Festival of Rest & Resistance

Sunday 27 January 2019

Performing arts

Over two weeks in March, The Festival of Rest & Resistance takes over Battersea Arts Centre to showcase the very best of the UK's disability arts scene.
The Festival of Rest and Resistance at Battersea Arts Centre

Image courtesy Battersea Arts Centre

The Festival of Rest & Resistance - a ground-breaking inclusive festival of theatre, art and performance for all ages - showcases the very best of the UK's disability arts scene at Battersea Arts Centre from 4 to 16 March 2019.

The festival also celebrates Battersea Arts Centre's commitment to becoming a Relaxed Venue, a new initiative that builds on the principles of Relaxed Performances, which extend a warm welcome to anyone who might find it hard to follow the traditional conventions of theatre etiquette.

Curated by Touretteshero co-founder Jess Thom, this playful two-week venue takeover features work that provokes, disrupts, and inspires change.

Jess Thom said ...

"I feel incredibly excited to share the programme for The Festival of Rest & Resistance, which will be a fully relaxed festival and marks the start of Battersea's commitment to being a Relaxed Venue.

We've got a great line up of artists at every stage of their career.

It feels essential to celebrate the vibrancy of disability culture while creating opportunities for self-care, solidarity and exploration."

The Festival of Rest & Resistance reclaims public space and opens up conversations between performers, audiences and venues that expose and examine the often invisible barriers to genuine inclusivity.

Previous Touretteshero projects with Battersea Arts Centre include a neurodiverse production of Not I by Samuel Beckett in 2018, a BBC Two TV programme Me, My Mouth and I, multi award-winning and internationally touring show, Backstage in Biscuit Land and Brewing in Battersea, the first event in Battersea Arts Centre's Phoenix Season.

The festival fortnight marks Battersea Arts Centre's commitment to becoming a Relaxed Venue.

This radical new concept - devised by Jess Thom and BAC staff as part of Arts Council England's Change Makers programme  - means a commitment to becoming accessible to everyone and recognising the responsibility to stop arts venues and programmes being disabling.

This commitment applies to all of Battersea Arts Centre's activity including theatre programmes, social action projects and heritage work.

There are more relaxed performances at BAC (over 95% of all performances from February onwards are relaxed), a permanent chill-out space in the building and staff are being trained to take an inclusive, relaxed approach in everything they do.

Jess and Battersea Arts Centre will be producing a Relaxed Venue methodology which can be adopted by other cultural venues in the UK and internationally.

All events during the festival are wheelchair accessible.

They're also relaxed, which means that audience members are welcome to move around and make noise at any time.

Pre-show information for all shows will be available in February.

In the meantime, check-out the festival webpage for highlights and more details.


Battersea Arts Centre

Lavender Hill

London SW11 5TN


4 to 16 March 2019


Check individual events for details


Battersea Arts Centre - Festival website

Buy tickets for ...

Buy tickets for Mary Poppins at the Prince Edward Theatre