Now in its third year, the pioneering free mini-festival A Bit Of A Do from Drunken Chorus returns championing the work of artists with and without disabilities. Working with some amazing partners including BSL consultants, a visually impaired theatre company, local apprentices with learning disabilities, disability charities, artists and audiences, their aim is to empower artists to create and access theatre and dance.
While 21% of people living in the UK report having a disability, just 4% of those working in the arts in England identify as disabled (Family Resources Survey 17/18, DWP; Equality, Diversity and the Creative Case 2015/16, Arts Council England). The creators of A Bit Of A Do use the festival to address this disparity and to highlight issues of under-representation within the arts, promoting the work of talented artists and producers, both with and without disabilities.
This year’s festival will include performances from Candoco Dance Company, the first contemporary dance company to perform on Strictly Come Dancing, Deaf BSL singer and comedian Caroline Parker, who performed at the London Paralympic Opening ceremony, and multi-award winning writer, performer and broadcaster Byron Vincent.
There will also be explosive solo work from award-winning choreographer and performance artist Lanre Malaolu, as well as from Extant, the UK’s leading company making ground-breaking performances by and for the visually impaired. A Bit of A Do will feature cabaret, dance, and performance art by emerging and established practitioners as it interrogates ideas of mental health, dystopia and toxic masculinity.
Joint Artistic Director, Chris Williams said: “We are excited for the return of A Bit Of A Do. The emphasis of the festival is to create a high quality and engaging programme accessible to all artists and audiences. We want to create a festival where inclusivity and access are embedded in the whole process – not just an afterthought. We’ve got some really amazing artists and companies performing this year. From comedy and cabaret to dance and theatre, with workshops and seminars thrown in too, the festival keeps getting bigger and better.”
A Bit Of A Do has been made with accessibility at its heart with step free access, sign language for deaf audiences and enhanced performances for the visually impaired. They will also run a training programme for local people with learning disabilities to become front of house staff for the festival.
A Bit Of A Do is supported by Arts Council England, The National Lottery Community Fund, Croydon Council, Extant, Stanley Halls, Croydon Mencap and Willow Learning for Life.
A Bit Of A Do will be playing at Stanley Halls from Friday 5th – Saturday 7th July 2019.