Associate Company: CEDA

We’ve been working with CEDA (Community Equality Disability Action) to create opportunities for disabled people as audience members, participants and artists.

The stage play Don’t Push Me Around was our first project together and it was created with CEDA’s drama group, a company of actors who have started to use performing skills to tell their stories of life and disability. Their work deals with the trials and frustrations, the victories and challenges of everyday life.

Don’t Push Me Around offered an opportunity for the actors taking part to perform on the Northcott stage, and brought new audiences to our space.

“On the stage I feel equal to everyone else I am performing with” – Rona O’Donnell

“I have been interested in drama since I was at School and this is the first time since then I have had the right support to get involved” – Julian Hopkins

“It has been good to be challenged to do more and improve” – Paul Webster

“I feel the people who came to watch the performance really ‘got’ disability, and my film showed them that no matter what the disability, with the right support and professionals of the Northcott Theatre, anything is possible” – Ashley Cousins

During lockdown, the group had to adapt to a new way of working, and the latest play, When The Wheels Come Off has been created as a short film. The drama tackles issues around isolation; many disabled people experience isolation in their lives, and feel the frustration of not being able to do the things they need to or the things they enjoy, because the system lets them down.

The script was developed through group sessions and individual conversations, led by our Producer Lisa Hudson along with Conor Magee, co-director and writer.

Conor Magee said: “During this unusual time, we have all had a taste of what that’s like – but will we all remember after the pandemic has passed? That’s the question we ask through this drama. It’s a tough question to confront the audience with, and it’s a very important one.”

We’re delighted to be working with CEDA to develop the partnership and bring new opportunities for audiences, participants, emerging artists and established artists.

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