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The Live Art Development Agency launch a book and DVD of Katherine Araniello's 'Dinner Party Revisited'

Image - katherine_araniello_dinner_party_revisted.jpg

There are only a few days left to view Katherine Araniello’s ‘Dinner Party Revisited’ on the Live Art Development Agencies ‘LADA Screens’ platform. The audio-described version of the Dinner Party Revisited is a good example of using creative description to add another layer within a work of art  - taking it beyond documentation and allying with the performance’s intention to use humour to convey subversive ideas.

The describer comes alive as another ‘invisible’ guest at the party, using her role to add nuances in describing the interactions between the host Katherine, her butler, the PA and the BSL interpreter. As the party unfolds, Katherine and the butler invite their ’guests’ , a series of on-screen incarnations of Katherine; conceptual portraits of disabled people.

LADA who have been producing Katherine’s work have launched a book of essays about Katherine’s work with a DVD of the live art piece, which was originally staged in the Purcell Room at the Southbank Centre a year ago. Sophie Partridge described the Dinner Party Revisited as “slapstick, served up with hints of past comedy genius: touches of a Peter Cook and Dudley Moore style interplay between Katherine and `the PA’!”

Mik Scarlett also reviewed the piece in the Huffington Post as: “an anarchic art performance with a serious heart. While the audience laughs as the show rushes forward at break neck speed we unconsciously find our preconceptions and stereotypes challenged by references to the real day to day experiences of disabled people. Each nightmare 'guest' is a hideous caricature of people every disabled audience member knows all too well. No one is safe. Paralympians, disability activists, professional victims, charity loving celebs…”

In an interview, Unlimited producer Jo Verrent “loved the audacity of Katharine Araniello’s piece, The Dinner Party Revisited. It’s political, in your face, raw, edgy live art.”

A 46 min edit of the AD version of the film will be live until midnight on 23rd September on the LADA Screens channel.

Posted by Colin Hambrook, 17 September 2015

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 20 September 2015

Vital Xposure produce one of their best productions yet with 'Let Me Stay', which has just received Unlimited funding

I am delighted that Julie McNamara and her company Vital Xposure have received an Unlimited award for Let Me Stay. I’ve known Julie a long time now – through thick and thin you might say. And I know her well enough to say that she puts everything into whatever she turns her attention to.

Let Me Stay is a treat. I saw Julie perform Let Me Stay in a makeshift theatre space – the sort of space that proves that you can make theatre anywhere, if you are good enough and committed enough to what you’re doing.

Okay, so it probably helped that Julie had loads of mates in the audience; so that when the stage lights stopped suddenly, she was able to improvise, calling out “somebody lend them 50p for the ‘leccy”, slipping into her mums character like a well-worn and much loved frock… or shoe, possibly. Let Me Stay involves lots of shoes.

Julie moves effortlessly between herself, her mum, and a massive cast of do-gooders, ne ‘er do wells and various motley bods.

The tempo is loud, brash and full of warmth and heart as Julie takes us into her mother Shirley’s world, before and after the onset of Alzheimer’s.

Let Me Stay lifts the lid off the taboo of Alzheimer’s and gently, good spiritedly confronts the audience with their fears to lead us into a humane space, undressing the nuts and bolts of being human and finding that when the mind unravels, yes there is darkness and despair, but there is poetry too.

If there was a weakness to the last round of Unlimited it was perhaps that much of the work was too ambitious and therefore too expensive for any but larger venues, like the Southbank Centre. This round will show a larger variety of performance for big and small venues.

Vital Xposure’s Let Me Stay engages with issues that affect people from all walks of life. It's great that the Southbank Centre is taking it, and the kind of family orientated audience you can expect there, will see it, but it has the potential to fit a range of types of theatre space and therefore to be seen by a host of different types of audience.

I’ve just found out that Let Me Stay has been selected for the PULSE festival on Thursday 5th June as well as for the ANXIETY festival running from May through June 2014. 

If you can get to see it, I'd thoroughly recommend it.

 

Posted by Colin Hambrook, 4 April 2014

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 19 January 2015