This Beauty and the Beast has nothing to do with Disney!

The Adelaide Festival of Arts is proud to be considered a national leader in arts accessibility. This year it is introducing a new access initiative: a relaxed performance during the season of theatre show Beauty and the Beast.

One of the stars of the show is Mat Fraser. He’s one of the UK’s best known disabled performers, and is a multi-disciplinary performing artist, actor, writer, and musician. He has played drums with Coldplay and is currently starring in the TV series American Horror Story. Together with his wife and co-star Julie Atlas Muz, they have created many successful, funny and risqué shows – you might have seen them at the Adelaide Fringe before. This is their first appearance at the Adelaide Festival of Arts.

What is the show about?
You might be familiar with the fairytale Beauty and the Beast, but this show goes one step further and combines the classic story with the real-life love story of Mat and Julie, an American burlesque star and former Miss Exotic World winner. Together the two bare everything (literally!) to reveal all that is both beautiful and beastly about love, as they share their true love story of the beauty queen and a natural born freak.

Wait. That doesn’t sound like Disney!
You’re right. This show is strictly for adults aged 18+. There’s full frontal nudity and sex scenes on stage. But the show is also heart-warming, magical and a LOT of fun. We encourage you to see it.

Four people stand in a line facing the viewer. The middle two people hold platters of phallic-shaped fruit.

What does the Adelaide Festival Artistic Director have to say about the show?
Artistic Director David Sefton says: “It’s outrageous, it’s hilarious, it’s quite poignant. It’s very beautiful, a very visual style of theatre. It’s an amazing show! There won’t be anything else like it on a stage in Australia next year.” (Contact the Adelaide Festival for a transcript of this video).

And what do the critics say?

A treat to be part of this theatrical sorcery. NEW YORK TIMES

Raucous one moment, whip-sharp the next – this is a show that doesn’t miss a trick. Beautiful, beastly brilliance. THE TELEGRAPH

An X-rated saucy seaside postcard. THE GUARDIAN

So what is a relaxed performance?
Relaxed performances are specifically designed for people who benefit from a more relaxed environment, including people with an Autism Spectrum Condition, sensory and communication disorders, or a learning disability. There is a relaxed attitude to noise and movement among the audience and some small changes made to the light and sound effects. Audience members can enter and exit the venue throughout the show.

The relaxed performance for Beauty and the Beast is on Saturday 14March, 2.30pm at the Dunstan Playhouse, Adelaide Festival Centre. There will also be a post-show Q&A with the cast in the venue.

In what other ways is Beauty and the Beast accessible?
On Sun 15 Mar at 5pm there is an Auslan interpreted and audio described performance. There will be a Touch tour at 4pm before this show.

The venue is wheelchair accessible and there is a hearing loop installed.

If you quote the word BEAUTY when you book for Beauty and the Beast, you can get $15 tickets online at adelaidefestival.com.au or by calling BASS on 131 246. Companion Card holders can also get a free second ticket.

A man and a woman dance. The man is wearing fur-covered trousers and is bare-chested. The woman wears a red shoulder less ball gown.

Are other Adelaide Festival events accessible?
Yes! Many other events in the Adelaide Festival are widely accessible, including Adelaide Writers’ Week and the giant outdoor digital art gallery, Blinc, which are both FREE.

We encourage you to download a copy of the Adelaide Festival Access Guide (http://www.adelaidefestival.com.au/2015/access ) to find out more about Auslan interpreted and audio described events, along with other information about venue accessibility and how to book tickets. See you at the festival!

Farewell Stella Young, disability activist, writer, comedian

It was with great sadness that Access2Arts learnt of the death of writer, comedian and disability activist Stella Young.

Since the announcement on Monday 8 December 2014 much as been said about Stella’s life and her contribution to the dialogue on the representation and rights of disabled people within our society.

It was with great sadness that Access2Arts learnt of the death of writer, comedian and disability activist Stella Young. 

Since the announcement on Monday 8 December 2014 of Stella’s passing early on Saturday evening (6 December 2014) much as been said about her life and her contribution to the dialogue on the representation and rights of disabled people within our society.

Among her multitude of achievements, Young was the former editor of the ABC’s disability news and opinion website, Ramp Up.

ABC managing director Mark Scott described her as “an unforgettable communicator and a passionate advocate”.

“As a writer and broadcaster Stella was sharp and incisive, challenging and provocative,” he said in a statement.

“She was very warm and generous, the first to laugh and to make us all laugh.

“Stella helped us understand disability issues by sharing with a raw honesty about her own life and forcing us to reconsider how we think about disability and create an environment where those with disability can best get on with their own lives.

“She took great delight in challenging conventional wisdom and lazy thinking.”

Young was born in Stawell, country Victoria, and at the age of 14 she began a life of advocacy in which she campaigned for the disabled community. She proudly described herself as a “crip”, despite objections by others.

“People get all up in arms when I describe myself as a crip because what they hear is the word ‘cripple’ and they hear a word you’re not allowed to say anymore,” she told 720 ABC Perth in 2012.

“Crip is a word that I find empowering the same way that some members of the gay community, but not all members of the gay community, find the word ‘queer’ empowering.”

Young was performer, writer, advocate and at times criticised for speaking out against what she described as ‘inspiration porn’, objecting to the idea that disabled people should be seen as inspiring just for living a normal life. Young said, “Disability doesn’t make you exceptional, but questioning what you think you know about it does.”

Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-12-08/stella-young-dies-aged-32-writer-comedian-disability-activist/5950640

Access2Arts and the Adelaide City Council celebrate IDPwD

To celebrate International Day of People with Disabilities, Access2Arts in partnership with the Adelaide City Council together worked on a series of creative responses responding to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities.

Deaf and disabled people were filmed reciting key articles from the UN convention, specifically those that related to Access2Arts and Adelaide City Council’s relations with disabled people.

For more information about the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disability follow this LINK.

Accecc2Arts and the Adelaide City Council wish to tank the many artists and performers who took part in the filming of these videos.

A2A logo

Logo for program sponsor Adelaide City Council

The Australia Council’s million dollar commitment to artists with disability

Australia Council Chief Executive Officer Tony Grybowski announced the Australia Council will commit one-million dollars of funding to support the development Deaf and disabled artists, groups and organisations.

Mr Grybowski said the decision to extend the dedicated arts and disability funding was made after a successful pilot was run earlier this year.

“The pilot program confirmed there is a rich pool of talent in this area, and that is why we have extended the program for three years.”

The Australia Council’s million dollar investment in arts and disability over 2015-2017 will provide development grants of up to $25,000 and project grants of up to $50,000 for individuals and groups.”

Mr Grybowski said the dedicated arts and disability funding was identified as a strategic initiative under the organisations new five-year strategic plan and that it would play an important role in the realisation of its goals.

“The new grants program begins in January 2015 with the first round of applications closing in March,” Mr Grybowski said.

Editors Note: Access2Arts provides project consultation and feedback on grants, as well as supporting artist’s grant administration. Contact Martin Sawtell, Business by email to martin@access2arts.org.au to make an appointment. Access2Arts will also be running its popular Grant Writing seminar in late-January 2015.