Without Walls is the UK’s largest commissioner of outdoor art shows, taking inspiring new work all over the country and beyond.
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 – www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk/project/wired-dance-george-williams
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, 3created 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. 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. http://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 Bobby – based 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!
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 consortium 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.
Candoco Dance Company – Dedicated to… (Contemporary dance from disabled and non-disabled performers). Critically acclaimed company of disabled and non-disabled dancers. This new duet choreographed by Caroline Bowditch, reveals the extraordinary bonds we make throughout our lives. A touching portrayal of female strength, support and friendship and how people come in and out of our lives and evolve and can shape us.
Flex Dance Company – WIRED (Solo dance and parkour)
Solo performance by George Williams who in 2015 became the first dancer with a learning disability to tour with the National Youth Dance Company of England. From the comfort of his bedroom, George forges connections to all that is special to him: Music, games, the world-wide web and more. At times a hive of activity, at others a sanctuary, Everyday objects can become a playground. It’s hard to focus when you’re this wired!
Mind The Gap – Mirror Mirror (Walkabout, theatre)
A costumed walk-about production popular with all ages. Two strange mirrored beings have crash landed on Earth. They know nothing of human behaviour so are curious to learn from you! Will they mimic compassion, humour and kindness or show a darker, more selfish side of humanity? And what will happen when they meet someone who society sees as different? Mind The Gap is one of Europe’s leading learning disability theatre companies.
Stopgap Dance Company –Bill and Bobby (Performance)
After a night on the town, two revellers awake to find themselves in a bath…convinced that the party is not over, two friends play a tipsy tribute to the dancing partnerships of the silver screen. Bill and Bobby celebrates a golden time of good old-fashioned entertainment, when dancing together and living ‘happily ever after’ went hand in hand.
Wild N’Beets – Bingo Lingo (Performance)
Bingo Lingo is a fun game of chance harnessing the nation’s love for Bingo. Played on oversized bingo cards it’s a chance for everyone to get involved. Beryl and Cyril are your comperes for the game and they love the joy Bingo brings to many. It’s this enjoyment that they want to share with you in the hope to make Bingo an official Paralympic sport. Bingo Lingo is a game for everyone, where disability politics meets cheeky end of the pier humour. A reinvention of a great British tradition. So it’s eyes down for a game like you’ve never played before!
Forthcoming Without Walls Listings 2018 – For other tour dates please check with the artists
Sat 28 July: Mind The Gap – Mirror Mirror at DN Festival, Doncaster
4 /5 Aug: Candoco Dance Company – Dedicated to…at Stockton International Riverside Festival
24 /25 Aug: Wild N’Beets – Bingo Lingo at The Big Feast, Appetite, Stoke-on-Trent
26 / 27 Aug: Candoco Dance Company – Dedicated to…at Lift Off! Wiltshire Creative, Salisbury
1 / 2 Sept: Stopgap Dance Company – Bill and Bobby at Freedom Festival, Hull
1 / 2 Sept: Wild N’Beets – Bingo Lingo at SO Festival, Skegness
29 Sept: Wild N’Beets – Bingo Lingo at Derby Festé
NOTE: Flex Dance Company performed WIRED earlier this year at Norfolk & Norwich Festival and Brighton Festival. Further information will be announced soon.
About Without Walls
Without Walls is the UK’s largest commissioner of outdoor arts shows, taking inspiring new work to audiences all over the country and beyond.
Since 2007, Without Walls has been funded by Arts Council England Grants for the Arts and over this time has commissioned and supported the development of over 130 shows, many of which have toured beyond Without Walls to 22 countries worldwide. Over ten percent of the projects have been devised and performed by disabled artists and disabled artists – led companies.
In 2018 Without Walls celebrates its’ 11th year and has now become an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation from 2018 – 2022. Investment of £1.2m ACE NPO funding per annum for the next four years is spread across the regions in England.
Without Walls consortium partners in 2018 are:
Brighton Festival; Norfolk &; Norwich Festival; Greenwich+Docklands International Festival; Hat Fair, Winchester; Salisbury International Arts Festival, part of Wiltshire Creative; Stockton International Riverside Festival; Just So Festival, Cheshire; Out There International Festival of Circus & Street Arts, Great Yarmouth and 101 Outdoor Arts Creation Space.
The Associate Touring Network – a group of festivals who collaborate to programme and tour Without Walls commissions across UK festivals are: Appetite, Stoke on Trent; Bell Square, Hounslow London; Derby Feste, Freedom Festival, Hull; Lancashire Encounter, Preston; Leicester City Council; Right Up Our Street, Doncaster; SO Festival, East Lincolnshire; Vivacity, Peterborough.
About George Williams
Described as a ‘real-life Billy Elliott’, George Williams from Stockton-on-Tees, has overcome several obstacles including having a learning disability, to gain a national reputation in dance. George became the first ever dancer with a learning disability to audition for the National Youth Dance Company of England, joining the company for an extensive national tour. In 2018 with touring support from Without Walls Consortium, George has travelled the length and breadth of the country reaching new audiences with his unique brand of physical dance and parkour.
About Tin Arts
TIN Arts are an innovative organisation based in Durham delivering inclusive dance on a national scale as part of Arts Council England’s National Portfolio of Organisations. www.tinarts.co.uk
National Lottery Voting Campaign
WIRED – A Dance by George Williams received £16,161 of National Lottery-funding through Arts Council England.
WIRED, has broken new ground for dancers with learning disabilities and is competing in the Best Arts Project category. George beat off stiff competition from over 700 organisations to reach the public voting stage in this year’s National Lottery Awards, which celebrate the inspirational people and projects who do extraordinary things. The project has been commissioned by TIN Arts with touring supported by Without Walls with funding from Arts Council England through the National Lottery.
The project with the most votes will be crowned the winner and receive a £5,000 cash prize to spend on their project, an iconic National Lottery Awards trophy and attend a star-studded glittering awards ceremony to be broadcast on BBC One on 26 September 2018.
Vote for George at www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk/project/wired-dance-george-william #NLAWired @WWConsortium @Tinarts @LottoGoodCauses #ACESupported #Wired
Or call 0844 836 9672: Calls cost 5p but please be advised that connection charges may be applied by
some networks, so please check with your provider.