Photo: Look Out! Manchester Theatre

Danielle here again with our latest blog. This month I’m sharing a snippet of some of our recent trips to the theatre! 

In March we went to HOME theatre to see ‘Self & Other’ by CRIPtic Arts. We were really excited for this. As a company of disabled artists, seeing work by other disabled creators is always important to us. 

Show Poster for Self & Other. An original painting by Rachel Gadsden, showing portraits of Jessi Parrott, a white person with short brown hair, Jasmin Thien a young chinese woman with bright purple eyes, and Ada Eravama, a Nigerian woman wearing a purple hairband. The portraits shine out of a black background, which has pink and red paint running throughout. Words are scribbled around the borders of the image such as ‘freedom’, ‘stars’, ‘joy’, ‘solidarity’.

Self & Other, directed by Jamie Hale collates monologues from some of the UK’s most exciting disabled writer-performers; the result is an exploration of the human experience that will leave you questioning, connecting and feeling more alive than ever before.

Criptic Art’s Show Copy

The monologues that we experienced gave a vulnerable but beautiful insight that lots of our group felt that they related to in some way… 

“I really enjoyed going to watch ‘Self & Other’ with Proud & Loud Arts. My favourite one was ‘Fragments’ by Ada Eravama. The girl was moving in to her flat for the first time and she was feeling worried and nervous. I felt like that when I moved into my flat, I was feeling anxious and worried and people were fussing me every two minutes on the phone to see if I was okay and if I had unpacked everything in the right places.” 


“I found these short monologues to be very relatable, especially the first one ‘The Moon Jellyfish’, by Simone Roach, performed by Sonera Theo Angel, which talks about beauty, appearance and identity. This is a subject close to the work that I’m currently looking at. It made me think about the way in which I could present my own work and the access needs of my audience.” 


We really enjoyed the show, we loved the simplicity of the set and how intimate it felt. The BSL and captioning were integrated seamlessly into the show and made you feel even more immersed. 

Our second trip to the theatre was on Thursday 28th March. We headed to Factory International to see The Jungle Book. This was our final ‘Look Out’ event of last term as we headed into our Easter break. It was a much anticipated trip as 35 of us descended on Factory International. 

Most of us had never been to this venue before but it did not disappoint. The building was very spacious and accessibility was great. The theatre itself was lovely and the view of the stage was perfect. 

The Jungle Book set was beautiful and reminded me of a giant pop up book, along with the sounds of the jungle which felt like they were coming from all around us and not just the stage, it really gave a jungle vibe.  


The Jungle Book had already been showed to audiences in Paris, Florence and Antwerp, before arriving in Manchester for its very first shows in English. Michael and Phillip felt inspired by the show’s ambition and left the show with lots of ideas.

However, the show left some of us yearning for the original.

Lots of us found the story hard to follow which was a shame and it wasn’t always clear who the characters were supposed to be. The sound was brilliant but we were all eagerly waiting for the traditional well known Jungle Book songs to sing along to! 

“The show itself was a bit disappointing because the stage seemed to swallow the performers up. It was that big and costumes were a quite basic given the set and the lighting.” 


Although there was some disappointment with the show, it was a lovely night and was a great way to end the term.

We returned to Factory again (told you we liked it there!) to experience Paraorchestra with a beautiful evening of music inspired by loss – where we heard new takes on famous songs about death.

“The best Orchestra I’ve ever seen!”


“Transporting us into their world. At the end it was quite exhilarating, as we all grooved along”


What a wonderful time it’s been out and about at the theatre in Manchester. Look Out! for where we’ll be heading next…

Criptic Arts: Self and Other image credits: Show main image is an original painting by Rachel Gadsden. Performance images captured by Isobel Greenhalgh.