Calvert, Dave (2013) Book review: Drama, Disability and Education by Andy Kempe. Research in Drama Education: The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance, 18 (4). pp. 417-418. ISSN 1356-9783

Petra Kuppers has written of the need ‘to move from non-disabled certainties about disability to disabled perspectives on these certainties’. One such certainty is the anxious perception that discussing disability is to enter a highly sensitive field in which the dangers outweigh the benefits. Andy Kempe’s book – incorporating essays from Lionel Warner and Simon Floodgate, and scripts by Rob John and Alun Bliss – alleviates these concerns, offering provocation and encouragement in equal measure. Primarily of value to teachers and students within mainstream education, the plentiful insights and propositions are framed by Gavin Bolton’s contention that the study of drama allows for the exploration of a play’s content, presents opportunities for social and personal development and develops an understanding of dramatic form and structure. Kempe’s wide-ranging discussion insists that all four of these must be held in balance when approaching questions of disability representation in drama.

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