Disability Arts at Bristol’s M Shed for UK Disability History Month


UK Disability History Month- Bristol

Telling Our Stories and Resistance

Come and watch disabled theatre makers explore The Tempest, enjoy poetry written in British Sign Language, find out how performers with learning difficulties amused Henry VIII and much, much more.

What do we know about disabled people’s history and what can we learn from it? Come and meet the artists and find out what it’s all about.

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Saturday 14th January 2012

10:45 am to 5 pm in Studio 2 at M Shed

In a unique collaboration to support UK Disability History Month, Bristol based deaf and disabled artists, writers, film and theatre makers are hosting a day of activities to explore disabled people’s often forgotten history and to celebrate disability arts and culture.

Telling Our Stories will take place alongside Liz Crow’s international award winning exhibition Resistance:which way the future? showing at M Shed 5th January to 5th February 2012.

Resistance: which way the future? takes as its starting point the Nazi programme of mass murder

which targeted disabled people and became the blueprint for the larger holocaust. What turned doctors and nurses into killers? What stopped ordinary people from speaking out? And what does this history mean for all of us today?

Drop in or come for the day! Everyone welcome, bring your friends!

British Sign Language interpreters will be present throughout

Telling Our Stories and Resistance

10:45am Welcome and introduction to UK Disability History Month from Richard Rieser.

Richard is the national coordinator of UK Disability History Month and works

internationally promoting Disability Equality and Inclusive Education.


11.00am Screenings, a selection of comic short films

Stubborn and Spite from Lou Birks

(disabled actors Mat Fraser and Stuart Penn fight over a Blue Badge parking space)

Disabled Avant Garde two ‘art’ films by Aaron Williamson and Katherine Araniello

Deaf Person’s Guide to the Sound Sensitive James Banks and David Ellington

Directors’ Q & A with Lou Birks and James Banks/David Ellington, VS1 Productions


11:30 am   Mike Mantin introduces his work on the history of The Bristol Guild of the

Poor Brave Things  (The Guild Heritage Building, Old Market)



12 :00noon Firebird Theatre will present selected poetry from their ‘Nine Lessons of Caliban’,

a piece of performance poetry devised from the actors’ reflections on the treatment

of Caliban in Shakespeare’s Tempest. The full work will be at Bristol Old Vic in

March 2012.


12: 45pm   All the King’s Fools

In 2011 All the King’s Fools presented two series of promenade performances at

Hampton Court Palace, based on historical research into the lives of people with

learning difficulties who performed as ‘natural fools’ in Henry VIII’s court. Director

Peet Cooper and All the King’s Fools actors will introduce a short film from the

project, present a part of their performance and discuss this ground breaking work.

All the King’s Fools will be accompanied by musician Sarah Moody.


1:30pm Break for refreshments.

(drinks available in room throughout the day and M Shed has cafe on ground floor)


2.00pm     Resistance – special showing of Resistance with Red Notes Choir


2.55pm   Richard Rieser

‘What can we learn from history and what we can do with that knowledge?’


3 :30pm   Donna Williams BSL poetry


3:50pm   Screenings – Deaf film makers

Bristol based deaf film maker David Ellington introduces 3 films from deaf film

makers: The End, Otherside and 5 Needles.


5.00pm Closing remarks from Richard Rieser


Artists First drawings and paintings will be exhibited and screened throughout the day

UK Disability History Month www.ukdisabilityhistorymonth.com

Resistance  www.roaring-girl.com

M Shed  Princes Wharf, Bristol BS1 4RN   mshed.org


What can we all learn from history and which way the future?

“This is an episode of history that is virtually hidden, yet the values that underpinned it still echo through disabled people’s lives today. We can’t change history, but we can learn how to influence the future. The events of the holocaust came to an end because ordinary people resisted. I want audiences to feel inspired to get involved, be effective and find the courage to be a part of change.” Resistance Director Liz Crow

Images courtesy of Artists First and Firebird Theatre/Graham Burke

Telling Our Stories is supported by All the King’s Fools, Artists First, Firebird Theatre, Misfits Theatre

Redweather, Roaring Girl Productions, and VS1 Productions


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