Disability History Month 2018: what's going on
There are tons of companies and shows out there at the moment that are accessible
Disability History Month takes place this year between 19 November and 22 December and in 2018 will focus on disability and music. There are lots of events taking place all over the UK, but we thought we'd take this opportunity to flag a few of the excellent theatre companies and people making work in the country at the moment. Got some more to add? Send us an email.
Courage Everywhere and Others
Disabled-led theatre company Graeae has been making excellent work in the theatre industry for a long time and that continues with this event, which runs at the National Theatre. Courage Everywhere is the National Theatre's celebration of the fight for political equality and features a host of performers reading pieces on the theme of Suffrage. Graeae artistic director Jenny Sealey and Susan Croft curate this particular night which puts stories of women who have been lost to history alongside voices of D/deaf and disabled women living today. Thursday 15 November, National Theatre.
The Last Five Years
This is the first D/deaf inclusive production of Jason Robert Brown's musical. It opened this week in Cardiff at the Millenium Centre, before touring all over Wales. Usually a two-hander, director Angharad Lee has two dancers as well as two singers performing. The cast includes Lauren Hood and Michael Hamway and should be very special. Wales Millenium Centre until 17 November and then touring until 1 Dec
Graeae have a fabulous young company, The Rollettes which is arriving at the newly re-opened Alexandra Palace to cause Christmas havoc. They've borrowed a time machine from Horrible Christmas – the other show on that stage this Christmas and have travelled back from 2025. Sunday 16 December, Matinee (3pm)
Captioning Awareness Week
It's this week! For those of you who didn't know, here's the week designed by Stagetext to raise awareness of captioning, which enables d/Deaf, deafened and hard of hearing audiences equal access to arts events. All over the UK venues and companies are focusing on this vital part of their output. Around 11 million people in the UK suffer from some sort of hearing loss, but many don't realise that captioning exists. For an example, the National Theatre's War Horse talks are all captioned. UK-wide, 12 to 18 November
This disability festival is based in Newham in London and is inspired by London 2012. It's entirely free and is led by disabled artists and companies. This year there's a new play by Trevor Lloyd called When You See Me at Stratford Circus, which looks at the impact of circus history on the lived experiences of disabled people, and don't forget the Paracarnical parade through Gallions Reach Shopping Park on 25 November. Across Newham 23 November to 14 December.
What Words are Ours
This BSL interpreted poetry-cabaret show was created at the Roundhouse in 2017 and returns to the venue and goes out on tour. The line up includes deaf poet Donna Williams, British Syrian poet Lisa Luxx and performance artist Lasana Shabazz. Roundhouse 17 November
Devoted and Disgruntled
Let's get together and chat! Here's theatre's prime conference event with a difference. Devoted and Disgruntled has been holding sessions for years now in a democratic and radical way. The idea is that you get a ticket, turn up, pick an issue that theatre is or isn't addressing and talk about it with other practitioners and makers. You can pick any subject and we think disability is a hot topic, so it's a chance to voice your irritation or joy over progress or lack thereof. The next one is in Northampton, but it's worth following them on Twitter, as D&Ds travel all around the country. Royal & Derngate, Northampton, 26 to 28 January
Anna Jordan's play, created with Paines Plough, is about two people on the dancefloor at a wedding shaking their booties. It's about a bit more than that, obviously, and has BSL integrated into the piece – so there's a signer, Ciaran Alexander Stewart, onstage throughout. It sounds totally joyful and lots of fun and features songs including "All About Tonight" by Pixie Lott and "Symphony" by Clean Bandit. Continues to tour until 8 December
For those of you feeling like you need something Christmassy, Cast in Doncaster stage the UK's only (we think) fully integrated BSL panto (Oh no they don't! Oh yes they do! etc etc). What's more, the panto is being live streamed, to schools, hospitals, prisons and more, which may just be about as accessible as they come. Cast, Doncaster, 30 November to 31 December