The professional production for Cultural Shift this year, is a piece of new work called Butterfly by Vici Wreford-Sinnott, a disabled playwright and theatre director with over 23 years’ experience championing the cultural equality and representation of disabled people.

Vici is our Disability Agent of Change and is also one of ARC’s associate artists. Work on the piece is currently at the research and development stage so Vici has been writing, researching and working with professional performer Jacqueline Phillips.

Vici said, “It has been brilliant to work with Jackie to bring my new characters to life – we’ve been spending time with Beatrice, a completely unsuspecting 49 year old heroine in a story of survival; with Butterfly a character who takes Beatrice on trips through her recent history; and, with big bold Boudica, who takes Beatrice on trips through bigger history. It’s been such a pleasure to spend time with these characters and see them grow.”

The piece will also be informed by workshops called ‘Reclaiming the Butterfly’ with people who, like Vici, experience or have experienced mental health difficulties. Much of Vici’s work is about the ownership of identity, no matter who is trying to colonise you. Watch out for Random Acts of Reclamation around Stockton, which will be creative surprises aiming to show solidarity and support to anyone having a difficult time at the moment.

Butterfly premieres at ARC on 1 March 2016.