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ABLE-bodied people will get concessionary tickets at a Liverpool festival this month.

The unique reversal means deaf audience members at the Deaf Culture Celebration will have to pay full price to see the show.

The event is among attractions at the city's annual DaDa Fest, the UK's largest festival celebrating the work of disabled and deaf artists.

A musical about thalidomide, comedy nights, plays, a family day at Sefton park Palm House and workshops are also on the programme for the 10-day festival which celebrates its fifth anniversary this year.

It will finish with ahigh-profile awards dinner at the Crowne Plaza hotel.

DaDa Fest costs around pounds 30,000 to put on - with funding from the Culture Company and Arts Council - but last year it was estimated it made more than pounds 430,000 for the city's economy.

Ruth Gould, creative director of organisers the Northwest Disability Arts Forum, said: "We're becoming quite a voice nationally and internationally.

"There have been community arts disability festivals that haven't really linked community and art at a high level.

"We're taking people into mainstream opportunities and our audiences are disabled, nondisabled, hearing, deaf, old, young.

"It's about celebrating diversity and we feel we've been really successful.

"The awards shortlist has only just gone on the website and it's already been inundated. The number of hits has doubled in a week."

The Deaf Culture Celebration with its unique ticket pricing is one of the new events for 2005.

Ruth said: "The deaf community has said it's fine to market it like that. It's just making a point."

Among returning acts is comedian Laurence Clark, who performs from his wheelchair and was asked by Cherie Blair at this year's Labour party conference if he was a stand-up comedian.

He will bring his acclaimed Edinburgh Fringe show, Jim Davidson's Guide to Equality, to venues in St Helens and Warrington


The DaDa Fest runs from Thursday, November 24 until Saturday, December 3. More details about the programme are available on or by picking up a booklet from libraries or tourist information offices


VENUE: Sefton Park Palm House
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Copyright 2005 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Nov 12, 2005
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