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beneFIT

A devised community production

beneFIT is a devised, semi-verbatim community project Little but Fierce has been developing with Cracked Potters Theatre Company and a number of disability organisations.

Over summer 2017 we were invited to write and perform a monologue about living with disability at an unofficial popup street theatre created directly outside Downing Street as part of a DPAC protest against disability benefits cuts. This led to being invited to join Disability Action in Islington in working towards creating a short piece of forum theatre about disability and the benefits system, which was performed in front of an invited audience at a disability conference.

Since then we have been developing the piece into a full-length play, a Brechtian hostage drama that intersperses verbatim stories from recepients of disability benefits. The production will be performed by professional disabled actors and a community chorus, and we are in the early stages of putting together a tour.

Due to the sensitive nature of the work and the possibly impact on benefits, cast and creatives are remaining anonymous.

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The it turns out extremely friendly Bronx teenagers helped knock my handbag to the ground, albeit laughing at me, which is fair. But still the tiny thief refused to yield. He's smelled chocolate and would not give up his trophy. Alas the zipper gap was just big enough for his own body, not enough for a bag of Wal*Mart's finest Reeses' peanut butter cups.

Again and again we battled, until finally we managed together to open the zipper. Wallet keys and 15 lipbalms scattered, but all I could see was a fluffy tail bouncing up and down into the distance, bearing an orange bag larger than its owner.

Now, back in London, I feed the squirrels in the park next to my building, so tame they politely wait in circles around me and gentle take cashew nuts directly from my hand. One even knows how to walk on his hind legs.

Telling this story to a group of Americans recently, exclaiming at the difference between American and British squirrels, on Louisiana native remarked, "Yeah, we have some ratchet-ass squ'alls in America."

Ratchet Ass Squ'alls is my band name.

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