Good, bad or just plain ugly? Changing perceptions of the learning disabled actor

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


On the Verge is a performance by Jez Colborne, a disabled actor, conceived in collaboration with UK theatre company, Mind the Gap. Critical analysis of work involving actors with intellectual impairments has largely been concerned with how the actor or “client” might benefit from the process of involvement. Rarely has it been considered relevant to ask what an audience might think. For work as aesthetically rich as On the Verge such a framework is at best inadequate and worse demeaning, This paper is a contribution to an emergent understanding of the field and offers a necessary corrective: Rather than ask how Colborne is “empowered” by performing, I engage closely with the aesthetic artefact of which he is the centre. What is at stake here is one version of a utopia: the possibility of a work by a learning disabled performer that is the aesthetic “equal” of that by any other artist.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPlanting trees of drama with global vision in local knowledge: IDEA 2007 dialogues
EditorsJack Shu, Phoebe Chan
Place of PublicationHong Kong
PublisherIDEA Publications
Number of pages548
ISBN (Print)978-9628321858
Publication statusPublished - 2007


Dive into the research topics of 'Good, bad or just plain ugly? Changing perceptions of the learning disabled actor'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this