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Perth festival breaks through the disability barrier

It’s shaping up to be a major event on the arts calendar, with an impressive line up including appearances from author Helen Garner, Neil Finn, Dizzee Rascal, Sufi musicians, French circus performers and countless other creatives. The festival showcases a dizzying array of more than 230 music, theatre, dance, literature, film and visual art events – many of them free.

Disabled Voices in the Spotlight at the Perth Festival

The diversity among the line up is testament to the willingness of the event organisers to incorporate a range of voices and experiences within the scope of the festival. The season kicks off with a play from Julia Hales, a deeply personal account of living with Down Syndrome. Shining the spotlight on disabled performers helps break down barriers within the arts, and the Perth Festival is proudly part of a growing movement to empower people with disability by providing a showcase for their stories – ensuring that their voices are heard.

DADAA and Black Swan Theatre Company Team Up

One of one of the festival highlights is “You Know We Belong Together”, a partnership between Disability in the Arts Disadvantages in the Arts (DADAA) and the Black Swan Theatre Company. With four shows scheduled to appear, “You Know We Belong Together” is the passion project of Julia Hales, a play documenting her experiences of love, and the beauty and complexity of living with Down syndrome. Director Clare Watson promises that it will deliver the goods with singing, dancing, humorous references to Aussie soap operas and even some karaoke.

Watson sums up the ethos of the event: “Our season in 2018 is designed to encourage compassion and extend empathy and most importantly, to entertain”. Tickets for the festival are on sale from Monday 13 November, 9am AWST. For more information visit

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