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, ****
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. 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.
Originally on tour in early 2020, the show carefully returned to theatres in 2021, touring up until its final performance at Roundhouse in London in 2023.
Photo: Sarah Grant
A film of the show was made in December 2020. The show was filmed and edited by Sarah Grant, using the audiovisual materials of the stage show and a unique performance from Ellen Renton. The film comes captioned and BSL interpretation by Rachel Amey is available.
The film was first shown at the Unlimited Festival at the Southbank Centre, and was part of the Summerhall Fringe programme. It was translated into Spanish for the Otros Territorios festival in Mexico.
With thanks to Tramway for the venue space!
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.