I Could Be Anyone

Room G33, School of Education (R19)
Performance, Social Sciences, Students
Wednesday 5th November 2014 (14:00-16:00)
Download the date to your calendar (.ics file)

Jo Thomas
Email: j.thomas.1@bham.ac.uk
Tel: 0121 415 8240.


Karen Turner-Brown 
Email: k.turner-brown@bham.ac.uk 
Tel: 0121 414 4834

Please register online

We are delighted to present I Could Be Anyone, a play about life with dyslexia drawn from the book by Matthew Scurfield.


2.00pm           -    Registration

2.15-3.00pm   -    Performance

3.00-4pm-       -   Short break followed by Q&A/discussion

If you wish to attend this play, please register online

Given the curricular flagship of academic excellence, held up as the only way to survive the adult market place, dyslexia, or learning difference, is riddled with negative connotations. The experience of those whose needs stand out as being different at school, so often has clear and demonstrable damaging effects on their self-esteem and quality of life, particularly in adult years. These research findings are very eloquently brought to life through this autobiographical performance.  

I Could Be Anyone“Having devised a piece of theatre, which sprang to life from the pages of a book I wrote about growing up as an undiagnosed dyslexic in the midst of academia, in post-war Cambridge, I started out by doing a couple of performances in Malta, with the Maltese actress and television presenter Clare Agius. Amongst the audience was Dr Ruth Falzon of the University of Malta, a diminutive force of nature, who found the piece powerful enough to invite us to do six consecutive shows at the University. 

In acting out this autobiographical drama the crippling lack of esteem is revealed and purged. And when a good part of the audience is mixed in with those who have found their own way, despite the so-called learning disability they grapple with, or, if they’re lucky, celebrate, a revealing debate kicks in. There were  moments when individuals in the auditorium were so engaged they began expressing their own very personal stories. Without realising it, the audience was contributing and taking part in an aesthetic act within a theatrical tradition, performance ethnography.” (Matthew Scurfield).

I Could Be AnyoneWhen I Could be Anyone played the DYSPLA festival in London 2011, the artist and teacher Katherine Hewlett and Dr Ross Cooper, from the charity AchievAbility, were inspired enough by what they saw to set up a showing at the House of Commons in Portcullis House, by way of the chairperson of AchievAbility Barry Sheerman MP. Thus began an encouraging and intriguing collaboration. Dr Ross Cooper is one of the main organisers behind The Festival of Dyslexic Culture, which, among others, will host this performance in November 2014.        

Matthew and Clare bring to dramatic life a truly personal and transformative story. Using their own emotional triggers, they explore the very real possibility of embracing the collisions between the spectator and actor in a life enhancing way. This simple piece of theatre is able to offer a dramatic, new and riveting way to learn and engage with those of us who are often left out on the margins as dysfunctional others.  

Find out more about I Could Be Anyone