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JOLLY- A new performance

In March 2017 I was diagnosed with Spino-Cerebellar Ataxia (SCA17), an incurable degenerative neurological condition that has disrupted my sense of balance, voice and co-ordination. In March 2018, and again in May 2018 at the October Gallery I made a performance telling the story of my diagnosis and the psychology of disability. It centred around two walking  and coming to terms with my disablity to still perform and make music.

 Now, I am expanding that performance into an 70 minute theatre show that combines the intimacy, simplicity and directness of a story being told in a living room, and also uses well produced film, image and soundtrack to communicate its storytelling and song to a wider audience.
The performance look at how to be optimistic in the face of fear use of walking sticks, and the tiny line between fact and fiction. The reaction of those around me to my condition (from “Its all in your head! to “Let me help you. Are you ok?”)  is the material of JOLLY.
Often Ataxics and other ‘disabled’ people, frustrated at the lack of help they get, have to show their condition in order to get the help they need (Tobin Myers’ Masquerade of Disability) but if we show resilience and show we are coping,  we can be seen as not in need of help. All this is new to me. but the content of JOLLY is based on where the perception of disability crosses with performer/audience relationship and the land between fact and fiction.

JOLLY comes from a belief that acceptance of one’s condition is important, a sense of humour and a belief in the power of music and the ability to live an active and proactive life in the face of depressing realities are the key to a healthy life and longevity.

JOLLY builds on my long experience, making and performing with Ralf Ralf, video making in Facedances and writing music for Ralf Ralf, Hot Mouth in New York, composition commissions for Dance Umbrella and others.  

JOLLY is an audience friendly show,  currently a solo show, light, economically and easy to tour nationally and internationally.

Jack Klaff has been an outside eye, sounding board, friend and help in making this happen and Ekki Maas in Köln in Germany has recorded some of the songs in his studio

I am currently looking at venues and avenues of funding to develop the show.

JOLLY is  an audience friendly show,  currently a solo show, light, economically and easy to tour nationally and internationally.

I am currently looking at venues and avenues of funding to develop the show.


A performance piece by and for communities, groups, families, companies and collective memory.

Like my piece, Facedances, this is a piece that can be made and remade in different situations.

Take a big local event, something celebratory like an election, a sports team winning a championship, starting business, a carnival or an anniversary, a birth

Anyone can participate who has some memory or association with the event.

Encourage all ages to be involved, so best to choose an event not too old ( within the last 20 years). Whatever it is, an important event memorable and celebratory.
In an age where there is increasing distrust of human memory,
where our experience and communication is increasingly digitally mediated, THE BIG REMEMBERING is a piece that makes an event of the act of remembering, an event that brings people together.

Currently as an imaginary performance, the theatre course at Dartington in the long distant yesterdays is the current focus of THE BIG REMEMBERING. See the forthcoming edition of Training Grounds OUT NOW https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/19443927.2018.1523524?scroll=top&needAccess=true 


A lecture with video and slides telling the story of Facedances, my video project that was made and remade 11 times in seven different European countries of people dancing with their face to their favourite music and how I assembled library of over 1000 Facedances.