Crips Without Constraints: Part 2 - from Graeae

London theatre news: Monday 18 January 2021

Online - Seasons

Five new plays from a new generation of Deaf and disabled artists will be presented online by Graeae Theatre Company every week from 19 January.
Crips Without Constraints: Part 2 - online from Graeae

Image courtesy Graeae

While theatres remain closed, it's hardly surprising that producers are turning to the online realm to air their productions and some are stepping-up their online offerings after previous successful forays into the medium.

The latter applies to Graeae Theatre Company which champions the inclusion of D/deaf and disabled people in the arts.

Back in Spring of 2020, in the midst of the first Covid-19 lockdown, Graeae launched a weekly series of new work which was presented online.

Entitled 'Crips Without Constraints', it played for eleven weeks to critical acclaim.

Now the company is building on that run with 'Crips Without Constraints Part 2' which will feature five brand new short plays, celebrating the best talent and creativity of Deaf and disabled artists from across the UK.

Plays will be released at midday every Tuesday from 19 January to 16 February and you can watch them free online at Graeae's website or on its Youtube channel (plays will each be available for 3 months).

Casting for the shows includes award-winning actor and Graeae patron Dame Harriet Walter, Sharon D. Clarke (Death of a Salesman - Young Vic, Holby City - BBC), Mandy Colleran (comedy duo No Excuses), Naomi Wirthner (The Doctor - Almeida & West End), Julie Graham (Benidorm - ITV, Doctor Who - BBC) with further exciting casting to be announced and Cherylee Houston (Coronation Street).

The new plays are all bold duologues and are written by Leanna Benjamin, Rebekah Bowsher, Karen Featherstone, Kellan Frankland and Jessica Lovett, all alumni from Graeae's Write to Play programme.

Covering topics ranging from sibling rivalry to 'death by post stick notes', the pieces will be directed by upcoming disabled directors Stephen Bailey, Hana Pascal Keegan, Cheryl Martin, Alex Whiteley and Lilac Yosiphon.

Here's the trailer for the series ...

Nickie Miles-Wildin, Graeae Associate Director commented ...

"It's exciting that disabled writers are being given the platform they deserve.

Such an eclectic mix of stories that have been creatively told using the digital world of online communication.

Incredibly hyped and proud of the entire team, from writers and actors to directors and composer.

Can't wait to share it with the world."

Here are the plays in the series ...


by Kellan Frankland

A disabled actor meets the not-yet-disabled woman intent on playing her.

Ferocious and funny the play poses the question, who has the right to play whom?


by Rebekah Bowsher

A woman discovers that her future son-in-law's mother is the ex who dumped her by postcard 20-odd years ago,


by Leanna Benjamin

A pregnant woman has to make a terrible choice, but will her mother respect her decision?


by Jessica Lovett

Two sisters clash over wedding preparations.


by Karen Featherstone

A woman picks a fight with herself.

A reminder that who we are depends on the day.

Filmed on Zoom, all the plays will be captioned and audio described.

And every Thursday from 21 January, Graeae will release a short, filmed conversation with Deaf artists in British Sign Language, discussing in more detail the themes from that weeks' play.

Crips Without Constraints is supported by Arts Council England, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and Jack Thorne.

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