Saved events

Jamie Hale: CRIPtic Pit Party

Jamie Hale

Welcome to the Barbican and our sixth Pit Party, brought to you by Jamie Hale and their creative team of D/deaf and disabled artists. 

Fluid in its format, the Barbican’s Pit Parties started in 2016 and invite a guest artist, producer or organisation to curate a programme of work by multiple artists that interest and inspire them.

We were first introduced to Jamie through our Transpose evenings, led by trans artists – their insightful poetry and razor-sharp wit seized audiences so we invited them to develop their artistic practice through our Open Lab initiative. It was during this time that NOT DYING was formed after an intense period of research and development. Again we were struck by Jamie’s refreshing candour in sharing their own experiences and we swiftly offered them an opportunity to curate a Pit Party,  performing the show alongside a mixed bill of work by exciting artists responding in myriad ways to the themes raised in Jamie’s performance.

We hope you enjoy the show.

Toni Racklin, Head of Theatre, Barbican


CRIPtic is a celebration. Riotous, angry, sensitive, gentle, hilarious and poignant, it showcases emerging D/deaf and disabled artists from across the UK. We invite you to join us – to commiserate, celebrate, and commit to changing the world.

Jamie Hale and the CRIPtic performers


Creative Team

Jamie Hale Curator
Shereen Hamilton Director (Showcase)
Lucy C Hayward Creative Producer
Kate O’Donnell Director (NOT DYING)
Stephan Ellenberger Pianist (NOT DYING)
Lucy Hale Composer (NOT DYING)
Samuel Dore Filmmaker (NOT DYING)
Carrie Aimes PA (Production)


Jamie Hale NOT DYING
Signkid The Visual Experience
Jackie Hagan This Is Not A Safe Space
Amelia Cavallo Tito Bone
Elle Chante and Katie Walters Seasick
Donna Williams BSLingual Poetry (Fri 11 only)
Jessi Parrott PREPARE IT (MY BODY) (created by Jessi Parrott and Crispin Lord) (Sat 12 only)

About the show

As a solo artist, Jamie Hale devised NOT DYING to explore their relationship with illness, mortality, and society as a disabled person. As it came together thematically around anger, resilience, and joy, Hale reached out to D/deaf and disabled artists from around the UK to curate a showcase of art crystallising around those themes. CRIPtic was the result – a celebration of what it means to be human in a world keen to dehumanise D/deaf and disabled people.

Jamie Hale’s NOT DYING is at the heart of CRIPtic. Their first solo show, it is a multimedia journey of poetry and narrative storytelling exploring intimately their relationship with mortality and disability as they tackle life-threatening illness and the restrictions society puts on their life as a disabled person with humour, courage, frustration, and a desire to live life fully. CRIPtic came out of these themes – anger, resilience, and joy, and there was an open application process, which narrowed down from 70+ applications to the final six performances, asked to respond to those themes.

The result of this is a show that takes the audience through Hale’s own journey, before launching them into something bigger and more complex, reflecting a multi-faceted disabled experience.


Jamie Hale – Curator and Performer (NOT DYING)

Jamie Hale is a part-human part-cyborg poet/performer whose creative work narrates the agency and urgency of living as a disabled person in the world. They are an experienced performer at venues including the Tate Modern, the Barbican, and Lyric Hammersmith, and are bringing their interest in the explosive potential of disability arts to CRIPtic, which they are curating.


Shereen Hamilton – Director (Showcase)

Shereen is a dedicated and versatile creative practitioner, not only with an excellent academic background in the arts but also an outstanding attitude to work, growth and inspiring a younger generation into theatre. Alongside her BA and MA, Shereen has worked as an actor, director, facilitator, stage manager, creative producer and many more roles. Her area of work centres around intersectional identity, current and historical politics, education, and diversifying the theatre, as seen on our London stages. Shereen has recently trained in directing and facilitation with Talawa on Creating Routes 2018-2019, and undergone the Making Theatre with Young Peoples course with Company Three. Shereen’s recent directing credits include: assistant directing seven methods of killing kylie jenner at the Royal Court, and co-directing and producing Bitchcraft at Tristan Bates Theatre.

Lucy C Hayward – Creative Producer

Lucy C Hayward is a playwright, producer, director, facilitator and access consultant who balances creating work which has integrated access for blind and visually impaired audiences with being a mother. The enhanced access within her work means that people who would not normally take part as audience or participants are able to engage with her work and encourages more people to get involved with the arts. Lucy trained at the National Theatre, Pentabus, Birmingham Rep, Spark Arts for Children, and is currently completing a RTYDS placement with site specific theatre company Talking Birds as assistant director. Since completing the Master of Philosophy in Playwriting Studies at Birmingham University Lucy has been producing her own work. Her play On the Tracks was nominated for best new play at Brighton Fringe Festival 2018, she showcased the same play at DaDa Fest 2018 where it was live broadcast to a community centre for the blind in Liverpool and Arena Theatre Wolverhampton. As associate artist at the Old Rep Lucy has been able to develop a piece of work which has gained interest from Rural Touring and create opportunities for blind and visually impaired young people. She showcased a new play which gained feedback from TLC Free Reads through China Plate theatre's First Bite Festival earlier this year and is now working as producer for disabled artists across the Midlands and organising arts events for and to encourage more blind and visually impaired young people to access theatre in regional areas.


Kate O’Donnell – Director (NOT DYING)

Kate O’Donnell is a transgender performer, activist and theatre-maker. In  2016, she founded Trans Creative arts company with the tagline 'telling our own stories'. Her theatre work  includes the award-winning Big Girl’s Blouse and acclaimed one woman show You’ve Changed. In 2017, she initiated Manchester’s first trans-arts festival, Trans Vegas, which has given a platform to 300 trans voices. Kate has directed Transpose at the Barbican two years running and regularly speaks on panels as well as making guest appearances on the Guilty Feminist podcast. In 2018, she was nominated for the Gay Times Arts and Culture Award.


SignkidThe Visual Experience

Signkid is the UK’s first and only deaf music producer, writer and performer to have pioneered and developed a unique aesthetic by integrating and adapting British Sign Language (BSL). He signs into a visually-based language suited specifically for live Hip-Hop, Rap and Urban music performance. He has subsequently evolved this approach into music video production by simultaneously overlaying a hearing rapper onto his distinctive BSL performance. Signkid has performed at festivals including Deaf Rave, Wireless and Latitude, and has received BBC Breakfast, BBC News and BBC radio coverage. He also featured in a LadBible x Smirnoff advert.


Jackie HaganThis Is Not A Safe Space (condensed)

Jackie Hagan is a self-described council estate queer with one leg. A playwright, stand-up comedian, poet, theatre-maker and activist, she is also a Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellow who has received the Saboteur Best Spoken Word Show Award twice. Her plays have been produced by Graeae, Royal Exchange, Contact and many more, and performed at Southbank, Tate Modern. Jackie has led over 2,000 workshops in prisons, psychiatric wards, hostels and more. She often features on Radio 4, and is currently working with Channel 4.


Amelia Cavallo Tito Bone

Amelia Cavallo, AKA Tito Bone is a blind performer with experience in theatre, burlesque, aerial circus, music and drag. Their work explores intersections of identity, which for them means looking at how being a queer, disabled femme with a big smile and a dirty mind can create art that is unique, provocative and enjoyable. When Amelia isn’t on stage, flying through the air or behind a musical instrument, they can be found working towards a PhD in critical theory. They are co-founder of Quiplash, an LGBTQQIA disabled-led theatre company whose upcoming project, Unsightly Drag, will be showing at the Bloomsbury Festival on October 18. If you’d like to see more of Tito, come along!

Elle Chante and Katie Walters Seasick

Elle Chante is a musical self-expressionist based in Birmingham. Using her vocals, lyrics and instrumentation she strives to encompass and share the world that she lives in. Elle combines her unique sound with emotional raw lyrics to capture and hold the audience with her honesty. Katie is an autistic and chronically ill performance poet with a soul full of stories that can’t be contained. She writes complicated metaphors about serious things like sickness, loss, and love. Together, Katie and Elle have formed the Radical Body collective, which aims to create radical new performance art, by and for disabled people.


Donna WilliamsBSLingual Poetry (11 Oct only)

Donna Williams is a deaf poet working in English and British Sign Language. Working with such different languages has inspired a deep interest in translation and how her work can be made accessible to signing and non-signing audiences. She has performed around the UK, including at the Edinburgh Fringe and the Albert Hall, as well as in America and Brazil. Several of her poems have been published, most recently in Stairs and Whispers, an anthology by deaf and disabled poets, and issue 69 of Magma magazine. Her poems cover many themes, from bilingualism to identity, to her beloved cats.


Jessi ParrottPREPARE IT (MY BODY) (excerpt, 12 Oct only), created by Jessi Parrott and Crispin Lord

Jessi is a London-based performer, mezzo-soprano and poet. She has cerebral palsy and is a powered wheelchair-user. Her creative practice involves all these elements, and she enjoys pushing formal boundaries, combining everything from Shakespeare and opera to more contemporary physical theatre and feminist, queer and disability politics. As a performer of other people’s work, her most recent roles include Kate in To Sleep for Off Cut Festival at 53Two in Manchester, and Rebecca in Creation 2.0 at the University of Warwick, where she has just completed her PhD research into disability as an employment issue in UK theatre and television.

Crispin is a multi-disciplinary performance maker based in London, and is Artistic Director of queer performance collective MaloMalo. His work is centred on the act of queering, insidious violence and sexual practices, and often combines video, animation, sound and movement. He has recently created work in tandem with Live Art Development Agency, Pornceptual, and And What? Queer Arts Festival. As a director, his recent credits include A Father is Looking for His Daughter (Cockpit Theatre), Last Thursday (Royal Central), A Hand of Bridge (Waterperry Opera Festival), Carmen and Orpheus and Eurydice (Durham Opera Ensemble). He is also a staff director at English National Opera.


Stephan Ellenberger – Pianist (NOT DYING)

Stephan is a deaf pianist and cochlear implant-user, born in South Africa. Playing and performing from a young age, Stephan started studying with professors at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music on both percussion and piano. Stephan moved to the United Kingdom in 2011 after being offered a music scholarship at Emanuel School, where he performed as a singer and accompanist on tours to Finland, Slovenia, Malta and Italy, as well as many regional concerts throughout the UK. Stephan then continued his studies at Trinity Laban Conservatoire, under the tuition of Philip Fowke and Gabriella Baldocci. During his time at Trinity, Stephan collaborated with harpist Gabriella Jones to create Miroirs Duo. This unique combination of instruments led them to transcribe and perform works in prestigious venues such as Wigmore Hall, St James Piccadilly and Blackheath Halls. They continue to perform together today. Aside from performing, Stephan has a passion for music education and regularly hosts charity concerts for his students to perform in.


Lucy Hale – Composer (NOT DYING)

Lucy Hale is a composer based in Manchester, UK. She was the inaugural (2018/19) Young Composer-in-Association with BSO Resound, the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra’s disabled-led ensemble. She has received commissions from Drake Music in partnership with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the National Open Youth Orchestra, Lasham Music Festival, Feelgood Theatre Productions, and the Royal Northern College of Music. Lucy’s works have been performed in venues in London, Manchester and Liverpool amongst others, including at the 2018 DaDaFest International. She’s worked in collaboration with writers, choreographers and other composers. Lucy has also written music for a film, which was commissioned for the opening celebrations for HOME, an arts hub in Manchester City Centre.


Samuel Dore – Filmmaker (NOT DYING)

Samuel Dore is a freelance filmmaker, photographer and graphic designer based in Milton Keynes. As a filmmaker, he has worked as an award-winning short drama writer, director and editor with his short dramas being shown around the world. He also self-shoots and edits an array of documentaries, promotional films, behind-the-scenes films, music videos and so forth. As a photographer, he takes unit stills for short and feature length films and television programmes as well as portrait, corporate, wedding and events photos. Finally, as a graphic designer, he designs film and television programme publicity materials along with various ident and print commissions and graphics backdrops for stage performances. Further examples of his film work can be seen here:

How is this show accessible?

Fri 11 Oct
Chilled, BSL-interpreted and audio-described performance, with a post-show talk (BSL-interpreted and audio-described).

Sat 12 Oct
Chilled, Captioned performance and BSL-interpreted.

A Chilled performance is ideal for those who would benefit from a more informal approach to noise and movement in the auditorium, or would feel more at ease knowing they could enter and exit freely. 

For this production:

  • A member of the Front of House team will lead a pre-show welcome talk.
  • The Front of House team are briefed on providing an more informal service and relaxing the standards in regard to audience behaviour during the performance.
  • Latecomer and re-admittance points will be relaxed to allow people to leave and re-enter the auditorium more freely. 
  • Auditorium doors can be kept open during the performance to help you leave and re-enter during the show.
  • The performers are briefed about Chilled performances. 
  • A quiet chill out space is provided with comfortable seating

The Pit