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Parallel Perspectives

Located in very different environments, both Old Diorama Arts Centre (ODAC) and LEVEL are predominantly spaces for making and exploration, without performance spaces.

Earlier this year, ODAC and LEVEL launched Parallel Perspectives – an open call for disabled artists interested in undertaking a paid residency in both centres, providing two distinctly different locations in which to explore their work. From the hubbub of central London to the tranquil borders of the Peak District, we invited artists to spend some time in our studios, to work on new performance projects without the expectation of outcomes at this point.

The artists and companies selected for the residencies are:

  • Lisa Hammond & Rachael Spence – ‘Bunny’
  • Tam Reynolds a.k.a. Midgitte Bardot
  • Jonny Leitch, Elana Binysh & Jenny Davies

ODAC is an arts creation and community centre with Euston as its inspiration, collaborator and stage. Located on the edge of the Regent’s Place campus (off London’s busy Euston Road) and bordering the Regent’s Park Estate, ODAC is a shared home for the live arts, creative industries and local community to make, explore and meet. www.olddiorama.com 

LEVEL is a contemporary arts centre in Rowsley, Derbyshire that celebrates the art that difference makes. Right on the edge of the stunning Peak District national park with a packed programme of visual art exhibitions and digital installations, alongside artists residencies and creative workshops. www.levelcentre.com 


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A black and white image of two people seated around a table, laughing together.
Lisa Hammond and Rachael Spence – ‘Bunny’
Lisa Hammond and Rachael Spence are Bunny – an artistic partnership who work across television, theatre and community performance projects.They have been writing, devising and performing together for the last ten years to create work that gets us talking. Bunny is short for ‘rabbit’ cockney rhyming slang for ‘Talk‘ ;’Rabbit and Pork’, Talk. Their work is honest, at times brutal and always full of love and laughter.

Their joint credits include Some Old Street (Hampstead Theatre); Still No Idea (with Improbable & The Royal Court Theatre); Souled Out (Shakespeare’s Globe); Lowdown (a Channel 4 comedy Blap with Retort); Old Street New Street (with Shoreditch Town Hall and Kuntstraum gallery); Wolfgang and The Princess (Barbican Pit Labs); Helena and Hermia (RSC Studio) and No Idea (with Improbable at The Young Vic). They were also selected for BAFTA Elevate 2018.

What they say about the idea they’ll be working on:

‘Welcome to our last ever show. We are quittin showbiz because showbiz still has no f*****g idea. In 2010 we made NO IDEA, a show about changing the world for disabled people. In 2018 we made STILL NO IDEA, a show about people saying the world had changed when really it hadn’t.

But what happens when you make a show to change the world, the world doesn’t change and then the world changes but for the WORSE? This is the story of how it’s happened again; we keep trying to make a new show, a different show, but the world keeps throwing us situations that mean we can’t. So do we have to tell this story AGAIN? Do we have to make the final piece of a TRILOGY? Do we STILL have No F*****g Idea?’

On Parallel Perspectives:

‘Bunny are thrilled/apprehensive to be trying a rural residency with Parallel Perspectives for the very first time and are concerned that the air quality might be too good for their urban lungs.’

A person standing on stage, wearing a pink and silver sparkling outfit, holding a microphone. The background is a darkly lit blue.
Tam Reynolds A.K.A. Midgette Bardot

Midgitte Bardot is the alter ego of a queered queer person with dwarfism who’s existence for millennia has been roughed around enough for them to develop an appetite for violence, vulgarity and vengeance. Midgitte’s canonisation in dwarf culture and heritage is long overdue. Mines. Midgetism. Militance. Mudpies. Magnificence. Mischiefism.

They have a beautiful singing voice that often brings an audience to tears while contemplating all the vivid possibilities life can bring us. Midgitte is hilarious, and can often be found leaving crowds collapsed on the floor while their guts explode from laughter. They have phenomenal timing, dragging the emotions of spectators from joy to despair on the turn of a second. Their work can be acerbically, invoking a revolutionary zeal in the most inhibited of people, bringing new horizons of power, disgust, and the brute force of confronting our shared humanity on a dying planet. They also do drag.

Previous credits include LADA Katherine Araniello Bursary, Sound of The Underground @ Royal Court Theatre, Southbank Centre, Arts Council Funded, New Queers on the Block Award Recipient, Artsadmin Bursary.

What they say about the idea they’ll be working on:

‘What are the long-term effects of having a dwarf body which is then dwarfed by it’s own cultural and historical misrepresentations? The only solution so far is to create an alter-ego and to plot revenge via the medium of performance art, profanity, and pickaxes.’

On Parallel Perspectives:

‘Midgitte is grateful for the opportunity to dig into, dwell within and discover what lies beneath. Deeper than beneath. It takes time and energy to look this good and smell this clever, so thank Moses for this Parallel Perspectives residency.’

A screenshot of a computer screen with an error message which reads "never made sense in the first place"
Jonny Leitch, Elana Binysh and Jenny Davies

This is the first collaboration between Jonny Leitch (Sound Designer, Drummer/Performer), Elana Binysh (Live Artist/Dramaturg) and Jenny Davies (Theatre maker/Director)- three artists united by our love of noise, alternative modes of storytelling and work that is audaciously Disabled in form and content.

This collaboration is an exploration of what it means to unmask – as people making a show, and as people watching one. What does it mean to have a practice that is completely Neurodiverse, and is this achievable within Capitalism? How do you give a Neurodiverse audience permission to engage in a shame-free environment? Where did I put my keys?

What they say about the idea they’ll be working on:

‘Never made sense in the first place will be an experimental piece of a gig theatre: a noisy, chaotic celebration of neurodiverse thought patterns. A show that moves from point A to apples to acid to gloop to gore-tex to how old is Al Gore to my laundry has been in the machine for three days and it’s giving me palpitations to how am I such a failure to I am the smartest person alive to the bass line of that song I can’t remember the name of on repeat to a complete crash to where was I trying to get to?’

On Parallel Perspectives:

‘The development period explores how different sensory environments affect Neurodiverse brains, and how different sensory experiences can provide metaphors for parts of the Neurodiverse experience- so Parallel Perspectives gives us a really exciting stimulus to think about this, using the urban and rural landscapes as ways into thinking about overload, sensory stimulation and burnout.’

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