Graeae Theatre Company

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Graeae Theatre Company is a force for change in world-class theatre, breaking down barriers, challenging preconceptions and boldly placing disabled artists centre stage. It champions accessibility and provides a platform for new generations of Deaf and disabled talent through the creation of trail-blazing theatre, at home and internationally. Graeae is a British organisation founded in 1980 by Nabil Shaban and Richard Tomlinson and named after the Graeae of Greek mythology. Having met at college in Coventry, creating productions involving disabled people, their shared vision was to dispel images of defencelessness, together with prejudices and popular myths, around disabled people, through theatre, workshops and training.

Graeae Theatre Company was originally based in the West End Centre in Aldershot, but since 2009 its home has been the award winning Bradbury studios, located on Kingsland Road, London. Thousands of people have enjoyed its facilities, as one of the few fully accessible rehearsal spaces, offices and work-spaces in the UK.

Today Graeae (pronounced "grey-eye") performs on national and international tours. Its current artistic director is Jenny Sealey MBE, who co-directed the London 2012 Paralympic Opening Ceremony alongside Bradley Hemmings (GDIF).


Actors who have appeared with the company include Mat Fraser, Laurence Clark and Nabil Shaban. Graeae has performed plays by Glyn Cannon and Sam Boardman-Jacobs.


  • peeling by Kaite O'Reilly - (2002)
  • Bent by Martin Sherman - (2004)
  • Diary of an Action Man by Mike Kenny - (2005)
  • George Dandin, or Mr Waddle, the Outwitted Husband by Moliere, translated & directed by Philip Osment - (2006)
  • Blasted by Sarah Kane - (2006)
  • Whiter Than Snow – tour 2007 by Mike Kenny with Birmingham Rep Theatre (2007)
  • Flower Girls by Richard Cameron, directed by Jenny Sealey and Peter Rowe a co-production with The New Wolsey Theatre Ipswich (2007)
  • Static by Dan Rebellato with Suspect Culture (2008)
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Alex Bulmer and Jack Thorne (2008)
  • Whiter Than Snow – tour 2009 by Mike Kenny in association with Birmingham Repertory Theatre Company (2009)
  • Against The Tide by Graeae and STRANGE FRUIT (2009)
  • Just Me, Bell by Sophie Partridge (2009)
  • Signs of a Star-Shaped Diva by Nona Shepphard in a co-production with Theatre Royal Stratford East (2010)
  • The Garden by Alex Bulmer, co-production with Strange Fruit (2010)
  • Rhinestone Rollers by Graeae (2010)
  • Against The Tide by Graeae and STRANGE FRUIT (2009 re-tour)
  • Reasons To Be Cheerful by Paul Sirett, co-production with TRSE & New Wolsey (2010)
  • The Iron Man adapted from the Ted Hughes story, adapted for Graeae by Paul Sirett, directed by Jenny Sealey (2011)
  • Wheels on Broadway by Graeae (2011)
  • Prometheus Awakes by Graeae presented by Graeae and La Fura dels Baus co-commissioned by GDIF and SIRF part of the London 2012 Festival (2012)
  • Sequins and Snowballs by Graeae (2012)
  • Limbless Knight by Graeae in association with Strange Fruit Commissioned by GDIF (2013)
  • Deck the Stalls by Graeae Youth Programme (2013)
  • The Threepenny Opera by Graeae co-production with West Yorkshire Playhouse, New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich, Nottingham Playhouse Theatre Company and Birmingham Repertory Theatre Company (2013)
  • Signs of a Diva by Graeae (2014)
  • Belonging by Graeae, presented by Graeae and Circo Crescer e Viver
  • Reasons to be Cheerful concert version by Graeae (2014)
  • The Iron Man by Graeae (2014)
  • The Rollettes Graeae's Youth Programme by Graeae, Graeae's Youth Programme
  • Blood Wedding by Graeae, presented by Graeae, Dundee Rep and Derby Theatre, by Frederico Garcia Lorca in a new version by David Ireland, directed by Jenny Sealey (2014)
  • The Solid Life of Sugar Water by Graeae, co-production with Theatre Royal Plymouth - National Tour Spring 2016 (2016)


Further reading[edit]

  • Turney, Eleanor (10 March 2016). "How accessible is Asian theatre?". The Stage. pp. 38–39. 

External links[edit]