Essential listening for creatives: Disability Arts Online and Graeae launch new arts podcast

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Disability Arts Online, the leading publication for disability arts is joining forces with Graeae, one of the world’s most prominent disability-led theatre companies to deliver the Disability And…Podcast. The first episode, Disability And…Representation launches today on all major podcast platforms.

Hands holding a sign

The Disability And…Podcast promises to get right to the heart of some of the most pressing issues in arts, culture and beyond with a series of bold, provocative and insightful interviews with disabled artists, key industry figures and the odd legend.

The first episode in the series, Disability And…Representation features a conversation between Deputy Artistic Director at Birmingham Rep (and former Associate Director of Graeae), Amit Sharma and Writer, Actor, Campaigner and Graeae Patron, Mat Fraser. They speak candidly about Mat’s remarkable career, his punk background and how he became politicised around disability rights following a particularly difficult audition.

Graeae has been a force for change in theatre and the wider world for nearly 40 years and Disability Arts Online has for some time been the home for critique and debate about disability arts and culture. Together they hope to tackle today’s burning topics, stir debate and have some laughs along the way.

Colin Hambrook, Editor of Disability Arts Online said:

“We’re very excited about the new development of working with Graeae to produce a monthly podcast over the course of the next year. Graeae’s work around the Aesthetics of Access has been instrumental in innovating disability arts and taking it to an international audience. A podcast presents a fantastic new opportunity for us to go beyond the limitations of publishing text-based opinion and critique of the arts that has been the main focus of our activity to date.

We hope to develop new audiences for whom the written word presents barriers. Through our podcasts we plan to give our audience a more personalised connection with some of the key topics and issues facing disabled artists offering in-depth conversations between known and not-so-known artists at the hub of our community.”

Man wearing a crown

Mat Fraser as Richard III. Northern Broadsides & Hull Truck Theatre. Photo by Nobby Clark.

Initially, The Disability And…Podcast will be released on a monthly basis and will be available on the Disability Arts Online and Graeae websites, on Graeae and Disability Arts Online’s dedicated Soundcloud and also via many of the leading podcast services including:

If you know of any other channels that you’d like this podcast to be available on, please email richard@graeae.org

The Disability And…Podcast will be edited by Ian Rattray for Clear Voice Enterprises, experts in accessible audio.

Jenny Sealey, Artistic Director of Graeae remarked:

“Through this new series of Podcasts, we are thrilled to be forming an official partnership with our friends and allies at Disability Arts Online, to help highlight and showcase the diversity of creative and talented voices within the disability arts community.

Who better than to do this with than DAO – the UK’s leading online resource for our sector – while also helping us continue to celebrate Graeae’s rich history in the run-up to our 40th anniversary in 2020, following on from our 2018 book Reasons to be Graeae and its accompanying audio version.”

The second episode of The Disability And…Podcast, launching in June, will be ‘Disability And…Psychiatry’ featuring Colin Hambrook and disabled artist gobscure in conversation about the history of the representation of mental health and psychiatry within the arts. They will be looking at the contribution of writers, artists and thinkers from the 18th century to the present; from Mary Wollstonecraft to Jessie Kesson.

Future episodes will include topics such as comedy, activism, television and human rights. Listeners can send comments, questions and suggestions via the hashtag #DisabilityAnd

Listen to episode one, Disability And…Representation below. A transcript of episode one is available here.