Line-up announced for Centre Stage Scratch Night – showcasing Essex/East London deaf/disabled & neurodivergent artists

Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch are delighted to announce the return of Centre Stage – a polished scratch night celebrating and promoting local deaf, disabled and neurodivergent artists and people living with chronic illnesses in Essex and Outer East London.

Centre Stage will take place on Friday 24 March at 6pm on The Other Stage. In this instalment, six artists will be commissioned to respond to the stimulus: ‘The Here & Now’.  They will be joined by a visual artist who is being commissioned to paint a response to the work being showcased throughout the evening. The painting will be revealed at the end of the night.

The seven artists are: Rebecca Buckle, Jo-anne Cox, Michelle Felix, Zara Jayne, Jamie ‘JJ’ Jeyes, The Mollusc Dimension and Grace Viccary.

Rebecca Buckle is a multidisciplinary theatre maker and playwright. Her work fuses autobiographical writing, movement, and historical narrative to create slightly silly shows about serious subjects. She is currently a PhD student at the University of Essex looking into the benefits of theatre practice for those living with chronic pain. 

Jo-anne Cox plays a sparkling purple “Dragon” cello and creates mesmerising soundscapes influenced by her neurodivergence. In other work, Jo-anne has recently collaborated with John Kelly on his album Better Late than Never and she was associate artist 2022 with Oily Cart. 

Michelle Felix is a fitness instructor, visual awareness trainer and actor. In her spare time, Michelle loves to salsa and write songs. One of her songs made the Finals of the UK Song Writing Contest, and Michelle was a finalist in Dance Westminster 2022. 

Zara Jayne is an actor, writer, poet, and podcaster. Alongside appearances on stage and TV, she is co-founder of a disabled theatre company (Bareface Theatre) and has collaborated with various groups to strengthen the disabled voice. Zara trained at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.

Jamie ‘JJ’ Jeyes is 22 years old and has been playing drums since he was 11. His drum teacher calls him Jamie ’the Monster’ and he plays all his music by ear. Jamie attends Bedazzle Performing Arts College and loves to dance and act. He has already filmed a major TV series and appeared in a national advertising campaign.

The Mollusc Dimension is a British-born Chinese, transqueerian, non-binary, neurodivergent mollusc. Also, part horse! They play piano and hope that you’ll sing along.

Grace Viccary is an autistic actor, writer, producer, and visual artist. She works in oil on canvas for landscapes but has started to use pallet knife and acrylics for her larger abstract paintings.

Performances at Centre Stage will include monologues, poetry, music and video.

Britny Virginia, curator of Centre Stage and member of the theatre’s Creative Leadership Team 2022/23 said, “I am super excited to organise another Centre Stage event. After our first launch during the Blueprint Festival, there was a considerable amount of support from the local community. 

It will be a relaxed and fun evening of creativity. I am very excited to see what amazing work will be presented by the disabled community here in Essex and Outer East London.

Thanks again to Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch for giving us a space to platform and celebrate deaf/disabled and neurodivergent artists.” 

Audio description, captioning and British Sign Language Interpretation will be provided throughout the evening.

Tickets for this unmissable event are £10*, £8* with concessions (*plus 65p QNext fee). The age guidance for Centre Stage is 18+. For more details and to book, click here.

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