DaDaFest International 2018 has officially launched in Liverpool. The five-week programme of performances, art and culture was launched at a special preview event held at the city’s Unity Theatre, Hope Place.
The festival continues until 8 December, and during this time actors, comedians, dancers and musicians will challenge disability stereotypes through art and culture, showcasing a series of high quality, cutting edge works to celebrate disability and D/deaf cultures.
DaDaFest Artistic Director Ruth Gould officially launched DaDaFest International 2018, before guests made their way to the Oratory at Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral for an exclusive look at Who We Are Now by Gina Czarnecki, part of this year’s festival.
The launch was attended by guests, partners, and performers Jordan Connerty from Scratch Night; and Jonathan Griffith from Retrospective.
Ruth Gould commented: “DaDaFest is a very special festival, giving artists and performers with disabilities their very own platform to showcase their incredible talents. We’re extremely proud of this year’s diverse five-week programme, and we’re delighted that feedback was so fantastic at the launch – so we’re thrilled that the festival has now started and visitors can start to enjoy the shows and exhibitions in our wonderful host venues.”
The full programme spans host venues across Liverpool City Region and features more than 50 exhibitions, performances, talks, and workshops from well-known mainstream audience artists, as well as showcasing new talent.
The theme of DaDaFest International 2018 is Passing: What’s your legacy? Artists have been invited to explore the concepts of ageing, death and disability (passing time), and the changing nature of all our journeys and the legacies we leave (passing on).
The festival also commemorates the end of the First World War, as a key moment for modern recognition of disability as a social construct.
This year’s line-up includes comedian Francesca Martinez; theatre-maker and comedian Jess Thom; Stopgap Dance Company; artists Faith Bebbington, Jonathan Griffith, Simon McKeown and Martin O’Brien; and multi-instrumentalist Sarah Fisher.
Host venues include St George’s Hall Liverpool, Royal Court Liverpool, the Bluecoat, Tate Exchange, Constellations, the Unity Theatre, and World Museum Liverpool.
DaDaFest is also expanding its geographical reach this year, with a performance of The Enormous Room by the acclaimed Stopgap Dance Company at Storyhouse in Chester on Tuesday 6 November.
Looking ahead to Christmas, DaDaFest team up with Action Transport and Unity Theatre for a seasonal show collaboration – the bold retelling of the classic family tale Beauty and the Beast. The tale shows that beauty really is in the eye of the beholder and that everyone’s attitude can, at times, be beastly. The show runs from Friday 30 November to Saturday 5 January 2019.
The full programme is available at www.dadafest.co.uk/events