Is There Anybody Out There? Recording disabled people’s experience of lockdown

Life over the past few months has been many things; scary, confusing, the world feels smaller. We can’t rely on the things we usually enjoy, or see the people we want to see. Blackpool-based performance artist Helena Ascough is one of four artists to be commissioned by Lancaster Arts. She will create a new spoken word performance that contemplates the things we are thinking about while we cannot leave our homes very often.
Helena asks Is There Anybody Out There? 

Helena wants to take this opportunity to connect with disabled people who would like to share their experiences of lockdown. Social isolation and struggling to get access to food and medicines are among the issues disproportionately affecting disabled people (especially women) and it’s so important that both positive and negative negative are explored and recorded. As we continue to face uncertainty and necessary lockdown restrictions, Is There Anybody Out There? asks disabled people to pause and reflect upon how has the current crisis has changed our relationships to where we live, our immediate locality and our wider networks.

“I wanted my project to explore disability in lockdown and how society can change to make disabled people feel included, as this is a difficult time for all people and as I visually impaired person understand the difficulties that disabled people face.” 

If you are interested in getting involved with the project, please take a look at the following questions (you can answer one or all of them):

  • Why is loneliness connected to disability?
  • Does technology make us feel connected or disconnected from the outside world? 
  • What is isolation like for the visually impaired?
  • How can society make changes to make disabled people feel included?


  • Reflect on your general thoughts and feelings during lockdown.

Once you’ve thought about what you’d like to say, please send an email with your response.  As the responses arrive, Helena will start to craft them into a new spoken word performance. 

Live Poetry Show

Helena is also performing a new poetry show  A Little Voice Called Hope on Facebook Live on 10 July at 7:30pm as a fundraiser for All The Worlds A Stage Project which is raising money for North West Theatres that are currently closed due to COVID19, as well as Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London.

Abut Helena
Helena Ascough teaches acting at EGG Performing Arts alongside TV actress Ella Grace Gregoire, and is an assistant teacher at The Pauline Quirke Academy. She has also graduated this year with a first-class degree in Theatre and Performance from UCLAN.

After leaving Blackpool & The Fylde College with three Distinction* grades in BTEC Performing Arts, Helena built up an extensive performance and acting CV, working for companies such as Merlin Entertainments, The Electric Sunshine Project, The Touring Consortium Theatre Company, Events Live, and Initiate Theatre. She has performed her solo spoken word shows at The Lancashire Fringe Festival and the Frontline Arts Festival and acted at the Spare Parts and Highest Point Festivals. Her most recent commissions are from They Eat Culture, The Brewtime Collective and Lancaster Arts. 

Keep up to date with Helena on her Facebook page, Instagram or Twitter  


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