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Programme Announced For Disability Arts Festival Summer 2017

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With 50 days to go, Hijinx unveil the line up of disabled performers at this year’s Hijinx Unity Festival, 28 June – 2 July 2017.

Spectacular circus, theatre, dance and music acts will fill Caernarfon Castle, Victoria Dock, the Town Square and Galeri Arts Centre for this year’s Hijinx Unity Festival, which celebrates the best inclusive and disability arts from around the world. Today, Hijinx, inclusive theatre makers and organisers of the Festival, have announced the programme highlights:

Festival Highlights
Highlights of the 2017 line up include a weekend of free performances in and around Galeri (Sat 1 July) and on The Maes (Sun 2 July) in the centre of Caernarfon. Areas of the town will be transformed into eye-catching performance spaces, with more pop up venues on The Promenâd and in Palas Print bookshop.

Headlining the weekend are dare-devil French circus artists Cirque Inextremiste with a breath-taking balancing act on The Promenâd. Elsewhere in town, they will be joined by German theatre company Blaumeier-Atelier, Seville-based dance company Danza Mobile, and Hijinx’s own pop-up theatre shows ‘The Pods’, to name but a few acts. Pioneers of accessible theatre for children, Taking Flight Theatre Company will bring a nautical feel to Shakespeare’s The Tempest which will be performed all around Victoria Dock.

The Festival also offers a ticketed programme of performances at Galeri from 28 June – 1 July, including: a dystopian musical misadventure produced by Hijinx and Theatr Clwyd; raw and un-tamed physical theatre from Belgian company Theater Stap; and a stunning flamenco double-bill from Seville-company Danza Mobile.

Hijinx And Frantic Assembly Collaboration
A highlight of the five day event will be the physical theatre show, Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger, produced by Hijinx in collaboration with Frantic Assembly (performances 30 June & 1 July in Galeri). Frantic Assembly are the renowned Movement Directors of the Broadway and West End hit show The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. The 20 minute performance features a 20 strong cast of disabled and non-disabled actors, and will be the culmination of a two-week training residency under the tutelage of Frantic Assembly.

About The Festival
All of the companies performing at Hijinx Unity Festival include artists who have physical or learning disabilities. The Festival was created by Welsh theatre company, Hijinx, to give a high profile platform to stunning work made by disabled and non-disabled artists working together as equals.

Through a high quality programme of performing arts, the Festival promotes positive images of disability and social inclusion to audiences. Since its creation in Cardiff in 2008, it has grown to attract over 20,000 visitors a time from across Wales, the UK and Europe.

15 learning disabled actors from across North Wales, who are trained by Hijinx at their academy in Prestatyn, will be at the centre of a number of Festival performances. They will be joined by fellow Hijinx Academy actors from South and West Wales, for a celebration of inclusion that takes place in Caernarfon for the first time this year.

Ben Pettitt-Wade, Hijinx’s Artistic Director, commented:We are thrilled to be taking the Festival to Caernarfon this summer. The overwhelmingly positive reaction of the public, local community groups and schools to the Festival over the past nine years in Cardiff has been an inspiration and a catalyst for moving it north. We can’t wait to introduce the work of outstanding disabled performers to audiences in North Wales, and above all, provoke thought and discussion about the ability and potential of people who live with a disability.”

Partner Venue
The award winning creative enterprise centre, Galeri in Caernarfon is the official venue partner of the Festival.

Mari Emlyn, Artistic Director at Galeri, commented: “Galeri is delighted to be welcoming Unity Festival, one of Europe’s largest inclusive festivals, and the only one of its kind in Wales – to Caernarfon! What a great opportunity to promote positive images of disabilities whilst encouraging inclusivity within the arts, bringing international innovative artistic events to Galeri and the streets of Caernarfon!

Schools’ Day
The hugely popular Schools’ Day returns to Hijinx Unity Festival this year on Friday 30 June. 500 pupils from Key Stages 2 and 3 will have the chance to enjoy a packed day of inclusive theatre and dance within Caernarfon Castle. If you are interested in bringing a school group, please contact vanessa.morse@hijinx.org.uk for further information.

Thanks to funding from Welsh Assembly Government’s Major Events Unit, the Arts Council of Wales, Cadw, Caernarfon Town Council and Gwyn & Mary Owen, Unity Festival is able to relocate to North Wales for the first time. The new location opens up opportunities to bring Hijinx’s inclusive ethos to new audiences, school communities and artistic collaborators in North West and North Wales and the North of England.

Further Information
For future updates on Hijinx Unity Festival 2017 programme, visit the event website at www.hijinxunity.org.uk , follow @HijinxTheatre on Twitter or on www.facebook.com/hijinxtheatre


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