theatres_of_learning_disability338x528-9722 March, 5.30pm, George Wood Theatre.

Hosted by the Disability Research Centre

Dr Matt Hargrave (Northumbria University) will be in conversation with Jonathan Meth (Project Dramaturg, Crossing The Line, Disability Research Centre, Goldsmiths and Expert Adviser to Ambitious About Autism), and Artist Jez Colborne (Mind the Gap).

About the book
This is the first scholarly book to focus exclusively on theatre and learning disability as theatre – rather than advocacy or therapy.

Matt Hargrave provocatively realigns many of the (hitherto unvoiced) assumptions that underpin such practices, and opens up a new set of critical questions. Stemming from a close engagement with the work of several very different theatre companies – including Mind the Gap (UK); Back to Back (Australia) – and unique solo artists such as Jez Colborne, this book shifts the emphasis from questions of social benefit towards a genuine engagement with aesthetic judgement. Hargrave examines the rich variety of contemporary theatrical practices in this field and spans a wide range of forms such as site specific, naturalistic and autobiographical performance. The book examines ways in which the learning disabled performer might be read on stage, and the ways in which s/he might disturb assumptions, not least about what acting or artistic authorship is. This is an important and timely study for all upper-level theatre and performance students and scholars alike, as well as a provocative contribution to debates within disability studies.

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