Graeae Theatre Company

Graeae is a force for change in world-class theatre, presenting a unique approach which:

  • boldly places disabled artists centre-stage in a diversity of new and existing plays
  • pioneers a radical dramatic language by exploring the 'aesthetics of access', creatively embedding a range of tools such as audio description and sign language from the very beginning of the artistic process
  • explores new territory and theatrical genres – from contemporary classics to musicals, to outdoor circuit… with sway poles and giant puppets.

Graeae champions the inclusion of Deaf and disabled people in the arts through:

  • intensive actor and writer training initiatives
  • access support for creative and learning situations
  • empowering workshops for young artists, led by inspiring role models
  • a range of training models for the creative sector – from inclusive practice for drama schools, through to accessible e-marketing for theatre venues.
  • Alison Baskerville 2013

    The Iron Man

  • Photo by Alison Baskerville

    The Garden

  • Photo by Alison Baskerville

    The Garden

Contact details

Richard Matthews
Marketing and Development Manager

Graeae Theatre Company
Bradbury Studios
138 Kingsland Road
London E2 8DY
United Kingdom

Artistic Director(s)

Jenny Sealey MBE




A summary of Graeae's productions including Blasted, The Iron Man, The Limbless Knight, Reasons to be Cheerful and more.

Audio described promos of each of the productions are available on Graeae's YouTube channel.

Related Projects

Unlimited Access

A dance project designed to support best practice in the commissioning, creation, dissemination and programming of performing arts by disabled artists. Read more


Reasons to be Cheerful

Duration: 1 hour
Number of people on road: There are 19 people on the road with this show; 13 performer/musicians, 2 technicians, 1 Production Manager, 2 Access Support Workers and one Director.
Freight: Excess baggage

Freight details:

Props, costume and instruments to be taken as excess baggage


Part gig, part play, Graeae’s Reasons to be Cheerful is a gritty coming of age tale featuring Ian Dury & the Blockheads’ greatest hits. In the concert version of this popular show, join Vinnie and his mates for a night of raucous glee. Oi! Oi!

First performed in 2010, Reasons to be Cheerful toured the UK in 2012 including an appearance at the London 2012 Paralympic Games Opening Ceremony, and has gone on to perform all over the world.

Reasons to be Cheerful concert will raise the roof featuring your favourite songs from the show including Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll, Spasticus Autisticus, Hit Me with your Rhythm Stick and more. Includes BSL interpreted songs and captioning and on stage audio description. Lets ‘ave it!

‘The stage gives off a million volts’ The Guardian

‘Rough, ready and bl**dy brilliant’ Time Out

Extra information

The show is one hour long with no interval and is suitable for mid to large scale indoor or outdoor auditoriums.  The show is available for touring now.

This production includes BSL, captioning and Audio Description. All spoken words and song lyric are captioned and/or signed

The show requires an end-on performance space and a pre-rig before get-in. An LX plan will be provided. Full Technical Specification is available on request.

Signs of a Diva

Duration: 55 minutes
Number of people on road: There are four people on the road with this show; one performer, one Stage Manager/SLI, one Technical Manager, and one Producer/Director.
Freight: No freight necessary

Freight details:

This show has a set but does not need to be transported. All set items can be sourced locally.


No one remembers mousey old Sue, the undertaker from Bingley Bridge.  No one knows she’s a Diva fanatic, until one day she is offered a cabaret spot at Harry’s Place.  Overnight, Tammy Frascati is born and Sue finds herself hurtling to stardom and Las Vegas, signing the songs of her favourite Divas, Billie Holiday, Dusty Springfield, Ella Fitzgerald & Gloria Gaynor.

Caroline Parker gives a virtuoso performance as Sue and her alter ego Tammy as she takes us on a journey of fame, frocks and false eyelashes battling with true love from Bingley Bridge.

The real fun is in watching Parker adding her hysterical touches to well-worn tunes…. has the potential to attract a huge following The Stage

“Parker is a warm and engaging presence, and it all slips down as ­easily as iced frascati”. The Guardian

“A remarkable piece of theatre from disabled-led company Graeae”. British Theatre Guide

Extra information

The show is 55 minutes long with no interval and is suitable for small scale indoor auditoriums. The show is available for touring now.  

This production includes BSL, captioning and Audio Description.

This show can come with workshops and education packs as required.

Ideally for an end-on performance space and a pre-rig before get-in. LX plan can be  provided.

The Solid Life of Sugar Water

Duration: 80 minutes
Number of people on road: There are five people on the road with this show; two performers, two technicians, one Director/Producer.
Freight: Freight necessary

Freight details:

Europe; by road in Luton Van with 2 passengers.
Rest of the world; to be discussed.


Phil and Alice are in love. Phil and Alice are healing wounds. Phil and Alice are desperate to communicate.

Candid, uninhibited and visceral, this new play from the award-winning Jack Thorne is an intimate, tender portrait of loss and recovery.

The Solid Life of Sugar Water received unanimous acclaim from critics and audiences alike at the 2015 Edinburgh Festival Fringe and 2016 UK Tour ending at the National Theatre.

Jack Thorne’s previous credits include Let the Right One In and Hope for the stage, as well as television dramas Glue, Skins, Shameless and This is England. His new play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child will open in the West End in 2016.

'Startingly good' The Times

'Forceful, thrilling, stunning' Daily Telegraph

Extra information

The production is 80 minutes long with no interval for small scale indoor auditoriums – performing space:  Width 460cm, depth 385cm, height 320cm

This production includes captioning and Audio Description.

Ideally an end-on performance space. Pre-rig before get-in, LX plan to be provided. 1 day get-in & rehearsal before performance date required.

Wrap-around work

Graeae tour internationally with training and learning programmes, collaborate with local arts organisations and work with the British Council to maximise impact of the work. In addition, we offer post-show discussions, masterclasses and conference presentations on themes related to the show and also the Graeae ethos.

Graeae is led by Artistic Director, Jenny Sealey MBE, who also co-directed the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

Press Comments & Testimonials

'There are no limitations here, just glorious liberation.'

The Guardian


'A beacon of the arts.'

Huffington Post


'The UK’s leading professional theatre company for disabled and deaf actors.'

The Independent


'Graeae rightly holds iconic status nationally and internationally for the innovation and quality of its work. It plays a vital part in the cultural life of this country.'

Ruth Mackenzie, Director of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad