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> > > SICK! Festival announces SICK! Lab: What Doesn't Kill Us...

SICK Lab! is a collaborative exploration of identity and trauma that will take place in Manchester 9 – 12 March 2016. The four-day programme will include performances, presentations and discussions bringing together artists and experts from many fields.

A photograph from the play Fake it 'til you Make it, featuring Bryony Kimmings and Tim Grayburn. The former is holding a whisk, the latter has a hammer.

Bryony Kimmings and Tim Grayburn Fake it 'til you Make it. © Richard Davenport

The challenges of life and death may not make us stronger, but they certainly make us who we are. SICK! Lab explores the most challenging experiences that we live through and die from. These challenges are sometimes rooted in bodies and minds that fail us, sometimes in the complexities of living in an imperfect society with other imperfect individuals. From the difficulties of our daily lives to the experience of global traumas of conflict and displacement, how do our personal battles write themselves across our minds and bodies?
SICK! Lab is a focussed 4-day programme of performances, presentations and discussions bringing together artists, academics from a wide range of disciplines, clinicians, commentators and the public to explore questions connecting identity and trauma: Why do we find it so hard to be alone in our minds? What do we gain from and lose to our social groups? Who do we chose to be the objects of our compassion? How much are we still defined by all those traditional categories: Religion, ethnicity, nationality, gender, sexuality?

Speakers, artists and contributors include: Lemn Sissay MBE, Prof. Anthony Redmond OBE, Kim Noble, Bryony Kimmings, Hetain Patel, Prof. James Thompson, Quarantine, Prof. Bobbie Farsides, Prof. Jackie Stacy,  Prof. Michael Brady, Dr. Jonathan Mair and Disability Arts Online, with many more to follow.
SICK! Lab 2016 generates discussion between widely differing perspectives and will inform the development of SICK! Festival March 2017. SICK! Festival confronts the physical, mental and social challenges of life and death, and how we survive them. Taking place in Brighton and Manchester, the festival brings together an outstanding international arts programme with perspectives from academic research, clinical practitioners, public health, charities and people with lived experience of the issues we address. SICK! Festival won the prestigious EFFE Festivals Award 2015/16 for excellence and innovation.

DAO reviewed a number of shows at SICK! Festival 2015. Click here to read the review of Sue MacLaine's Can I Start Again Please? Click here to read the review of Eric Steel's The Bridge. Click here to read the review of Brian Lobel's Sex Cancer and Cocktails.

For full listings of the SICK! Lab 2016 programme see here.