Southbank Centre Celebrates Work Of Disabled Artists

by Cass Art

This week has seen the Southbank Centre dedicate a festival to some of the best artwork produced by deaf and disabled artists.

 The Unlimited Festival started on Tuesday and runs until Sunday 7th September.

It is billed as celebrating disabled artists’ originality and artistic vision, featuring visual arts, dance performance, theatre, music, comedy and literature. World-renowned, boundary-breaking, taboo-challenging creatives such as Katherine Araniello, Claire Cunningham, Robert Softley Gale and Julie McNamara are among those on show.

Their unique take on Planet Earth examines a range of subjects, from a wild dinner party to a family-friendly circus; from sex-romp comedies to how religions around the globe look upon deafness.

Here are our top recommendations:

Let Me Stay

Playwright Julie McNamara’s touching love letter to her dementia-stricken mother will touch hearts. This magnificent portrait implies that Alzheimer’s need not be the end but, rather, a gleeful two-fingered salute to the world. Suitable for people aged 12-plus. There’s also a post-show chat after Thursday’s performance.

Dates and times: Wednesday-Thursday, September 3-4, 7.30pm-8.20pm.

Venue: The Queen Elizabeth Hall’s Purcell Room.

Price: £15.


Unlimited Unleashed

The BBC’s Liz Carr hosts a salacious jamboree of sensual disabled artists with speciality acts and striptease to the fore.

Dates and times: Friday, September 5, 10pm-midnight.

Venue: The Royal Festival Hall’s Clore Ballroom.

Price: Free.



Six young Diverse City disabled performers offer a stunning new circus presentation which examines the sense of touch. Whether saving a person with the edge, blush-inducing or one on your shoulder whenever fear calls, touch in all its different guises is explored in this joyous, airborne party.

Dates and times: Friday, September 5, 1-1.15pm, 2.30-2.45pm, and 4-4.15pm.

Venue: Below Hungerford Bridge.

Price: Free.


Doorways Project

Bekki Perriman’s sound and photographic initiative invites the audience to spare a thought for homeless people and their culture. It looks at the humour and ignorance related to the experiences of a life lived on the UK’s streets. Perriman’s analysis of some of society’s most unheard voices come from a position of knowledge. She has spent time being homeless herself.

Dates and times: Friday-Sunday, September 5-7, 10am-10pm, except Friday (4pm-10pm).

Venue: The Royal Festival Hall’s JP Morgan Pavilion.

Price: Free.

Feeling inspired?

Find our more about Unlimited on the Southbank website.  

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