When we set up Touretteshero almost eight years ago one of our big aims was to put on exciting inclusive events. I know from my own experience how important it is to have positive experiences to draw on when things feel tough. Being able to meet, laugh and create with disabled and non-disabled people is what helped me most as my tics intensified and had an increasing impact on my life. Discovering the vibrant disability arts scene rescued me from my own misconceptions and made me feel confident to be myself, exactly as I am.
Our first event was a playful party for children and our second was a club night for adults, but it’s only now that we’re combining the two and concocting our first fully intergenerational event. We’ll have daytime activities for schools and families, and a not-to-be-missed cabaret evening featuring radical disabled and non-disabled artists.
Here’s everything you need to know about Touretteshero’s latest creative extravaganza, Brewing in the Basement.
We always want to hold events in amazing places to make sure disability culture isn’t hidden away. This time we’re mixing things up at London’s iconic Barbican Centre over the Guy Fawkes weekend.
When: Friday 3rd November 9:30 -15:00 bookable school sessions
Saturday 4th November 12:00 -17:00 for children, families and groups
Saturday 4th November 18:00 – 22:00 for adults and young people
Who’s It For?: Brewing in the Basement is for everyone. This celebration of creativity, imagination and neurodiversity is for disabled and non-disabled people alike.
On Friday 3rd November we’ll have bookable daytime sessions for SEND schools. These will be an hour and a half long and can be tailored to suit students aged between 8-24. For more information please contact Group Bookings 020 7382 7211 (during office hours) or Groups@barbican.org.uk
On Saturday 4th November our creative daytime activities will extend a warm welcome to children, young people and families. The Saturday night Basement Bash cabaret will have a more grownup focus, but children and young people will be welcome to attend with their parents/carers.
The Creative Activities – Friday (09:30-15:00) & Saturday Daytime (12:00 -16:00)
Express yourself and create experimental wearables, lose yourself in front of a magic mirror and sing your heart out. Creative duo Loki will bring their festival shenanigans to the Barbican, so you don’t have to put your wellies on, take on their multi-sensory challenges, including mazes, music and mayhem.
The Bubble-up Parade – Saturday (16:00 -17:00)
Join Touretteshero and the rest of the Brewing in the Basement crew as we bring our bright, colourful, cheeky and noisy parade to the rest of the Barbican. This is your chance to show off and share your message with the world – expect the unexpected along the way.
The Basement Bash – Saturday (18:00-22:00)
Join us for our inclusive evening cabaret, four hours of joyful performances celebrating the richness and diversity of disability arts and culture, hosted by Touretteshero, the world’s first fully-fledged Tourettes superhero. This is your chance to laugh, learn, and dance all at once!
Our amazing line-up includes:
Bradford’s bipolar superstar Captain Hotknives who’ll be performing his finest selection of Anarchist rock anthems and ludicrous lullabies. Expect classics such as The Pigeons Told Me To Shoplift and I Hate Babies. This solo set will be surprising, uncompromising and undoubtedly hilarious – it’ll probably contain some strong language too!
A Brewing in the Basement exclusive: Heart N Soul’s ever poplar five-piece band The Fish Police will be débuting some eagerly anticipated new material. Listen and dance as this incredible learning-disabled band mix their love of computer games, cartoons, and fast food to create a sound that sets them apart.
PERKY is a creative collaboration between artists Ono and Holly, one with a learning disability and one without. They are feminists who believe that learning-disabled women have been left behind by the movement. They’ll be getting us all thinking about womanhood with a playful conversation on learning disability, identity and mermaids!
Radical youth-led company Sounds Like Chaos will be hosting their Click-Bait Karaoke – an interactive and immersive game show hosted by young people and led by the audience. It examines the links between the virtual world and the ‘real’ one, through short performances that the audience can select and move between.
Sufficiently Compact Mass, one half of UK party-starting collective PLU will be dishing out delicious discs and spinning rebellious records. PLU’s safe-space parties are now the stuff of legend to those in the know. Sufficiently Compact Mass will close our Saturday night with an unforgettable DJ set.
The Chill Out Room: If all the excitement of the day feels like it’s getting a bit much, come and join us in the Chill Out Room where you can relax, unwind and take a break whenever you like. This space will be available for everyone throughout the event and will be supported by friendly helpful staff. Please make sure you let them know if you need anything specific to get the most out of your relaxing down time.
How To Book: Daytime activities are £5 per person with a 50% discount for disabled people.
The Saturday evening party tickets £12 per person, with discounts available for disabled people, groups and young people aged 14-25.
Access: Brewing in the Basement is a relaxed, multi-sensory, wheelchair accessible event. Roaming BSL interpreters and audio describers will be available throughout the day on Saturday to support access to the activities. All performances on Saturday evening will be BSL interpreted and audio described.
A Social Story for the daytime event is available to download here and for the evening event here. The Barbican Centre has wheelchair-accessible toilets and a Changing Places toilet. If you have any specific access requirements that you would like to discuss in advance, please do let us know. You can do this by contacting: firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 020 7382 7348 (during office hours).
Blue Badge holders visiting the Barbican Centre can obtain free parking by joining our Access Membership Scheme. Wider accessible bays can be found in Car Parks 3 and 5. These spaces can be booked by calling the Box Office on 0845 120 7500. Text phone is available for hard of hearing visitors 07710 854 085.
Get your tickets here.
See you at the Barbican for exploration, self-expression and some raucous rebellion!