Ellie Mason is an actor with the Spare Tyre theatre company based in London. She is starring in a show called Nights at the Circus that will be performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe this month. Here she tells us all about it.
Ellie is 37 years old and identifies as having a learning disability and she uses a wheelchair. She told PosAbility that she joined Spare Tyre when she was about 16 following a difficult time at college.
“I went to college and I can’t read or write very well and I didn’t mix very well with people at the college. It was really difficult for me to mix so I just said to my social worker one day “I want to do acting and singing”. He got loads of papers and my mum found this one theatre – it was called Theatre Train at the time and they changed their name to Spare Tyre.”
From then a wonderful journey started for Ellie. Being involved with Spare Tyre brought her out of her shell from a shy teenager to a confident woman that loves performing.
Nights at the Circus is a provocative show directed by Fauve Alice, that explores sexuality, desire and identity. They performed the show in 2017 and it had a great audience reaction and Ellie also won the Performer of the Year Award at the Sexual Freedom Awards.
“We did this show about two years ago and I actually won a golden penis at the sexual freedom awards regarding my piece because it is quite intimate and quite sexual. Its sexy and sassy.
“I was quite shocked when I got it [golden penis award] but it was good though! It’s quite big and it’s got wings as well, so it was quite a shock!
Ellie tells us that the show is designed to shock the audience and “make them feel like it’s not what they expect to see from disabled actors”.
This is the first time she has performed at the Fringe in Edinburgh and she confided that she is both nervous and excited about the experience, but she guarantees it will be “different to any other show”.
So if you are looking for a provocative, sensual show you can catch Nights at the Circus at the Zoo Playground from 13 – 17 and 19 – 24 August. You can book tickets here https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/nights-at-the-circus.
About Spare Tyre
Spare Tyre is a leading UK participatory theatre company whose work exists to engage those least involved in arts and cultural activity. They produce multi-sensory, accessible and inclusive touring theatre and outreach arts activities locally and nationally.
“Our mission is to transform lives through theatre. We engage with disadvantaged communities where opportunities are lacking, because we can see the benefits that participatory theatre can bring to them. We champion untold stories and are experts in engaging with hard-to-reach individuals and communities; we bring their voices to the forefront through theatre and other art forms to improve wellbeing and support them to fulfil their potential.”
If you are interested in getting involved visit sparetyre.org.