CRIPtic – The Show

After a long summer of hard work, the announcement you’ve all been waiting for – who has been selected to perform at CRIPtic 2019.

From an open application process with 100+ contenders for creative and team roles to 15 interviews, the final creative team and performers are now being announced. The quality of the applications was outstanding, and the decision was very difficult, with the final line-up coming down to the challenge of balancing artforms, topics and styles, but we’ve got some great artists and creatives to show you.

Curator (and performer NOT DYING): Jamie Hale
Jamie Hale is a part-human part-cyborg poet//performer whose creative work narrates the agency and urgency of living as a disabled person in the world. They are an experienced performer at venues including the Tate Modern, Barbican Centre, and Lyric Hammersmith. Jamie is bringing their interest in the explosive potential of disability arts to CRIPtic, which they are curating. CRIPtic contains Jamie’s own solo show, NOT DYING, which was written whilst undergoing experimental medical treatment and developed through the Barbican OpenLab residency scheme. It opens facing mortality and threatening death, before focusing on their battle to exist in the world on their own terms, as a disabled person. Through inviting the audience into their pain, they challenge them to consider their position in a system that has constructed a world hostile to the idea of disabled people demanding ramps, independence, and to be the agents of their own lives, politically, personally, and sexually. 

Director: Shereen Hamilton
Shereen is a dedicated and versatile creative practitioner, not only with an excellent academic background in the arts but also an outstanding attitude to work, growth and inspiring a younger generation into theatre. Alongside her BA and MA, Shereen has worked as an actor, director, facilitator, stage manager, creative producer and many more. Her area of work centres around intersectional identity, current and historical politics, education and diversifying the theatre as seen on our London stages. Shereen has recently trained in directing and facilitation with Talawa on Creating Routes 2018-2019 and undergone the Making Theatre with Young Peoples course with Company Three. Shereen’s recent directing credits include; Assistant Directing seven methods of killing kylie jenner at the Royal Court and Co – Directing and producing Bitchcraft at Tristan Bates Theatre. 

Creative Producer: Lucy Hayward
Lucy C Hayward is a playwright and producer director who creates work which is accessible for blind and visually impaired audiences by using integrated access rather than relying on audio description. She is currently associate artist at Birmingham Old Rep and completing a Regional Theatre Young Directors Scheme placement with Talking Birds Theatre. She has developed her writing through the National Theatre, First Bite Festival, DaDa Fest, OJS Open Doors, International Womens Day and Brighton Fringe where she was shortlisted for best new play.

Following my solo show, NOT DYING (directed by the award-winning Kate O’Donnell), we have (in no particular order):

SignkidThe Visual Experience
Signkid is a Deaf music producer, writer, and performer. He signs into an adapted British Sign Language, as a visually-based language ideal for hiphop, urban and rap music. SignKid has performed at festivals including Deaf Rave, Wireless and Latitude.

Jackie HaganThis Is Not A Safe Space (condensed)
Jackie Hagan is a self-described council estate queer with one leg. A playwright, stand-up comedian, poet, theatre-maker and activist, she is also a Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellow who has received the Saboteur ‘Best Spoken Word Show’ twice. Jackie will be performing a condensed version of her award-winning show ‘This is Not a Safe Space’ in which she interviewed 80 people on disability benefits. Expect angry poetry about being the undeserving poor, bedsit avant-garde advice, some stump action, and a kick and a cuddle in the heart. This was described by The Guardian as “Very Funny” and The Stage as “Politically Urgent”.

Amelia Cavallo – Tito Bone
Amelia Cavallo, AKA Tito Bone is a blind performer with experience in theatre, burlesque, aerial circus, music and drag. Their work explores intersections of identity, which for them means looking at how being a queer, disabled femme with a big smile and a dirty mind can create art that is unique, provocative and enjoyable. When Amelia isn’t on stage, flying through the air or behind a musical instrument, they can be found working towards a PhD in critical theory. They are co-founder of Quiplash, an LGBTQQIA disabled-led theatre company.

Elle Chante and Katie Walters – Seasick
Chronic illness can be a frightening and lonely experience. But nobody can ever be truly alone. ‘Seasick’ is an interdisciplinary piece of theatre from Radical Body, the collaboration between chronically ill artists Katie Walters and Elle Chante. Combining performance poetry, dance and music, ‘Seasick’ tells the story of a chronically ill woman exploring her connection to nature and her disability. An exploration of what it means to be sick, it examines how close communion with the natural world can help us to understand our bodies and their afflictions.

Donna Williams –Bilingually Splendid Lexicadventures – BSL/English poetry (11th Oct only)
Donna Williams is a deaf poet working in English and British Sign Language. Working with such different languages has inspired a deep interest in translation and how her work can be made accessible to both signing and non-signing audiences. She has performed around the UK including at the Edinburgh Fringe and the Albert Hall, as well as in America and Brazil. Several of her poems have been published, most recently in Stairs and Whispers, an anthology by deaf and disabled poets and issue 69 of Magma magazine. Her poems cover many themes, from bilingualism to identity, to her beloved cats. 

Jessi Parrott (directed by Crispin Lord) –PREPARE IT (MY BODY) (excerpt, 12th Oct only)
PREPARE IT, MY BODY is a play that works at the intersection of queer and disabled identity. Conceived by Crispin Lord and Jessi Parrott, it uses a mixture of spoken text, music, sculpture and technology to explore the impact of Jessi’s teenage trauma on her development of a sense of self as a bisexual woman and wheelchair-user. In this series of fragmented vignettes, the perpetrators are stripped of their human form; deconstructed and transformed into an array of animations and video pieces. But in confronting them, Jessi remains herself.

There will also be original composition by Lucy Hale and film by Samuel Dore. Jamie Hale will be accompanied on piano by Stephan Ellenberger.

To read more about the performers at CRIPtic, please see ‘The Artists’ (link).
To read about the creative team behind CRIPtic, please see ‘The Team’ (link)

Sneak Peek!

The stage of a theatre, with a huge screen displaying a black and white image of a bearded person in a hospital bed. In front of the screen (tiny for scale) is a person in an electric wheelchair

If you’re excited for CRIPtic, why not get a sneak peek at some of the work we’re presenting, along with some other excellent work at Joy @ the Lyric Hammersmith. Showcasing numerous D/deaf and disabled artists, it’s a chance to see the incredible range and quality of disability art currently taking place in the UK.

NOT DYING – Jamie Hale’s solo show – will be part of this line-up on Thursday 6th June – and this is a great opportunity to come along, watch it, and get excited for what CRIPtic will be presenting in just over 4 months

Hope to see you there!

Film Commission for NOT DYING

I (Jamie Hale) am seeking D/deaf and/or disabled filmmakers to film and edit video/audio for short poetry films to accompany my solo poetry show NOT DYING at the Barbican Centre this autumn. I am looking for filmmakers to produce this, and would like a quote and to commission someone (subject to funding confirmation in July, no work to be done before funding is confirmed). The filming will take place in London.

This brief will preferably be given to a D/deaf or disabled filmmaker as I am trying to ensure that all money stays in D/deaf and/or disabled communities. Filming will be in wheelchair accessible venues, filming and editing of both video and audio will be required.

Content notes include death and dying, hospitals, suicide, sex, social care, disablism

  •  The filming and editing of several short audio and visual poetry films totally up to 15 minutes of film
    •  Film of hands being washed – 30 seconds
    •  Film of poem about dying – 1.5 minutes
    •  Films of 4 separate poetic stanzas about suicide – 2 minutes in total
    •  Films of single poetry line x3 – 30 seconds
    •  Filming several shots and editing with existing film into a 2 minute sequence
    •  Up to 7.5 minutes of other poetry videoed and/or edited
  •  The filming and rough editing of an (approx.) 40 minute poetry show (filmed in segments of approx. 5 minutes and edited into one film as contingency against myself being too ill to perform at the last minute

Anticipated filming: 1 – 1.5 days for short audio and visual poetry films, 1 – 1.5 days for poetry show film

Plus editing

If you are potentially interested, please get in touch with to send examples of your work, provide a quote, and ask any questions

Busy shortlisting


Just an update from the CRIPtic team – we’re currently in the midst of shortlisting our incredible applicants. Where there’s something missing from your application, we think we’ve gotten in touch with you by now, so everything is under consideration.

If you applied to perform, then by the 14th April we will have let you know whether you’re shortlisted for interview, or whether we won’t be progressing your application. If you’re offered an interview, that will take place in the first week of May.

After that is the long delay, in which we’ll be applying for other funding, to make CRIPtic as big and successful as possible, after which we will confirm the final line-up, which is planned to happen by the 14th July.

If you’ve applied to work on CRIPtic, we’re not going to be able to shortlist by the 14th April – we’ve received so many performance applications that we’ve had to delay shortlisting until the first week of May. We’ll let you know then whether you’ve been shortlisted for interview, and interviews should take place by the second week of May. We may make you a confirmed offer at that point, or we may make you an offer contingent on us receiving the funding we apply for.

Hope you’re all having a great weekend!

CRIPtic team

Incredible applicants!

The applications from people hoping to perform and work at CRIPtic are now in, and they’re of an incredibly high quality. We have everything from musicians, poets and comedians to actors, dancers, and clowns. The range of proposals and ideas is excellent and we’re very excited to start looking through them.

Over the next few weeks, the CRIPtic team will immerse ourselves in exciting disability art, and start getting in touch with people where we want more information, so we can begin to arrange interviews and shortlist acts.

We will also be looking through the applications to work at CRIPtic – we’ve had some wonderful people apply, with bucketloads of experience, and interviewing and arranging a team will be great fun.

Thanks to everyone who applied to perform or work at CRIPtic (or both). It’s so heartwarming and encouraging to be exposed to the variety and extent of d/Deaf and disabled talent out there.

Pitches & Applications open

I’m pleased to tell you applications / pitches for performers and non-performing creatives in CRIPtic showcase is now open.

It is so rare for D/deaf and disabled artists and creatives to be given room to tell our own stories. So often we’re other people’s characters in spaces designed by, and for non-disabled/hearing people, packaged for non-disabled/hearing audiences. CRIPtic is our space, to do as we wish. To tell our own stories, our own way. To celebrate our selves.

If you’re D/deaf or disabled and do something you could do on stage, apply / pitch your idea for the CRIPtic showcase. Built around themes of the anger, joy, and resilience of living as D/deaf and disabled in the world, we’re looking for performers to bring something new and different.

As a result, we’re open to any type of performance – if you can do it on stage, why not do it on stage at the Barbican.

For more information about the call for performers see (link)

As well as looking for performers, we’re also looking for non-performing creatives, so if you’re D/deaf or disabled and do anything theatre-associated – director, producer, lighting or sound, photographer, videographer, choreographer – whatever you do, bring it.

The idea is to put together an entirely D/deaf and disabled team, for Jamie’s show NOT DYING and for the broader CRIPtic showcase.

For more about the call for non-performing creatives / backstage team (link)

Launching CRIPtic and NOT DYING

I’m very excited to tell you that I’ll be bringing my solo show to the Barbican on the 11th and 12th October 2019, and curating a showcase of disabled artists to accompany it – see the CRIPtic Showcase website (link).

I have been developing my solo show over a number of years, and in October 2018 took it to the Barbican to work on it through the OpenLab scheme. This was very successful, and by the end I had a show (almost – there’s still some work to do on it).

Having taken part in Transpose (link), a showcase of trans artists that has been happening annually at the Barbican, I saw that there was room in the world for a showcase of disabled artists – everything from singers and dancers to poets, actors, magicians, and anything else that can be done on stage!

I pitched the idea to the Barbican, and we decided to create a double bill – my solo show NOT DYING, and a showcase of disabled artists to accompany it.

NOT DYING is my solo poetry show about my process of coming to terms with the presence of death in my life – and how I focus on living with, despite, and through that. It plumbs the depths of misery that can accompany life-threatening illness, before changing focus to ask “how can I, as a disabled person, exist in the world?”.

To answer that question, it covers everything from comedy to tragedy, my sex life to incontinence pads, Inspirational Content to anger. It refuses to accept my life is a tragedy, whilst also acknowledging the grief of progressive impairment, and it ends on a note of joy, defiance, and resilience.

The rest of the CRIPtic showcase will be 4-5 other artists with 15 minute sets, themed around the anger, resilience, and joy of living in the world as D/deaf & disabled. I’ll be doing an open application/pitching process for performers and non-performing creatives, and will let everyone know when it opens for applications. It will be paid.

Tickets for CRIPtic are now on sale from the Barbican website (link).

Why not join our email list (link), and follow us on Twitter (link) and Facebook (link).

You can also follow Jamie Hale’s progress with NOT DYING on their Twitter (link) and Facebook (link).

Sign up for email updates on the Barbican ticketing here (link). You can also join their Access Membership scheme for disabled people (link), and their Young Barbican Membership scheme for 14-25s (link).