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The good, the bad and the grotesque!

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Why are contemporary disabled characters and the plots they are involved with so often driven by ‘issues around their disability’ rather than anything else? It wasn’t so for Dickens, Stevenson or Zola, so what has changed?

New Writing South in association with DAO is staging a debate at this year's Oxford Literary Festival 2009 on April 3 at 12pm in the Blue Boar Marquee, Christ Church, Oxford. It's about exploring our collective interest in disabled representation in the written word, and media and historical versus contemporary standpoints, penchants and persuasions.

We are delighted to announce our prestigious panelists for the debate: novelists Adam Mars Jones and Nigel Smith, along with playwright and Creative Projects Manager at Graeae Theatre Company, Alex Bulmer, will share their current thinking and work around the theme under the guidance of Tony Panayiotou, Director of Diversity Strategy at Arts Council England.

We want to hear from you on this subject to inform our debate. Let us know your comments or pose a question in the box below.

Tickets are £7.50 and available through the Oxford Literary Festival Website -

If you'd like to talk through booking a place and any particular access needs you have, including parking, please call New Writing South direct on 01273 735353 or email admin(at)

There will be a podcast available to sample after the event itself.

Why not make your trip to Oxford doubly worthwhile and catch an evening performance of Graeae's Whiter than Snow? It's on April 2 or 3 at the Northwall Theatre, Oxford. On April 3 there will be audio description and stagetext available.

click here for further details