Entertainment & Culture

Unmissable disability-related culture, arts and entertainment

We’re launching a monthly guide to what’s on in the world of culture, art and entertainment, all celebrating, highlighting or discussing disability. We will try to include as many events as possible, such as art exhibitions, plays on stage, new books, film releases and upcoming TV shows. 

Plus, because we know how frustrating it can be to find out whether a venue is accessible for your specific needs, we’ve done the hard work for you and included accessibility, location and pricing information where applicable. 

A Day in the Death of Joe Egg – featuring Storme ToolisA Day in the Life of Egg poster with main actors and their names

Peter Nichols’ 1967 play, which has been revived in a new production, focuses on the struggles and experiences of bringing up a disabled child. Based on a true story, the play stars Claire Skinner and Toby Stephens, who are the parents of a disabled daughter, Josephine, who has cerebral palsy.

The play has hit the headlines before it has even begun for casting a disabled actress, Storme Toolis, something very rare to see in the world of theatre. She plays the role of the Josephine and also has cerebral palsy.

Dates: 21st of September to 30st of November.

Matinee performance are on Thursday and Saturdays at 2.30 pm, and evening performances are from Monday to Saturday at 7.30 pm. The play last 2 hours and 15 minutes, including the interval.

Venue: Trafalgar Studios, 14 Whitehall, London, SW1A 2DY

Box office number: 0207 492 0810

Accessibility: Full wheelchair access, though it is advisable to call beforehand to check if the lift is working.

You will need to join the theatre’s Access Membership Scheme to get the appropriate seating at a discounted price. You can join by completing a form that will be emailed to you.

You can book tickets by phone or using Typetalk. The Studio also has an Infrared hearing loop facility.

Ticket price: From £43, although prices will differ if you are an access member.

CRIPtic Pit Party – by Jamie Hale

Jamie Hale outside Barbican theatre London
Jamie Hale outside the Barbican theatre London. Credit: Becky Bailey

CRIPtic is a revolutionary theatrical showcase that looks at D/deafness* and disability in today’s society. It’s been curated by experienced disabled performer and poet Jamie Hale, and will be in the Pit at London’s Barbican Centre on Friday the 11th and Saturday the 12th of October.

This unique, vibrant and eclectic show features D/deaf and disabled artists who communicate the themes of anger, fortitude and Joy through short sets of music, dance and spoken word.

Together, CRIPtic recreates deeply personal experiences rarely represented on stage in a spirited, celebratory atmosphere.

Dates: Friday the 11th of October at 7.30 pm, Saturday the 12th of October at 7.30 pm. It will last two hours and 15 minutes, including the interval.

Venue: Barbican Centre, Silk Street, London EC2Y 8DS

Box office number: 020 7638 8891. For Minicom facilities, call 07710 854 085.

Accessibility: There is full wheelchair access, and both nights’ performances will be in a relaxed atmosphere, BSL interpreted and audio described.

You will need to join the theatre’s Access Membership Scheme to get the appropriate seating at a discounted price.

Ticket price: £18, although prices will differ if you are an access member.

(*’Deaf’ with a capital d denotes people who use sign language, and deaf for people who are hard of hearing.)

One Under – by Winsome Pinnock

One Under official trailer – UK tour autumn 2019 from Graeae on Vimeo

One Under examines the effects of guilt and the quest for atonement after a suicide. Award-winning playwright Winsome Pinnock (Rockets and Blue Lights, Leave Taking) and acclaimed director Amit Sharma (The Solid Life of Sugar Water, Cosmic Scallies) join forces to explore the fragility of human relationships in this reimagining of One Under.

A joint venture between the Graeae Company and Theatre Royal Plymouth, One Under is touring the UK from October to December.

Accessibility: One Under will include a combination of captioning and audio description.

Locations, dates and prices: Plymouth, Leicester, Ipswich, Leeds, Newcastle, Liverpool, Birmingham, Salisbury and London. Visit the Graeae website for dates, prices and theatre details.

TIME – Deaf Men Dancing

Deaf men and women dancing on a black background

Deaf Men Dancing, founded by deaf performer Mark Smith, is an innovative and emerging all-male dance company where all dancers and choreographers are deaf. Together they have fused dance styles and sign-language together, creating a unique and original aesthetic. 

‘TIME’ is an exclusive performance curated by Mark for the London arts festival, Greenwich Performs, and the Laban Theatre. It will include a mix of Deaf Men Dancing’s previous work with new choreography around the topic of time, and will incorporate elements of signing and drawing.

Dates: Wednesday 9th and Thursday 10th October at 7.30 pm.

Venue: Laban Building, 30 Creekside, Deptford, London SE8 3DZ

Box office number:  020 8305 9400

Accessibility: Full wheelchair access.

Price: Tickets are £16 with concessions at £12.

Being Human – by Winsome Pinnock

Woman in a wheelchair looking at a dummy in a medical uniform
PPE Portrait Project by Mary Beth Heffernan for the Welcome Collection

Curator Clare Barlow has a new permanent gallery at the Wellcome Collection that aims to address disability issues. Entitled ‘Being Human’, the gallery’s mission is to, “Explore trust, identity and health in a changing world”.

Contributors include several leading disability activists – so one of the first things Barlow had to get right was accessibility.

Accessibility: The Wellcome Collection opened in 2007 and is one of London’s most inclusive museums with full wheelchair access. Large-print guides, transcripts and magnifiers are available in the gallery

Tickets: Free entry to this permanent exhibition.

Venue: The Wellcome Collection is located at 183 Euston Rd, London NW1 2BE.

The exhibition is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm with late-night opening on Thursday until 9 pm.

By Raya AlJadir

More on Disability Horizons…

Raya Al-Jadir

A fellow at the Carter Centre for Mental Health Journalism, Raya writes about culture, literature and health for Disability Horizons. As a freelance writer, she has worked with a range of publications, such as The Independent, Huffington Post, and the UAE The National newspaper. She also runs her own blog, Careless.
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