About Us

About Us

Robert talks in front of a wide, shiney set of stairs. He is sat in a wheelchair behind a small wooden podium that displays the Birds of Paradise logo. He has short brown hair and is wearing a smart shirt with a waistcoat. Behind him a woman appears to be interpreting. She is wearing a suit and has long blonde hair.

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)

Various members of the cast and crew for My Left / Right Foot clump together in the foyer of Festival Theatre, Robert holds the Herald Angel ward up into the air. Everyone is smiling.

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.

Organisations We Support:

Parents & Carers in Performing Arts

BOP is a PiPA (Parents and Carers in Performing Arts) Charter Partner, striving towards creating a more family friendly working environment.

Parents & Carers in Performing Arts logo

PiPA campaigns to enable and empower parents, carers and employers to achieve sustainable change in attitudes and practices in order to attract, support and retain a more diverse and flexible workforce. We are always happy to discuss solutions that allow people to balance their caring responsibilities with their working lives, for example through job shares or flexible working arrangements as appropriate.

Green Arts Initiative

BOP is a member of the Green Arts Initiative

The Green Arts Initiative is a proactive network which aims to build and maintain a Scottish green arts community. Run by Creative Carbon Scotland, with oversight and support from a steering group of Green Arts members.

BOP takes an active part in working with the initiative to reduce it’s own carbon footprint, and that of the sector as a whole.

Equality Action Pledge

BOP has signed up to a pledge that committs us to the following:

Our Board will take steps to measure the diversity of the Board, senior leadership, staff, volunteers and service users by all relevant protected characteristics.

Our Board will identify what it can do to achieve fair representation from underrepresented groups at Board, senior leadership, staff, and volunteer levels. We will set targets and take action for improvement.

Our organisation will tackle barriers which might prevent some groups of people from accessing our services.