Artist and Spoken Word Facilitator
Zara was in BBC Holby City and Channel 4’s Damned. When playing Celia Zara found it fascinating to ‘become’ Autistic and see the world through her eyes. Allan Davis was brilliant! His farewell words were “see you at Edinburgh!”.
Theatre Credits include: Pleasance, Graere, Theatre503, Toynbee Studios. She was cast in InTouch and says: “To have my own life story devised as part of the show at the National Theatre was out of this world! My favourite line was “little bit deaf, little bit blind” which I said and BSL signed. This is me! I developed as an actress as it taught me about ‘autobiographical performance’. Jenny Sealey was amazing to be directed by. She catered for everyone’s different needs & was fully inclusive, working with interpreters to tell our stories”.
Zara’s show ‘Naming Culture’ went to Edinburgh. The idea grew when visiting the ghostly Harperbury asylum and hearing the old ‘labels’ used for disabilities, this looks at ‘labels’ today, asking...do we need them?
Zara is co-founder of two theatre companies: The Bareface Collective was founded at Access All Areas at Central (Diploma: Performance Making). They recently performed FixUs at the Pleasance Theatre exploring disability history at a time when “they thought we were ‘broken’ ”. FixUs has just been awarded Arts Council funding for this project, for research & development to develop the play. In Sight Theatre (Co-Founder Roma Brown) bridges the gap between disabled and non-disabled artists. In Sight’s ‘Word on a Plate’ was at Open Senses festival debut. Zara was also “a moving-3D poem” at the Royal Academy of Art at this festival.
Kate is a PhD student in Translation Studies at the University of Roehampton and her research focuses on the initiative of accessible filmmaking. For the practice element of her research, Kate designed and delivered The Accessible Filmmaking Project in collaboration with Sense, the national charity that supports people with complex communication needs including those who are deafblind. The project is funded by the British Film Institute. A short film about the project was screened at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London as part of the Open Senses festival in 2017.
Other accessible filmmaking projects have included collaborations with Sense and Studio Wayne McGregor, Open Senses festival, Marcus Innis and Moorfields Eye Hospital, BitterSuite, and the Centre for Voluntary Sector Leadership (Open University) and PAL.TV. She was also part of the accessibility team for the award-winning documentary Notes on Blindness.
In an accessible filmmaking context, Kate is currently involved with the multisensory book launch of A Blind Bit of Difference -an anthology of poetry from vision impaired artists - edited and directed by Amy Neilson Smith and funded by the Arts Council. She is also working in collaboration with Zara-Jayne Arnold and Amy Neilson Smith on the documentary-theatre project Not Disabled Enough, which is part funded by Extant Theatre, the UK’s leading vision impairment theatre company.
Launch Partner, Accessibility Consultant, Multidisciplinary Disabled Artist and Poet
Nine Arches Press published Abi’s essay ‘No Body To Write With: Intrusion as a Manifesto for D/deaf and Disabled Bodies' & 5 of her poems in 'Stairs and Whispers: D/deaf and disabled Poets write back'. She won the ‘Saboteur Awards’ commission with interactive poetry performance ‘Nobel’ & used this role to prototype an alternative literary salon, expanding the Saboteurs’ accessibility to meet a diverse range of needs & wider sense of community between writers.
She won Saboteur ‘Best Wildcard’ Award for 'Alchemy' 2016 - an interactive poetry experiment where listeners are invited to explore the relationship between language & sensory input. Alchemy featured as an installation for 'Roulade' Magazine (London), GameCity Festival (Nottingham) & 'Tall Tales Labyrinth,' (Cambridge). Her postable boxset version (for audiences unable to attend in person) sold out twice. She featured on 2 Lunar Poetry Podcasts discussing 'Accessibility in the Arts' as well as a personal interview.
2015 Abi prototyped 1:1 multisensory poems as a way of collaborating with & including neurodiverse & nontraditional literary audiences, facilitating multidisciplinary projects & hosted feedback groups targeting 'outsider’ voices in Cambridge, as part of experimental arts group SHINDIG. She has also written about disability for The Guardian.
Artist and Spoken Word Facilitator
Miss Jacqui is a spoken word artist, songwriter, mix engineer and poetry facilitator with a focus on disabled, race and gender identity, personal space and empowerment. She has recently had her poem ‘Stare’ published in ‘Stairs and Whispers – D/deaf and Disabled Poets Write Back’ (Nine Arches Press). Since 2011 Jacqui honed her skills as a member of 'Poets Platform' alongside Kat Francois, as well as working with Halfmoon Young Peoples Theatre, Theatre
Royal Stratford East & National Youth Theatre. Miss Jacqui has performed at the Paralympic Team Welcoming Ceremony & the Opening Ceremony. Jacqui is the youngest board member of Graeae Theatre Company.
Miss Jacqui assisted the facilitation performance workshops & rehearsals at Extant theatre with the students, prior to the performance launch. She will perform three poems alongside the student-poets from Joseph Clarke School, including her poem from ‘Stairs and Whispers’.
Artist & Launch Partner
Interactive Live Collaborator and Performer, Creative Director of BitterSuite & Open Senses Festival
Stephanie is an award winning composer and large-scale experience director. Particularly interested in how music & theatre can combine to create worlds for the audiences that place them at the healm of an “everyday magic”. She is Creative Director for BitterSuite, founding the company to create experiential, sensory concerts for original music. She aims to take audiences out of their minds and into their bodies: “Disarming and wonderful” – Vice / “Sensorial extravaganza” - Evening Standard/ “This is active listening” – Guardian.
Stephanie will be recording the performances live at the launch, and digitally remixing their sounds and rhythms. In an interactive improvisation, both the audience and student-poets will be creating an audio “mash-up” using “touch-based-audio” technology. A “poetic music machine” creating “sound poetry”. This will allow for multisensory audience-interaction, with touch, sound and visual music methods to experiment with. This “mash-up” will be posted on the ‘A Blind Bit of Difference’ website, and available in a downloadable format after the launch, drawing on both sound-audio and visual-film.
Composition credits include: Mausoleum (Dulwich Picture Gallery), Cyrsalis (New York City Ballet), Simon and his Shoes (The Tank, NYC), Miss Connected (Sunshine Cinema). Directing credits include: BitterSuite (Royal Opera House, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Royal Academy of Arts, The Roundhouse), Open Senses Festival (Creative Director), Zoom Festival & Mas Productions.
Chris Campion & Steven George
Vision Impaired Actors From Extant Theatre
Dynamic duo of vision impaired actors from with ‘‘Pop-Up’ performances from the incredible Extant Theatre’s Catching the Ghost.
Chris Campion is a vision impaired actor and musician from London. It’s a two-hander which describes the complex journey of a young man (Chris) whose gradual loss of sight takes him through an uncompromising experience of split identity. Packed with acute observations and sharp humour, the production also features original music, composed and performed by Chris. Stephen George has extensive theatre experience and onscreen credits include Eastenders, Chewing Gum and The Bill.
The piece was developed by the leading vision impairment company in the UK – Extant, following an original commission for Guide Dogs media week in October 2016, and was presented at Wandsworth and Brighton fringe festivals in May 2017.
Catch a glimpse here of the 'pop up' theatre that Chris and Steven will perform at the live Launch:
Watch the trailer video for our 2017 production of Catching the Ghost by Chris Campion. The play tells the complex journey of a young man whose gradual loss of sight takes him through an uncompromising experience of depression and split identity.
Spotlight: Steven George www.spotlight.com/interactive/cv/4016-4503-8680
Steven George is currently the new face for the latest RNIB campaign: https://www.facebook.com/rnibuk/videos/491186084625451/
Executive Head Chef
“After years of working with top end food, it quickly became clear to me that my passion lies within creating food that is both exciting and stimulating to the palate. Creating memories and unique experiences that will fingers crossed never be forgotten, whilst guaranteeing the precise, technical execution of each dish, is a challenge that continues to inspire me. Understanding and respecting the ingredients and using this knowledge to stir an excitement in the brigade, ensures that any team will work together to create an ever-evolving kitchen that will exceed expectation.”
Jane has worked as a communication support worker (CSW) in mainstream and independent school settings since 2016. Growing up in Brighton, she inherited The Art of Puppetry; she had shared her puppetry at Drumbeats SEN School on World Book Days, Charlton Park Academy, where her student created a script and performed a collaborative puppet show of The Twits. Her British Sign Language (BSL) and Sign Supported English (SSE) ability has been developed over a decade. She has translated GCSE lessons, interactive music workshops and a variety of assemblies. Working at local festivals in Greenwich, whilst continuing to support Lewisham opportunities playgroup (LOPS); locally she is known as the puppet Lady, who speaks with her hands. Jane explains ‘I believe in creative communication, words can be shared in various ways, through touch, smell and taste’. Her current research investigates ‘How picture books inform deaf children of their deaf identity’ She was recently selected by Goldsmiths University to be part of The Future of Theory audio visual for a PHD funding body CHASE. Taking poetic devices and BSL into schools, as a storyteller and educator, she interacts with her audience and also creates a great atmosphere for her SEN students. Assisting at Deaf Camps in America, it is evident that lack of awareness is an international issue; ‘it is our responsibility as educators, to consistently open up conversations regarding accessibility’.
Jane has an MA in Creative Writing and Education and a BA in Humanities.