Venturing into a number of artistic pursuits, Vici Wreford-Sinnott, award winning Artistic Director of Stockton’s ‘Little Cog’ theatre company has been busy pursuing it’s mission of putting the hidden stories and experiences of disabled people centre-stage. Damian Robinson caught up with Vici to find out what’s next.
Hi Vici, could you explain who Little Cog are please
Little Cog is a disabled-led theatre company who try to put the hidden stories and experiences of disabled people centre-stage. We work throughout the North East in a number of artistic pursuits and our work is shown nationally and internationally. I do a lot of the writing and directing for the company but the company is much more than one person or one type of art form.
You started out as a theatre company but have moved well beyond that now?
We have, we also try to share our knowledge in the area of Disability Equality in the arts and provide training, workshop, consultancy and support in these areas.
You’ve been working with the Norther Stage recently in a similar role?
We have yes. In the world before COVID we did a national tour of a play called Another England; the show was quiet political but made to be darkly comedic with two brilliant actors playing people from opposite ends of the political spectrum. That show opened the door to conversations with the National Theatre and since then, and since covid, quite by accident, we’ve been the busiest we’ve maybe ever been. Both Stockton’s Arc and ‘Home’ in Manchester commissioned some video work and we are working with Northern Stage to help their programme be as accessible as possible .
How have you found the switch in media?
For Little Cog our main focus used to be theatre and we understand the importance of the live experience. When we toured Another England, for example, 80% of the audience would stay for the Q&A after the show. I think people just wanted to talk and share their experiences. As we haven’t got that at present we’ve had to try to be really resourceful in the way we use the digital world, both ourselves and when we help others, like the Northern Stage. Using captions and audio descriptions, for example, are significant approaches the Northern Stage are using to engage with their audience and help the conversations continue though we aren’t physically in the theatre.