Global Conversations

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A space for disabled arts workers and allies to unite and learn from each other during the International Festival

BSL interpretation of this page.

This August, Edinburgh International Festival will provide a space for ten disabled creatives working in the performing arts to learn, rest and make some new connections.

What will happen?

On Saturday 17 August participants will take part in a range of activities providing them opportunities to learn and make some new connections whilst still finding time to rest during the hubbub of August. Highlights include:

  • A presentation from Chela De Ferrari – the creator of Teatro La Plaza’s striking new version of Hamlet, starring a cast of performers with Down’s syndrome
  • A ticket to a matinee performance of Hamlet
  • An open-ended, low-pressure discussion. There are no expected outcomes from this discussion.

Please see the Schedule section below for further information.

We will also provide lunch, dinner and plenty of moments for rest.

Who is it for?

This opportunity is for Scotland-based arts workers who:

By performing arts, we mean any creative medium which involves performing in front of a live (or digital) audience. This includes theatre; dance; music; performance poetry; stand-up comedy.

Who else will be taking part?

In addition to the participants, the hosts of the day will include:

  • Caroline Donald – Head of Discovery & Participation, Edinburgh International Festival
  • Callum Madge – Access Manager, Edinburgh International Festival
  • Sunniva Ramsay – Community Connections Manager, Edinburgh International Festival
  • Cat Sheridan – Producer, Unlimited and member of Edinburgh International Festival Access Panel

What is the full schedule?

11am – 12.30pm Presentation from Chela De Ferrari Dance Base
12.30pm - 12.45pm Break Dance Base
12.45pm - 1.45pm LunchDance Base
1.45pm - 2.30pm Break / Travel to Lyceum Dance Base
2.30pm - 4pm Performance of Hamlet (BSL) Lyceum Theatre
4pm – 4.20pm Break Lyceum Theatre
4.20pm - 6pm Facilitated discussion Lyceum Theatre
6pm - 6.30pm Break & networking Lyceum Theatre
6.45pm – 8pm DinnerTBC

Presentation from Chela De Ferrari, writer & director of Teatro La Plaza’s Hamlet

  • Chela De Ferrari reveals the creative process of her version of Hamlet
  • She will share the discoveries she made and challenges she encountered through creating a play with a cast of performers with Down’s syndrome
  • The workshop will explain inspiration and research behind the project, outlining how the cast has also interpreted the project. Participants will be able to see how the connections between the characters, monologues and scenes of the play are woven into this adaptation.

Performance of Hamlet

  • Together, we’ll attend the 2.30pm performance of Hamlet on Saturday 17th August, at Lyceum Theatre
  • As the company are from Peru, this performance is performed in Spanish with English surtitles
  • This performance will be BSL interpreted but unfortunately it is not accessible for blind or partially sighted people, as dialogue is in Spanish


  • Once participants have been selected, in advance of the event day, they will be asked a question about the arts industry. The submitted answers will shape the conversations of the discussion.
  • This is your chance to get things off your chest or share any recommendations you might have, in the presence of likeminded industry peers.
Man crouched on stage holding skull

What will we provide?

  • Lunch, dinner and teas and coffees - you will be asked about dietary requirements if you are selected.
  • A ticket to the matinee, BSL interpreted performance of Hamlet on Saturday 17th August.
  • Freelance participants are eligible for travel expenses and a participation stipend – see below for more information.
  • Additional budget to support access requirements.


  • Part of the application process will ask you for information about your access requirements.
  • If supporting your access requirements incurs a cost, we will endeavour to cover these costs for you.
  • We have three accessible hotel rooms available as part of this opportunity, please see Accommodation section below for more information.

Freelancer Stipend

  • In recognition of the imbalance of renumerated time commitment for salaried and freelance workers, we are happy to provide a £200 stipend – for freelancers only.
  • There are only five £200 stipends available.
  • Please indicate on the application form if you are freelance or salaried.


  • There are accessible hotel rooms available for people who will require accommodation in Edinburgh to be able to attend – either due to the location of where they stay, or due to an access requirement.
  • Due to the high cost of accommodation in Edinburgh, we are limited to only being able to provide 3 peoplewith accommodation.
  • Please indicate on the application form if you require accommodation or not.


  • If you are salaried, we will not provide any additional expenses for your travel.
  • If you are a freelancer, we will provide expenses for travel costs upon receiving receipts. Mileage is worked out at 45p per mile.

Part of British Council’s Global Conversation series. Celebrating 90 years of building connections, understanding, and trust.