Rough Mix 2016
Creative Development Residency with Magnetic North Theatre

During The Residency

The first week included leading workshops with the emerging artists and the performers that surrounded the theme of my project: Disability, Stereotypes and Identity. More information below.

Working with the performers at The Lemon Tree in Aberdeen. From left to right: Sarah Ord, Mhairi Allan, David Rankine, Richard White and Aminder Virdee.

Within this residency I was able to explore many ideas I had, some fragmented, without the pressure of completion, and instead an end of residency show for rehearsal work.

For this project, I formed four short narratives; three performances and one mixed-media performance. Within these narratives, I anticipated to dismember, critically analyse and reconstruct disability stereotypes using theories relating to Disability Studies and the Medical and Social Model of Disability that aim’s to claim the misconceptions surrounding the cultural process.I aimed to eliminate the line between the ‘able-bodied’ and the ‘disabled body’, the ‘permanent’ and the ‘temporary’, the ‘visible’ and the ‘invisible’, that is used as a directive to shelter social reality. I wanted to pull apart the validity of the story behind the performer.

End of Residency

Film Still’s from the end of residency work-in-progress show at The Lemon Tree, Aberdeen, Scotland.

Staring is one of the most potent and informing experiences of being disabled; as I step out into society, the world becomes my stage.

“What’s Wrong With You?” is one of the three narratives (as a set) performed by myself at The Lemon Tree, Aberdeen, at the end of residency work-in-progress show.

In this piece I explore the diagnostic gaze; suggested by Rosemarie Garland Thomson as “the unspoken question behind the stare, the question that inquires, “What happened to you?” This question seeks to affix a diagnosis to a disabled person, catergorising them as safely “other.”

Using subversive humour, fictional and authentic narratives, theatricalization and Brechtian devices, I aim to re-construct and challenge the diagnostic gaze, highlight disability stereotypes and the demeaning and damaging misconceptions surrounding the lived experience of disability. Through this I aim to re-claim control over the terms of the encounter between artist and spectator, so the disabled body, in fact, becomes a critical aesthetic medium rather than an object.

Rough Mix Aberdeen was realised in partnership with Aberdeen Performing Arts and supported by Creative Scotland, the David & June Gordon Memorial Trust and Aberdeen City Council.