Give Me A Reason To Live

Claire Cunningham


Based in Glasgow, Claire Cunningham is a performer and creator of multi-disciplinary performance, ranging from intimate solos to large-scale works. One of the UK’s most acclaimed and internationally renowned disabled artists, Cunningham's work is often rooted in the study and use/misuse of her crutches; explores the potential of her own specific physicality; and consciously rejects traditional dance techniques (developed for non-disabled bodies) or attempts to move with the pretence of a body or aesthetic other than her own. Cunningham is part of the National Theatre of Scotland's Auteur Development Programme and was formerly Artist-in-Residence at the Belfast Festival.

Inspired by the work of medieval painter Hieronymus Bosch, Give Me a Reason To Live is a stark solo that explores issues of religion (religious art in particular), the judgement of bodies and the quality of life. Taking the form of a series of tests of body and of faith, and set to a mesmerising sound score, the work is a study of empathy – a live memorial to the disabled victims of the Nazi euthanasia programme and the current disabled victims of the present UK government’s so-called ‘welfare reform’.


In the press

"Stark, brutal – new words, maybe, to ascribe to Cunningham’s creative actions, but she claims them with her customary integrity and conviction"  Herald on Give Me A Reason To Live

"This fearless fierce and beautiful show...not many other artists in any discipline would put their lives on the line quite so frankly as Cunningham does...But then, not many people have the set of skills she has"  The Times on Ménage à Trois

Production details

  • Choreographer

    Claire Cunningham
  • Designer

    Karsten Tinapp (Light Design), Zoë Irvine (Sound Design), Shanti Freed (Costume)
  • Number of people on stage

  • Number of people in touring company

  • Freight

    No freight necessary
  • Touring Availability

    From September 2015
  • Scale of venue

    Small-scale (capacity up to 400),
    Unconventional Space
  • Minimum performance space

    6m x 8m
  • Text-based

    Light (very little or no text)

In Edinburgh

  • Venue

    Studio 3, Dancebase
  • Production dates

    7-9, 14-16, 21-23, 26-29 AUGUST
  • Production times

  • Duration

    40 MIN (no interval)
  • Audience capacity



  • Address

    Flat 1/1 15 Cambuslang Road
    Glasgow G73 1AP
  • Email
  • Contact for touring

    Nadja Dias
    +44 (0)77538 39254


Cunningham can offer masterclasses in movement for disabled and non-disabled individuals (above age 16 and with some experience in movement).

She is also available for discussion events/post-show talks and presentations around her work or the themes within it, or relating to work as a disabled artist or integrated practice.

Additional productions

Guide Gods