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Kate Lovell

Kate Lovell is a Goldsmiths-trained playwright, director and activist who makes creative work with, for and about marginalised groups. She is currently Agent for Change under the banner of the national Ramps on the Moon initiative. She is based at Theatre Royal Stratford East, working for better opportunities in the theatre industry for disabled theatre professionals and improved access to shows for disabled audiences. Kate is co-artistic director of Bread and Goose, who create playful, interactive and immersive theatrical stories which focus on audience experience.

Posts by Kate Lovell

James Kermack directing Hi-Lo Joe

Director James Kermack on Hi-Lo Joe, a feature film exploring male depression

No middle ground: Screenwriter James Kermack talks to Kate Lovell about the creation and national release of new feature film about male depression, Hi-Lo Joe, released in cinemas across the UK on 24 November 2017. “For some people there is no middle ground” is the tag line for Kermack’s deeply personal ...

Tommy; Lukus Alexander

Trigger happy? The difficult balancing act of trigger warnings

Kate Lovell explores plays with challenging or upsetting subject matter - how far is it an artist’s responsibility to protect an audience? My most common access need attending the theatre, after bringing a companion, is to sit at the end of an aisle, preferably close to the exit. This is to ...

National Theatre's production, Mosquitoes Rehearsal image

Director, Nickie Miles-Wildin on her mainstream breakthrough

From Miranda to Mosquitoes, Nickie Miles-Wildin talks to Kate Lovell about her rocketing career in directing and her current role as staff director at the National Theatre. Beginning her career as an actor, Nickie Miles-Wildin met Graeae’s Jenny Sealey whilst performing a one-woman show up in Edinburgh. Connecting with the disability-led ...

Cast of Kubla Khan

Classic poem, Kubla Khan gets the Oily Cart treatment

A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice: Tim Webb talks to Disability Arts Online about Oily Cart’s production of Kubla Khan, out on tour August to October. Oily Cart create “colourful, tactile wonderlands” for the very young and young people with profound and multiple learning disabilities. Their newest show, based on ...

FOUR CORNERS boiler suits

In your corner: BLINK Dance Theatre’s Four Corners, currently on national tour

Inclusive dance-theatre company BLINK use dance, live music and storytelling taking their audiences inside the lives of four strangers. Review by Kate Lovell A bold, primary-coloured set design showcases four performers, each with a colour distinct to their character, poised in four corners as the audience enter. The image instantly conjures ...

Four performers in FOUR CORNERS

Dancer, Francis Majekodunmi: BLINK and you’ll miss him

BLINK Dance Theatre’s FOUR CORNERS is a production which weaves together dance, original live music and storytelling, to tell the tale of four strangers. It originally played in June 2016 to sell-out audiences, but returns this June and July for a national tour. Kate Lovell speaks to Francis Majekodunmi, co-director ...

Photo of actress Lucy Speed dressed in 1930s coat and headscarf

Stephen Unwin’s debut play ‘All Our Children’ memorialises the forgotten holocaust

All Our Children, currently playing at the Jermyn Street Theatre, London sets out to remember the 200,000 people murdered and those who fought against the injustice of the Nazi Holocaust. Kate Lovell concludes the production to be disturbingly relevant to current times When attending a play which delves into the atrocities ...

You've Got Dragons production shot

Elise Davison: Taking Flight with dragons on a journey through integrated access

“Dragons represent the fears and worries we all have”: Taking Flight director Elise Davison talks to Kate Lovell about their accessible children’s show, You’ve Got Dragons, and how integrating access into all of their productions has made for a unique brand of theatre. You've Got Dragons is currently on a tour ...

Anna Maxwell Martin and Heather Craney in Consent

Consent at National Theatre: a missed opportunity to give voice to survivors

Nina Raine’s Consent, a co-production between National Theatre and Out of Joint which plays 28 March – 17 May 2017 deals with opposing views on a rape court case. Kate Lovell finds a missing voice is obscured by upper-middle class suburbia. Nina Raine's Consent sees two barristers enacting the machinery of ...

Meet Fred, storm scene

Meet Fred, the puppet who’s a powerful ally to the disability rights cause

Meet Fred is a Hijinx and Blind Summit co-production which follows the trials and tribulations of a two-foot puppet who has been threatened with having is Puppetry Living Allowance (PLA) removed. Following a successful run at Summerhall as part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2016, Meet Fred is currently ...

Mind the Gap Contained

Let’s Talk Access in the Arts

On 10 March, Mind the Gap and West Yorkshire Playhouse hosted a ‘TED-talk style symposium’ Let’s Talk Access in the Arts which brought together industry experts sharing best practice on how to make the arts and theatre more accessible for learning-disabled artists. Kate Lovell took part and reflects on the ...

Watercolour of a young woman with the words 'on the edge of me' painted in red on her hand.

Yolanda Mercy takes her one-woman show ‘On the Edge of Me’ to The Vaults

Presented at Vaults Festival as part of Stopgap's iF Platform, Kate Lovell follows the young Remi down the path of the underemployed graduate in Yolanda Mercy’s On the Edge of Me Google is Remi’s only friend. She consults it several times a day, asking for time-bending directions when she’s already hopelessly late, ...

Three performers move forwards from in front of a stage curtain with tentative expressions on their faces.

Casson & Friends take their family-friendly ‘Night at the Theatre’ to The Vaults

As part of Stopgap's iF Platform Casson & Friends recently took their  accessible dance theatre show to the Vault Festival. Kate Lovell went along to sit-back and take in a Night at the Theatre but ended up sitting-up and taking part. Tumbling through a tottering wall of shoeboxes, the cast of ...

Playing ON examine both sides of the couch in their revealing drama ‘Hearing Things’

Playing ON have collaborated with psychiatrists, staff and patients, pulling together their stories to open the door on a closed world. Kate Lovell reviews the resulting play, currently showing at The Vaults Festival, London. Madness is a popular theme for theatre. It can provide a platform for wild behaviour, colour, farce ...

Panel discussion including Amit Sharma, Kerry Michael, Jez Bond, Vicky Featherstone

Reshaping Our Future: Theatre and Disability

Reshaping Our Future: Theatre and Disability was a one-day conference, organised in collaboration between Park Theatre, Graeae Theatre Company and UK Disability History Month aimed at encouraging the inclusion of disability in plays. Kate Lovell was amongst the artistic directors, producers, managers, casting directors, writers and actors who took place ...

A photograph of a group of people involved in Daily Life Ltd's 'Roving Diagnostic Unit'. The group are walking through a wooded area, lead by artist Bobby Baker.

Daily Life Ltd. Takeover William Morris Gallery

Does the wallpaper have disordered thinking? Does the staircase have delusions of grandeur? Kate Lovell visited Daily Life Ltd’s takeover of the William Morris Gallery, featuring the Roving Diagnostic Unit, which took place on 13 October 2016. A museum dedicated to a designer and craftsman William Morris mostly displays wallpaper patterning, print ...

Photograph of Director Jim Pope on his haunches in the stalls of a theatre

Jim Pope on Playing On’s new experimental theatre piece about mental health, Hearing Things

Hearing Things is the latest play by Playing On which explores society’s perceptions of mental health. It is the result of a 3-year process of collaborating with psychiatrists, other staff and patients, drawing together the stories of those receiving and providing mental health care. Kate Lovell caught up with Playing ...

Photograph of Sally Phillips hugging Halldóra,, a woman with Down's Syndrome from Iceland.

A World Without Down’s Syndrome? – an artistic landscape less rich

One of the liveliest parts of the Unlimited Festival this year was the Youth Dance Platform, says event co-producer Kate Lovell. Ten inclusive dance companies of young people came from far and wide to perform on the Clore Ballroom stage. Thinking on the experience, whilst watching the recent BBC 2 ...

Photograph of a panel discussion

How can we improve provision for young disabled artists?

Kate Lovell, co-artistic director at theatre company, Bread and Goose and Agent for Change at Theatre Royal Stratford East was asked to deliver a speech to kick off ‘The Generation Gap’ talk at Unlimited Festival, Southbank Centre on 9 September. This is her provocation in full. I was asked to come ...

a cartoon character holds up a glass of wine in a restaurant

Unlimited: Oska Bright Film Festival on tour

Oska Bright Film Festival – Kate Lovell caught the sublimely surreal shorts at this year’s Unlimited Festival at Southbank Centre Food leaping off plates and eating the diners. A fish swimming its way to fame in Clam Vegas. A music video about the annoying and cloying smell of cocoa butter. These ...

Photo of the four commissioned artists, pictured in a museum archive

Museums on the move: Richard Sandell on ‘Exceptional and Extraordinary’

Exceptional and Extraordinary is a collaboration between four artists and experts in medical history, disability and museums, exploring behind the scenes of eight of the UK’s most renowned medical museums. The result is a series of provocative performances taking place at the partner museums across the UK this June. Kate ...

Photo of film-maker David Hevey in a suit walking amongst the shelves within a museum archive

The darkening skies: David Hevey talks to Kate Lovell about his new documentary ‘The Fight for Life’

It couldn’t be timelier. Just a few days after the highly controversial Hollywood film about assisted dying, Me Before You was released across cinemas nationwide to widespread horror amongst the disabled community, David Hevey’s film about the debate on disabled people and their right to life premiered in London on ...

A photograph of actors Heather Gilmore as Old Woman (left) and Tim Gebbels as Old Man right in Extant's The Chairs. They are holding hands and seem deep in conversation. A dystopian set is behind them.

Tim Gebbels on starring in Extant’s ‘The Chairs’

Kate Lovell talks to actor Tim Gebbels about his role as Old Man in Extant’s re-boot of Eugène Ionesco’s classic Theatre of the Absurd play, The Chairs, which is touring 3 – 26 April 2016. Gebbels is an actor drawn to classic texts, but as a disabled actor, he often struggles ...

A photograph of actors Heather Gilmore as Old Woman (left) and Tim Gebbels as Old Man right in Extant's The Chairs. Tim is gesturing towards her.

Extant Theatre present ‘The Chairs’

Post-apocalyptic pathos: Kate Lovell reviews Extant’s re-mount of Ionescu’s The Chairs at its first tour date at Harlow Playhouse. Being allowed to touch, push and turn the various dials, switches, keyboards, circuit boards, telephones and buttons on this extraordinarily elaborate set is a childhood dream come true if you are lucky enough ...

black and white image of a young woman with eyes closed and mouth wide open, set against a light blue background

HOAX & Luminary Theatre present ‘Hysterical’

HOAX & Luminary Theatre played Vaults Festival in London with Hysterical – a psychosis circus full of laughs, but lacking in real bite. Review by Kate Lovell Psychosis is an attractive subject for theatre makers. It lends itself to colourful characters and sublimely ridiculous scenes. June, the central character of Hoax ...

Daily Life Ltd and Bobby Baker ‘Letting in the Light’

An intimate glowing haven of wild colour and intricate detail illuminates Stratford High Street London with a series of large light boxes featuring images of paintings, drawings, digital and mixed media work. Kate Lovell visits Letting in the Light Slicing upwards through the greyness of a February dusk, an array of ...

A photograph of contemporary dancer, Housni Hassan aka DJ performing.

Housni Hassan – the language of dance

From the Power Rangers to Matthew Bourne – Kate Lovell talks to contemporary dancer Housni Hassan aka DJ about the brave new world of stepping out as a solo artist. DJ describes a childhood of rushing to wherever he heard music, an almost innate response to the rhythms pulsing through his ...

A photograph of Sara Pope's piece at Reframing the Myth inspired by Jenny Sealey. It depicts a large pair of red lips with a neon light surrounding it.

‘Reframing the Myth’: Graeae and Central Illustration Agency

Celebrating 35 years of Graeae Theatre, prominent figures from its history were paired with artists and illustrators from the Central Illustration Agency to create 40 new artworks. Kate Lovell visited the Reframing the Myth at the Guardian’s offices in London, wishing that it had shouted louder and been bolder. A big ...

A promotional photograph from the forthcoming film, Rouge. It depicts two women, one has the other's head in her hands as if they are about to kiss.

A clear sense of direction – Elinor Rowlands

“When we feel inadequate, it’s because we’re not being heard” – Elinor Rowlands talks to Kate Lovell about ‘coming out’ as a disabled artist in the latest of DAO’s Viewfinder peer-to-peer interviews. Elinor Rowlands doesn’t feel she fits into traditional societal models, and little wonder, for she is a Renaissance woman ...