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On Disability And Chronic Illness Inclusion In The Theatre Industry

pippa sat in box at royal albert hall, looking back towards the camera. pippa is in a formal pink dress and olivier awards stage is visible in background

Back in 2017, before my work began revolving more around chronic illness and lifestyle, I started this blog to share my theatre reviews. As a former dancer, theatre became one of very few ways I could still engage with the performance industry after my health declined… but as somebody with a chronic illness, attending shows even as an audience member was still full of challenges.

It was these experiences that made me begin writing ‘chronic illness-friendly’ theatre reviews. These posts would not only communicate my personal reflections on the show, but also discuss any implications of the venue or the production on my health condition. These posts drew in a huge community of individuals, people who also adored musical theatre but struggled with the impact this had on their own illnesses… and almost immediately, what I was doing began resonating with people. To date, one of my proudest achievements as a blogger is opening up that conversation so that like-minded people could connect and share not only their passions, but also their frustrations. For the first time, we were openly discussing barriers that are often much-less visible to those in the industry… and even to the wider disability community sometimes too.

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