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And don't forget to eat from the plate

1 September 2015

Blog Richard Downes

I've not been to the Isle of Wight for a long time. First time I went I stayed with Islanders. I was defined by being a mainlander. We were different. I am different. They are different. Our language, our culture, hopes and aspirations are not the same. This time I was a black country man staying in a hotel owned by brummies. My regionalism stood on high alert. Warning! Warning!! Holte Ender ahoy!!! Separated by a borderline and the trammels of history. Yet Brummies are in my bloodline....

Fringe Diary Day 2: Advances and Advantages

1 September 2015

Blog Alice Holland

I am in bits. Sue MacLaine and Nadia Nadarajah have taken me apart by subtle means, by invisible means, with fast-moving fingers, and I am discombobulated by unnamed emotions after their performance of Can I Start Again Please? MacLaine and Nadarajah’s dissection and examination of language, meaning and intent is so elegant that even though I knew the themes of the piece were going to be hard; abuse, survival, silence; the slow burn build still took me by surprise when I found myself...

Xanadu, Stratford City

28 August 2015

Blog Aaron Williamson

View of Westfield Stratford City

'In Xanadu did Kubla Khan A stately pleasure dome decree...' S.T Coleridge 1797 Samuel Taylor Coleridge had composed over 200 lines of verse in his mind during an opium-induced dream. He had risen from bed and was fast-scribbling the lines down when, famously, he was interrupted by ‘a man from Porlock’ who wished to talk business. Upon returning to his desk, to complete the poem (he’d only got 40 lines down when the debt collector arrived - I’m assuming the man...

Fringe Diary Day 1: Champions

26 August 2015

Blog Alice Holland

Alice Holland stands holding a trophy, wearing a showgirl outfit with an applauding crowd around her

Yesterday I was supposed to be swanning about Edinburgh seeing shows and catching up with old pals, but an airport bomb scare threw things off so all I managed was to go to the iF Platform launch and British Council Showcase opening party and give myself a hangover before leaving. Should have had more cheese nibblies. Today; actual work, in the form of the If Not Now, When? conference, attended by the great and the good, and the new and wide-eyed. As a rookie producer also pretty green to...

On Location: the Melting Model

14 August 2015

Blog Aaron Williamson

Photograph by Manuel Vason

In a pre-meeting with the artist-photographer Manuel Vason, we drew up a plan to grab a single dramatic image, guerilla style, by which to communicate the spirit and style of Demonstrating the World during the period prior to the production work itself being realised. We would shoot spontaneously around the vast Lakeside Retail Park in Essex to create a contrast between the retro-futuristic ‘alien’ surroundings of Lakeside, and an arrangement of everyday ‘familiar’ props...

News: Ignite prepares to light up the Cork City centre with a spectacular event

2 September 2015


News: Ignite prepares to light up the Cork City centre with a spectacular event

Since November 2013 Simon Mckeown has been working with lead partners National Sculpture Factory and Create Ireland to develop ‘Cork Ignite’, which is premiering in Cork City centre on 18 September. As part of the process he has been working with partner disability organisations in Cork, such as Suisha Inclusive Arts at COPE Foundation and SoundOUT as well as individual members of the disabled community.

Review: Edinburgh Festival: Jo Bannon presents Alba

25 August 2015


Supported as part of the iF (Integrated Fringe) Platform at the Edinburgh Festival, Jo Bannon’s Alba is showing from 24-28 August at the Drill Hall, home of the Forest Fringe. Described as being influenced by the artists' albinism the performance tells a story about paleness, blending in and standing out. Review by Colin Hambrook


Interview: flip Artists: The View From Here

29 August 2015


A recent exhibition in Edinburgh’s Gayfield Creative Spaces presented work by nine disabled artists who have recently completed a nine-month programme of mentoring and support from several high profile arts organisations in Scotland. Paul F Cockburn spoke with Robert Softly Gale, director of flip: Disability Equality in the Arts, who coordinated the programme.  

Opinion: Edinburgh Festival: 'iF Not Now When?'

26 August 2015


Forest Fringe at the Drill Hall played host on 25 August to a day of lively and vibrant discussion: 'iF Not Now When?' produced by Stopgap and hosted by Jo Verrent, Senior Producer of Unlimited. Colin Hambrook reflects on some thoughts from the day's proceedings

Interview: British Council Showcase at Edinburgh Festival

30 July 2015


The British Council Theatre and Dance team are currently busy working on their tenth showcase since 1997 at the Edinburgh Festival. Colin Hambrook spoke to Neil Webb, Director of Theatre and Dance about the outcomes British Council are hoping for as a result of the showcase and the broader spectrum of their disability arts work across the globe 

Resource: Crowdfunding for Organisations

18 July 2015


As part of a Catalyst project, working with Stopgap, Salisbury Arts Centre and The Point, Dao-ista Alice Holland took on the task of producing a crowd-funding campaign to raise funds for a show by disabled punk performance poet Rowan James: 'It's For You To Say'. Here she gives some background to the thinking behind the project.

Gallery: Create: Me, Myself, I: portraits by young people with autism

8 June 2015


This collection of portrait photographs was taken by young people with autism in a project led by arts charity Create following the theme of 'Me, Myself, I'.  The young people took portraits of each other to explore their identity and the identity of their peers, and in the process developed these fantastically dynamic shots full of movement and life. To create these portraits, the young people worked with Create’s professional photographer Alicia Clarke.  

Poetry: Alan Morrison: Shadows Waltz Haltingly and the Shadow of Huntington’s

3 September 2015


For Alan Morrison the task of tackling poetically his mother’s fifteen year-plus fight with Huntington’s Disease, and its ultimate claiming of her, was an emotionally and psychologically thorny one. But so deeply had he been affected by witnessing the many harrowing stages of his mother’s illness that he inevitably attempted to assimilate it all through the expressive medium which comes most naturally to him: poetry.