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Performer
Current Location: Invercyle, Scotland version

Dear Audience,

Thank you very much for not being at my show. For understanding that I can’t be there. That we can’t be there.
Shall I stay…?
Would it be a sin?  

Thank you for listening when we say we believe that we are not safe until we are all safe.
Wise men say….
Only fools rush in

Thank you for understanding that if there are some who cannot come to see our show because they don’t feel safe to be out in the world, or some who cannot travel, who cannot leave the building….then the show for us must not go on.
Like a river flows
Surely to the sea

At approximately 9.26pm I would start my last scene. A small square stage approx. 2 feet high, with a glowing lit surface in the downstage right corner of the room. You would be close, some of you only 2 feet away, sitting below and all around, looking up at me, or listening to the Audio Describer’s voice in your headset describe me standing above you.  Wearing a white jumpsuit with a high collar and a heavy turquoise leather belt with a large golden lion on the buckle, turquoise and diamond-like gems emblazoning the front of my chest, and wide turquoise accents on the flared legs of my jumpsuit, with short grey hair now wet with sweat and with my 2 grey shining crutches and holding a handheld microphone. And you would feel me breathe, or see me breathe and you would feel or hear the weight of my body on the small square glowing stage. I would tell you how my dream to end the show is to sing a song, my favourite song by Elvis, as I pass through the crowd and make my way to the door to “leave the building”.
Darling so it goes
Some things are meant to be

I would ask for your help to do this because I can’t hold my microphone to my mouth and move at the same time because I need to use my hands on my crutches. So I would ask you to help me. To be my hands. To hold my microphone for me, and to pass it between you, from one person to the next, from one hand to the next, to the person sitting close beside you, asking you to hold it close to my mouth as I sing to you.
Take my hand
Take my whole life too

And Carly would cue the backing track of music from the sound desk and I would pass the mic to you. I would sing to you. To each of you, and look in your eyes as I pass, you would feel my breath, you would feel my leg perhaps brush your leg, or your chair, or your wheelchair as I lean in close to you and move along and through all of you. And Chris would press a button on the lighting desk to bring up a spotlight that follows me as I move, lighting me and you and the Sign Language Interpreter alongside me as I pass. Singing to you. For me. And for you.
For I can’t help falling in love with you

And some of you would smile and laugh, some of you would be nervous. Some of you would hold the mic too close to yourself, or too high, or too low and I would have to lean close to reach my lips to it and I would ask you maybe to lift it up a bit, or to move it more slowly, in snatched moments between the lines of the song.
Take my hand
Take my whole life too

And we would get there, gradually, by the last verse of the song, in time for a final chorus where I stand by the door, holding the mic again, standing with Vicky, with Tanja, with Dan, and I would look at you all and I would sing to you all, sometimes with tears in my eyes, sometimes with tears in your eyes, and sometimes you would join in and sing along.
Shall I stay…?
Would it be a sin?
If I can’t help falling in love with you 

But I can’t help
Falling in love with you.

And Chris would fade down the spotlight leaving us in darkness.

With love to all who cannot leave the building,

Claire
(Can’t Help Falling in Love written by Peretti, Creatore & Weiss)

AUDIO VERSION HERE
GERMAN VERSION HERE (possibly as download to save space?  Or in sub menu?

Claire Cunningham

Claire Cunningham is a performer and creator of multi-disciplinary performance based in Glasgow, Scotland.  A recent Factory Artist with Tanzhaus NRW Düsseldorf, Germany she is also an Affiliate Artist with The Place, London.

One of the UK’s most acclaimed and internationally renowned disabled artists, Cunningham’s work is often rooted in the study and use/misuse of her crutches and the exploration of the potential of her own specific physicality with a conscious rejection of traditional dance techniques (developed for non-disabled bodies).  This runs alongside a deep interest in the lived experience of disability and its implications not only as a choreographer but also in terms of societal notions of knowledge, value, connection and interdependence.