“The disability ‘Taskmaster’!”
A hilarious game show where each game represents a different disability, giving kids and grown ups the chance to learn about Autism and Cerebral Palsy among others. Host Benny Shakes invites the audience to help join in the games, while the panellists battle it out to come up trumps, in a show where disadvantage is an advantage!
“Lots of fun”MixUpTheatre.com
“Cleverly thought out and engagingly interactive.”ThreeWeeks
“Extremely inclusive”A Young(ish) Perspective
Blue Badge Bunch is an interactive, disabled led game show for all ages funded by Arts Council England. Created by comedian Benny Shakes and produced by Ingenious Fools, the project has been running for three years, and in that time has toured the UK twice, had a successful run at the Pleasance Courtyard at the Edinburgh Fringe, appeared at Vault Festival and many other prestigious theatres and festivals across the UK, as well as at schools and community groups, receiving critical acclaim for its disabled representation, educational value and innovative, fun games.
The format is a game show, where each game represents a different disability – drawing with your feet, making lunch one handed while being prodded, sensory overload while following instructions or guessing the symbol sentences from an AAC device.
Creator Benny Shakes has been performing comedy since 2019. After making a splash on the comedy scene, the pandemic hit, and Benny was forced to take his ideas online. Benny created a game show where comedians sent in videos of themselves taking part in challenges that highlighted disability. Once Benny was allowed to perform in person again, he took the show to Bradford Fringe and never looked back.
Benny found through his life that people would show him pity, not speak directly to him, assume that he was intoxicated, or unable to communicate. The driving force behind the show is to show people the societal and physical challenges disabled people live with every day, to inspire celebration of disability and educate children and adults.
This issue of disability is very badly neglected in most discussions around diversity, and as a result voices of disabled people themselves are almost absent. Benny continues to research and present insight into disabled people’s experiences and recommendations for the future and is determined that as Blue Badge Bunch grows it will provide many more professional and public opportunities for disabled people.
The show and workshops were initially supported by New Art Exchange’s European Regional Development Fund and has subsequently gained two rounds of Arts Council Funding for development and touring and more recently has been supported by Attenborough Arts Centre.
The show was shortlisted for the Neurodiverse Representation Award at the Edinburgh Fringe 2022, where it received fantastic reviews. The team are heading back to Edinburgh in 2023 for a full run at the Pleasance Courtyard.