Unlimited was a groundbreaking three-year initiative that commissioned 29 new pieces of work by deaf and disabled artists from the UK. We supported five UK  international collaborations with artists from seven countries which premiered in: Birmingham, Cambridge, Liverpool, Newcastle and Weymouth prior to a major showcase during the Paralympics, at the Southbank Centre, part of the London 2012 Festival.

The Unlimited Festival attracted live audiences of 20,000 people at ticketed and free events and engaged with an estimated 11,000 people through digital media. In addition, the international commissions we supported reached an audience of over 65,000 through websites, exhibitions and performances at venues across the UK.

LOCOG has reported that the International Olympic Committee has recognised this as an extremely successful initiative.

Unlimited gave artists the opportunity to develop new skills and collaborate with international partners. It is anticipated that many of the artists, drawing on this experience, will develop new, exciting collaborations in the future. Feedback from participants showed that they had built confidence and connections, with over half saying they would like to initiate new international projects. Many artists who were involved have since accepted invitations to present their work as part of major festivals in South Africa, Brazil and Qatar, while five UK sector specialists will be invited to speak or train at international events.

'The overall collaborations between artists and directors pushed the boundaries and in doing so lifted the bar for disability arts...being part of the Unlimited Selection Panel and experiencing the Unlimited Festival has helped me to conceptualise the first ever Disability Festival at Artscape in South Africa.' - Marlene Le Roux, Unlimited Panellist and Director, Artscape, South Africa.

Unlimited formed part of the London 2012 Festival and was principally funded by the National Lottery through the Olympic Lottery Distributor, and delivered in partnership between London 2012, Arts Council England, Creative Scotland, Arts Council of Wales, Arts Council of Northern Ireland and the British Council.

We supported the following collaborations:

Boomba Down the Tyne

A large-scale performance which brought together the spirit of the English Blaydon Races from Newcastle with the Brazilian Boi Bumba. Produced by Lawnmowers with Opaxoro Dance and Percussion Company and Orquestra Sertao/Urucungo Association Point of Culture from Brazil.

The Dean Rodney Singers

72 band members (from Brazil, China, Croatia, Germany, Japan and South Africa) collaborated online to create new music, dance and video using cutting-edge web technology, resulting in a digital installation and online presence. Produced by Heart n Soul.

The Impending Storm

Both able-bodied and disabled artists collaborated to create a new dance piece with a spoken text and sung score. Produced by DanceXChange with David Toole and Remix Dance Company.

Unlimited Global Alchemy

An exploration of issues of identity, survival in the face of chronic medical conditions, and the politics of HIV. Together the group created visual artworks, a performance and a documentary film which toured the UK and will tour internationally. Produced by Arts Admin with Rachel Gadsden and the Bambanani Group.


A spectacular outdoor circus, dance and theatrical event to open the London 2012 Olympic sailing events in Weymouth, designed by three leading disabled artists Jamie Beddard, Alex Bulmer and David Toole. Produced by Diverse City with APAE and Estacao Dancar.