Total Permission premieres at Watershed

4 12 2012

At the end of a year where the disabled have been thrust into the national and international spotlight like never before thanks to the success of the London Paralympics, a short documentary film focussing on the artistic endeavours of disabled people has received its theatrical premiere at Watershed.

Exec produced by Watershed’s managing director Dick Penny and directed by Bristol filmmaker John Durrant, Total Permission follows conductor Charles Hazlewood, founder of the British Paraorchestra, as he encounters 12 artists commissioned by Unlimited, a strand of the London 2012 Festival.

As part of Unlimited, deaf and disabled artists were encouraged to take risks, and the film presents tantalising snippets of the astonishing variety of work that they produced.

These are not artists with a disability, but artists in their own right. Yet there is no doubt that their disability impacts and informs their work, from a huge blow-up model of a Thalidomide-ravaged martial art fighter, to a dance company incorporating sign language in their performance, and another artist dancing with her crutches.

A comedian in a wheelchair is like Dom Joly in Trigger Happy TV when he congratulates able-bodied people for being so inspiring walking down stairs or running down the street, while a beautiful few minutes are spent in the Red Sea among coral reefs with Sue Austin in her underwater wheelchair (below).

“The creators of these performances,” says Penny, “are not ‘superhumans’ but simply artists like any other, who are rarely given the attention of their non-disabled peers.”

Total Permission - Sue Austin underwater wheelchair

Click here to watch Total Permission on The Space.

This week in Bristol, December 3-9

3 12 2012

Monday: Total Permission, Watershed
The premiere of a documentary directed by Bristol-based John Durrant about projects from deaf and disabled artists as part of the Cultural Olympiad.

Tuesday: Christmas With LEDs On, At-Bristol
The first in a new series of adult-only evening events in At-Bristol, with a chance to explore the exhibits and join in with some Christmas-themed live science shows.

Tuesday – December 15: Yes, We Have No Bananas; Brewery Theatre
Based on oral histories from those who lived during the war years, the action takes place in a grocery shop in Weymouth during the lead up to D-Day.

Wednesday – January 13: Hansel & Gretel, Tobacco Factory Theatre
The Brothers Grimm story in a family-friendly producton from New International Encounter, with a mix of live music, clowning, humour, language and storytelling.

Thursday: Vive La Tour & Breaking Away, Mud Dock Deli
The first of a monthly series of bike-themed film nights at Mud Dock Deli on the first Thursday of the month; with a beer, pizza and two classic cycling films for £10.

Friday: Ellie Goulding, Bristol Academy
The Hereford-born singer-songwriter has left her folk stylings behind for second album Halcyon, which showcases a a more electro-pop infused sound.

Friday: Bristol Palestine Film Festival
This year’s festival focuses in on four villages in the West Bank, provides the opportunity to try free running and features speakers including Ken Loach.

Friday – December 21: Death & Treason, Rhyme & Reason; Bristol Old Vic
A night of childhood memories and adult interpretations which “explores the dark and debauched secrets of our most familiar childhood rhymes”.

Saturday: Fatboy Slim, Motion
Following Public Enemy and Annie Mac last month, the latest In:Motion presents Norman Cook, Mr Zoe Ball and one of the original superstar DJs.

Saturday: The Quarrymen, Thunderbolt
A gig featuring the original members of the skiffle band formed in 1956 at Quarry Bank School in Liverpool by John Lennon which became another band called the Beatles.