The Acts

An abstract painting by Rachel Gadsden, showing five figures made of white lines flowing around a stage. From left to right: figure one is an electric wheelchair user underneath a spotlight, mid-movement; figure two stands at the back of the stage with their hands up as if they are signing; figure three is bent double, as if in a bow; figure four, a manual wheelchair user, is mid-movement; and figure five is in a running pose as if moving swiftly offstage. The figures are surrounded by swirling lines of pink, orange, green, blue and yellow, representing their movement & stage lighting. The overall feeling is one of vibrant movement.

Friday 8 – Saturday 9 November, 7.30pm

Pit Theatre, The Barbican

BSL Interpreted, Audio Description, Captioned


The Acts is a meta-theatrical piece which brings together individual works from four of the UK’s most exciting disabled theatre makers & companies.

Join us inside the walls of a bustling but dysfunctional theatre, where four acts are hard at work on their latest productions: a solo show about love, joy, and cancer; a comedy about the ways neurodivergent people are expected to sell their stories for the stage; a theatrical adaptation of a short film entangling Greek mythology and the seaside pier; and a multisensory meditation on isolation and moon landings. 

The Acts comes to The Pit Theatre at the Barbican for 2 nights, Friday 8th & Saturday 9th November. 

The Acts has been made possible with the support of Arts Council England and The Barbican Centre.

Act 1
Stephen Bailey and ASYLUM Arts present the darkly comedic Autistic as Fuckexploring the complexities and contradictions of neurodivergence, masking, and the ways we’re told we need to tell our stories for them to be seen by non-disabled audiences.

Act 2
Peyvand Sadeghian & Matthew Robinson use immersive projections & material from the NASA archives of the 1969 Apollo 11 moon landing, to navigate awe, despair, wellness, and isolation in Over The Moon (working title).

Act 3 
Hugh Maylon & Steve Sowden intertwine classical myth with knotty reality, taking us to the seaside long after the holidays have ended in the liminal and unreal Humetheus and the Quest for the Bronze Cloak.

Act 4

A.C. Smith brings To Rose On Her 18th Birthdaya love letter written by a mother to her daughter as she reaches for joy after twice developing cancer, aware her daughter may have inherited the same genetic risk.

Writers & Performers

A white man with blonde hair. Smiling. Wearning a grey T-Shirt in front of a brick wall

Stephen Bailey / Asylum Arts

A close-up photograph of Peyvand and Matthew at a Wes Anderson film exhibition. Peyvand on the left is a woman has a blue-tinted bob haircut, septum ring, and is wearing a vintage orange-striped shirt. On the right is Matt, a man with short light coloured hair wearing a tan-coloured shirt.

Peyvand Sadeghian & Matthew Robinson

Hugh wearing a red top in a blue seated wheelchair is on the left, grinning, with Steve in black setting up a mic on a stand. Behind them, Sam, in a grey jumper is looking at their notes, and is standing next to a doorway with light shining out from a projector. You can just see Nat in black taking a photo.

Hugh Maylon & Steve Sowden

Alli Smith Headshot. A white woman with brown hair and white glasses is smiles in front of a background of leaves.

A.C. Smith

Creative Team

Jamie Hale


Caitlin Richards


Jack Wakely

Development Producer

Phoebe Kemp

Movement Director

Rudzani Moleya

Assistant Director

Stage Manager

Damien Stanton

Set, Props & Costume Designer

Carly Altberg

Lighting Designer

Sound Designer

Creative Caption Designer

Samuel Brewer

Audio Description Consultant

Aarian Mehrabani

Audio Description Consultant

BSL Consultant

Creative Access Support Worker

Creative Access Support Worker

Supported by

Funded by Arts Council England
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