DaDaFest International - 2018

Passing: What's Your Legacy?
1 November - 8 December 2018

Festival Programme

Jonathan Griffith Retrospective

A retrospective exhibition of the work of Jonathan Griffith, an 81 year old self-taught artist..

The Advocacy Story

The Advocacy Story is an accessible exhibition designed, curated and researched by members of People First Merseyside, a self-advocacy organisation run by and for people with learning disabilities.

Who We Are Now

Inspired by ideological challenges around life and death, art, culture, and the funeral industry, this is a new large-scale participatory artwork exhibited at The Liverpool Oratory as part of DaDaFest International.

Andy Smith and Fuel present SUMMIT

Exploring equality and inviting action, Summit is the new play by renowned theatre-maker Andy Smith (The Preston Bill). It is performed in a blend of languages, including fully integrated BSL.

Knock Knock

Two hearts, one cottage and a book with all the ‘answers’…A modern folk story for our times.

Challenging Disability Stereotypes through Art

Liverpool Hope University is working with DaDaFest Young Leaders to look at how disabled people have been represented in TV, art, film, books, magazines over time.

Proud and Loud Arts

Join Proud and Loud Arts in Tate Exchange (located in Tate Liverpool) as they bring their performance work Cells - a body of work and Affirmations to Liverpool for the first time.

The Depressed Artists’ Support Bureau

A durational performance, every Monday for five weeks, demonstrating one method of providing access support for people with depression.

Eat Me and Preach!

Yes, friends, the Sultan of Sleaze, John Waters, is slipping into Liverpool this November, and to welcome him we’re celebrating the work of a man who served the world filth like it was Salmon en Croute.

The Legacy of Gesture

An interactive workshop where you can use an AeroDrums virtual drum-kit to explore altered states of physicality and space to create a composition.

Elements of Displacement

The exhibition Elements of Displacement brings together two significant art commissions and a performance Rachel Gadsden has artistically directed in Palestine, UK, Germany and Jordan.


For some people, a pilgrimage to Lourdes is an opportunity for prayer, contemplation and quiet self-reflection. But for Connor Fisher, a young, wheelchair-using scally, it’s just a chance to get his leg over! A rehearsed reading of a brand new first play by local writer and comedian Laurence Clark.


Mina is waiting for you to take your seat. She wants your full attention. She won’t speak, but she will show you. Her story is about to unravel. You the audience, are her redemption. Are you ready for this?

Mop The House: A Short Guide to Vogue

An intimate extravaganza for two actors, one DJ, an audience and a runway that could go anywhere...

Elements of Displacement Workshop

Join visual and performance artist Rachel Gadsden and ethnographer Dr. Yafa Shanneik (Birmingham University) for the “Elements of Displacement” art workshop.

Joshua Henderson and Veronica Watson: Studio Me

Joshua Henderson and Veronica Watson have developed their art practice through non-traditional routes. The exhibition introduces audiences to both their work and the artists themselves, through drop-in activities and invitations to collaborate on art works - details on our website and social media.

Measuring Up

What counts as success for a blind person? What is a reasonable time line for that success? What happens if you don’t reach the goals you set yourself? What should you do next? Measuring Up uses spoken monologue and movement to explore how we measure expectations, both the ones that we place on ourselves and the ones that are forced upon us by others.


Since 2007 DaDaLesque has been staple hit show as part of the DaDaFest International programme, mixing burlesque and cabaret with the world of disability art.

Edward Rushton Social Justice Lecture 2018

Since 2014 we have delivered an annual lecture to keep alive the passion and fire as demonstrated by Edward Rushton, a poet, social activist, slavery abolitionist and disabled man. This year's lecture will be delivered by Simon Weston CBE.

Jonathan Griffith An Enterprising Life

Join Jonathan Griffith as he discusses the work in his retrospective exhibition.

Mia: Daughters of Fortune

Fast moving, raw and eye-opening, Mia explores the truths and myths about learning disability and parenthood in today’s society.

No Passengers

Artist Simon McKeown presents a history of the British Invalid Carriage as part of DaDaFest International 2018.

Until the Last Breath is Breathed

Until the Last Breath is Breathed is the world premiere of Martin O'Brien's video installation that documents 30 actions to camera performed on the hour, every hour, for thirty hours in an old abandoned morgue.

On The Tracks

Step into the dark and unsettling world on the rail tracks at night.

The Space In-between

An eclectic evening of occupation, performance, mess, musings, cups of tea, glitter, and protest - in development work by 24 UK based artists.

DaDaFest International Scratch Night

Scratch Night is a night of new work by emerging artists who will share their work in progress in front of an audience.

Not I

Jess Thom has Tourettes, a condition that means she makes movements and noises she can't control, called tics. Following award-winning Backstage In Biscuit Land, she takes on Samuel Beckett's short play in a theatrical experience that explores neurodiversity and asks who is allowed to perform what and who gets the final say.


UNITY THEATRE After winning a Fringe Media Network Award at the Edinburgh Fringe, and a nomination for Best Show at Dave's Leicester Comedy Festival, ‘wobbly’ comedian Francesca Martinez brings her hit stand up show to Unity Theatre as part of DaDaFest for the Liverpool premier of WHAT THE **** IS NORMAL?!


CHESTER LANE LIBRARY, ST HELENS After winning a Fringe Media Network Award at the Edinburgh Fringe, and a nomination for Best Show at Dave's Leicester Comedy Festival, ‘wobbly’ comedian Francesca Martinez brings her hit stand up show to Unity Theatre as part of DaDaFest International for the Liverpool premier of WHAT THE **** IS NORMAL?!

Laurence Clark: An Irresponsible Father’s Guide to Parenting

Growing up Laurence never saw dads with cerebral palsy; which made him think he’d never be a parent himself. Besides, the only thing he’d ever managed to look after was a cactus, and even that died from lack of water.

Ancient Egypt - Haptic Handling (Tactile Event)

A unique opportunity to touch a Digital Touch Replica of an Ancient Egyptian wooden cat sarcophagus, find out more about it and its stories, all at your own pace.

Future Station

Future Station is a free event at Metal, Edge Hill Station that brings together artists, creative thinkers and local community, to share ideas and experiences that could encourage a positive change in society.

Drake Music and DaDaFest present Destination Sound

Disability is multifaceted. Composers and music makers are extremely diverse. This concert will show off some of the most exciting talented composers who are disabled.

Until the Last Breath is Breathed Performance Lecture

Join Martin O’Brien for this rambling meditation on mortality, end of the world prophecy and the undead.

ReSEND Summit 2018

ReSEND is a music education conference that will challenge, equip and inspire school leaders, teachers and SEND education professionals to make great music in every school for every child.

Blue Room at Ten

Bluecoat’s inclusive arts project celebrates ten years of creativity with an exhibition created for the anniversary.

Young People and Living with Dying

A coffee and cake event to share stories and thoughts about this important issue.


Growing up with mobility and other disabilities, Sarah Fisher has felt she has faced a stigma around her ability and how much of a 'musician' she can really be. Twitch aims to turn this all around and show that you really can laugh about disability, it's not a bad thing and that you can be a musician in your own right.

Are we in an era post Disability Art?

Colin Hambrook and Trish Wheatley from Disability Arts Online host a panel discussion and invite the audience to respond to a recent provocation questioning perceptions of the Disability Arts Movement, past, present and future.

National Disability Arts Collection and Archive (NDACA) North West Launch

NDACA is collecting the heritage story of the Disability Arts Movement, in which a group of disabled people and their allies broke barriers, helped change the law and made great art and culture about those struggles.

Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast shows that beauty really is in the eye of the beholder and that everyone’s attitude can, at times, be beastly!


Following the success of Can I Start Again Please in 2016, Sue MacLaine Company is delighted to be bringing its new show vessel to DaDaFest International.

Kaite O’Reilly’s The ‘d’ Monologues

Join Kaite and guests at the book launch of her acclaimed The ‘d’ Monologues, celebrating International Disability Day, and relishing all the possibilities of human variety.

We Are Still Here

Digital specialist, Simon McKeown sees things a little differently. And for one night only, he’s encouraging all of us to look again at the beauty and possibilities that surround us, hidden in plain sight.

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