Graeae goes digital with Crips Without Constraints: A Play, A Podcast, A Picture

Published: 19 April 2020
Reporter: Sandra Giorgetti

Crips Without Constraints
Crips Without Constraints Credit: Picture: Garry Robson by Jakob Hinrichs

Graeae, the UK’s leading disabled-led theatre company, is going online with an eleven-week programme of new and existing work celebrating the creativity of Deaf and disabled artists.

Crips Without Constraints—A Play, A Podcast, A Picture will, as the name suggests, takes three forms.

For Play, Graeae has commissioned eleven Deaf and disabled writers to each create a monologue written in isolation resulting in a wide range of work, with some addressing the present health crisis directly and others taking a different approach to the challenge.

The writers come from across the UK; they are Khush Chahal, Adam Fenton, gobscure, Kathryn Golding, Raji Gopalakrishnan, Jamie Hale, Daisy Higman, Ink Asher Hemp, Shahid Iqbal Khan, Anita Kelly, and Hannah Treadaway.

The monologues, streamed every Monday, will be introduced by screenwriter, playwright and Graeae patron Jack Thorne; they will be read to camera by a Deaf or disabled actor and will be captioned and audio described.

Each Wednesday will have a different episode of Podcast. This is another opportunity to see BSL interpreted versions of the Disability and… podcasts from the Graeae and Disability Arts Online series which were first aired in 2019.

Finally, Picture comprises work from the 2016 exhibition Reframing The Myth and other Graeae archive images released on Fridays.

Jack Thorne said, "I have watched disabled people being ignored in my industry for a very long time. Now, at a time of national crisis, they are being ignored in a much more dangerous way. People are being told they are not going to be put on vents if they need them. People are being told the health service needs to cater for others, not them. Disabled people are being left to die in their homes.

“So, listening to them, hearing their stories, feels more important than ever. Graeae are, in my opinion, the national theatre of disabled people and it makes me very proud to be working with them as part of this scheme. These are an amazing group of disabled writers and actors and developing their work for this has been such a delight. There's all sorts of stories here—catering for all tastes—and including everything from an account of someone wanking to someone caring for their dying partner. I can't wait for people to consume what they've made.”

Crips Without Constraints: A Play, A Podcast, A Picture programme for week commencing 20 April:

  • PlayFlesh by Anita Kelly
  • Podcast – TourettesHero, Jess Thom, speaks to Nickie Miles-Wildin
  • Picture – Garry Robson by Jakob Hinrichs

Crips Without Constraints: A Play, A Podcast, A Picture starts on 20 April and is available Graeae’s web site and Facebook page.