Review; “Lifebrary”

The promotional poster for Lifebrary. The six cast members perch in miniature amongst giant pink, red, and purple books on shelves, one with a doggo. Text reads “True Ability; The Life -Li-Brary (the letters L and I in “Library” are struck out by a red line) Supported by AJZ Productions and Adelaide City Council”

By Phi Theodoros

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This show at the Adelaide City Library was a fantastic way for people to meet with people who live with disabilities and learn more about their stories, dreams, ambitions and achievements.  I left feeling uplifted and inspired by the stories I’d heard and many of the storytellers shared their love for True Ability and how much they appreciate being able to come together as performers and create works together.

I love how True Ability provided this opportunity for audiences to get to know people more closely & heard them tales behind the artists. It was an absolute delight to hear all the inspirational things and entertaining stories these 6 artists have curated on their “narration menus”.

Here are some snippets of my experience of travelling around the room and hearing all the stories on the menu at the “Lifebrary”;

 

A brown woman with grey hair and a floral top sits with her arms crossed at a desk, smiling broadly. In front of her on the table are a number of silver frames holding a security certificate, multiple security badges, a diploma of acting, a certificate in professional modeling, a certificate of Australian Citizenship, and a photo of two family members.

A brown woman with grey hair and a floral top sits with her arms crossed at a desk, smiling broadly. In front of her on the table are a number of silver frames holding a security certificate, multiple security badges, a diploma of acting, a certificate in professional modeling, a certificate of Australian Citizenship, and a photo of two family members.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lucy- an incredible life story of so many different jobs. You wouldn’t expect this smiling and friendly face to be a martial arts expert & have worked as a body guard. She shared a song with me to finish our time together. This was such a beautiful and intimate part of the show – a song just for her and I. She also praised working with True Abilities as she loves being with other people and performing.

 

a white man with a short beard and short dark hairs sits confidently at the desk, looking straight at the camera. He is wearing a grey jacket, and holding a silver Boba Fett helmet- one hand around the base, and one resting on top.

a white man with a short beard and short dark hairs sits confidently at the desk, looking straight at the camera. He is wearing a grey jacket, and holding a silver Boba Fett helmet- one hand around the base, and one resting on top.

 

 

 




Jye- had me in stitches with every story he told me. From the time he and his friends rocked up to Oz Comic-Con all as storm troopers and took 4 hours to find each other amongst a sea of matching storm trooper costumes to the story of his $150 car falling apart literally while he was driving. What a delightful storyteller with such great comedic energy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

a photo in a white frame sits on a table scattered with Lifebrary fliers. The photo is of Racheal in full graduation dress, receiving her certificate on stage to applause. Text reads “2021 Flinders University”

a photo in a white frame sits on a table scattered with Lifebrary fliers. The photo is of Racheal in full graduation dress, receiving her certificate on stage to applause. Text reads “2021 Flinders University”

 

 

 

Rachel- I have seen her perform many times and have met her once or twice but I still felt a little starstruck talking with her. She is an out and proud lesbian who was “Miss November” in the Rainbow Calendar for 2021 and has recently become the first person in Australia with Down Syndrome to graduate from university. She is an actor and a dancer and such a warm and friendly human. She was almost air-born too- with her mum going into labour on a 10 hour plane flight from America to England.

a white woman with short blonde curly hair sits at a table in a Flinders University Hoodie. In front of her is a menu of stories. She is holding a calendar open to the page of November; a photo of her sitting in the park with a rainbow bag and cushion, wearing lots of rainbows and smiling happily.

a white woman with short blonde curly hair sits at a table in a Flinders University Hoodie. In front of her is a menu of stories. She is holding a calendar open to the page of November; a photo of her sitting in the park with a rainbow bag and cushion, wearing lots of rainbows and smiling happily.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Justine’s story menu, along with a photograph of a framed collection of Olympic memorabilia, including swimsuit and cap, shirt and jumper, and three medals.

Justine’s story menu, along with a photograph of a framed collection of Olympic memorabilia, including swimsuit and cap, shirt and jumper, and three medals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Justine- is not just an actor, she’s also a medal winning Special Olympian. It was so wonderful hearing about her journey as a swimmer and how she represented Australia in the Special Olympics in Spain- even having a shirt created that read “No pain, no gain, no Spain”. I really appreciated having this opportunity to get to know Justine better and to hear about her dedication and successes. I feel proud to know her and that such a lovely human was able to represent our country in the Special Olympics.

a white woman with long straight grey hair smiles while sitting at a table in a grey jumper. In front of her are snapshots of her at various ages from a sepia photo of her as a baby to as a young woman sitting in a chair wearing a t-shirt that says “no pain, no gain, no Spain”, as well as team photos and awards. Two Olympic medals are displayed on little pine stands next to a photo of her wearing the medals.

a white woman with long straight grey hair smiles while sitting at a table in a grey jumper. In front of her are snapshots of her at various ages from a sepia photo of her as a baby to as a young woman sitting in a chair wearing a t-shirt that says “no pain, no gain, no Spain”, as well as team photos and awards. Two Olympic medals are displayed on little pine stands next to a photo of her wearing the medals.

 

 

 

a white man sits at a desk holding a glass of soda water. In front of him is a Glenelg Tigers scarfe, and he is wearing a dark jacket with a white shirt underneath. His other hand is giving a thumbs up, and he has just the biggest smile on his face.

a white man sits at a desk holding a glass of soda water. In front of him is a Glenelg Tigers scarfe, and he is wearing a dark jacket with a white shirt underneath. His other hand is giving a thumbs up, and he has just the biggest smile on his face.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kym– Or Kymbo as I know him is a good caring friend of mine who I’ve had the pleasure of working with creatively and chances are you’ve seen him around Adelaide supporting all kinds of arts events and shows. Today we chatted about his love for the Glenelg tigers, how he and True Ability Artistic Director have been friends for so long he’s attended numerous of Kym’s family Christmas events over the years. My favourite part of Kyms story today was a familiar one- him sharing his love for being a performer across many mediums and the way his toothy grin takes over his face when he lights up with joy around his biggest passions.

 

 

A white woman sits at a desk in a navy jumper and glasses, her blonde hair is pulled back in a bun and she is wearing glasses. She holds up a fluffy toy rabbit, and smiling.

A white woman sits at a desk in a navy jumper and glasses, her blonde hair is pulled back in a bun and she is wearing glasses. She holds up a fluffy toy rabbit, and smiling.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hannah- was the last LifeBrary storyteller I spoke to and she shared about growing up with lots of interesting animals. With a Park Ranger father it wasn’t unusual for her to have a kangaroo Joey hopping around their property but perhaps the cutest story was how she trained possums to stand up and eat their nuts while she’s tending to their habitat with fresh water and more food. Though often she’d need to call out to her dad for more nuts to keep them occupied.

 

A huge congratulations to Kelly Vincent & Ailirio and the whole True Ability tea and supporters for creating another fantastic opportunity for people to listen and learn from these inspiring artists with disability.

A photo collection on a cork wall of the cast of “Lifebrary” in workshops and rehearsals.

A photo collection on a cork wall of the cast of “Lifebrary” in workshops and rehearsals.

The cast of “Lifebrary” in center space of the Adelaide City Library. They are all standing with their props around Kelly Vincent, who is wearing bright turquoise boots and smiling.

The cast of “Lifebrary” in center space of the Adelaide City Library. They are all standing with their props around Kelly Vincent, who is wearing bright turquoise boots and smiling.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keep an eye on their socials for new shows and workshops celebrating the life and stories of creatives with lived & living experience of disability.

https://www.facebook.com/TrueAbilityArts

https://www.instagram.com/trueabilityarts/

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