Disability and the Arts Roadshow – 2 July 2018, GlasgowEmma Scott opening the event to delegates and cast members

We worked together with Birds of Paradise Theatre Company and the National Theatre of Scotland to host an event on 2 July 2018 about disability and the arts. The event gave participants the chance to see a sneak-peek of two songs from BOP’s 25th Anniversary production ‘My Left / Right Foot – The Musical’ ahead of its appearance at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August 2018. The performance was followed by group discussions about disabled people and the arts and challenging stereotypes.

Views on the Performance

The participants were very positive about the performance from Birds of Paradise. They felt using humour was a great way of making the performance relatable to disabled audiences, but also to raise awareness of issues that non-disabled people might find uncomfortable. In this way, it was thought the performance could help reduce stigma and stereotypes.

Group Discussions

Those who had experience of performing in the arts, commented on the challenges of becoming an actor, or performer with a disability.

One participant commented on her experience of studying drama, where, she said that not enough support was offered at degree level, specifically a lack of awareness from education establishments about reasonable adjustments and what could be put in place to make education more inclusive. There was a general consensus that more needed to be done to train organisations and venues about making reasonable adjustments, which could be as simple as adding a ramp, or induction hearing loop in some cases.

For more information about Birds of Paradise Theatre Company and their upcoming production, ‘My Left / Right Foot – The Musical’, please click the following link: https://www.boptheatre.co.uk/left-right-foot-musical