2012 has been a phenomenal year for Graeae. It has seen us take to the global stage for the first time and present varied and diverse artistic and education programmes. We have also had the opportunity to work with so many different people, and we asked some of them to share their Graeae highlight of the year.
My Graeae highlight of the year was definitely the standing ovation for ‘Spasticus Autisticus’ at the QEH performance of Reasons to be Cheerful (RTBC) as part of Unlimited, when a member of the audience raised his crutch in a symbol of solidarity. Brilliant!’ Danny Braverman, Practitioner
‘My greatest memory ever, was performing on the sway poles in front of thousands and thousands of people in the spectacular Paralympic Opening Ceremony at the Olympic Stadium. It was really hard work to tone my body up but it was a worthwhile experience. Hats off and big hand wave to Jenny and Bradley who did a brilliant job!!’ David Ellington, Performer
‘I am about to come to the end of my term as a member of Graeae’s board, so inevitably I have been doing a bit of reflecting. Over the past seven years I have had the privilege to work with four excellent chairmen/women and many inspiring colleagues, to experience lots of fab work and to see the company settle into its wonderful home in Kingsland Road. What an extraordinary company Graeae is and 2012 has been a really amazing year, in which the company pushed itself to great heights – often literally. I can’t think of another company that could pull off a national tour of an in-yer-face musical theatre production, an intimate and lyrical outdoor show, an epic collaboration with one of Europe’s most famously anarchic troupes, and the Rhinestone Rollers seeing the year out in style – all of which drew large, appreciative and diverse audiences. And then to have its artistic director co-direct a spectacularly successful event on the world stage – the scale, skills, richness and wit of which could not even have been dreamt of seven years ago – I am not sure how you top that, but I know Graeae will try. Jenny, Judith and all who travel with Graeae, I salute you – may 2013 be as full of wonder and sweet airs as 2012 has been.’ Jodi Myers, Board Member
‘As for my moment of the year with Graeae, it has to be at the Southbank with RTBC. We have often heard the saying ‘showstopper’ but the reaction to the company’s version of ‘Spasticus Autisticus’ was like nothing I have ever experienced in my 35 years of working in and attending the theatre. The show literally stopped. The applause, the roar of the crowd, the energy could have blown the roof off. It was a once in a lifetime experience. People giving a standing ovation during the show. I will always remember the feeling, the atmosphere and the celebration of life that thronged around that theatre when a showstopper stopped the show. Oi oi!!’ Christopher Holt, Vocal Coach
‘In March this year there were two nights where Ms Sealey gave a presentation at the Southbank as part of the Phenomenal People project. It was a wonderful presentation and a very personal one from Jenny talking about how Caroline Parker inspires her. She told the history of how these two strong and determined women met and how their relationship has grown and developed over the years. It was a powerful presentation but the night Caro was there and the two of them got up on stage together to sign ‘I will survive’ completely spontaneously was not only fabulous to watch but very moving. A moment which is rare and wonderful and which I consider to have been privileged to witness. Vikki Gee-Dare, SLI
‘When asked to think about my most memorable moment for Graeae in 2012 I found it impossible to pick just one. What a landmark year for this amazing company. A giant puppet and 70 volunteers in Prometheus Awakes at the Greenwich+Docklands International Festival – jaw dropping! Mesmerised by the sway poles in The Garden at the Southbank and singing along to ‘Spasticus Autistics’ performed by the cast and band of Reasons to be Cheerful at the Paralympic Games Opening Ceremony. That is just three memories of thousands of unforgettable moments, come on 2013 we are ready for you. Oi Oi!’ Angie Klein, Marketing and PR Consultant
‘My Graeae highlight was seeing the work Graeae had been developing with Circus Space over the last couple of years evolve into such a huge part of the Paralympic Opening ceremony. From a filmmakers perspective I have seen the beginning of that development and it has been wonderful to see it flourish from the sidelines into something momentous. Biggest regret: Missing Prometheus Awakes!’ Ted Evans, Filmmaker – Director