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"The Bird Company"

Updated: Jun 11

Our performance piece - Barriers to Participation in the Arts 2016

Performance filmed by Helen


We all have different barriers to different aspects of our life

These are our barriers. The Bird Company performance wanted to highlight this and how Celf Able has helped us.


Amanda: Timing and tiredness

Marion: Access into and around buildings

Sue: Confusion, organisation and memory following a stroke

Jan: Hidden disabilities such depression, bipolar and electro sensitivity

Gaynor: Dyslexia

We would like you all to think about what your barriers are to participation in the arts. We helped participants to use materials on the table to produce something which shows what barriers they experienced and after about 1 hour we asked them to share their work with the group to explain their own barrier. This can be done on your own or in pairs or groups as we don’t want you to experience any barriers!

  1. Amanda dressed as a jackdaw reading her poem requesting coffee; Gaynor as secretary bird brings some in.

  2. Marion arrives as frigate bird in her chair, wearing a hat with steps on muttering ''Frigit frigit' trying to get in between the workshop tables; the rest of the group come in to ask people to move. Marion then bumps into steps and explains how it is not possible to get up and asks for a volunteer from the audience to try climbing the steps in wellies weighed down with stones to demonstrate how hard it can be.

  3. Sue comes in dressed as owl being very confused, wanting to know why she’s here and what’s going on. Then shows a picture asking what it shows. Gaynor as secretary explains that you need to find the numbers and follow them round to show what the picture is. "Find number one and start there." Sue asks "What is number one? I know I should know I was a maths teacher before my stroke." Gaynor says "Here it is." and starts Sue off. The others sit her down with colours and help her to colour it in so that she can make sense of it.

  4. Jan comes in dressed as blue bird feeling a bit blue. She then talks about hidden impairments, bipolar, depression and electro sensitivity.

  5. Gaynor comes in dressed as the secretary bird helping to organise everyone and making minutes and asking for help with spelling as she is dyslexic we talk to her about using the computer with Dragon Dictate. She uses it for a bit then switches it off to help Jan.





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