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Reasons to be Cheerful ... about disability lead theatre

Emma Emma | 11:49 UK time, Thursday, 8 March 2012

There is a plethora of disability related theatre shows on the horizon at the moment.

Going Dark, which starts at the Young Vic next week, explores sight loss. The King's Speech, the play behind the multi Oscar winning film of the same name, will shortly open at the Wyndham theatre in London. And One Beach Road, a two woman play about Alzheimer's, tours the UK throughout March and April.

But that's just for starters. Three current UK theatre shows not only include disability in their content, but are also driven by disabled writers, directors and performers.

Reasons to be Cheerful

Reasons to be Cheerful is a musical tribute to disabled 70s punk star Ian Dury

Described as part gig, part play, this funny and fictional tail of love, friendship and music includes many of his band The Blockheads' greatest hits.

Reasons to be Cheerful is co-produced by disability lead theatre company Graeae and features disabled and non-disabled actors and musicians. The musical's UK wide tour is already underway, finishing up at Nottingham Playhouse on the seventh of April.


Sheer has been created and performed entirely by a blind and visually impaired theatre company called Extant. The show will take place partly in darkness and is billed as blending "burlesque, comedy and horror, to create a thrilling and unique moment where immersion meets experience."

Sheer visits Wolverhampton and London in March and April. Audience members must be over 16 to attend.

The Man Who Lived Twice

This play is a dramatised account of a life-changing meeting in 1936 between writer Edward Sheldon and actor John Gielgud.

Blind and paralysed, Sheldon was regularly visited at the time by well-known stage people looking for advice. Beautiful and in demand, Gielgud met with the 'crippled muse', and a few days later gave the performance of his life.

Written by disabled playwright Garry Robson, The Man Who Lived Twice tours Scotland until the seventh of April.


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