Birds of Paradise Theatre Company was formally constituted as a company limited by guarantee and as a registered charity in 1993, becoming Scotland’s first touring theatre company employing disabled and non-disabled actors. Since then we have been led by a number of visionary leaders and in 2012 we became disability-led through the appointment of our current Artistic Directors.
Many original aims behind the formation of the company are still familiar to Birds of Paradise today: to employ disabled and non-disabled actors and other theatre professionals, to commission new work, to work in partnership with other organisations at home and abroad, to create positive images of inclusion and to encourage participation in the arts.
Image above: Robert speaking at our 25th anniversary event, held at the Scottish Parliament (2018)
The current team consists of: Artistic Director, Robert Softley Gale; part time Executive Producer, Mairi Taylor; part time Producer, Michelle Rolfe; part time Engagement & Office Manager, Callum Madge; part time Development Officer, Morna McGeoch. Robert is recognised as a key player in the disability arts scene in the UK and on the world stage and his presence gives an authority to Birds of Paradise’s status as Scotland’s premier disability-led theatre company.
In 2013 the company was awarded Projects and Programmes funding from Creative Scotland as well as receiving ongoing Projects Funding from Glasgow City Council. In 2015 the company became an RFO and in 2018 its was awarded RFO status for a further three years.
Image above: Some of the team who worked on My
Left / Right Foot : The Musical, receiving a Herald Angel award (2018)
BOP has some key strategic strengths:
- creating theatre with diverse companies that embodies the principles of Creative Access
- making shows that are popular, in demand and that receive critical acclaim
- being decisive, fast and forthright in responding to opportunities to develop new work
You can read the below document for the full story about how BOP was formed.
If you have any further questions about BOP, why not visit our FAQs page.