016

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    Unapologetic Self-Portraits will be the first playlist to be introduced via Dao’s new Viewfinder platform later this Spring. It was previewed for two days at SICK! Lab on a continuous loop in the Contact Theatre foyer, as well as being shown in a one-off screening at SICK! Lounge. Disabled film-maker Sandra Alland reflects on the project.

     

    Opinion: SICK! Lab 2016: A collaborative exploration of identity and trauma

    18 March 2016

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    Dedicated to using the performing arts to explore, broadly, the difficult stuff of life, SICK! Lab  took place at the Contact Theatre, Manchester from 9th-12th March 2016, showcasing performance, discussion and presentations on the tricky themes of identity and trauma. Colin Hambrook gives an overview, taking the temperature of the collaboration

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

    15 March 2016

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    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

    15 March 2016

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    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: Signdance Collective International present Carthage

    10 December 2015

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    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: Spill Festival 2015 - the fiery spirit of marginalisation

    25 November 2015

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

    3 November 2015

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    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.

    Interview: Chloe Phillips explores Audio-Description as a creative tool

    29 October 2015

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    Chloe Phillips is an Associate Artist with Taking Flight Theatre, based in Cardiff. Earlier this year she received an Unlimited R&D award to work with the company to produce 'The Importance of Being Described…Earnestly?' - a pilot for a production experimenting with new ideas about audio description. She talks to Colin Hambrook about her motivation and the way the project is shaping...

    The Sound of Disability

    21 October 2015

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    As part of an Arts Council funded programme of work, Dao is engaging with freelance writers to commission opinion pieces and interviews, instigating wider debate about music and disabled musicians that creates a greater understanding of where music sits with disability arts. As part of this programme of work Dao has commissioned a young disabled composer Lloyd Coleman to produce a piece of music for the British...

    Interview: Artist Aaron Williamson tells Dao about his new work Demonstrating the World

    6 October 2015

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    Over a period of five weeks, Performance artist Aaron Williamson invited visitors to witness the building of an odd set of ‘absurdist’ furniture at the Shape Gallery in Westfield Shopping Centre. The pieces will become key to the performance as it becomes ready to tour later this autumn. Colin Hambrook asked Williamson and Producer Edd Hobbs about what it means to ‘demonstrate the world’.

    Review: Vital Xposure: The Disappearance of Dorothy Lawrence

    27 September 2015

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    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

    24 September 2015

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    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

    23 September 2015

    Feature

    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

    23 September 2015

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

    16 September 2015

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    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.

    News: Baluji Music Foundation Re:Imagine India

    8 September 2015

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    In January, the Baluji Music Foundation (BMF) will be undertaking a research and development project in India. Baluji Shrivastav who is Musical Director of the Foundation, will be searching for and making music with blind musicians from Bangalore, Chennai, Andaman Islands, Assam and other regions of India, representing different, and rarely heard, folk music traditions.

    Interview: flip Artists: The View From Here

    29 August 2015

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    A recent exhibition in Edinburgh’s Gayfield Creative Spaces presented work by nine disabled artists who have recently completed a nine-month programme of mentoring and support from several high profile arts organisations in Scotland. Paul F Cockburn spoke with Robert Softly Gale, director of flip: Disability Equality in the Arts, who coordinated the programme.  

    Opinion: Edinburgh Festival: 'iF Not Now When?'

    26 August 2015

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    Forest Fringe at the Drill Hall played host on 25 August to a day of lively and vibrant discussion: 'iF Not Now When?' produced by Stopgap and hosted by Jo Verrent, Senior Producer of Unlimited. Colin Hambrook reflects on some thoughts from the day's proceedings

    Review: Edinburgh Festival: Jo Bannon presents Alba

    25 August 2015

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    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

     

    Obituary: Lynn Manning (1955 - 2015)

    8 August 2015

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    Lynn Manning athlete, poet, actor, playwright and founder of the Watts Village Theater Company, died last Monday aged 60, after a year-long fight against liver cancer. In 2005 Extant Theatre brought Manning to the UK and toured his one-man autobiographical play Weights, which told his story of being shot and blinded by a stranger in a bar. Extant CEO Maria Oshodi has kindly allowed Dao to reproduce her tribute to a man she remembers as a warrior, brother and friend

    Interview: British Council Showcase at Edinburgh Festival

    30 July 2015

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    The British Council Theatre and Dance team are currently busy working on their tenth showcase since 1997 at the Edinburgh Festival. Colin Hambrook spoke to Neil Webb, Director of Theatre and Dance about the outcomes British Council are hoping for as a result of the showcase and the broader spectrum of their disability arts work across the globe 

    Review: Extant:ComBUStion at Liberty 2015

    30 July 2015

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    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

    Christopher Leith: 3 Stages for Lazarus

    28 July 2015

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    Christopher Leith is a master puppeteer. Recently diagnosed with MND, his new show ‘3 Stages for Lazarus’ combines live puppetry, acting and music to explore issues of life and death. Currently a work-in-progress the play is being developed with a 10-15 minute film to be be completed by the end of August with performances at the Suspense Festival in London in November 2015.

    Review: SprungDigi Festival

    27 July 2015

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    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.

    Unlimited

    27 July 2015

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    Dao is delighted to be a media partner for UNLIMITED bringing you the latest news and insights on this exciting programme led by Shape and ArtsAdmin. UNLIMITED aims to embed work by disabled artists within the UK cultural sector, reach new audiences and shift perceptions of disabled people. Dao will feature the 9 main Unlimited commissions for 2015 plus numerous research and development projects. In addition Unlimited Impact, is creating projects to develop resources,...

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

    12 July 2015

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    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: Fast Forward Festival: Inclusive Excellence Conference

    10 July 2015

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    Hosted by Bristol Music Trust in the newly re-ramped Colston Hall, the purpose of the conference on 3 July was to take an honest and much-needed look at the inequity of the music industry and address the many barriers that exist for disabled people who want to participate in and listen to the best music available. Review by Alice Holland

    Discussion: Accessible Edinburgh Fringe?

    6 July 2015

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    Every August the world’s performers and entertainers flock to Scotland’s capital. Paul F Cockburn asks just how easy is it for disabled artists and audiences to get the most out of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe?

    Discussion: Pulse Festival: the uses of BSL and Audio Description in Theatre

    30 June 2015

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    As part of the Ramps on the Moon event at New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich on 5 June, delegates had the opportunity to sit in on an open rehearsal of Jeni Draper’s Fingersmith’s latest show ‘War Crimes for the Home’ and Sue MacLaine’s ‘Can I Start Again Please.’ Liz Porter responds to the uses of British Sign language and Audio Description in theatre.

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

    29 June 2015

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    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

    Discussion: ‘Dance and Normality’ Integrart Symposium 2015

    23 June 2015

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    The Dance and Normality symposium held at the Musee d’ethonographie, Geneva on 2nd June saw an international line-up of speakers and performers hosted by IntegrART. Trish Wheatley responds to the international picture for the theory and practice of dance and normality, presented on the day. 

    Review: Birds of Paradise Theatre Company present Crazy Jane

    18 June 2015

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    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

    Interview: Penny Pepper talks about her experience of working with The Literary Consultancy

    16 June 2015

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    The Literary Consultancy, (TLC) founded in 1996 by its Director Rebecca Swift and Hannah Griffiths, offers a service in assessing writers’ manuscripts to give advice on how to approach publishers and agents. Colin Hambrook interviews Penny Pepper about her experience with TLC in time for their ‘Quality Writing for All’ campaign launching on 16th June at The Free Word Centre in London. 

    Ivan Riches: Sonic Vistas

    15 June 2015

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    Ivan Riches is a disabled visual/ sonic artist, filmmaker, musician/ composer and writer. He is a national associate artist with Drake Music and Age Exchange, co founder of Eyesociation. He has worked with the Disability Programmes Unit and as an art lecturer at the Victoria and Albert Museum. He has shown and exhibited art-works and films at the APT Galley, BBC television, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, City Hall London, ICA Gallery, National Film Theatre BFI...

    Review: Pulse Festival: Ramps on the Moon

    10 June 2015

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    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

    9 June 2015

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    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

    3 June 2015

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    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

    3 June 2015

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    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.

    News: Colston Hall takes the lead for BBC Music Day in Bristol

    2 June 2015

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    Colston Hall will play a leading role on the first ever BBC Music Day on Friday 5th June 2015 in championing disability and diversity in music and the arts. BBC Music Day will see the Hall welcoming a unique disability youth concert. The day will be a nationwide celebration of music with the aim of connecting communities and...

    Interview: Claire Cunningham on Give Me A Reason To Live

    15 May 2015

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    Choreographer and performer Claire Cunningham talks to Colin Hambrook about her new solo performance ‘Give Me  A Reason To Live’. Exploring religious art, and the questions it raises about impaired bodies and quality of life, the work takes the form of a series of tests of body and of faith. Stripped down the work is a study in the notion of empathy.

    Opinion: Assisted Suicide in the Theatre: Kill Me Now!

    26 March 2015

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    Park Theatre in Finsbury Park, London have recently had a five week run of Kill Me Now - a black comedy by Canadian playwright Brad Fraser with director Braham Murray; and starring Greg Wise as Jake, a long-suffering father and Oliver Gomm as Joey, a young man living with cerebral palsy. In response Colin Hambrook asks whether the debate about assisted suicide is part of a much darker expression of the desire for power over other’s lives and...

    Opinion: Trish Wheatley on Critiquing Learning Disability Performance

    24 March 2015

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    On Monday 23rd March 2015 Mind the Gap hosted a conference about international learning disability performance. Trish Wheatley was asked to speak on the panel about critiquing learning disability performance – the ‘Quality’ debate. The extended version is published here. 

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

    19 March 2015

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    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: Extant Theatre: Flatland

    9 March 2015

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    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

    9 March 2015

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    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.

    Interview: Who Is Johnny Crescendo?

    4 March 2015

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    This month is the 25th Anniversary of Richard Reiser and Micheline Mason’s report 'Disability Equality in the Classroom: A Human Rights Issue'. To celebrate this milestone, the authors are holding a two-day conference from 20-21 March, a highlight of which will be a performance headlined by singer, songwriter Johnny Crescendo, the Disability Arts pioneer and founder of the Direct Action Network. Robin Surgeoner talks to the musician about his life and...

    Political Pop to Pierce The Prophylaxis of The Non-Disabled

    30 January 2015

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    Robin Surgeoner AKA Angryfish looks for political songwriting. Looking for a definition he asks does it exist within “philosophical laments, agit-pop, punk angst, prosaic provocative folk, indie rock, hard rock, reggae rock, and the list goes on…” 

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

    23 January 2015

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    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: Disability Arts Touring Network: The Why? Festival

    17 December 2014

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    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'

    11 December 2014

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    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

    Interview: Tony Heaton on the next tranche of Unlimited applications

    11 December 2014

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    Colin Hambrook talks to Tony Heaton, CEO of Shape who are lead partners with Artsadmin for the Unlimited programme, with a focus on the kinds of work that Unlimited might attract in the second round of applications, with a deadline set for 2 February 2015. 

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

    9 December 2014

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    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

    7 December 2014

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    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: Syndrome 3.1: Music/ Brain Experiments

    30 November 2014

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    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.

    News: Heart n Soul’s Allsorts: The Listening Season

    28 November 2014

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    Heart n Soul is delighted to announce that they are working with Emmy award-winning ‘Sherlock’ composer Michael Price to co-produce ‘Allsorts: The Listening Season’, our creative arts project for adults with learning disabilities.

    Review: Disability Arts Touring Network: The Ugly Girl

    28 November 2014

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    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

    26 November 2014

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    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'

    24 November 2014

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    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: Lisa Simpson's 'Brought to Life'

    24 November 2014

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    The digital world meets the natural world in choreographer Lisa Simpson’s enchanting professional debut. Inspired by Goldsworthy’s ephemeral sculptural artworks, this new dance piece explores growth, change and the environment. Review by Cate Jacobs

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

    24 November 2014

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    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 

    Music for the Masses

    21 November 2014

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    Dao asked Mik Scarlet to capture a slice of Disability Arts history from the 1990s when a bunch of disabled musicians set their sights on a career within the music industry.​ He looks back with a sense of pride at what they achieved against inumerable odds.

    Review: Disability Arts Touring Network: Krip-Hop Nation

    19 November 2014

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    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

    IroniCrip Disco presents the best of the worst

    15 November 2014

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    Richard Downes is an avid music-lover with a very large music collection, so when it came to commissioning a feature that highlights some of the less savoury ways in which disability gets represented, musically he was an obvious writer to ask. Drawing on a knowledge of some of the more obscure elements of popular music, IroniCrip Disco exemplifies how often we might hear a song and only subliminally recognise any meaning within it.

    Attitude is Everything: the rise of access for disabled music lovers and musicians

    12 November 2014

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    In 2000 Suzanne Bull MBE set up Attitude is Everything (AiE) to challenge the music industry to improve their access to Deaf and disabled customers.  Fourteen years on the organisation has had a lot of success in persuading the UK music industry that there are advantages to be found in raising their game when it comes to access provision for disabled people. Colin Hambrook recently talked to Suzanne about AiE’s beginnings and where the organisation is...

    Review: Gobscure present Collector of Tears

    10 November 2014

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    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

    News: Unlimited opens the second round of submissions

    7 November 2014

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    Unlimited, the initiative which supports disabled artists to create and present exceptional work across the artforms, announces the opening of the second round of submissions for commission funds. Disabled artists and companies who are creating new disability-led work are invited to apply.

    Creative Minds South West: Theatre and Storytelling Presentations

    1 November 2014

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    Katie Keeler, Co-Executive Producer of Theatre Bristol reflects on the Creative Minds conference in Bristol on Tuesday 14 October 2014 attended by learning disabled artists from across the UK, workers who support learning-disabled artists and a bunch of non-specialist industry types.

    Review: Creative Minds South West one day conference

    18 October 2014

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    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

    18 October 2014

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    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.

    Allan Sutherland

    17 October 2014

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    Allan Sutherland’s blog charts the progress of working on his first collection of poetry, Leaning On A Lamppost. The collection will give an overview of his work, including 20 years of performance, his more recent pioneering work in transcription poetry, found poems and a set of new work responding to his mentoring by John O’Donoghue.

    News: Welfare Reform threatens Graeae Theatre Company

    16 October 2014

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    In the wake of the scandal of Lord Freud's comments about wages for disabled workers Graeae Theatre Company have issued a statement on the realities of the impact of the changes in Access to Work and other disability-related employment policies on the work of the company.

    News: Together! 2014 Disability History Month Festival

    13 October 2014

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    Following a busy summer Together! are delighted to announce the programme for the Together! 2014 Disability History Month Festival. Highlights include the festival launch and private view of the Open Exhibition; Krip Hop Nation's workshop and performance; The Hands Project on International Day of Disabled People; the Together! Disability Film Festival and the launch of a poetry anthology and end-of-festival party.

    Opinion: To Wheel Or Not To Wheel? Disabled Characters in Theatre & Television

    12 October 2014

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    There is still a preponderance for non-disabled actors in theatre and television to 'crip up' for disabled roles. Mik Scarlet looks at the slow emergence of disabled actors within mainstream representation and discusses the question of a disabled actor playing a character who has a different impairment to their own?

    News: Stopgap Dance Company and The Point launch the iF Platform

    8 October 2014

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    The iF Platform (Integrated Fringe) is a unique opportunity for companies and artists producing work with disabled and non disabled artists. It will showcase the best integrated work from the UK at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe from 23rd – 30th August 2015 to coincide with the British Council Showcase year.

    Review: Actors Touring Company [ATC]: Blind Hamlet

    15 September 2014

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    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

    13 September 2014

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    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

    13 September 2014

    Feature

    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.

    News: Disability Arts Touring Network: The Ugly Girl Tour

    11 September 2014

    Feature

    A wildly comic twist on the stereotype of a queer, disabled, intellectual trouble-maker, featuring an international cast of disabled actresses including Liz Carr (Silent Witness) and Julie McNamara (Let Me Stay). This no-holds barred musical about what it means to be the quintessential Ugly Girl adrift in a comically hostile universe is full of slapstick, music and dark humour. Presented as part of a tour to develop disability arts.

    Review: Penny Pepper: Lost in Spaces

    11 September 2014

    Feature

    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

    10 September 2014

    Feature

    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: Unleashed

    7 September 2014

    Feature

    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

    7 September 2014

    Feature

    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

    6 September 2014

    Feature

    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: Drake Music: Seasons 4.0

    6 September 2014

    Feature

    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

    4 September 2014

    Feature

    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

    3 September 2014

    Feature

    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: Liberty 2014

    1 September 2014

    Feature

    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

    Unlimited 2014: Chisato Minamimura: Ring the Changes+

    29 August 2014

    Feature

    Whilst eagerly awaiting the delights of Unlimited Festival next week, Sarah Pickthall attended a recent sharing of work in progress of Chisato Minamimura’s commissioned work Ring the Changes+ at TripSpace Studios in Haggerston - a collaboration produced by digital artist Nick Rothwell and Body>Data >Space.

     

    Interview: Unlimited 2014: Jo Bannon talks about Exposure

    29 July 2014

    Feature

    Nina Muehlemann met artist Jo Bannon during a networking meeting with other artists and people involved with the second round of Unlimited. She talked to Jo about her Unlimited 2014 commission, ‘Exposure’ over a glass of wine.

    Interview: Unlimited 2014: James Leadbitter aka the vacuum cleaner on Madlove

    27 July 2014

    Feature

    James Leadbitter aka the vacuum cleaner, received an Unlimited research and development award for Madlove - a project which asks those with and without mental illness to collaborate in designing a ‘safe place to go mad’. John O’Donoghue talks to the artist about his idea to get people to participate in redesigning the asylum.

    Review: Jez Colborne: GIFT at the Southbank Centre

    8 July 2014

    Feature

    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.

    Lloyd Coleman: The Sound of Disability v-blog

    3 July 2014

    Feature

    Lloyd Coleman is a composer, conductor and clarinettist, who recently graduated from the Royal Academy of Music. He's been a member of the British Paraorchestra since it was formed in 2012, and is now writing a major new piece for them. You can follow his progress here on this blog.
     

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

    19 June 2014

    Feature

    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…

    Interview: Claire Cunningham: Guide Gods

    15 June 2014

    Feature

    Choreographer and performer Claire Cunningham tells Paul F Cockburn how her new work melds movement and words to discuss religious attitudes to disability.

    Review: Gary Thomas: Hidden at DAiSY Fest

    14 June 2014

    Feature

    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

    Feature

    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

    4 June 2014

    Feature

    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

    News: International artist brings Gift to Bradford Festival

    21 May 2014

    Feature

    International musician and composer Jez Colborne has been commissioned by PRS for Music Foundation’s New Music Biennial to create an original music piece – Gift, which is set to immerse audiences in a wave of new sounds.

    Review: The Dandifest Fete, Norwich

    8 May 2014

    Feature

    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).

    Poetry: Carol Robson: Just Saying How It Is

    22 April 2014

    Feature

    Carol Robson loves the performance genre. She self-published her first collection Words of Darkness and Light in 2012, which will shortly be published as a second edition by Thynks Publications. She writes poetry on various themes but is passionate on issues of gender, sexuality, ageing and disability. 

    Opinion: Beggar's Show Campaigns To Save The Independent Living Fund

    16 April 2014

    Feature

    Natasha Lewis plays the role of Lucy Brown in Graeae Theatre Company's touring production of 'The Threepenny Opera'. She comments on the devastating effect on disabled artists… and would be disabled artists, resulting from the closure of The Independent Living Fund

    News: Fittings Multimedia Arts are awarded funding for Missing!

    1 April 2014

    Feature

    Liverpool based Arts Company Fittings Multimedia Arts have received very welcome news this week as their application for funding to support a two-year project working with young people across the North and Midlands has been approved by Arts Council England.

    Review: If These Spasms Could Speak by Robert Softley

    23 March 2014

    Feature

    '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: Graeae Theatre present The Threepenny Opera

    18 March 2014

    Feature

    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

    18 March 2014

    Feature

    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

    17 March 2014

    Feature

    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

    13 March 2014

    Feature

    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

    12 March 2014

    Feature

    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.

    Creative Minds: ‘What as a practitioner are you going to do now?’

    11 March 2014

    Feature

    The Creative Minds event held in Brighton on Monday 10th March was full to capacity with a good mix of delegates from different roles and organisations. The work was impressive presenting visual art, performance and films that were full of life. Creative Minds was well organised with plenty of activity and scope for discussion and sharing of practice and thought. The speakers were engaging, their presentations witty, and their messages strong. To add to the debate Kristina Veasey asks...

    Review: Frozen by fingermsiths

    9 March 2014

    Feature

    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.

    Discussion: Robert Softley Gale on Wendy Hoose

    7 March 2014

    Feature

    The latest production from Glasgow-based Birds of Paradise Theatre Company is the first under its new artistic regime. Paul F Cockburn spoke with co-artistic director Robert Softley Gale about Wendy Hoose.

    Discussion: Janice Parker Projects presents Glory

    5 March 2014

    Feature

    Glory sees the return of Janice Parker and Richard Layzell encouraging men, women and children of all ages and abilities and from all walks of life, to collaborate to create a large-scale immersive dance event that celebrates the city’s rich Commonwealth community and Glasgow 2014. Glory runs at the Tramway from 5-10 March 2014. Kim Simpson gives an account of taking part.

    test for disability arts tourism network feed

    28 February 2014

    Feature

    In 2004 Neil Harbisson and Adam Montandon developed The Eyeborg - an electronic ‘eye’ that allows colours to be perceived as sounds. The Eyeborg is a small sensor placed at eye level, held in place with a cable that transports colour information to a computer or chip. The electromagnetic light waves are turned into sound frequencies that are heard as musical notes. In partnership with Vodafone, Harbisson has now recorded the colours of Barcelona’s Palau de la Musica using...

    News: Spanish artist and musician Neil Harbisson develops device enabling him to interpret colours as different musical frequencies

    27 February 2014

    Feature

    In 2004 Neil Harbisson and Adam Montandon developed The Eyeborg - an electronic ‘eye’ that allows colours to be perceived as sounds. The Eyeborg is a small sensor placed at eye level, held in place with a cable that transports colour information to a computer or chip. The electromagnetic light waves are turned into sound frequencies that are heard as musical notes. In partnership with Vodafone, Harbisson has now recorded the colours of Barcelona’s Palau de la Musica using...

    Preview: Graeae Theatre stage a new production of The Threepenny Opera

    19 February 2014

    Feature

    The Threepenny Opera is a precursor to many modern musicals and now The New Wolsey Theatre’s Peter Rowe and Graeae’s Jenny Sealey have joined forces to bring what promises to be an anarchic version of the story to theatres in Nottingham, Ipswich, Birmingham and Leeds. In conversation with Garry Robson who plays JJ Peachum, Colin Hambrook found out more about the new production.

    Review: Stopgap Dance Company tours Artificial Things

    17 February 2014

    Feature

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

    6 February 2014

    Feature

    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

    Opinion: The Cabinet of Curiosities: How Disability Was Kept in a Box

    29 January 2014

    Feature

    When the Research Centre for Museums and Galleries (RCMG) at the University of Leicester asked actor and performance artist Mat Fraser to create a show exploring the medical profession's approach to disability by responding to the collections of the Hunterian Museum, the Science Museum, and the Royal College of Physicians he came up with The Cabinet of Curiosities: How Disability Was Kept in a Box. By Colin Hambrook.

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

    7 January 2014

    Feature

    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

    Gallery: Extant present ZombieyeZ in Zagreb

    16 December 2013

    Feature

    Extant Theatre's blind Zombie movie was filmed in Zagreb. Below you can follow the video diary of the heroine Helen as she joins blind and partially sighted people from across the world to take part in a Zagreb clinic’s medical trial claiming to restore sight in 24 hours. How far did they go to get their sight back? Experience the shocking outcome of Extant’s interactive online film narrative!

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

    3 December 2013

    Feature

    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: Hastings Storytelling Festival: The Velvet Curtain

    22 November 2013

    Feature

    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.

    Review: DYSPLA Festival 2013

    14 November 2013

    Feature

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

    Review: Short Circuit: When Disability And Digital Collide

    12 September 2013

    Feature

    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.

    News: 900 Years of Light: Multimedia performance at Exeter Cathedral

    6 September 2013

    Feature

    Exeter Cathedral will be the setting for a multimedia response to the building’s 900 year history and the contributions that craftspeople have made during that time. 900 Years of Light is the culmination of Cathedra 900, an Arts Council England funded project by visual and multimedia artist Mark Ware. For the last 18 months, Mark has been exploring the Cathedral and interpreting its art and architecture through photography, abstract photomontages, 3D artwork and sound.

    National Paralympic Day featuring Liberty Festival!

    3 September 2013

    Feature

    Greenwich and Docklands International Festival is producing National Paralympic Day featuring the Mayor of London’s Liberty Festival at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on Saturday 7 September 2013.

    Review: DaDaFest On Tour: Young DaDaFest 2013

    14 August 2013

    Feature

    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

    2 July 2013

    Feature

    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

    27 June 2013

    Feature

    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!

    Interview: Tricia Howey talks to Kati Francis, Artistic Director of BeautifulMess

    12 June 2013

    Feature

    BeautifulMess have been running performing arts workshops in Brixton for adults with learning difficulties for a while. Tricia Howey of Narus Productions have been supporting the company in getting Foxfood off the ground. Foxfood is a multi-sensory performance which first took place at Brixton’s Lambeth Accord at the end of May and is part of the ongoing Fox Project, which will include summer workshops inspired by the production.

    News: CEDA Music Acclaim

    31 May 2013

    Feature

    Exeter-based Community Equality Disability Action (CEDA) have just been awarded £100 as runners up in the recent Sound Beam 25 competition.

    Review: The Angina Monologue by Doug Devaney

    11 May 2013

    Feature

    Is it possible to make compelling theatre out of a cardiac arrest? John O’Donoghue went to see Doug Devaney’ show, part of Brighton’s Five Pound Fringe.

    Review: Vital Xposure presents The Knitting Circle

    6 May 2013

    Feature

    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: SICK! Festival presents Sick Notes an online archive

    26 March 2013

    Feature

    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

    25 March 2013

    Feature

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

    18 March 2013

    Feature

    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

    15 March 2013

    Feature

    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: Criptease at Southbank Centre's WOW festival

    15 March 2013

    Feature

    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

    8 March 2013

    Feature

    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: Spare Tyre Theatre present 'Scratches'

    2 March 2013

    Feature

    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'

    12 February 2013

    Feature

    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

    10 February 2013

    Feature

    '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

    6 February 2013

    Feature

    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: Together 2012: End Of Festival Party

    20 December 2012

    Feature

    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

    20 December 2012

    Feature

    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: Hijinx, Odyessy present Whispers on the Waves

    10 December 2012

    Feature

    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: Corali Dance present 'One of a Kind' and other new works

    10 December 2012

    Feature

    Corali brought together its most recent work in a rare opportunity to see the breadth of the Company’s current practice in the foyer of Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank on 4 December. Sophie Partridge was there to review the programme

    Review: The Place present Fresh 2012

    9 December 2012

    Feature

    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: Changing Lives, Changing Times

    31 October 2012

    Feature

    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

    For One Night Only: taking diverse theatre to rural venues

    27 October 2012

    Feature

    In Autumn 2011 Farnham Maltings produced For One Night Only, a funny, touching play full of song and the odd smart one liner, made especially for village halls. Director, Gavin Stride talks about the value of touring a show with a cast of two black performers to village halls in deepest, whitest England.

    Review: Mugenkyo Taiko Drummers

    25 October 2012

    Feature

    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: Unlimited: Bee Detective by Tin Bath Theatre

    11 September 2012

    Feature

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

    6 September 2012

    Feature

    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

    4 September 2012

    Feature

    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'

    2 September 2012

    Feature

    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

    1 September 2012

    Feature

    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

    Interview: Kaite O'Reilly and the cast of 'In Water, I’m Weightless' talk about the production

    31 August 2012

    Feature

    After an acclaimed run in Cardiff, National Theatre Wales and a cast of deaf and disabled performers brings the award-winning Kaite O’Reilly’s 'In Water I’m Weightless' to London as part of the Unlimited festival at the Southbank Centre. But how did such an imaginative, poignant and funny work come together? Paul F Cockburn, dropped in during the final week of rehearsals last July.

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

    15 August 2012

    Feature

    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: Damon Albarn presents Dr Dee

    10 July 2012

    Feature

    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'

    7 July 2012

    Feature

    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.

    Interview: Chas de Swiet on his career, disability arts and the Creative Case

    21 June 2012

    Feature

    Chas de Swiet has worked in arts management since 2000 and has worked for a number of arts organisations with a specialism in diversity and disability arts. He is also an artist, mainly working with sound and music. In this second instalment of Charlie Swinbourne's interview with him, he talks about his career, his identity as a disabled person, and the creative case.

    Review: Handspring Puppet Company present Crow

    20 June 2012

    Feature

    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...

    Interview: Chas de Swiet on the Cultural Olympiad

    15 June 2012

    Feature

    In the run-up to the plethora of disability arts events happening across the UK this summer, Charlie Swinbourne talks to producer, programmer and artist, Chas de Swiet about his work with Greenwich and Docklands International Festival, Liberty Festival and DaDaFest

    News: Unity Festival International Disability Arts Festival in Cardiff

    14 June 2012

    Feature

    The Unity Festival, created by Hijinx Theatre, is taking place between 21 – 30 June and will showcase and celebrate the best in inclusive, disability and learning-disability arts from Wales, the UK and around the world, promoting positive images of disability and social inclusion to audiences

    News: DaDaFest gets a makeover!

    13 June 2012

    Feature

    Innovative Liverpool-based disability and deaf arts organisation Disability and Deaf Arts will now be known as DaDaFest – taking on the name of its best known event, the critically acclaimed international festival. In line with this name change, the entire DaDaFest brand has received an overhaul including a vibrant new image and website design.

    News: Tin Bath Theatre presents Bee Detective


    8 June 2012

    Feature

    Part of the Unlimited Cultural Olympiad programme and the London 2012 Festival, Tin Bath Theatre's 'Bee Detective' is 
an outdoor theatre show for deaf and hearing children. Created by Sophie Woolley, it will be touring parks and squares across the UK this summer.

    Review: Amadou and Mariam

    31 May 2012

    Feature

    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: imove - LeanerFasterStronger

    26 May 2012

    Feature

    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

    17 May 2012

    Feature

    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: Birmingham Rep Theatre present Gravity

    7 May 2012

    Feature

    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.

    Interview: The Big Lounge Collective produce 'Assisted Suicide: the musical'

    23 April 2012

    Feature

    The Big Lounge Collective (BLC) was launched at the Young Vic earlier in the year by seven established disabled artists in response to the lack of opportunities and infrastructure for freelance practitioners. DAO editor, Colin Hambrook, had an email exchange with Liz Carr about the BLC’s inaugural piece of work ‘Assisted Suicide: the musical’.

    Review: Next Swan Down the River Might be Black

    4 April 2012

    Feature

    ‘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: Extant present Sheer

    28 March 2012

    Feature

    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

    26 March 2012

    Feature

    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.

    Discussion: The Joke

    23 March 2012

    Feature

    Rich Downes has been musing on what makes things funny. He starts off with a bad joke and ends up with a series of interviews with disabled comedians about what makes humour so essential to our lives.

    Review: Abnormally Funny People

    21 March 2012

    Feature

    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.

    Interview: Birds of Paradise present The Man Who Lived Twice

    9 March 2012

    Feature

    The Man Who Lived Twice is a new touring production from Glasgow-based Birds of Paradise theatre company. It's a 'dramatised account' of what took place between disabled playwright Edward Sheldon and actor John Gielgud during a meeting in New York in 1936. In the run-up to the show’s launch at The Arches in Glasgow, before a Scotland-wide tour, Paul F Cockburn spoke with director Alison Peebles.

    Review: God/Head by Chris Goode

    5 March 2012

    Feature

    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

    5 March 2012

    Feature

    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

    2 March 2012

    Feature

    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 March 2012

    Feature

    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

    Interview: Rich Downes talks to Phil Sherman of Booster Theatre Company

    28 February 2012

    Feature

    A while back Rich Downes blogged about 'A Christmas Carol' by Phil Sherman of Booster Theatre Company. Phil is putting on a season at the Karamel Club where he will show all his work with pop up books, mime and sign. Rich attended with James Tarpey, a young friend, who is studying drama. He introduced them after the show to discuss their careers. The interview took on flavours of past, present and future.

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

    27 February 2012

    Feature

    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: Absolutely Funny People

    24 February 2012

    Feature

    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.

    Interview: Lung Ha’s Theatre Company present ‘Antigone’

    23 February 2012

    Feature

    This coming March 2012, Scotland’s leading group for performers with learning difficulties, Lung Ha’s Theatre Company, presents a new version of Sophocles‘ ‘Antigone’, the classic story of a young woman standing up against society for what she believes is right. Paul F Cockburn spoke with artistic director Maria Oller and the composer Kenneth Dempster to learn about the show’s origins.

    Review: Deafinitely Theatre: 4Play 2012

    23 February 2012

    Feature

    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'

    22 February 2012

    Feature

    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.

    New Gold set to enjoy two-week theatre run

    21 February 2012

    Feature

    Critically-acclaimed dance theatre company Signdance Collective is to perform its show New Gold at Warehouse Theatre in London for two weeks in April, as part of the 2012 Cultural Olympiad, a cultural celebration inspired by the Olympics and Paralympics.

    Review: Retina Dance's 'Layers of Skin'

    19 February 2012

    Feature

    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: Liz Carr - The Benefits Downstairs

    14 February 2012

    Feature

    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

    12 February 2012

    Feature

    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

    9 February 2012

    Feature

    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: Kulunka Teatro's 'Andre & Dorine

    31 January 2012

    Feature

    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

    27 January 2012

    Feature

    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: Mike Leigh's play 'Grief'

    25 January 2012

    Feature

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

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

    21 January 2012

    Feature

    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

    News: Mind the Gap win Award

    14 December 2011

    Feature

    Mind the Gap win NatWest CommunityForce Award to develop a filmmaking project in the North East

    News: DadaFest 2012: Dates and theme announced

    5 November 2011

    Feature

    DaDaFest, the International Festival of Disability and Deaf Arts, has announced that the festival is to return in summer 2012, with the theme of TransActions - Fluid Bodies: Shifting Identities

    Review: Dementia Diaries by Maria Jastrzebska

    27 October 2011

    Feature

    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.

    Disabled Avant Garde: Stage Invasion

    13 October 2011

    Feature

    Disabled Avant Garde have published a four minute film on youtube of their protest at the Liberty Festival on London's South Bank on 19 August 2011.

    Kaite O'Reilly

    22 September 2011

    Feature

    Kaite O'Reilly is an award-winning playwright and a recipient of two Cultural Olympiad Commissions. She blogs about writing and the process of writing with a focus on four forthcoming productions, which revolve around disability issues.

    Interviews: The 5th decibel Performing Arts Showcase

    20 September 2011

    Feature

    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 interviews with many of the artists and delegates reflecting on decibel and the Creative Case for Diversity, which was launched at a conference at the beginning of the week.

    Reviews: The 5th decibel Performing Arts Showcase

    13 September 2011

    Feature

    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.

    Vital Xposure present 'The Knitting Circle'

    19 August 2011

    Feature

    The End of an Era: Cochrane Theatre’s parting performances on 21st and 22nd September will premiere Vital Xposure’s The Knitting Circle’, exposing the hidden stories of Britain’s madhouses.

    Liberty 2011: London's Disability Arts Festival

    19 August 2011

    Feature

    Liberty is a platform for amazing new work from deaf and disabled artists. Come and enjoy an afternoon of music and cabaret, outdoor arts and dance, and fun for children at the Southbank Centre and National Theatre.

    The Creative Case Symposium

    7 August 2011

    Feature

    The Arts Council of England will launch the Creative Case - a new approach to diversity, during a day-long public symposium in Manchester on Monday 12 September.

    News: Mind the Gap’s chickens fly the coop to feature at Summer festivals

    8 June 2011

    Feature

    Why did the chicken cross the road? Which came first the chicken or the egg? Mind the Gap’s talented cast of learning disabled professional performers hatched a plan to answer these and other less poultry questions in their new street theatre piece, ‘Chicken Coup!’ which toured festivals during the summer of 2011

    Review: Mind the Gap – Of Mice and Men

    16 March 2011

    Feature

    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

    Profile: The Knitting Circle by Julie McNamara

    17 February 2011

    Feature

    Having a first outing at the Soho Theatre, London, from 21-23 February, The Knitting Circle is an exciting new work in progress, reuniting director Paulette Randall and writer / producer Julie McNamara. Based on the testimonies of people who survived the asylums closed in the 1980s and 90s.

    Profile: Filmpro present FAT

    21 November 2010

    Feature

    A unique solo performance by Pete Edwards - telling the story of a gay, disabled man in search of his heart’s desire. Produced in association with Graeae Theatre Company.

    Sophie Partridge's Blog

    9 July 2010

    Feature

    Sophie Partridge has performed in several productions with Graeae Theatre Company, including the award-winning Peeling and Flower Girls. She has worked with David Glass Ensemble, Theatre Resource and Theatre Workshop. She has a French Canadian Mum, an 82 year-old Dad, two sisters, one brother, various uncles, aunts and cousins, great friends, good PAs and several virtual dogs. What more does a Girl need?!

    An Interview with Maysoon Zayid

    29 May 2010

    Feature

    Groundbreaking comedy performer, Maysoon Zayid, takes a break from her hectic schedule to talk to Joe McConnell about her craft.

    Review: Lisa Hammond and Rachael Spence present No Idea

    10 May 2010

    Feature

    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

    Fittings Multimedia Arts

    2 April 2010

    Feature

    Raspberry is a musical inspired by the life and times of legendary disabled performer, Ian Dury. Written by award-winning playwright Garry Robson of Fittings Multimedia Arts, the play is showing at Oval House Theatre, London - 1 February to 19 February. Audio Described & BSL performance: Friday 18th February (See DAO listings for details)

    Review: Really Old, Like Forty Five by Tamsin Oglesby

    8 March 2010

    Feature

    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: Wild Things - Sounds of the Disabled Underground Vol 2

    17 December 2009

    Feature

    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

    30 November 2009

    Feature

    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

    26 November 2009

    Feature

    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

    Decibel 09 review: Crossings by Julie McNamara

    6 October 2009

    Feature

    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.

    Profile: Decibel Performing Arts Showcase

    6 September 2009

    Feature

    The fourth decibel Performing Arts Showcase, takes place in Manchester from 15-18 September 2009. The showcase, run by Arts Council England offers promoters and national and international arts professionals a unique snapshot of England’s diverse performing arts talent.

    StopGAP Dance Company

    4 February 2009

    Feature

    StopGAP are an internationally recognised Dance Company. Having comleted a whirlwind UK tour of their acclaimed Portfolio Collection they are now preparing for the Caravan International Event, which is taking place to coincide with The Brighton Festival.

    Signdance Collective: Three Films + One

    11 July 2008

    Feature

    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.

    Signdance Collective International

    26 March 2008

    Feature

    Signdance Collective International are an international dance, music, theatre company based at Bucks New University in South East England. David Bower and Isolte Avila blog the companies travels to festivals worldwide.

    StopGAP Dance Company

    6 March 2008

    Feature

    StopGAP Dance Company are currently undertaking a UK tour with their latest Portfolio Collection

    Next Year in Auckland

    29 January 2008

    Feature

    Philip Patston, comedy performer, public speaker and the primal force behind the International Disability Arts Symposium which will take place in Auckland in March 2009.

    Critical Writing Masterclass

    2 November 2007

    Feature

    A group of disabled writers were invited by New Writing South and DAO (Disability Arts Online) to a series of seminars to develop skills in critical writing and gain an understanding of its role within the world of news media and publishing

    Liberty Festival 2007

    7 September 2007

    Feature

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

    Edinburgh Fringe 2007

    26 August 2007

    Feature

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

    Sign Dance Collective: But Beautiful

    1 February 2007

    Feature

    Melissa Mostyn reviews Sign Dance Collective's latest show But Beautiful and raises some thought-provoking questions.

    Tim Jeeves: On Catharsis

    16 December 2006

    Feature

    Tim Jeeves explains, in prose, reasons for his performance piece The Last Days of Mourning

    Deborah Williams: oUo maan

    16 December 2006

    Feature

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

    Lynn Manning: Weights

    1 July 2005

    Feature

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

    Julie McNamara: Pig's Sister

    1 July 2005

    Feature

    Colin Hambrook talked to Julie McNamara about Pig's Sister her latest piece of theatre, due to be performed at Theatre Workshop in Edinburgh as part of the Degenerate Festival 2005.

    Extant: Resistance

    1 January 2005

    Feature

    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.

    Sign Dance Collective showreel

    1 December 2004

    Feature

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

    DaDaFest 2004

    1 December 2004

    Feature

    Gemma Nash looks forward to DaDaFest 2004.

    Liberty Festival 2004

    9 July 2004

    Feature

    London's Disability Rights Festival, reviewed by Colin Hambrook

    Graeae Theatre: Missing Pieces

    Feature

    Penny Pepper experiences Graeae Theatre Company's free performance training course for aspiring actors with sensory and physical disabilities