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Defend disabled people's right to independent living

3 June 2015

Blog Colin Hambrook: Editorial

photo of  Coronation Street actress, Cherylee Houston, smiling

The Government's plans to do away with the Independent Living Fund (ILF) on 30th June are going to have an immense impact on many individuals Dao works with either directly or indirectly. The ILF helps over 18,000 disabled people with high support needs to live independent lives in the community rather than in residential care. The fund was introduced in 1988 as the Conservative party at that time realised that supporting disabled people with personal care needs to live independent lives,...

Towards Harmony: 30 days to go

2 June 2015

Blog Lloyd Coleman: The Sound of Disability

Book your tickets for the World Premiere of Towards Harmony on July 3 HERE My week of rehearsal madness continued apace today - I visited the wonderful Adrian Lee at his home in North London. I have introduced you to this magician of the guitar already on this blog, and I always enjoy visiting and rehearsing with him. Although I will freely admit that we are both guilty of becoming sidetracked with too many tea breaks and talking at length about our favourite music, instead of actually...

Towards Harmony: 31 days to go

1 June 2015

Blog Lloyd Coleman: The Sound of Disability

Book your tickets for July 3 HERE That's right - as announced in my last video blog - the world premiere performance of Towards Harmony will take place in Bristol's Colston Hall on Friday 3rd July as part of the Fast Fowards Music Festival.  I am only too aware that my presence on this blog has been somewhat sporadic over the past 12 months, so as the day draws nearer I aim to post as often as I can manage. This should bring you an insight into the rehearsal process we're going...

Cosy, quirky, honest, daring...

1 June 2015

Blog Kaite O'Reilly

How we live and how we die has never been more topical or relevant to our ageing society that likes to pretend we’re immortal and forever young. It’s universal, as well as our last taboo – a fascinating and compelling subject. This is why I’m delighted that I’ve been commissioned to write Cosy, a play that explores our obsessions with ageing, self-ownership, and end of life scenarios in the company of a dysfunctional family on the verge of killing one another, if...

Science and Art; Building a Dialogue of Trust

31 May 2015

Blog Esther Fox: Distinctive Not Alien

A canvas with pixelated digital marks depicting the holes within a woven structure with paint layered like a bar code

So at this juncture, when I am re-establishing my practice, I thought it pertinent to take a moment to reflect on my interest in genetics and some of the projects that have occurred over the last few years.  One thing in particular I wanted to re-visit was a proposed project called Resonant Frequency, in which DAO was a key partner.   This was a project which was developed during 2008 in partnership with ITHACA and Science Oxford and although was unsuccessful in achieving funding, it...

Brollywood - the prequel

31 May 2015

Blog Gini

A very close-up view of the broken rib on my fallen brolly. Photoshopped the plain black umbrella gleams, turquoise, orange, yellow, lime green and rusty red.

Yeh, I used to vote Labour. I made it through the thatcherites, but I'm not sure I can survive the camerongs. D'you know something? Why don't they give the tree hugger a chance...I'm not for the monarchy, but he couldn't do any worse could he? And he's not in it for the money. OK I'm joking, but you've only got to look at his mother; she's given her whole life to this country. She's allowed to do that. What if they actually care about real people and not...

Review: Touretteshero goes Backstage to Biscuitland

12 May 2015


On election night in the Brighton Dome Studio Theatre we learn that “Nigel Farage is at home washing his tortoise.” And Jess Thom aka Touretteshero is on fire, an irrepressible force of nature, welcoming her audience to Biscuitland with a charm and an affectionate grin that cannot fail to woo. Review by Colin Hambrook

The Sound of Disability

21 May 2015


As part of an Arts Council funded programme of work, Dao is engaging with freelance writers to commission opinion pieces and interviews, instigating wider debate about music and disabled musicians that creates a greater understanding of where music sits with disability arts. As part of this programme of work Dao has commissioned a young disabled composer Lloyd Coleman to produce a piece of music for the British...

Interview: Claire Cunningham on Give Me A Reason To Live

15 May 2015


Choreographer and performer Claire Cunningham talks to Colin Hambrook about her new solo performance ‘Give Me  A Reason To Live’. Exploring religious art, and the questions it raises about impaired bodies and quality of life, the work takes the form of a series of tests of body and of faith. Stripped down the work is a study in the notion of empathy.

Opinion: Crips mean cash: disability as a commodity

23 April 2015


The media has caught on to the idea that ‘worthiness’ sells. As a result disabled people have been more prominent on tv and within the arts, yet as a group we have been getting a rawer deal since the 2012 Paralympics says, tv producer/ director Richard Butchins.

SenseAbility presentation: Ten Years of Dao: a potted history

17 June 2014


Dao Editor Colin Hambrook was invited to speak about Disability Arts Online at SenseAbility – an event held at the Pound Arts Centre, Corsham from 10-14 June. The festival, exploring inclusion in the arts and community, was organized by Tanvir Bush in partnership with Bath Spa University. This feature contains a transcript of his presentation

Jonathan Andrews

1 June 2015


Jonathan Andrews’ poetry recounts a lived experience of autism – a perspective, which is too often ignored in favour of second-person narratives of what an autistic person seems to be thinking or feeling. He feels short, evocative snippets of this experience are the most powerful – and that the poetic form is the perfect medium to convey these.