Thursday, August 2, 2012

Take Up Thy Bed & Walk

Presented by Vitalstatistix

PLEASE NOTE: The Take Up Thy Bed & Walk season has finished, after 17 extraordinary shows. Thanks to the wonderful cast, creative team and crew and, of course, to all of you who came along. You can download a copy of the program here.

You held out your hand for an egg, and fate put into it a scorpion. Show no consternation; close your fingers firmly upon the gift, let it sting through your palm. Never mind; in time, after your hand and arm have swelled and quivered long with torture, the squeezed scorpion will die and you will have learned the great lesson, how to endure without a sob. ~ Charlotte Bronte

So long have I been languished on the shelf, I must give all proceedings to myself
I'm spasticus, I'm spasticus, I'm spasticus autisticus ~ Ian Dury & The Blockheads

We need to recognise that a theatre without impairments is a theatre without human beings. ~ Colette Conroy

Take Up Thy Bed & Walk is a subversive performance about women, disability & fiction. Conceived by theatre designer, disability activist & Creative Australia inaugural fellowship recipient Gaelle Mellis, this extraordinary new work starts out from the portrayals of disabled women in 19th century literature & ends up at the most infamous intervention by a major recording artist with disability within popular culture.

Take Up Thy Bed & Walk has been made collaboratively by a creative team that includes former members of South Australian acclaimed theatre-makers Ladykillers & an all-star cast, which includes Michelle Ryan (award winning dancer, choreographer and filmmaker, ex Meryl Tankard’s ADT), Emma J Hawkins (dancer, singer, circus performer, ex Circus Oz), Jo Dunbar (until recently UK-based dance artist, currently working with The Delta Project, Kyra Kimpton (South Australian interdisciplinary artist, ex Restless Dance Theatre) and Gerry Shearim (professional Auslan/English interpreter). 

Unlike views about women, society’s understanding of disability has not changed greatly since Victorian classic fiction for girls were first being penned. Spanning this literature, popular music & the personal stories of the performers themselves, Take Up Thy Bed & Walk explores the layers of untruths about disability still so present in popular culture today.

Take Up Thy Bed & Walk is a disability-led project that ground breaks a uniquely accessible audience experience through a creative approach that incorporates Auslan, audio description & other access features into the core aesthetic of the work.

This will be a will be an intelligent, beautiful, unsettling & humorous performance event not to be missed.

It’s personal, it’s political, it’s punk.

Created & designed by Gaelle Mellis

Co-director: Ingrid Voorendt; Text: Hilary Bell; Lighting design: Geoff Cobham; Sound design & music: Zoƫ Barry & Jed Palmer; Video production: Heath Britton & Jennifer Greer Holmes; Animation: Heath Britton.

Featuring: Jo Dunbar, Emma J Hawkins, Kyra Kimpton, Michelle Ryan & Gerry Shearim.

Presented by Vitalstatistix
24th October to 10th November
Wed to Sat at 8pm, Sat & Sun at 3pm
Waterside, 11 Nile St Port Adelaide

Preview (24th Oct) all tix $20
Waged $32
Concession $26
Fringe Benefits $24
Groups 10+ $24
Companion Card accepted
Bookings CLOSED
View the e-flyer here
Listen to the e-flyer here
View the media release here
View the cast and creator bios here
See an Auslan introduction here
Twitter: #TakeUpThyBedandWalk #TakeUpThyBed


  1. This is a brilliantly executed and masterful performance! Stunning insights, creative set designs and outstanding attention to detail. Every actor enthralled me. I totally recommend it to everyone!

    Tracey Bretag, University of South Australia.

  2. This is a splendidly executed and awesome exhibition! Dazing experiences, inventive set outlines and remarkable scrupulousness. Each performing artist enchanted me. I completely suggest it to everybody!


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