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Paul F Cockburn

Freelance magazine journalist specialising in arts & culture, equality issues, and popular science. During the last 20 years he has written for magazines including Able, Access, and PosAbility.

Posts by Paul F Cockburn

Access at the Scottish Queer International Film Festival (SQIFF)

From the start, the organisers of the annual Scottish Queer International Film Festival were determined their event would be as fully accessible as possible, as Festival Coordinator Helen Wright explains to Paul F Cockburn. The not-for-profit Scottish Queer International Film Festival (SQIFF) was launched in 2015 with the goal of “getting ...

Mind the Gap's Mia: Daughters of Fortune production shot

Mind the Gap’s Mia, Daughters of Fortune: don’t drop the baby

Informative but not necessarily engaging: Paul F Cockburn reviews Mind the Gap’s theatrical exploration of learning disabilities and parenthood, currently playing at Summerhall, at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Around 2% of people in England have a learning disability. Around 7% of them are parents. Around two in five (40%) of those ...

Performer Ramesh Meyyappan sits at a desk with five alarm clocks

Ramesh Meyyappan explores mental well-being and identity in his new show

Ramesh Meyyappan is becoming more widely celebrated for his darkly comic brand of visual theatre. Paul F Cockburn caught his latest production Off-Kilter at the Tron Theatre, Glasgow, as part of its Mayfesto 2017 season. Internationally-acclaimed performer Ramesh Meyyappan enjoyed sell-out performances around the world for his most recent show, Butterfly. ...

Jo Lewis: on her documentary of the first disability theatre production to play at the National

In 2016 Graeae Theatre Company took their production of  The Solid Life of Sugar Water to the National Theatre. Paul F Cockburn speaks with the filmmaker Jo Lewis who documented what happened. #sugarwater, a film documentary following Graeae’s arrival at the National Theatre, was a very personal project for the award-winning ...

two dancers pose on the floor against the wall, one wears a teddy bear mask

Claire Cunningham on ‘The Way You Look (At Me) Tonight’

How do we look at each other? How do we allow ourselves to be seen? How do our bodies shape the ways we perceive the world around us? These are some of the questions raised by a new work by acclaimed Scottish disabled artist Claire Cunningham, who will be performing ...

A painting from Cameron Morgan's TV Classics Part 1 it shows Laurel and Hardy on a old-fashioned TV-set with wallpaper appropriate for the time in the background.

Why Cameron Morgan Loves Classic TV

Paul F Cockburn speaks with artist Cameron Morgan about his Unlimited-funded exhibition of paintings, TV Classics – Part 1, part of this year’s Glasgow International.  Television was a big part of Cameron Morgan’s life as a child but, growing up in the 1970s and early 1980s, it was a very different ...

A production shot from Birds of Paradise's Purposeless Movements featuring from left to right Pete Edwards, Colin Young, Laurence Clark, Jim Fish

‘Purposeless Movements’ – Robert Softley Gale

Birds of Paradise co-Artistic Director Robert Softley Gale talks with Paul F Cockburn about the company's new physical theatre work, Purposeless Movements. In 2012, the actor Robert Softley Gale first performed If These Spasms Could Speak, an acclaimed one-man show in which he performed a collection of amusing, sad, touching and ...

A photograph of the artist Tanya Raabe-Webber in her studio with a selection of portraits for Summit Portrayed

#SummitPortrayed: Tanya Raabe-Webber

Tanya Raabe-Webber's new exhibition at Glasgow’s Project Ability is so much more than just some sketches of the participants at a recent conference, as Paul F Cockburn discovers. Every week of the year, Glasgow-based Project Ability works with hundreds of disabled people, and people with mental health issues, through a busy ...

Pum Dunbar's The View from Here. Black and white collage of a woman's body scrunched up against sky and sea.

flip Artists: The View From Here

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 Softley Gale, director of flip: Disability Equality in the Arts, who ...

dramatic image of water dripping from a man's head onto the large pregnant belly of a woman

Edinburgh Festival: Graeae: ‘The Solid Life of Sugar Water’

Graeae Theatre Company presents an often harrowing tale of a disintegrating relationship in its first major production as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Reviewed by Paul F Cockburn. The Solid Life of Sugar Water, Jack Thorne’s new play for Graeae Theatre Company and Theatre Royal Plymouth, starts out almost like ...

An image of the torso of a man sporting a variety of labels such as 'average', 'awkward', 'dribbler', 'overcome'. He wears a stethoscope attached to his chest

Accessible Edinburgh Fringe?

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? Given that it’s been running every year for nigh-on seven decades, it’s hardly surprising that the ...

Birds of Paradise Theatre Company present ‘Crazy Jane’

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. Written by Nicola McCartney and directed by Garry Robson the show has recently toured Scotland. Review by Paul F. Cockburn At first glance, ...

photo of bleach-haired performer Claire Cunningham in a darkened room, kneeling in a corner, with crutches

Claire Cunningham: ‘Give Me A Reason To Live’

Claire Cunningham’s latest work is stripped of theatrical props, but certainly not impact. Review of a performance at The Tramway, Glasgow by Paul F Cockburn. Unlike Claire Cunningham’s delicate, on occasions audience-interactive, Guide Gods – in which she worked with numerous tea cups, saucers and a hostess trolley within a specifically ...

black and white photo of Natalie MacDonald (far left), Amy Conachan, Jenny Sealey and Miles Mitchell in rehearsal

Graeae Theatre tackle a new adaptation of ‘Blood Wedding’

Graeae’s Artistic Director Jenny Sealey talks to Paul F Cockburn about her company’s new co-production with Dundee Rep Ensemble and Derby Theatre, setting Lorca's classic Spanish Play in the city. Blood Wedding is an acclaimed tragedy by the Spanish dramatist Federico García Lorca. First performed in 1933, it focuses on the ...

psychedelic drawing using vibrant swirling colours by Lea Cummings

Lea Cummings: ‘Infinite Psychic Love Explosion’

Glasgow-based artist and musician Lea Cummings’ first solo exhibition is bright, vibrant, but somewhat vacuous – which may well be the point, says Paul F Cockburn. Given the rumbustious, often destructive (and usually site-specific) nature of much of ‘transcendental noise artist’ Lea Cumming's work, it’s hardly surprising that he has not ...

A production shot of Edmund the Learned Pig featuring the cast gathered around the pig puppet.

Unlimited 2014: Garry Robson on Edmund the Learned Pig

As part of the second Unlimited programme, more audiences will have the opportunity to enjoy the glorious musical adventure featuring an unusual pig. Paul F Cockburn speaks with co-creator Garry Robson. Edmund the Learned Pig brings together a disparate group of contributors. How did the show come together? “I’ve always been a ...