It’s peculiar that disabled arts and artists are yet to make a substantial cross-over, at least in British theatre. Yes, there was one happy incidence of this at the Donmar Warehouse, when gay disabled actor Daniel Monks starred in their production of Teenage Dick in 2019.
The National Theatre has announced that a production of Larry Kramer’s The Normal Heart, directed by Dominic Cooke, will be presented as part of the Olivier in-the-round season in February 2021 in a co-production with Fictionhouse.
Newcomer Sam Tutty scooped two awards for his star-making performance in the hit West End musical Dear Evan Hansen at The Stage Debut Awards 2020. The awards were presented as a virtual ceremony filmed at London’s Theatre Royal Haymarket.
Joining the previously announced Emilia Clarke to complete the cast of Jamie Lloyd Company’s The Seagull are Danny Ashok, Robert Glenister, Tom Rhys Harries, Daniel Monks, Tamzin Outhwaite, Patrick Robinson, Seun Shote, Indira Varma and Sophie Wu.
Teenage Dick at the Donmar Warehouse does extremely well in dealing with disability but I think we’re kidding ourselves if we’re yet in a place where this would happen organically.
In Teenage Dick Mike Lew has created a version of Richard III that suits the high school context extremely well, asking the audience to consider attitudes to disability, power and social structures that perpetuate all kinds of inequality.
Teenage Dick is one of those play titles you have to be careful mentioning or googling, a bit like Cock at the Royal Court – but it is wholly appropriate for Mike Lew’s play.
Michael Longhurst has announced his first season as artistic director of London’s Donmar Warehouse, which will include one full-length world premiere, two UK premieres and two major revivals, the first helmed by Longhurst himself.