An Orchestra on stage with the audience. There are people dancing in the middle with some audience members standing in the corner. There is a wheelchair user playing a horn instrument
Nature of Why- British Paraorchestra - Photo Credit - Paul Blakemore.

Southbank Centre’s Unlimited Festival 2018

Southbank Centre’s Unlimited Festival is back this summer – from the 5 – 9 September! We are excited to see it all taking shape as Southbank Centre announce their first wave of programmed work for the 2018 festival. Unlimited Programme Coordinator Isabella Tulloch takes a look.

This summer will see a fantastic mix of work on show across all art forms – including many of our commissions as well as other work that also celebrate the talent and originality of disabled artists. Let’s take a look at who we’ve got so far…

WEDNESDAY 5 September – 3:00pm and 7:30pm. Buy tickets here

Starting the festival off with a bang on Wednesday, we have the British Paraorchestra’s The Nature of Why, which received rave reviews at its premiere at Mayfest, Bristol. An immersive fusion of live music and dance, inspired by the theoretical physics of Richard Feynman, with a brand new cinematic live score from Goldfrapp’s Will Gregory, and an ensemble of musicians and dancers.

WEDNESDAY 5 September – 7:45pm. Buy tickets here

THURSDAY 6 September – 7:45pm. Buy tickets here

On both Wednesday and Thursday we will see Kaite O’Reilly’s And Suddenly I Disappear: The Singapore/UK ‘d’ Monologues – an engaging theatre collaboration between the UK and Singapore, examining a dialogue of difference, diversity and what it is to be human, from opposite sides of the world.

FRIDAY 7 September – 7:30pm. Buy tickets here

On Friday Indian maestro Baluji Shrivastav takes over the recently re-opened Queen Elizabeth Hall and presents Antardrishti – InnerVision, a production inspired by the Bhagavad Gita, which examines what is sight and sightlessness. Outstanding blind musicians and dancers from throughout India have collaborated with Inner Vision Orchestra, Britain’s only blind orchestra comprising international musicians, and innovative digital artists Addictive TV, who create music you can see – a fantastical performance not to be missed premiering at Southbank Centre.

A man of a Asian Descent playing an instrument. He is wearing sunglasses
Baluji Shrivastav OBE – Photo Credit Simon Richardson

SATURDAY 8 September – from 10:00am. More information here

Saturday will be filled with activity, starting off with Caroline Bowditch’s The Adventures of Snigel, a curious snail on an interactive adventure. A truly engaging performance for young audiences and adults alike, for under-fives and their families which we commissioned in partnership with Northern Festival Network back in 2017.

SATURDAY 8 September – 7:45pm. Buy tickets here

Jackie Hagan’s This Not a Safe Space joins the bill for Saturday. Benefit cuts are hitting disabled people the hardest. Half of people in poverty are disabled or live with a disabled person. The future looks grim, so how can we get people to sit up, listen and care and not keel over with empathy-fatigue? Award-winning poet, playwright and stand-up comedian Jackie Hagan’s way has been to make a solo show that features the real voices of proper skint disabled people who she’s got to know in and around Manchester.


A female dancer in the split postion on a dance runway stage
The Unlimited House of Krip – Manchester Ball – Ariel Fung in Solo Category – Photo Credit: Fotocad

SATURDAY 8 September – 8.00pm. More information here

Saturday night kicks off with Fittings Multimedia Arts’ take over of the Clore Ballroom with the Unlimited House of Krip – Vogue Ball with vogue ball shows, workshops and screenings.

A short documentary, produced in partnership with First Take Film and Media, will also be screened that follows the creation of the House leading to their debut performances. The company has researched the history of the balls and their celebration of diversity and difference and compared this to the lives and experiences of the members of The Unlimited House of Krip.

SUNDAY 9 September – from 1:00pm. More information here

Two models in carnival attire looking directly into the camera.
Alegria Samba School, VIVA

On Sunday come along and join Viva Carnival and the Alegria Samba School, have collaborated with Embaixadores Da Alegria, Rio’s largest disability-led samba school, for an afternoon of carnival activities. Spend the afternoon creating costumes and join in with the outdoor performance in the Brazilian style.

SUNDAY 9 September – 7:00pm. Buy tickets here

Sunday evening there will be the dance double bill with Aby Watson’s –ish and Dan Daw’s On One Condition, which both explore identity and disability. –ish is a fantastic choreographic performance using movement, text and objects to explore the murky territory that dyspraxia inhabits between able / disabled. Made and performed by a dyspraxic artist, -ish is a performance of real effort (and real chaos) which represents dyspraxia, unapologetically, as thriving and flourishing on dys-function.

Dan Daw’s On One Condition reflects on growing up in rural Australia and his journey to having a successful international dance career.

Other works already announced:

An Irresponsible Father’s Guide to Parenting – Lawrence Clark – Find out more here

The Space In-Between – Metal – Find out more here

Beautiful Octopus Club – Find out more here

The works announced so far are going to create such a dynamic discourse, we can’t wait to see what else joins both the ticketed and free programmes for the festival. Best get booking your tickets now!