• Without Walls is supporting three disabled artists to create and tour work across the UK as part of its 2018 commissioning programme of thirteen new shows, and a further two disability – company led shows previously commissioned to tour across England.
  • One of these new shows, WIRED by Flex Dance and solo performer George William has reached the finals of the National Lottery Awards – an award that celebrates the inspirational people and projects who do extraordinary things – and is competing in the Best Arts Project category.
  • This programme exemplifies Without Walls’ dedication to placing new, political, but entertaining and accessible, outdoor shows in front of audiences of up to one million people from all over the country.

Continuing its commitment to developing and presenting work from a diverse range of new and emerging artists, Without Walls has commissioned three companies led by disabled people to create ambitious new outdoor shows. These join ten other shows in an artistic programme of thirteen new commissions heading to eight leading festivals across the UK in the summer of 2018.

Furthermore, Without Walls is delighted that one of these new shows, WIRED by Flex Dance Company and solo performer, George Williams, a remarkable dancer who has learning disabilities, has reached the finals of the National Lottery Awards, competing in the Best Arts Project category. WIRED, George, and the team at Flex Dance beat over 700 organisations to reach the public voting stage in this year’s National Lottery Awards. Voting is open now until 27 July 2018 at #NLAwards

On the news of his nomination, George said: “that’s really exciting! I like performing and showing my moves, doing lots of performances all across the country”

Josephine Burns, Chair of Without Walls says, “Since 2007, we have commissioned over 100 innovative outdoor arts works and this year, we are delighted to support 13 new productions, 3 created by disabled artists which are now touring across the UK and beyond. Flex Dance Company have produced George Williams’ dance piece, WIRED, and we are thrilled that it is recognised as a potential winner of a National Lottery Award 2018” 

Other disability-led companies supported by Without Walls’ 2018 commissioning programme are;

Candoco Dance Company, a company of disabled and non-disabled dancers. Founded in 1991, Candoco produces excellent and profound experiences for audiences and participants that excite, challenge, and broaden perceptions of art and ability, and place people and collaboration at the heart of their work. This year, they perform their new Without Walls supported piece Dedicated to… across the country (listings below). Other outdoor pieces by Candoco that have been commissioned by Without Walls include Studies for C (2012) by award-winning choreographer Javier de Frutos and You and I Know (2016) with direction and choreography by Arlene Phillips. www.candoco.co.uk

Mind the Gap is one of Europe’s leading learning disability theatre companies that creates work for UK and international audiences. Their vision is to work in an arts sector where there is equal opportunity for performers with learning disabilities: a world where performers are trained, respected and employed equally, and feature every day on our stages and screens. Without Walls investment has supported their touring outdoor show Mirror Mirror. www.mind-the-gap.org.uk

Alongside these new shows, previous work commissioned by Without Walls will be touring across the UK, including entertaining, family-friendly performances by disabled artists that have a strong political message:

Stopgap Dance Company create exhilarating dance productions for national and international touring, employing disabled and non-disabled artists who find innovative ways to collaborate. In 2018 their show initially commissioned by Without Walls in 2015, Bill and Bobbybased on the exploits of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers  continues to tour the UK festival scene. www.stopgapdance.com

Wild N’Beets is the creation of Daryl Beeton and Nicola Miles-Wildin who have worked together on various projects since 2007 exploring ways to make outdoor work accessible and inclusive.  Amongst so many accolades between them, Nicola played ‘Miranda’ in the Paralympics Opening Ceremony in 2012 to a world-wide audience of half a billion on screen, acting alongside Sir Ian McKellan. Without Walls invested in Wild N’Beets’ current touring show, Bingo Lingo and forthcoming potential show Buck A Brenda based upon the traditional Buck A Bronko game, with a twist about disability issues. They and their work combined are great fun for everyone!  darylbeeton.com/bingo-lingo/ / nicolamiles-wildin.com/index.htm

Daryl Beeton & Nicola Miles-Wildin said: The commissioning opportunity from Without Walls has really helped us to take it to that next level and to just have the backing of Without Walls ups the status of it so other festivals that aren’t part of the network have started to show an interest.  As disabled artists it’s really important that we are part of the mainstream festival circuit – so having that commission has pushed us as artists – it’s taken us out of our comfort zone which is really exciting.”

Since 2007 Without Walls has commissioned new shows of all shapes and sizes, including work by the best disability-led companies including Deaf Men Dancing, Cathy Waller Company, Graeae Theatre Company, Marc Brew, and more. Without Walls remains dedicated to ensuring that work from a wide range of artists from diverse backgrounds is developed, and has a lasting impact on the quality, range and distribution of outdoor arts across the globe for years to come and is seen by up to a million people a year.