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MEDIA  RELEASE   FOR  IMMEDIATE  RELEASE  

 

 

 

 

 

2nd  August  2012  

 

IT’S  PERSONAL.  IT’S  POLITICAL.  IT’S  PUNK.    

 

TIX  ON  SALE  &  GLOBAL  ONLINE  CALL  LAUNCHED   FRIDAY  AUGUST  3RD  

 

Well-­‐known  Adelaide  theatre  designer,  disability  activist   and  2012  Creative  Australia  fellowship  recipient  Gaelle   Mellis  has  been  dreaming  up  a  subversive  new  work  since   meeting  director  Jenny  Sealey  MBE  in  2005  and  working   with  her  and  the  extraordinary  Graeae  Theatre  Company  in   the  UK.      

“I  had  the  opportunity  to  see  myself  represented  on  stage   and  witness  the  pioneering  of  ‘aesthetic  access’  –  integrating  access  into  the  centre  of  a  work’s  look,   feel  and  relationship  with  an  audience”,  says  Mellis.       At  a  similar  time  Mellis  came  across  a  book  called  Take  Up  Thy  Bed  and  Walk:  Death,  Disability  and   Cure  in  Classic  Fiction  for  Girls  by  Lois  Keith.  “We  all  remember  reading  books  like  Heidi  and  Seven   Little  Australians,  but  what  we  may  not  remember  is  this  literature’s  obsession  with  the  disabled   body.  Disability,  female  transgression  and  punishment  were  portrayed  side  by  side.”       “Unlike  views  about  women,  society’s  understanding  of  disability  has  not  changed  greatly  since  these   Victorian  novels  were  penned,”  says  Mellis.       Put  simply  Take  Up  Thy  Bed  &  Walk  is  a  performance  about  women,  disability  and  fiction.   Spanning  literature,  popular  music  and  the  personal  stories  of  the  performers  themselves,   Take  Up  Thy  Bed  &  Walk  explores  the  layers  of  untruths  about  disability  still  so  present  in   popular  culture  today.       While  the  work  starts  out  from  the  portrayals  of  disabled  women  in  19th  century  literature,  it  ends  up   at  the  most  infamous  intervention  by  a  major  recording  artist  with  disability  within  popular  culture,   Ian  Dury  and  The  Blockheads’  anthem  Spasticus  Autisticus.  This  song  was  written  in  1981  for  the   International  Year  of  Disabled  Persons  and  was  banned  by  the  BBC  despite  having  been  written  by  a   disabled  person.     Take  Up  Thy  Bed  &  Walk  will  give  a  female  and  gestural  voice  to  Dury’s  deliberately  provocative  song.   As  part  of  making  the  work,  the  creative  team  are  seeking  submissions  from  Deaf  and  disabled   women  across  the  globe.  Women  are  asked  to  record  themselves  performing  or  signing  a  gestural   sequence  to  Spasticus  Autisticus.  Information  on  how  to  contribute  can  be  found  at   www.takeupthybed.org.  Submissions  are  due  by  September  7th. Gaelle  has  gathered  together  a  team  of  stellar  creative  collaborators  on  the  show,  including  former   members  of  acclaimed  theatre-­‐makers  Ladykillers  of  which  she  was  a  member.  The  all-­‐star  cast   includes  Michelle  Ryan  (award  winning  dancer,  choreographer  and  filmmaker,  ex  Meryl  Tankard’s   11  Nile  Street        Port  Adelaide        SA          5015     P  +618  8447  6211         www.vitalstatistix.com.au         admin@vitalstatistix.com.au      

 

 

 

 


MEDIA  RELEASE   ADT),  Emma  J  Hawkins  (dancer,  singer,  circus  performer,  ex  Circus  Oz),  Jo  Dunbar  (until  recently  UK-­‐ based  dance  artist,  currently  working  with  Deaf  Can  Dance  Company)  and  Kyra  Kimpton  (South   Australian  interdisciplinary  artist,  ex  Restless  Dance  Theatre).       Inspired  by  what  she  first  saw  at  Graeae  and  the  access  work  she  has  been  doing  with  the  Adelaide   Festival,  State  Theatre  Company  SA  and  others  over  past  twelve  months,  Take  Up  Thy  Bed  &  Walk  will   be  a  uniquely  accessible  audience  experience  through  a  creative  approach  that  incorporates  Auslan,   audio  description  and  other  access  features  into  the  design  and  dramaturgy  of  the  work.       Vitalstatistix  has  worked  to  produce  Take  Up  Thy  Bed  &  Walk  with  Gaelle  over  the  last  two  years.   Vitals  Creative  Producer,  Emma  Webb,  said,  “I  truly  believe  she  is  creating  a  work  that  for  audiences   will  be  a  beautiful  revelation.  As  both  a  theatre  designer  and  a  cultural  activist,  Gaelle  has  contributed   an  exceptional  body  of  work.  We  are  extremely  proud  to  be  working  with  her  on  this  new  project  that   takes  her  artistic  practice  to  new  places.”     Take  Up  Thy  Bed  &  Walk  will  be  an  intelligent,  unsettling  and  humorous  performance  event  not   to  be  missed.                                       TAKE  UP  THY  BED  &  WALK     Created  &  designed  by  Gaelle  Mellis     Co-­‐director:  Ingrid  Voorendt;  Writer:  Hilary  Bell;  Lighting  design:  Geoff  Cobham;  Sound  design  &   music:  Zoë  Barry  &  Jed  Palmer;  Video  production:  Heath  Britton  &  Jennifer  Greer  Holmes;  Animation:   Heath  Britton.     Featuring  Jo  Dunbar,  Emma  J  Hawkins,  Kyra  Kimpton  &  Michelle  Ryan.       PRESENTED  BY  VITALSTATISTIX     24th  October  to  10th  November   Wed  to  Sat  at  8pm,  Sat  &  Sun  at  3pm   Waterside,  11  Nile  St  Port  Adelaide   Book  at  www.bass.net.au  or  131  246                                    

 

FOR  MORE  INFORMATION  &  TO  ARRANGE  INTERVIEWS,  PLEASE  CONTACT:     Neil  Ward  Publicity  on  0438  095  580  or  neil@neilwardpublicity.com.au.                              

              11  Nile  Street        Port  Adelaide        SA          5015     P  +618  8447  6211         www.vitalstatistix.com.au         admin@vitalstatistix.com.au      

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Take Up Thy Bed & Walk media release