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Sonali Shah

Dr Sonali Shah has been working as a research fellow and lecturer with different Russell Group universities for over 15 years (Nottingham, Leeds, Glasgow). She is currently research fellow at the School of Nursing, University of Birmingham, exploring access to healthcare for women with Cerebral Palsy across the life course. Shah is internationally known through her published work (journal articles, book chapters and books) in the areas of disability policy, violence, drama methods and life choices. Her authored books include Disability and Social Change: Private Lives and Public Policies (Policy Press, 2011), Career Success of Disabled High-Flyers (Jessica Kingsley, 2005), Young Disabled People: Aspirations, Choices and Constraints (Ashgate, 2008) and her recent co-edited collection Disability, Gender and Violence: Global Perspectives and Human Rights Approaches (Routledge, 2018). In 2003 she worked with Graeae Theatre Company on a touring production of Bertolt Brecht’s Mother Courage. Between 2015-18 she served as a board member of Birds of Paradise Theatre Company and worked on the Polio Monologues project. She serves on the management board for Disability Arts Online.

Posts by Sonali Shah

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A Day in the Death of Joe Egg – ‘first revival to cast a disabled actress as Joe’

A new version of 'A Day in the Death of Joe Egg' is currently playing at the Trafalgar Studios in London's West End. Written by Paul Nichols (whose death came two weeks before the revival of this show), Joe Egg is inspired by the playwrights frustrations and resentment of being ...

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Graeae’s One Under – bringing the realities of suicide, mental health, resentment and guilt to the stage

Autumn 2019 brings a revival of Winsome Pinnock’s  2005 play, One Under, touring to Ipswich, Leeds, Newcastle, Liverpool, Birmingham, Salisbury and London. Directed by Amit Sharma, and produced in association with Graeae this one-act play explores the complexity and interdependence of human relationships and the impact they have on the ...

Four actors pace the stage

Freeman, interwoven tales of systematic racism, false accusations and wrongful convictions

On 28 June, New Diorama Theatre presented Freeman, a Strictly Arts Theatre production, as part of the INCOMING Festival 2019. As part of Alexandrina Hemsley's guest editorship, we commissioned this review by Sonali Shah. Through harrowingly powerful performances from five actors, this fast-paced gripping one-act play leaves no room for distraction ...

A white woman stands leaning over a a seated, naked white man who she is washing

Cost of Living uncovers the hidden realities of poverty, disability and loneliness

London's Hampstead Theatre presents 'Cost of Living' as its hundredth premier. Written by the Polish-American Pulitzer winning playwright Martyna Majok and directed by Edward Hall, this one act play is inspired by the world Majok grew up in and the life she has lived. Review by Sonali Shah With a perfectly ...

A young male actor poses on a motorbike, smiling at an elderly female sitting in a sidecar

Bilal Khan on working with Rifco in his first acting role

Rifco Theatre Company, behind such hit productions as Britain's Got Bhangra, The Deranged Marriage, Laila The Musical and Happy Birthday Sunita toured theatres in Hornchurch, Oldham, Warwick and Derby last autumn with a new play Dishoom! written by Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti about life for a British Asian family in the ...

Pictured in sepia, the full cast of Amy Dorrit line up for the camera

Graeae Theatre’s ‘Amy Dorrit’ brings Dicken’s story into contemporary times in an adaptation for radio

Based on Charles Dickens' classic novel Little Dorrit, Graeae Theatre Company's adaptation brings the story up-to-date for radio with the passionate high-energy voices of a disabled, non-disabled and learning disabled cast. Review by Sonali Shah. Moving adroitly from fevered emotion to hilarious one-liners, interspersed with some apt sing-a-long favourites, Amy Dorrit ...

A young male wheelchair-using actor and an elderly actress confront each other on stage in a 1970s living room setting

Dishoom – the story of everyday heroes making their mark!

Rifco Theatre Company, renowned for sharing the untold stories of British Asian communities in public spaces, goes one step further with their latest production, which played Derby Theatre (24-27th October). Conceived by Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti and Pravesh Kumar, Dishoom reveals the challenging stories of multiple oppression, cross-cultural conflict and not-quite-belonging. ...

Five actors huddle around a sixth actor lying in a wheelbarrow

My Left/Right Foot, The Musical

My Left/Right Foot, The Musical is a co-production between Birds of Paradise and National Theatre of Scotland. It plays the Assembly Roxy 1-27 August as part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe. This article was commissioned as part of Dolly Sen’s guest editorship on Disability Arts Online. Review by Sonali Shah. Birds of ...

book covering featuring the image of an actress in swilring dress

Atypical Plays for Atypical Actors by Kaite O’Reilly (2016: Oberon books)

Atypical Plays for Atypical Actors’ is a collection of five unique, but equally powerful, poetic and political pieces of drama composed by the award winning playwright, Kaite O’Reilly. Review by Dr Sonali Shah (University of Glasgow) O’Reilly’s policy and practice as a writer is to ‘put crips in our scripts’ (Guardian ...

Sonali Shah