It’s TUF up North (Tramway’s Unlimited Festival)!

Claire stands on a ladder, behind her is a giant projected image of an eye.
Image from Claire Cunningham and Jess Curtis's 2016 Unlimited commission 'The Way You Look (At Me) Tonight'. Photography by Sven Hagolani.

Our Senior Producer Jo Verrent takes us through Tramway’s Unlimited Festival in Glasgow, exploring the differences and similarities between it and London’s Unlimited Festival at Southbank Centre…

Unlimited at Tramway in Glasgow kicks off on Thursday 15 September, only a couple of days after the end of Southbank Centre’s Unlimited Festival in London (6 – 11 September). Most of the Unlimited commissions will be forming part of the first weekend alongside other work by Scottish and English disabled artists, many of whom have a long standing relationship with Tramway as both a venue and a producer.

We are supporting one additional commission for Tramway – ‘Pioneer [03]’ by Glasgow-based multi-disciplinary artist Maki Yamazaki. ‘Pioneer [03]’ stretches us in terms of art form as, rather than theatre, dance, music or visual arts, it’s an interactive fiction computer game designed to exist beyond traditional gaming environments. The work invites audiences to play as a non-white, disabled protagonist and Maki will be showing it as a work-in-progress at the festival, enabled using Unlimited’s funds from Creative Scotland. We’ll grab a blog from Maki herself soon, so you can find out more.

That’s not the only difference between the two festivals – at Tramway there is a host of participation activity brought together under the banner of ‘What’, coordinated by emerging producer Kim Simpson, whose post is supported by Unlimited Impact – she’s also written us a blog (look out for that next week!).

The ‘What’ activity consists of:


  • What’s Unlimited? – A series of informal drop-in conversations inviting perspectives on the programme and exhibitions – and the world they inhabit – from local and visiting artists and practitioners, academics, activists and other interested humans over the initial weekend.
  • What’s BUZZCUT? (17 September) – A night out to remember – a cabaret curated by the BUZZCUT performance festival! With a wild array of artists, this is a party that will be inclusive, sensitive and hilarious.
  • What next? (21 and 22 September) – A two-day symposium for artists, students and graduates asking what our commitment is to the next generation of disabled artists.
    Supported by Unlimited Impact. This symposium is free, but it’s necessary to book in advance (which you can do through or 0141 302 2810).
  • What do you do? 23 and 24 September – Four in-depth sessions featuring artists working in different contexts, including ‘Unfixed: In conversation’ which focuses on the work of ten disabled British and Australian artists who investigate the characterisation of bodies as ‘disabled’ through the lens of art and technology.
  • Kaite O’Reilly: Book Launch | Atypical in Action – An opportunity to join multi-award-winning playwright Kaite O’Reilly as she presents her latest work and explores some of the ‘aesthetics of access’ used in her work.

The final Friday and Saturday – 23 and 24 September – will see another packed programme of performance work by disabled artists and disability-led arts companies. Finally, the last day of Tramway’s Unlimited Festival – 25 September – will see the whole building animated with fun activities, workshops and events accessible to children of all abilities, their family and friends. Everything will be free to try and you won’t need to book in advance.


The Unlimited Festival is just one in a programme of festivals run by Tramway and, like with Southbank Centre, disabled artists aren’t just featured in Unlimited but frequently feature in festivals throughout the year. Look out for Gathered Together, Scotland’s International Inclusive Dance Festival, which happens just before Unlimited (Wednesday 7 – Saturday 10 September) and also DIG (Dance International Glasgow) next April in particular!


So – double the festivals and double the chance to catch our commissions together. But remember, Unlimited commissions work to tour, not just to feature in these festivals, so check out the Unlimited website to see where else each work is touring and, remember, it’s like Pokémon Go – gotta catch ‘em all!