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Xanadu Stratford City

28 August 2015

Blog Aaron Williamson

'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...

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...

Come get your I scream

12 August 2015

Blog Dolly Sen

Assisted Suicide Ice Cream

I met up with the very fabulous Liz Carr at a creative social, and I asked her how her project ‘Assisted Suicide – the Musical’ was progressing. We had a little chat about the work involved for her. I, for one, can’t wait to see it. I offered to sell some unique ice cream in the interval, available in Rocky Road, Chocolate Crip, or Vanilla Death. If it is the only refreshment there is and you can't leave the building without buying it, does it make you a bit...

An Alien Dream-Logic Capsule

12 August 2015

Blog Aaron Williamson

Cupboard design sketches, Ida Martin, 2015

As described in the first blog in this series, the discovery of a ‘contemporary folk archive’ of ‘How To’ videos on YouTube, set me on course to devise the central component in Demonstrating the World for Unlimited 2. The sheer volume of this unofficial, seemingly endless archive meant that ‘the world’ was practically my oyster (Yes, there are a few ‘How To Shuck/Open Oysters’ videos, such as this one seemingly presented by Star Trek’s Capt....

Obituary: Lynn Manning (1955 - 2015)

8 August 2015


Obituary: Lynn Manning (1955 - 2015)

Lynn Manning athlete, poet, actor, playwright and founder of the Watts Village Theater Company, died last Monday aged 60, after a year-long fight against liver cancer. In 2005 Extant Theatre brought Manning to the UK and toured his one-man autobiographical play Weights, which told his story of being shot and blinded by a stranger in a bar. Extant CEO Maria Oshodi has kindly allowed Dao to reproduce her tribute to a man she remembers as a warrior, brother and friend

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 

Trish Wheatley on 'Shaping a Diverse Future'

17 July 2015


As part of an Arts Council Catalyst funded programme arts professionals working in UK were invited to The Point, Eastleigh on July 10th 2015, to discuss through provocation, debate and performance 'Shaping a Diverse Future'. Here is director of Disability Arts Online Trish Wheatley's provocation on the future of the Arts.

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: Kuli Kohli: Rag Doll

22 June 2015


Kuli Kohli was born with mild cerebral palsy in northern India and moved to England at an early age. She is a writer, mother, wife and full-time council worker.  Here she presents a selection from her book ‘Rag Doll’, published in 2014