Learning Disability Today
Supporting professionals working in learning disability and autism services

International inclusive arts festival to take place in Caernarfon

Hijinx TheatreFive-day international inclusive arts event, Hijinx Unity Festival, will this year take place in Caernarfon, North Wales, from June 28 – July 2, Hijinx has announced.

Circus, theatre, dance and music acts will fill Caernarfon Castle, Victoria Dock, the Town Square and Galeri Arts Centre for this year’s festival, which celebrates the best inclusive and disability arts from around the world. It will include performers from France, Germany, Spain, Belgium and Ethiopia, as well as from across the UK and Wales.

All of the companies performing at Hijinx Unity Festival include artists who have physical or learning disabilities. Welsh theatre company, Hijinx created the festival in 2008 to give a high profile platform to work made by disabled and non-disabled artists working together as equals. It now attracts 20,000 people from across Wales, England and Europe.

Full programme details will be unveiled at a special launch event in Caernarfon in May. But events will include a weekend of free performances around the town centre ideal for families, a Schools’ Day for 500 local pupils, a Community Dance Gala and flamenco and physical theatre acts at Galeri, the official venue partner of the festival.

Fourteen actors with learning disabilities from Hijinx’s performance training academy at Prestatyn will be at the centre of a number of performances, produced by Hijinx in collaboration with other Welsh and UK-based companies.

Ben Pettitt-Wade, Hijinx’s artistic director, said: “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.”

Mari Emlyn, artistic director at Galeri, said the festival is 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!”

For 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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