Reflecting Responsibility

I’m lying on the bed in my accessible studio flat in Edinburgh. We arrived in the city yesterday. After a long day of traveling and months of preparation it felt incredible to be here at last, and even more incredible that Edinburgh was bathed in sunshine!

So far today’s been packed with rehearsals and technical set up. I’d planned to have a little rest, but rather than sleeping my mind started to whirl as soon as my head hit the pillow.

I’m a bundle of nerves and excitement ahead of the opening of our new show ‘Not I’ tomorrow. I’ve been to the Fringe with our first show Backstage In Biscuit Land twice before. Biscuit Land was the first piece of theatre I’d made, and in some ways I felt a lot less pressure because I’d no idea what to expect, and no one was expecting anything from us.

This time we’re in the fortunate position of being supported by Battersea Arts Centre who are co-producing the show, which completely sold out a couple of weeks ago.

I’m trying to get my head around all this, and to understand how it was making me feel.

As a disabled performer I’m acutely aware that this sort mainstream attention for our work is sadly still quite unusual. I feel a strange internal responsibility to reflect and represent the incredible richness of the disability arts scene.

I’m not just worrying about whether people like what we’ve made, or whether I do justice to all the thought and energy that’s gone into the show, but on some level I’m also worrying about the bigger picture, and the opportunities and barriers that might be created for other disabled artists.

I feel confident in the piece we’ve put together though and the amazing team working on it.

Now I’ve got these thoughts out of my head and into words I’m going to try and crack on with that nap.

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