Spring UK Tour March – June 2020
Scottish Spoken Word artist Ellen Renton has lived with albinism her whole life. An estimated 1 in 17,000 people in the UK do. But what if there was only one achievement that would deem that life successful? Within Sight dismantles ableism, inspiration porn, and the myth of the Paralympics.
This is a poetic exploration of living with albinism – an inherited life-long condition that means people produce little or no melanin, affecting the eyes, skin and hair and resulting in various levels of visual impairment.
One of society’s most misunderstood conditions wildly shrouded in myths and misconceptions, Ellen will tour the UK this Spring with her debut solo work urging audiences to reconsider representation.
Through softly spoken but hard-hitting words and an impressive cardio display, we follow the journey of a young athlete who goes out for a run in an attempt to clear her head after receiving news that she has narrowly missed out on being picked for the GB Paralympics team.
As she runs, she recalls the events that have led to this pivotal moment, reflecting on relationships between her body, her senses, and her sport. She contemplates what her future will hold in a society that has forced her life into a binary: to succeed and be an inspiration, or to fail and be pitied.
Hot-tempered with passion and fanatic in her strong work ethic, the protagonist’s complex character defies the one-note depiction of disabled people in popular media.
Spoken word and poetry is fast becoming one of the world’s most popular mediums for marginalised artists to address societal prejudice and discrimination. Ellen set out to create a work that is personal in its topic but universal in its narrative of how society fails disabled people.
Confrontational, complex and emotional, the show is a display of the power of spoken word theatre.
The team for Within Sight is disability-led, and the show has been designed to flip accessibility on its head. With minimal staging and text-based performance, the show has been created for all to enjoy without relying on sight. Ellen enlisted filmmaker Kiana Kalantar-Hormozi to create a visual backdrop aimed at providing a glimpse of what the world looks like through the eyes of someone living with partial sight and a musical score by Jack Hinks.
On creating Within Sight, Ellen Renton said, “I wanted to challenge people to think about the role that they themselves play in perpetuating ableism, and specifically, to talk about the poor representation of disabled people in today’s society. The show mixes a fictional narrative with the reality of living with albinism, confronting the audience with their expectations of what a disabled life looks like.”
5-6 March, 8pm – Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh
19-21st March, 8pm – Tron Theatre, Glasgow
15 May, 7.30pm – Dunoon Burgh Hall
21 May, 8pm – Canada Waters, London
30 May, 2pm – Platform, London
4-5 June, 7.30pm – Byre Theatre, St Andrews
Every venue will host BSL interpreted shows with an adapted ‘touch tour’ pre show available for visually impaired audience members. All performances are captioned and relaxed.
Tickets available from In The Works.