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Joe Turnbull

Joe Turnbull is Subeditor and Project Coordinator for Disability Arts Online. Joe comes from a background of arts journalism and has written for the Guardian, Frieze, Apollo Magazine, thisistomorrow, The Stage, Exeunt and Garageland.

Posts by Joe Turnbull

Actor Robert Softley Gale is dressed in white tights and make-up, posing on a stool

Blanche & Butch: seriously funny take on intersectionality

Blanche & Butch is a new co-production by Birds of Paradise and Tron Theatre, written by Robert Softley Gale. It follows the story of three disabled drag queens. Joe Turnbull caught a performance at the Tron Theatre, before it goes on a Scotland-wide tour. Blanche (Robert Softley Gale) enters stage left, ...

Candoco Dance Company Face In

Candoco announces new commission from international choreographer Yasmeen Godder

Multi-award-winning choreographer Yasmeen Godder will premiere her new work Face In this Autumn, commissioned by Candoco Dance Company and performed by their company of disabled and non-disabled dancers. Face In is the final commission from Stine Nilsen and Pedro Machado before they step down as Artistic Co-Directors of Candoco, as ...

Spare Tyre the Garden

Interactive performance for people living with dementia to tour theatres and care homes

Spare Tyre Theatre Company's The Garden, will be touring to theatres, community venues and care homes in London, Essex and West Sussex from 25 September to 13 November 2017. The Garden is Spare Tyre’s interactive, multisensory performance for people with dementia. It’s a gentle journey through the seasons, developed over several years ...

Lucy Aphramor The Naked Dietitian

The Naked Dietitian: a true radical

The Naked Dietitian is a one-woman spoken word piece which explores an unorthodox approach to health and dietetics, written and performed by fully qualified dietitian, Lucy Aphramor. It played Quaker Meeting House at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe throughout the month of August. Lucy Aphramor is a radical dietitian. I know what ...

Touretteshero Not I

Touretteshero and Battersea Arts Centre: Not I – a bold departure

Jess Thom and Charmaine Wombwell star in Touretteshero and Battersea Arts Centre’s co-production of Samuel Beckett’s classic text, Not I, in a show that marks a departure both from some of the strictures of staging Beckett and Touretteshero’s previous Edinburgh Fringe smash. It played Pleasance Courtyard 22-26 August. A stream, no, ...

Edinburgh International Book Festival staff

Winners of Accessible Edinburgh Festivals Awards 2017 announced

Euan’s Guide celebrates the spirit of inclusion and venues with outstanding disabled access at Edinburgh’s festivals. Now in its second year, The Accessible Edinburgh Festivals Award celebrates the most accessible and inclusive venues associated with Edinburgh’s major festivals. Euan’s Guide, the disabled access review website and charity behind the awards, are delighted ...

Cosmic Scallies Dent and Shaun

Graeae and Royal Exchange: Cosmic Scallies – an authentic and unorthodox portrait of working class life

Cosmic Scallies is a new co-production from Graeae Theatre Company and Royal Exchange Theatre, written by Jackie Hagan, which makes its bow at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe. It follows the friendship of two mismatched souls as one of them returns to their home town of Skelmersdale. Joe Turnbull was at ...

The Vogue Ball: Female dancers

Vogue Ball welcomes the Unlimited House of Krip

Liverpool’s Vogue Ball is now just three months away. And this year’s event is set to welcome a special new commission which puts deaf and disability arts and artists at the heart of the action.The 2017 Vogue Ball – organised by House of Suarez - takes place on Saturday 21 ...

BIrds of Paradise Bebop

Birds of Paradise introduce its first cohort of ‘BOP Artists’

Birds of Paradise Theatre Company and National Theatre of Scotland have announced the three disabled artists who will be taking part in their disabled artist development residency, BOP Artists. In April 2017, Birds of Paradise and National Theatre of Scotland opened applications to BOP Artists. BOP Artists is a new ...

Kate Lovell

Disability Arts Online announces its first ever Guest Editor

Theatre-maker and Agent for Change at Theatre Royal Stratford East, Kate Lovell will be guest editing Disability Arts Online throughout July and August. The guest editorship, funded through Arts Council England’s (ACE) Elevate programme, will mark the first time in its 15-year history that Disability Arts Online (DAO) will not ...

On the Verge

Are we ‘on the verge’ of a breakthrough for learning-disability theatre?

Birmingham Hippodrome will play host to an event on 4 July entitled ‘On the Verge: a symposium on learning disability and the main stage,’ which aims to assess where the industry is at in terms of supporting learning-disability theatre and how it can move things forward. Organised in concert with ...

British Paraorchestra and Extraordinary Bodies

Arts Council England’s NPO announcement includes significant increase in diverse-led organisations

Arts Council England today announced which organisations it would be regularly funding as National Portfolio Organisations (NPOs) from 2018-22 including a 52% increase in the number of disability-led organisations and an increase in funding for organisations outside of London. The number of NPOs for the next funding round has increased some ...

CTVC collecting award

Winners of Creative Diversity Network Awards 2017 announced

The Creative Diversity Network (CDN) has revealed the winners for its 2017 awards. The awards reward outstanding quality, creativity and diversity in television that represents all aspects of British society.  They are designed to acknowledge outstanding work both on and off-screen and serve to showcase the best and most exciting talent ...

Young DaDaFest

Celebration of young disabled talent returns for its fifteenth year

Young DaDaFest develops young disabled and Deaf artists, aged between 12 and 30 by providing them with a platform to perform in front of large audiences. The annual event has grown significantly since its origins in 2003 and now includes both a performance focused event at the Liverpool Everyman and ...

Tunnel Vision by Marcus Inniss

Striking exhibition explores Usher Syndrome

Leading NHS eye hospital, Moorfields Eye Hospital, has collaborated with Open Senses, a London-based Art Festival, and national disability charity Sense to showcase the work of Marcus Inniss, a deafblind artist who uses design and photographic art to depict life with sight loss. The exhibition is open to the public from ...

Book cover of Stairs and Whispers

Unique new book brings together literature exclusively from deaf and disabled writers

A unique book collating new writing by people who are disabled or Deaf will be officially launched this week. The first of its kind in the UK, the collection titled Stairs and Whispers: D/deaf and Disabled Poets Write Back, will be unveiled at Birmingham City University at a special launch ...

Autism Matters Cover Sheet

Research published with suggestions of how to make galleries and museums more ASD/SPD friendly

Neurodivergent and disabled artist Beth Davis-Hofbauer who is Director of Live Art Local and Sticks Gallery, has published a piece of self-initiated research ‘Autism Matters: making galleries and museums ASD/SPD friendly’ examining the access provision for people with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and/or Sensory Processing Disorders (SPD) at art galleries ...

The cast of Tommy

Kerry Michael, director of Tommy: working through problems makes great theatre

The Ramps on the Moon initiative – a consortium of six regional theatres plus Graeae Theatre Company – aims to reach out to disabled people as artists and as audiences. Joe Turnbull spoke to Director, Kerry Michael about the decision to tour a new adaption of the controversial Pete Townshend ...

Cameron & Cion

Heart n Soul to mark 30th anniversary with summer bonanza

This Summer Heart n Soul​, the award-winning creative arts charity for people with learning disabilities, marks 30 years of innovation, creativity and fun with a celebratory series of exhibitions, events and performances in venues and organisations close to its long-time home at the Albany Theatre​ in Deptford. The Big 30​ is ...

Un-Label

Un-Label brings symposium to Turkey in plea for free and open society

Un-Label, an international cultural project which brings together disabled and non-disabled arts practitioners across Europe will be delivering a double bill of performance and symposium in Turkey in May. This will start with a guest performance of the new production, L: Do I Need Labels to Love? at Nilüfer Belediyesi Theater in Bursa. ...

Jez Colborne

Creative Minds brings fourth Disability-Led Arts Conference to the North

Learning disabled artists are asking big questions at the fourth Creative Minds conference, taking place at HOME Manchester on Thursday 15 June 2017. Following successful events in Brighton, Ipswich and Bristol, Creative Minds brings together nine organisations from across the North of England, each committed to developing the visibility, understanding ...

You Will Fail Her

New theatre piece commissioned which challenges education system’s treatment of neurodivergent students

With the support of the Arts Council England, New Theatre Royal and Resident Artist Jon Adams, DYSPLA will produce an R&D project called, YOU WILL FAIL HER a new theatre piece that attacks Britain’s education system and condemns it for discriminating against neurodivergent students. “You will enter a world of movie projection, ...

David Nicol

Disability History Scotland secures Heritage Lottery Fund support to take a show to Edinburgh Fringe

Disability History Scotland (DHS) is pleased to announce a grant of £10,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for Unwritten, a live show written and performed by disabled artists, to premiere at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in August 2017. The grant has been made under HLF’s Stories, Stones & Bones ...

Samba School

Unlimited unveils latest commissions with £945,000 to support ambitious artistic work

Unlimited have today announced 24 ambitious new commissions and awards spanning a range of disciplines spotlighting talented and diverse disabled artists working in the world today. It represents an adventurous range of projects giving voice to disabled artists producing standout work that is “must see” not “should see”. Funded by Arts Council ...

Something Else illustration taken from front cover

Deafinitely Theatre announces new tour for its adaptation of Kathryn Cave’s children’s book Something Else

Following its sell-out tour in 2015, Deafinitely Theatre’s Artistic Director Paula Garfield has announced a new tour of its adaptation of Kathryn Cave’s much-loved children’s book Something Else, illustrated by Chris Riddell.  Deafinitely Theatre’s bilingual production for both deaf and hearing audiences has a school performance at flagship performing arts college ...

Mat Fraser portrait

Mat Fraser announced as Richard III for Hull Truck Theatre and Northern Broadsides co-production

Hull Truck Theatre and Northern Broadsides are delighted to announce that Mat Fraser will play the iconic role of Richard III in their forthcoming co-production at Hull Truck Theatre from 4-27 May as part of Hull UK City of Culture 2017’s second season – Roots & Routes. Mat Fraser began his ...

The Wizard of Oz

Charity receives funding to make more theatres in the heart of London accessible for deaf people

A charity set up to improve access to performing arts for hard of hearing people has received funding to expand their work across theatres in the City of London. Stagetext has been awarded a grant of £6,800 by the City of London Corporation’s new Central Grants Programme to develop its services ...

The Craft Unit - Hilma

New online shop launches showcasing work of artists from supported environments

The Craft Unit is a recently established online shop that provides a marketing platform for fine crafts and decorative arts, made by people who work in supported environments. The work, which comprises a unique selection of ceramics, woodwork, hand-woven textiles and silver jewellery, has been carefully sourced by founder Jade ...

Lemn Sissay gives out award

Creative Future Literary Awards 2017 opens for entries from under-represented writers

The UK’s only national competition for all under-represented writers is open for submissions from 7 March until 26 June, featuring over £10k worth of writer development prizes. Award-winning poet, Lemn Sissay, will lead a panel of industry experts to find 12 winning poems and short stories. Winners receive a share of £1000 ...

Kate Tempest

Brighton Festival programme announced including raft of accessible performances

The full programme for Brighton Festival 2017 - the largest annual, curated multi-arts festival in England - has been unveiled with the acclaimed recording artist, poet, playwright and novelist Kate Tempest as Guest Director. The festival will feature a total of 27 assisted performances, including British Sign Language interpretation, relaxed ...

Tony Heaton and David Hevey

Shape Arts announces appointment of its new CEO

Shape Arts, the disability-led arts organisation, has today to announced the appointment of David Hevey as its new Chief Executive. David will assume responsibilities from 3 April 2017, succeeding Tony Heaton OBE, who leaves the role to pursue his personal arts projects and consultancy work in the sector. Shape is ...

Signdance Collective

Signdance Collective celebrate 30 years with an international tour

Signdance Collective, pioneers of signdance theatre will celebrate 30 years of their innovative work with a UK and International tour of Carthage/ Cartagena by Caridad Svich. Signdance Collective's production of Carthage/Cartagena by Caridad Svich explores the impact on those displaced and isolated by slavery, human trafficking and forced migration.  The performance text presents a series ...

Photo of Nadia Nadarajah dressed in a white shift, looking across and pointing a dramatic finger.

Graeae Theatre Company: The House of Bernarda Alba

Federico García Lorca’s classic text is (re)interpreted by Jo Clifford and Directed by Jenny Sealey in the first major Graeae Theatre Company and Royal Exchange Theatre co-production. With an all-female, D/deaf and disabled cast, The House of Bernarda Alba plays at Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre 3-25 February 2017. Review by ...

Photo of actress Jacqueline Phillips with bleach blonde hair, sat behind a desk - a large projection of her face, behind her

Vici Wreford Sinnott’s ‘Butterfly’ takes flight

Butterfly, written by Vici Wreford Sinnott is a one-woman theatre piece performed by Jaqueline Phillips, which explores the history of stigma and misrepresentations of mental health throughout the ages. Joe Turnbull saw an early outing at Arc Stockton on 26 January 2016, as the show prepared to go on a ...

Graeae Theatre Company Reasons To Be Cheerful

Deaf and disabled-led theatre gets £300,000 boost with two major tours across England

On 25 January 2017, the Arts Council announced a total of £301,008 to support deaf and disabled-led arts organisations to go nationwide with two sector-changing tours. Deafinitely Theatre is the only professional deaf-led theatre company in the UK that works bilingually in British Sign Language (BSL) and spoken English, and produces ...

Red collecting can with the slogan 'help the normals' written across it.

Shape Open 2017: ‘Power: The Politics of Disability’

This year’s Shape Open, takes Power: The Politics of Disability as its theme. It brings together work by both disabled and non-disabled artists, examining the theme from multiple perspectives. Following an open call, artworks were chosen by a panel including Yinka Shonibare, Tony Heaton and Isabella Tulloch, and previous Shape ...

Delta 7 band image

Inclusive rock band releases debut track

A band that found the limelight when they were the focus of the winning entry in a short film competition has been supported to take the next steps in their music career. Delta 7 have launched their catchy debut single, ‘The Jungle’. Delta 7 is a seven-piece rock band from Eastbourne, ...

Mosaic portrait of Jimi Hendrix and Prince

Teresa Jane – Mesmeric Mosaics and Electric Embroidery

Teresa Jane is a deaf, self-taught artist from Reading. She specialises in beaded sand mosaics, beaded embroidery and fused glass. Her work is typified by electrifying colours, scintillating patterns and uncanny celebrity likenesses. Her work includes portrait mosaics, 'wrapum' bracelets, and both beaded and glass jewellery designs. Teresa says: "The reason I ...

Daniel Wakeford

Carousel nominated for Everyday Impact award – vote now

Directory of Social Change's (DSC) Social Change Awards celebrate the passionate individuals and effective organisations committed to making a positive impact on society. Brighton-based organisation Carousel have made the three-organisation shortlist for the Everyday Impact Award - Long Term Enterprises. Social Change Award Winners are selected based on the public's vote. Voting ...

Colston Hall receive their Attitude is Everything award

Attitude is Everything announce winners of the Outstanding Attitude Awards

Music charity Attitude is Everything has today announced winners of their inaugural Outstanding Attitude Awards - recognising Charter of Best Practice venues and festivals at the forefront of creative and innovative access provision for Deaf and disabled audiences. Highlighting that no event is too small or too large to improve ...

Amadou and Mariam on stage

DaDaFest 2016: Amadou and Mariam plus support

Husband and wife duo Amadou and Mariam brought their unique blend of pop, blues and Malian music to the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall on 3 December, as the curtain closer for DaDaFest International 2016. They were supported by local musicians including Young DaDa Ensemble’s ‘Evolve’ group, Anwar Ali & Dave Owen ...

Noemi Lakmaier Cherophobia

Shortlists announced for Unlimited’s third round of commissions funding and R&D awards

Unlimited, the arts commissioning programme delivered in partnership by Shape Arts and Artsadmin, which supports disabled artists to create and present exceptional work across all art forms, today announces the artists shortlisted for the third round of exceptional and ambitious arts commissions and Research and Development (R&D) awards. Unlimited, funded by ...

Image of screening of Martin O'Brien in live performance. His body is wrapped in cellophane

Martin O’Brien, Sheree Rose and Rhiannon Aarons on ‘The Viewing’

The Viewing is a reimagining of the third in Bob Flanagan and Sheree Rose’s ‘Death Trilogy’, originally conceived more than 20 years ago. It took the form of a 24-hour durational performance at DaDaFest International Festival 2016, 19-20 November. Joe Turnbull spoke to Rose and collaborators Martin O’Brien and Rhiannon ...

Illustration by Gaurab Thakali

New campaign celebrating creativity, skill and enterprise of dyslexic people launched

Great Minds Think Different is a brand new campaign to celebrate the creativity, skills and enterprise of young dyslexic people. It is launching on Thursday 24th November at Platform Southwark in an evening of art, film, music, discussion and food by neuro-diverse people. The campaign aims to change the conversation around ...

GUST! by Tim Shaw

Northern Festivals Network and Unlimited announce the commission of two disability–led pieces of art

The Northern Festivals Network, a consortium of festivals committed to raising the quality of arts available to families at Greenfield festivals and Unlimited, an organisation that believe disabled artists can and should work across all forms, and create work for all audiences have joined forces to address the lack of disability ...

Tight Modern

Miniature Tate Modern replica to tour England showcasing disabled and marginalised artists

From 18 November to 11 December, Creative Future’s Tight Modern pop-up gallery will start at the Jubilee Library, Brighton, before setting off on a UK tour showcasing the work of sixty disabled and marginalised artists, including those experiencing ill-health, homelessness, financial issues, and social exclusion. The 2016/17 tour is expected ...

National Theatre performance at CaptionCue event

Captioning Awareness Week champions access for Deaf, deafened and hard of hearing audiences

Stagetext, the leading captioning charity for the arts and cultural sectors, will host its second Captioning Awareness Week from 14 to 19 November 2016.The week aims to raise awareness of captioning and live subtitling in cultural venues, which give deaf, deafened and hard of hearing audiences equal access to arts ...

Artist postcard featuring a street with a pink cloud painted over it

Shape Arts to Hold 40th Birthday Artist Postcard Exhibition and Sale

2016 is disability-led arts organisation Shape Arts’ 40th anniversary. Join Shape at Platform Southwark for a beautiful, radical, disability- and artist-led two-day birthday event consisting of an artist postcard exhibition and sale, a series of workshops and a private view party. Visual artists have created postcards for Shape which will be ...

Christopher Williams painted portrait of Marilyn Monroe

Christopher Williams: The art of catharsis

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y. and currently living in Stockholm, Sweden, Christopher Williams acquired a Master's degree in Creative Arts Therapy from the Pratt Institute and a Bachelor's Degree in Illustration from the Fashion Institute of Technology. He currently works as an Artist and Activities-based Therapist using expressive modalities such as ...

A woman experiencing Bekki Perriman's The Doorways Project

Unlimited: art in unusual spaces

Reflecting on some of the work at the Unlimited festivals at Southbank Centre and Glasgow's Tramway, including Bekki Perriman's The Doorways Project, Noëmi Lakmaier's Cherophobia and Aaron Williamson's Demonstrating the World, Joe Turnbull explores the effectiveness of the work presented outside of the traditional exhibiting spaces and examines the implications ...

Sculpture by Oliver Macdonald which features and ice cream van with a woven speaker coming out of one of the windows

Winner of Adam Reynold’s Memorial Bursary 2016/17 announced

The successful recipient of Shape Arts’ 2016/17 Adam Reynolds Memorial Bursary and accompanying three month artist residency, hosted by Turner Contemporary, Margate, is revealed as sculptor Oliver Macdonald. Oliver will receive a £7000 bursary and begins his residency at Turner Contemporary in February 2017. The news was announced by Sir Nicholas ...

James Rose Conducting next to Sian Edwards

Disabled composer to work with Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra on ‘Change Makers’ project

Thanks to a bursary awarded by Arts Council England and a significant donation from two private donors, the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (BSO) will host a training placement for disabled conductor James Rose, to accelerate his development, experience and confidence as an artist. Arts Council England launched the Change Makers fund earlier in ...

DaDaFest Announces the Full Programme of Events for its 2016 Festival

DaDaFest is delighted to announce the full programme of events for its thirteenth festival, 'Skin:Deep', taking place from 17 November to 3 December 2016. This year’s festival will present an array of outrageous, diverse and radical disability and Deaf arts that will challenge public perceptions of disability, ignite debate and ...

OutsiderXchanges at Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art

Venture Arts in partnership with Castlefield Gallery, Baltic Centre for Contemporary Arts and Contemporary Visual Arts Network has brought together four learning-disabled and four non learning-disabled emerging artists for OutsiderXchanges. The results of the collaboration are on at the Baltic in Newcastle until 31 October. Review by Joe Turnbull. Presenting work ...

A photograph of Jack Dean holding a microphone

Jack Dean talks Grandad and the Machine

Jack Dean’s ‘steampunk fairytale for grownups’ Grandad and the Machine was commissioned by Unlimited (administered by Shape and Artsadmin) and played the Unlimited Festivals at Southbank Centre and Glasgow’s Tramway in summer 2016. It’s set in a dystopian parallel universe of rampant capitalism, diminished rights for women and an evil ...

Photograph of Leonie Bell standing against a creative scotland branded window

Creative Scotland opens survey to explore under-representation across the arts in Scotland

From Friday 30 September, 2016, Creative Scotland is calling on people working within Scotland’s arts sector to take part in a wide-ranging survey on diversity in the arts. The research aims to build a clearer picture about who is working in the arts today across a range of roles, and what ...

Painting on canvas depicting a main in a turban with flowers and butterflies around him

Major new exhibition at Attenborough Arts Centre explores identity, gender, global politics and consumer culture

The University of Leicester’s Attenborough Arts Centre, in partnership with New Art Exchange, Nottingham, is proud to present a major touring exhibition of Faiza Butt’s work, ‘Paracosm’, which will occupy all three of its new galleries. The free public preview takes place on Friday 14 October, 5pm – 8pm and is ...

A photograph of a group of 30 young people standing on some steps with their arms in the air

30 young D/deaf artists gather in Glasgow for culmination of two-year exchange project

Solar Bear are delighted to be hosting 15 young D/deaf Romanian artists as well as representatives from their partners, Ascociatia Window Romania and Teatrul National, Marin Sorescu this October in the final part of a 2-year ERASMUS project. For many years the D/deaf community have been excluded from practising, performing and ...

Black and white image of a dancer in profile

Unlimited: Candoco present CounterActs

Inclusive dance company Candoco brought a divergent double bill ,which included two of their recent productions Beheld and Let’s Talk about Dis to the final weekend of Tramway’s Unlimited Festival, 23-24 September 2016. Review by Joe Turnbull. Candoco Dance Company’s reputation as a leading inclusive troupe is evident in two-part performance ...

Makoto Okawa 'makoot' dolls

Namo Āto: Japanese Outsider Art

Aetlier Corners, an organisation that works with learning-disabled artists in Osaka Japan, brought the work of three of their artists to the UK with the help of Pallant House Gallery, Outside In, Unlimited (administered by Shape and Artsadmin) and the British Council for the Unlimited Festivals at Southbank Centre and ...

A group of people sit around a table debating things.

Unlimited: What Next? Symposium

As part of the packed programme at Tramway’s Unlimited Festival, practitioners, arts professionals and other interested parties gathered to discuss what’s next for emerging disabled artists on 21 and 22 September. The session was facilitated by associate producer of Unlimited at Tramway, Kim Simpson and supported by Unlimited Impact (administered ...

Painting by Cameron Morgan depicting a 60s style TV and wallpaper with a dalek on the screen

Unlimited: Cameron Morgan TV Classics Part 1

Glasgow-based artist Cameron Morgan brought his TV Classics Part 1 exhibition, commissioned by Unlimited (administered by Shape and Artsadmin) to Southbank Centre from the 6-11 September 2016. Review by Joe Turnbull. Let’s face it, we all have our guilty TV pleasures. Is there anything more comforting than curling up on the sofa ...

Photograph of Nye Russel-Thompson lying under a pile of prompt cards

Unlimited: Just a few Words

Nye Russel-Thomson aka Stammermouth’s Just a few Words was supported by Unlimited Impact (administered by Shape and Artsadmin). This pared down one-man performance about living with a stammer played Southbank Centre as part of Unlimited Festival 10 September. Review by Joe Turnbull. A sparse stage is populated by nothing but a ...

photo of thousands of brightly coloured balloons in a church attached to artist Noemi Lakmaier

Unlimited: Cherophobia

Noëmi Lakmaier’s 48-hour durational live-art piece, saw her attempt to lift her immobilised body off the ground using tens of thousands of helium balloons. The piece took place in Shoreditch Church in East London from noon on 7 September to noon 9 September and was live-streamed to the Southbank Centre ...

Justin stands against a wall covered in graffiti. He is holding a deck of playing cards.

Unlimited: The Generation Gap

Unlimited Trainee Simon Overington-Hickford curated a series of provocations and discussions centred around the question of whether the cultural sector is succeeding in meeting the ambitions of young disabled people, featuring speakers Kate Lovell, Justin Sight, John R. Wilkinson, Laura Dajao, Tom Wentworth and Kim Simpson. The Generation Gap took ...

A photograph of a group of people dancing around outside a red London bus

National Paralympic Day and Liberty Festival returns to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has announced plans for this year’s ground-breaking National Paralympic Day and Liberty Festival, which returns to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on Saturday 3 September, featuring world-premiere shows, giant interactive games and ParalympicsGB Carnival. Taking place four years on from the London 2012 Paralympic Games, and just ...

Photograph from Beautiful Octopus Club featuring 2 DJs and an emcee on a stage

Heart n Soul kick off 30th-anniversary celebrations with Beautiful Octopus Club at Southbank Centre

Creative arts organisation Heart n Soul are delighted to announce the 9th edition of The Beautiful Octopus Club Festival (BOC Fest), a unique event bringing together an eclectic mix of musicians, DJs and performers from the UK’s burgeoning learning disabled scene. Taking place at the Royal Festival Hall on Friday ...

Photograph of a man's hands operating a piece of music technology with lots of dials and switches.

Drake Music announces exciting commissioning opportunities for deaf/disabled artists

Music, technology and disability charity, Drake Music, has announced a series of brand new commissioning opportunities for Deaf and/or Disabled musicians in partnership with arts organisations from across London. There are four new and exciting commissions open to Disabled musicians, or artists who work with music or sound within their professional ...

A photograph of dancer Claire Cunningham, she is up a ladder with a huge projection of an eye in the background behind her.

Call for applications announced for Unlimited’s third round of commissions

Unlimited, the arts commissioning programme delivered in partnership by Shape Arts and Artsadmin which supports disabled artists to create and present exceptional work across all art forms, today announces the dates and guidelines for applications to the third round of arts commissions and Research and Development (R&D) awards. Disabled artists and ...

A family with young children approach the entrance to Just So festival: an arch of reused suitcases.

Disabled fans attending live music events up 26% in 2015

Attitude is Everything has revealed a significant rise in the number of Deaf and disabled fans attending live music events in the UK - highlighting the positive economic impact to live music businesses that provide outstanding access facilities. Compiling sales from festivals and venues signed to its Charter of Best Practice, ...

Photograph of four people in a radio studio sitting around a table and discussing things.

Heart n Soul Radio’s new podcasts: The Chatterbox and The Awesome Recorders

Heart n Soul has launched two new podcast series featuring original stories, sounds and music from adults and young people with learning disabilities. You can learn more about the shows and listen to the episodes below: The Chatterbox Join Tilley, Lilly, Peter, Shalim and Del the piggie for The Chatterbox, where we ...

Photograph of a performance of NCA Small Theatre's Hiraeth, a woman lies on a reflective stage, five more performers stand behind her, their heads cocked to one side.

Programme announced for Tramway’s Unlimited Festival in Glasgow

Tramway’s Unlimited Festival, which runs from Thursday 15 to Sunday 25 September, features a breath-taking range of innovative dance, theatre, exhibitions, talks and events. Internationally acclaimed artists and exciting emerging talent from Scotland and across the world taking part includes Candoco Dance Company, Sheila Hill, Liz Carr, Marc Brew, Jack ...

oil painting of a figure seated in a room inside a shell-like structure

Author Sanchita Islam on improving support for mothers experiencing post-partum psychosis

Sanchita Islam is an artist, writer and film maker. She wrote Schizophrenics Can Be Good Mothers Too published under the pseudonym Q.S.Lam. From 27 June - 1 July her artwork featured at a special exhibition, Tomorrow’s Child at the Houses of Parliament, exploring the theme of early-years support for children ...

Promotional black and white photograph of Lung Ha theatre's, The Never Ending Conga, featuring actor Robin Lamb in a suit and party hat. He has a cocktail in one hand.

Learning-disability theatre company, Lung Ha reaches public voting stage of National Lottery Awards

Lung Ha Theatre Company is appealing for local votes as it strives for nationwide acclaim on BBC One in this year’s National Lottery Awards. The project beat off stiff competition from over 600 organisations to reach the public voting stage in this year’s National Lottery Awards – the annual search for ...

Photograph of John Kelly and Drake Music's Gawain Hewitt sitting at desks on a stage presenting the Kellycaster, a modified guitar that Gawain is holding to present to the audience.

Pioneering coded guitar announced as part of Inclusive Creativity programme

Drake Music have announced a partnership to build a revolutionary new type of guitar which can be played using just one finger, nicknamed the ‘Kellycaster’. The project is the brainchild of musician, performer and Disability Rights campaigner John Kelly, and will be developed as part of the Inclusive Creativity venture, ...

Photograph of a crowd gathered around in a plaza watching performers at Hijinx Unity Festival

Hijinx Unity Festival brings disability arts and inclusive work to Cardiff next week

The countdown has begun for Hijinx Theatre’s unique line-up of inclusive and disability artists from Wales, the UK, Europe and beyond who will come to perform at the Hijinx Unity Festival in Cardiff from 23 June – 3 July. Once again, Hijinx Unity Festival will form part of Cardiff Festival, ...

A photograph of Turner Contemporary gallery, overlooking the seaside with water in front and clear blue skies above.

Adam Reynolds Memorial Bursary 2016/17 open for submissions

Shape Arts have announced that their annual Adam Reynolds Memorial Bursary (ARMB), set up in memory of sculptor Adam Reynolds to support mid-career disabled artists, is now open for submissions. This year’s successful recipient will be awarded £7,000 and a three-month residency at Turner Contemporary, Margate from February to April 2017. The Bursary provides ...

image of the artist Aaron Williamson concealing his face with a white t-shirt, in a forecourt surrounded by everyday objects

Unlimited III to be delivered in a continuing partnership between Shape Arts and Artsadmin

Shape Arts and Artsadmin have been awarded £1.8m by Arts Council England to deliver the third Unlimited programme from 2016 until 2020. Building on its success over the past 3 years, Unlimited will continue to produce ambitious and high-quality work by disabled artists, award research and development grants and provide mentoring ...

A photograph of a group of young disabled performers they are all wearing football style scarves.

Young DaDaFest Expands into Trio of Events to Celebrate the Talent of Young Disabled People

Following on from the success of last year’s sold-out event which saw 105 young people perform to an audience of 400 at the Liverpool Everyman, Young DaDaFest has now expanded to feature a music-focused event in the Music Room at the Liverpool Philharmonic, a performance event at the Liverpool Everyman ...

Photograph of a doorway in Brighton used as part of Bekki Perriman's The Doorways Project. It is covered in graffiti.

Bekki Perriman on ‘The Doorways Project’

Artist, Bekki Perriman first received Unlimited R&D funding for The Doorways Project in 2014, which took the form of a photography exhibition. She has since gone on to receive a further Unlimited Commission to expand the work into a site-specific sound installation that will tour to several sites. Joe Turnbull ...

Actors James Young and Amy Conachan in 'Wendy Hoose', they are lying on a bed with a projection behind them

Birds of Paradise: ‘Wendy Hoose’

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. Two young people, Jake (James Young) and Laura (Amy Conachan), have recently met online and have been ‘sexting.’ The audience gets ...

photo of female singer in front of a mike with musicians in an Un-Label workshop

Un-Label: European cultural project launches in Cologne new inclusive ways for the performing arts

The European cultural project Un-Label launches in Cologne. From May 2015 through April 2017 seminars, both artistic and inclusive workshops and a multidisciplinary dance-theatre production is going to be developed with and for a diverse range of disabled people. The production will be presented to a wider public and will have ...

Promotional image for Moomsteatern's production of A Dream Play featuring a huge face on one side with a silhouetted figure walking towards a light on the other.

Programme of international inclusive performances revealed for Hijinx Unity Festival 2016

Hijinx have announced a line-up of inclusive and disability artists from Wales, the UK, Europe and beyond who will come to perform at the Hijinx Unity Festival in Cardiff from 27th June – 3rd July. The Festival brings a fantastic mixture of the best in international inclusive and disability arts. This ...

A photograph of Liz Carr on stage at the Royal Festival hall. She is using a golden wheelchair with confetti all around her.

World premiere of ‘Assisted Suicide: The Musical’ headlines third Unlimited Festival

Southbank Centre has announced the first shows to be presented as part of Unlimited Festival 2016, a six-day festival showcasing the artistic vision of disabled artists. Among the 2016 festival highlights is the world premiere of Assisted Suicide: The Musical (10-11 Sep), conceived and starred in by disabled artist and activist ...

A photograph of the British Paraorchestra, inculding director Charles Hazlewood and and Clarence Adoo in rehearsals.

Colston Hall announce Fast Forward Music Festival with new British Paraorchestra commission

After drawing attention to the quality and diversity of disability music making in 2015, Colston Hall’s Fast Forward is back on Friday 3rd June, this time with a contemporary twist featuring cutting edge music and circus performances from The British Paraorchestra and Extraordinary Bodies. Colston Hall has commissioned The British Paraorchestra ...

Brighton Dome, the painting by Thompson Hall depicts the facade of its namesake in lurid colours in a whimsical non-realistic style.

HOUSE and Outside In present Thompson Hall exhibition at Regency Town House

HOUSE and Outside In have announced Home Away From Home, a newly commissioned set of paintings by artist Thompson Hall, to be shown at the Regency Town House. The exhibition, part of HOUSE – Brighton’s visual arts festival – will be open from April 30-29 May 2016. In this newly commissioned ...

Dancers David Tool and Laura Jones pose on the floor on stage in front of a curtain

Stopgap’s ‘Artificial Things’ to be included on GCSE Dance syllabus

The exam board AQA’s new specification for GCSE Dance, which was accredited last week, includes a focus on promoting excellence in dance to disabled and non-disabled young people. AQA signalled its intension by selecting Artificial Things by Stopgap Dance Company as one of six compulsory works to be studied by ...

Nadia Nadarajah and Charmaine Wombwell as the Pilot in Deafinitely Theatre's Grounded. They both wear flight suits.

SICK! Lab On the Couch: ‘Who is your Neighbour’ and ‘US and Them’

SICK! Lab in Manchester on 10 March featured a number of panel debates throughout the day entitled On the Couch. Joe Turnbull reflects on two of the sessions ‘Who is my Neighbour’ and ‘US and Them’. Everybody needs good neighbours and a community they can relate to. But who deserves our ...

A black and white photograph of composer and conductor James Rose, in profile, with his specially designed head baton attached to his glasses. He is set against a brick wall

Arts Council green lights a project looking at a new way of conducting

Young disabled conductor/composer, James Rose who conducts using a head-baton developed in partnership with Drake Music, has been awarded Arts Council Funding to do a Conducting Development Week starting on Monday 2 May at The Royal Academy of Music. The project will be documented and edited into a short film ...

A photograph of Karl Eversley, Faith Bebbington and George Matheson delivering a panel discussion at Dadafest's D'Visions event at the Liverpool Everyman Theatre.

DaDaFest Arts D’Visions

On 11 March Liverpool’s Everyman Theatre played host to Arts 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. For all the hot air, the rhetoric, the Creative ...

A photograph of the cast and crew of the BBC's See Hear programme receiving an award at an awards ceremony

See Hear receives Special Award after 35 years on air

See Hear, the TV programme focussing on the Deaf community received special recognition at the Royal Television Society West of England Awards which took place at the Bristol Old Vic on Sunday 6th March. The glittering gala ceremony was hosted by BAFTA-winning actor Jason Watkins, with guests including historian, curator and ...

A photograph of playwright Kaite O'Reilly and director Phillip Zarrili whilst they are rehearsing their play, Cosy.

Getting Cosy with Kaite O’Reilly

Award-winning playwright Kaite O'Reilly speaks to Joe Turnbull about deaf culture, dissident sensibilities, and her Unlimited-funded "big growling play" Cosy which launches at Wales Millennium Centre on 8 March.  Kaite O’Reilly has always been a rule breaker. Her 2012 play, In Water I’m Weightless set a precedent by having an all Deaf and ...

A photograph from the play The Solid Life of Sugar Water. Actors Genevieve Barr (Alice) and Arthur Hughes (Phil) stand in a vertical bed which has neon lighting around it. Alice is grimacing.

Graeae’s ‘The Solid Life of Sugar Water’ at the National Theatre

After a successful outing at last year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Jack Thorne’s The Solid Life of Sugar Water is currently touring. Joe Turnbull caught a performance at the National Theatre to see if the production could live up to its hype in such a prestigious setting. As the audience files into ...

Heart n Soul SoundLab

Heart n Soul’s ‘SoundLab’ wins Best SEND Resource Award

Heart n Soul's SoundLab, an innovative digital music making project exploring ways of using technology to encourage people with learning disabilities to create sound and music experiences, won the accolade at the Music Teacher Awards For Excellence 2016. The SoundLab guide is useful for a whole range of music practitioners and organisations looking to ...

A promotional shot from Access All Areas' Misfit Analysis. It depicts a man sat next to a wheelchair holding a toy windmill and an anonymous mask.

The CanCanCan Festival showcases solo performers and artists with learning disabilities

A one-night festival showcasing solo performers with learning disabilities will take place at The Patrick Centre at Birmingham Hippodrome 10 March.  The CanCanCan Festival is headlined by the Edinburgh Festival hit, The Misfit Analysis, written and performed by Cian Binchy. Cian has autism and was autism consultant for The Curious Incident ...

A photograph of artist Yinka Shonibare with Kate Murdoch after she was just awarded the Shape Open 2016 prize. They are standing next to her sculpture Bad Head Day.

Kate Murdoch announced as Shape Open 2016 winner

hape Open patron Yinka Shonibare MBE announced artist Kate Murdoch as the Open’s fourth winner for her sculpture entitled, 'Bad Head Day'. Shape Chief Executive Tony Heaton OBE congratulated Kate at the exhibition’s opening event on 4 February and thanked Yinka Shonibare as well as Helen Sainsbury, Head of Programme Realisation, ...

A picture of a man stood up talking into a microphone. Four people are sat on green chairs in the background, two of them are holding hands and looking at each other.

Mind the Gap announce new tour dates for CONTAINED

England’s largest learning-disabled theatre company, Mind the Gap have announced a new tour of CONTAINED, a vibrant, compelling and personal project. Over the last year, Mind the Gap has been working with Alan Lyddiard (Artistic Director of the Performance Ensemble and former Artistic Director of Northern Stage) and Denis Darzacq (award-winning ...

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.

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. The challenges of life and death may not make us stronger, but they ...

staged photo of two actresses in long dresses, sitting surrounded by reams of paper with a large drawing of a birds head on the floor

Southbank Centre launches Changing Minds, a new weekend festival about mental health and the arts

In February Southbank Centre launches a new weekend festival for 2016, Changing Minds, looking closely at the topic of mental health through a packed programme of performance, music, comedy, design, talks and panel discussions. As the debate surrounding equal treatment for mental health grows in profile, the festival probes taboo ...

Marlene Steyn, Moony's Downside (with extra time she could have made side dishes), 2015. A painting that depicts dozens of naked figures conjoined together.

Castlefield Gallery announce new multi-artist exhibition addressing the issue of Outsider Art

Castlefield Gallery has announced Inside Out, curated in collaboration with David Maclagan artist, academic and writer; including new and existing work by artists from the UK, South Africa, France, Iran and the USA. Some of these artists for a variety of reasons are thought to be Outsider artists, whilst others ...

A photograph of Winter of ’82, aka singer and technologist Kris Halpin standing on a stage with his hands on his head.

Attitude is Everything announce The Gloves Are On tour for Independent Venue Week

As part of January 2016’s Independent Venue Week, leading music charity Attitude is Everything has announced The Gloves Are On tour. Headlined by Winter of ’82, the performing name of acclaimed singer and technologist Kris Halpin, the four-date tour kicks off at The Boileroom in Guildford on January 27th, before visiting Coventry, Bristol and London. As a disabled artist Kris decided ...

A photograph featuring a panel debate including Richard Rieser, Colin Rogers, Shirani Sabaratnam, Ros Hubbard, Ben Anthony and Ju Gosling, with a signer in the background

UK Disability History Month 2015 Conference at the BFI

UK Disability History Month takes place between 22 November – 22 December every year. With this year’s theme being Portrayal of Disability in Moving Image Media, what better place could there be than the BFI to host an opening conference addressing the subject. Joe Turnbull was in attendance. We are now ...

Installation shot from Art, Life, Activism, featuring Tony Heaton's Gold Lame hanging from the ceiling, Aaron Williamson's sculptures in the foreground, Noëmi Lakmaier's video projected on the back wall and Bobby Baker's drawings on the right.

Art, Life, Activism: Attenborough Arts Centre Launch

University of Leicester’s Attenborough Arts Centre first opened 18 years ago, conceived by acclaimed actor Richard Attenborough as a space explicitly for disabled artists and audience members. 17 November saw the soft launch of its new £1.5 million three-gallery space. To celebrate, the space is hosting a major multi-artist exhibition ...

A photograph taken from Tim Andrews' Over Hill series. Taken by Roberto Fiddai, it depicts Andrews in a train station with a crown-shaped hat on reading 'over the hill'

Goldsmiths Disability Research Centre Launch Event

The Disability Research Centre at Goldsmiths is a new interdisciplinary research grouping which will both conduct and promote research relating to disability and highlight the endemic nature of disablism. 12 November 2015 saw its launch with a series of talks delivered around the pertinent topic of disability and austerity. Joe ...

A still from the film Idiotas. It depcits a man sat down eating a sandwich as he converses with his dog.

Oska Bright Film Festival 2015 Day 2 Evening Session

Joe Turnbull returns to Brighton Dome for the second session of Day 2 at the Oska Bright Film Festival to see if it could live up to the highs of the morning. After the rollercoaster that was the morning session, I was certainly expecting big things for the evening event. There ...

A still from the film with an image of a man the artist knows rendered as food on plate

Oska Bright Film Festival 2015 – Day 2 Morning

DAO’s coverage of the Oska Bright Film Festival 2015 continues with Joe Turnbull’s assessment of the Afternoon Session of Day Two. The first session kicked off with a selection of four ‘Stories from around the world,’ reflecting the increasingly international outlook of the Festival. Goran, a film by Goran Gostojic and Roberto ...

Performance artist, Karen Finley performing Written in Sand at Barbican. She has her hands clasped and her eyes closed.

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

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 ...

Nadia Nadarajah and Charmaine Wombwell as the Pilot in Deafinitely Theatre's Grounded. They both wear flight suits.

Deafinitely Theatre’s ‘Grounded’ at Park Theatre

Deafinitely Theatre's latest production is a bilingual version of George Brant's acclaimed play Grounded which charts the intimately personal journey of a female fighter pilot who loses her wings. Joe Turnbull went along to London's Park Theatre to see if it reaches the heights. Deafinitely have garnered a reputation for producing ...

A photograph of writer Jack Dean, he is holding a puppet, who plays Imogen in Grandad and the Machine

Unlimited: Jack Dean’s ‘Grandad and the Machine’

Writer, poet, musician extraordinaire Jack Dean brought the full force of his Unlimited-backed 'steampunk fairytale' Grandad and the Machine to bear on the unassuming space of Camden People's Theatre from 13-15th October. Joe Turnbull went along for the ride. It's England in 2015 but not quite as we know it. The ...

A photograph of conductor James Rose wearing a prototype head-pointer baton.

Conductor James Rose designs his own head-baton to help fulfil a lifelong ambition

Disabled conductor, James Rose has been developing a specially-designed head-baton as an accessible aide to conduct using head movements. After working on several prototypes, Rose is now ready to take the project a step further, with a funding application to Arts Council England. Joe Turnbull chronicles his progress thus far. Rose ...

photo of actor David James in a long yellow jacket assisting actress liz carr into a hoist

A behind the scenes look at Liz Carr’s ‘Assisted Suicide the Musical’

Artist and activist Liz Carr has campaigned tirelessly on the issue of assisted suicide. Her first foray into the world of musical theatre, Assisted Suicide the Musical is four years in the making and already in its third incarnation. Joe Turnbull spoke to her about the journey so far. Fed up ...

A photograph of two young women attending the BFI's Film Academy, one is holding a clapperboard

London Film Festival Diversity Town Hall Discussion

A year ago the BFI announced its ‘Three Ticks’ scheme, making its Lottery-based funding conditional on meeting set diversity criteria. Joe Turnbull was in attendance for a special event which discussed the progress of the scheme, the state of diversity in the film industry and how the industry can make ...

A photograph depicting Shape Gallery at Westfield Shopping Centre, with several pieces of adaptable furniture in various states of completion

Making Demonstrating the World: Aaron Williamson

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 ...

a group of attitude is everything staff and board members posing in front of the camera

Attitude is Everything: key achievements 2011 – 2014

Suzanne Bull MBE gives a run-down of some of the organisations' successes in supporting music venues and festivals to ensure better access provision for Deaf and disabled people. Assisting over 362 organisations to improve their access in 2013/14 As a result of working with Glastonbury Festival to improve the access ...