Graeae Crips Without Constraints

Published: 11 May 2020
Reporter: Howard Loxton

An online programme Credit: Graeae

Like all other theatre companies in the UK, Graeae, which focuses on work for and by other-abled artists, has had to postpone its tour of Oliver Twist and put other planned work on hold. Instead, the company is creating a new programme online featuring deaf and disabled artists.

Under the title Crips Without Constraints, the digital programme with three strands. Every week they will offer online a play, a podcast episode and a picture. In fact they are already into the fourth week of the eleven-week programme currently planned.

The play strand (supported by Esmee Fairbairn Foundation) a collaboration between Graeae’s new writing department and Graeae Patron and playwright Jack Thorne, goes online on successive Mondays until 29 June.

Soon after the government announced the lockdown, Graeae commissioned eleven deaf and disabled writers to create a monologue each, written in isolation. Each short monologue will be performed by a deaf or disabled actor from home and will be captioned and audio described.

The podcast (on Wednesdays until 24 June) features BSL interpreted versions of the Disability And… podcast series with Disability Arts Online. They will each be available for one week only but the original audio podcasts and accompanying transcripts can also be accessed.

The pictures (on Fridays until 26 June) celebrate the careers of deaf and disabled artists Graeae have worked with over the last four decades, including work from the Graeae and Central Illustration Agency 2016 exhibition Reframing the Myth.