On Whose Shoulders We Build: Spotlight on – Andy Stafford

Disability Arts in the North East – A Living Archive

A tribute to all the disabled artists and groups who have made up the Disability Arts Movement past and present

About Andy Stafford

Andy has been one of The Lawnmowers for a long time. Lawnmowers was initially set up as a project with Them Wifies in 1986, and Andy joined a bit later. From the beginning Andy wanted to show the world that learning disabled people could take a lead in creating valuable and important work both for their own community and for the wider arts world. During his time with The Lawnmowers he has been an actor, deviser and workshop leader and has been a key part of all the developments within the company including the Krokodile Klubs and DJing, and the Fool Ensemble which looked at what its like to be laughed at and what happens when you take control of that by provoking laughter through comedy.

(Andy Stafford’s work with the Krokodile Klubs)

Along with other company members, and working with director Geraldine Ling, Andy helped to formulate the lawnmowers methods of theatre for change, drawing on Augusto Boal’s theories and thinking. Their use of forum theatre meant that audiences were part of the show and had the opportunity to understand important subjects and also, to have their say as they made suggestions for the dramatic action and possible solutions to their problems. There have been many landmark shows in Andy’s time with the company from the early Big Sex Show right through to contributing to the development of the current touring show Retake, Remake.

Find out more about The Lawnmowers Independent Theatre Company

View the On Whose Shoulders We Build online exhibition