DADAFEST INTERNATIONAL Returns in One WeekIn just one week actors, comedians, dancers and musicians will challenge disability stereotypes through art and culture at venues across Liverpool City Region as part of DaDaFest International 2018.

DaDaFest International will showcase a series of high quality, cutting edge works which will also celebrate disability and D/deaf cultures. The five-week programme starts next Thursday (1 November).

This year's line-up features comedian Francesca Martinez; theatre-maker and comedian Jess Thom; Stopgap Dance Company; artists Faith Bebbington, Jonathan Griffith, Simon McKeown and Martin O'Brien; and multi-instrumentalist Sarah Fisher.

The full programme includes more than 50 exhibitions, performances, talks, and workshops from well-known mainstream audience artists, as well as showcasing new talent.

The theme of DaDaFest International 2018 is Passing: What's your legacy? Artists have been invited to explore the concepts of ageing, death and disability (passing time), and the changing nature of all our journeys and the legacies we leave (passing on).

The festival will also commemorate the end of the First World War as a key moment for modern recognition of disability as a social construct.

Host venues include St George's Hall Liverpool, Royal Court Liverpool, the Bluecoat, Tate Exchange, Constellations, the Unity Theatre, World Museum Liverpool, and Storyhouse in Chester.

DaDaFest Artistic Director Ruth Gould said: "The countdown is on to DaDaFest International 2018, and we're very excited about the five-week programme ahead.

"This year's theme Passing: What's your legacy?, promises to be thought provoking, heartwarming and inspiring, and we encourage audiences to join us on this very unique journey through art, culture and performance."

Visual art is represented by Gina Czarnecki, whose special exhibition of eco-friendly coffins designed by local and national artists Who We Are Now will be staged in the Oratory in the grounds of Liverpool Cathedral between 1 and 18 November.

DaDaFest is also expanding its geographical reach this year, with a performance of The Enormous Room by the acclaimed Stop Gap Dance Company at Storyhouse in Chester on Tuesday 6 November.

The Unity will host Jonathan Griffith's Retrospective throughout the festival period, and the artist will take part in special talks at the theatre on Tuesday 20 November and in Chester Lane Library, St Helens, on Thursday 22 November.

Award-winning artist Simon McKeown's interactive No Passengers vintage disability cars installation can be seen at St George's Hall Liverpool between 21 November and 8 December.

And Martin O'Brien's video installation Until The Last Breath is Breathed comes to St George's Hall Liverpool from 21 November to 8 December. He will also be doing a performance lecture at the same venue on Thursday 29 November.

Jess Thom showcases Samuel Beckett's Not I, the story of a woman's life told at top speed by a disembodied character, 'Mouth', at the Bluecoat on Friday 23 November and Saturday 24 November. The Touretteshero and Battersea Arts Centre production in association with the Albany sees performer Thom reclaiming Mouth as a disabled character.

Meanwhile laugh-out-loud comedy comes from Francesca Martinez (What the **** Is Normal) at the Unity Theatre on Friday 23 November, and then at Chester Lane Library in St Helens on Saturday 24 November.

Laurence Clark will also be live at the Unity on Saturday 24 November with The Irresponsible Father's Guide to Parenting.

Finally, DaDaFest team up with Action Transport and Unity Theatre for a seasonal show collaboration, for the highly theatrical and bold retelling of the classic family tale - Beauty and the Beast!

Beauty and the Beast shows that beauty really is in the eye of the beholder and that everyone's attitude can, at times, be beastly! The show runs from Friday 30 November to Saturday 5 January 2019.

The full programme is available at

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