Arts festival created by disabled people held at Southbank Centre

A festival showcasing theatre, dance, comedy and more, created by disabled people is being held online by the Southbank Centre.

Unlimited Festival runs until January 17 and includes 33 events that celebrate the artistic vision of disabled people.

All the events have been designed or adapted to be shown online with almost all productions free.

As well as theatre, the programme also offers workshops, film, talks and art.

Festival highlights include kids choose-your-own-adventure The Origin of Carmen Power, hip-hop film Here/Not Here and comedy night Abnormally Funny People.

The interactive online storytelling experience for seven to 13-year-olds The Origin of Carmen Power was created by 11-year-old Carmen herself, and shares her real life experience of cancer five years ago.

Here/Not here

Available on demand from January 14, film-maker and Deaf artist Bim Ajadi’s Here/Not Here tells the story of three rival groups – Deaf VVers, footballers and Krumpers – clash over who should use an abandoned warehouse space.

To close Unlimited festival 2021, on January 17 comedy group Abnormally Funny People will perform live via Zoom with stand-up comedy, sketches, songs, a quiz show, celebrity cameos, and more.

Ruth Hardie, Senior producer for the public programming team at the Southbank Centre said: “We’re all obviously just going into our third lockdown and we’ve not had many moments throughout the last year to really connect.

Abnormally
Funny People

“The arts particularly have struggled in Covid – and disabled communities have really struggled in terms of shielding, and in terms of their increased risk of Covid – so trying to find moments were we can actually connect with each other live instead of feeling like we are watching a screen passively without anyone else was really important.”

The festival showcases disabled dancers, including a performance on January 15 by Joel Brown and Ever Mutso called 111 – named after the number of vertebrae they seem to have between them.

There’s also a dance performance for children called Insect Hands on January 16 and 17, which inspires you to look a bit more closely at the world around you.

Insect Hands

On display at the Southbank Centre itself, visible from the street, is the photography exhibition Unseen by Suzie Larke.

By stitching images together, Larke creates logic-defying images of the everyday, depicting the experiences and struggles of her subjects with their mental well-being.

Main pic: Dance performance, 111


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