We're UP in Edinburgh, my favourite European city! We're done two tech runs and started off as we mean to go on with early nights and home cooked meals. It's all very exciting and nerve-wracking but the thing to focus on is all the shows I'll get to see!
Here are 3 disability led productions I'm looking forward to seeing this year:
1. My Left/ Right Foot - The Musical (Assembly Roxy, 18.10, 1-27 August)
Local am-dram society is under pressure to comply with the equalities agenda. They come up with a cunning plan; create a gripping show starring 'the disabled'. What could be better than the Oscar-winning My Left Foot? The only snag is they can't find any disabled actors – but that never stopped Daniel Day-Lewis!
In a world where actors 'cripping up' is still deemed acceptable while so many disabled actors struggle to be given the opportunity to shine, I'm excited to see this production which is a direct critique of the practise. It's the brain child of Robert Softley Gale the creator of If These Spasms Could Speak and Blanche & Butch.
All performances of My Left Right Foot contain integrated BSL (Natalie MacDonald), audio description, captioning and the venue has a loop system. Relaxed Performance on 19 August.
2. Katie and Pip (Summer Hall, 13.20, 1-12 August)
Katie & Pip celebrates the relationship between Katie, a 15-year-old Type 1 Diabetic girl and Pip, her five-year-old border collie, trained by Katie to save her life on a daily basis. Led by performance-making duo Charlotte and Rob alongside Katie (Rob's little sister) and Pip, the performance explores compassion and companionship between humans and dogs. On a journey of extreme highs and extreme lows, the cast celebrate freedom and living life to the full despite life's significant obstacles. Watch dogs be humans and humans be dogs as this chaotic and unpredictable collision of youth unfolds.
I'm gutted that my show is on at the same time as this one because I don't know much about diabetes and I love when people devise work with their family members. It looks like there will be an actual dog! I'm really interested in support animals and how they improve the lives of disabled people and I'm sure this will be a real treat so you guys should go!
3. Tom Skelton: Blind Eye Spy (Underbelly Bristo Square, 19.10, 3-27 August)
2023. Post-Brexit, MI6's budget has been cut to the bone, but they need a new agent in Berlin. Out of work comedian Tom Skelton has 'seasoned abilities as an improviser' (Chortle.co.uk), makes things up as he goes along, speaks 'ein bisschen Deutsch', and is registered blind (who'd suspect a blind spy?). A Le Carré-On character comedy thriller unfolds as Tom wanders blindly into Berlin's dark underbelly of espionage, betrayal and currywurst
Tom is one of the most astounding improvisors I've ever seen and I think this is going to be a real treat. I'm ready for a laugh and I'm sure I'll get it here!
I've been collating a wider list of self-defining disability led shows at the Edinburgh Fringe (not necessarily only about disabled experiences but focusing on work made by disabled writers and artists). I'll post a link over the coming days. If you'd like to be put on it drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
I'm also thinking about setting up a meet up if there's interest so please give us a shout!