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> > > News: Birds of Paradise Theatre Company announces its new creative team

15 October 2012

Birds of Paradise are planning the appointment of a triumvirate of outstanding talents - Garry Robson and Robert Softley Gale as Artistic Directors and Shona Rattray, currently Company Manager, promoted to Creative Producer. All are leaders in the field of disability arts and have a strong interest in promoting equality on a local, national and international scale.

The new creative team are set to deliver an ambitious plan that will see the company engaging more with the Scottish arts community and increasing its volume of work.

Liam Sinclair, Chair, Birds of Paradise said: "We are absolutely delighted to have appointed Robert and Garry as Artistic Directors and to have re-shaped the organisation so that they join Shona in a new Creative Producer role. Birds of Paradise is at a tipping point in our history and development and our new leadership team is absolutely ideal to take the company forward with a renewed energy and determination.  Robert, Shona and Garry are individually very experienced and talented and together they will undoubtedly shape an exciting vision, produce artistically strong work and provide a leading role in extending equalities practice in the arts in Scotland and beyond."

The success of the 2012 Paralympic Games in London and the widespread media coverage of the event has raised the profile of disability to an unprecedented level.

Few will forget the quality of the work of disabled artists in the opening and closing ceremonies of the Games. The positive message emerged will have inspired a generation of young disabled people. Unleashing that talent in an artistic sense will be one of the key objectives of the new team. There is no better time than now to push the promotion of disability and the arts.

On accepting their recent appointments, Shona Rattray, Creative Producer, said: “I am delighted to be the first creative producer for Birds of Paradise. I am looking forward to creating a vision for the company alongside Artistic Directors, Robert Softley Gale and Garry Robson.”

Garry Robson added: “Birds of Paradise is ambitious and their work is radical, innovative and entertaining. Rather like me! I am proud to have been asked to be part of their new team”.

Robert Softley Gale said: “I am truly delighted to be taking up this post as an Artistic Director for Birds of Paradise. As a company that has been so instrumental in my career as a disabled performer in
Scotland, I am genuinely excited about where I, and my colleagues, can take BoP as we go forward. I know that people will be expecting great things. Now the work begins to meet that expectation!”

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