Photo: Tyrone Lewis
Our protagonist is ‘an inspiration’, ‘so brave’, and tired of your bullshit. Growing up with albinism, she’s learned to ignore the abuse, well-meant or otherwise, that our ableist society throws at her. For as long as she can remember, she has derived worth from her independence and athletic prowess. So receiving news that she narrowly missed out on making the GB Paralympics team hits her hard. As she goes on a run to clear her head, she reflects on the relationships between her body, her senses, and her sport. Her journey through the landscape mirrors her personal journey, untangling the ways in which she’s internalised society’s expectations.
“Th[e] exhaustion is something a lot of people will understand from going out running themselves, but what they won’t understand is the [...] physical and mental exhaustion placed on this character because of her disability. It’s using the running as a way to illustrate the other parts of her life.” - Ellen Renton in The Sunday Post
“Within Sight is an exceptional piece of spoken word theatre, Renton’s performance is honest, self-aware and has clear intentions."
"Together [the performance, sound and video] offer a very lyrical and powerful insight into a condition which, as the show points out, has a great deal of visibility in terms of Hollywood bad guys, but a lot less when it comes to actual mainstream understanding."
“It is Renton’s recalling of the emotional and practical challenges set out by an unthinking (and often uncaring) world that strike the hardest."
The Wee Review, ****
The 2020 tour of Within Sight unfortunately
had to be postponed due to the pandemic.
Ellen Renton’s new spoken word theatre show is a one-woman performance about running, the Paralympics, and disability. The work is based on Ellen’s personal experience of living with albinism, and addresses both individual frustration and the institutional ableism within our society. Tokenism, access barriers and inspiration porn are dissected in Ellen’s soft spoken but hard hitting poetry. The show uses video to give the non-disabled audience a sense of what it’s like to inhabit a world that wasn’t made for you, and is set to original music. Led by disabled artists, it has been designed to be accessible to a wide a variety of people.
Photo: Tyrone Lewis
Written and performed by Ellen Renton.
Music by Jack Hinks.
Sound design by David Devereux/Tin Can Audio.
Video design by Kiana Kalantar-Hormozi.
Produced by Bibi June Schwithal/In The Works.
'Within Sight' was commissioned and supported by Unlimited, celebrating the work of disabled artists, with funding from Spirit of 2012. The development and tour of the show are supported by the National Lottery through Creative Scotland.
CC available on youtube.