A TRIBUTE will be paid to disabled artist Pete Edwards with the presentation of a new work made during the pandemic.

For one week only, Orbits will be screened by Birds of Paradise (BOP), Scotland’s leading touring theatre company employing disabled and non-disabled actors.

Established in 1993, BOP became disability-led in 2012. The company’s work has been recognised at home and abroad for its approach to designing access in all its productions and in developing work that addresses societal themes around disability with honesty and humour.

Orbits, which features Portuguese disabled dancer Diana Niepce, who uses shock, nudity and techniques that disrupt social norms to explore the sexuality of disabled people, will be shown at Edinburgh’s Fruitmarket Gallery from Saturday until May 5.

The film explores how people’s lived experiences change as their lives progress and how they experience different versions of self that can still feel present even though they are in the past.

“BOP dedicates this film to the memory of our friend and collaborator Pete Edwards who set off on the exploration with us but sadly passed away in 2022 and was not able to complete the journey,” said BOP’s executive director, Mairi Taylor.

“Pete was a disabled artist whose practice spanned acting, writing and devising and worked with BOP on our five-star production Purposeless Movement in 2016 and for its re-staging at the Edinburgh International Festival in 2019.”

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Orbits began as a collaboration between the artists in early 2021 and was filmed in Lisbon in December 2022. It features an evocative soundtrack, created by Scottish musician and composer Scott Twynholm.

The film is a departure from the usual theatre work created by BOP as it has no text or spoken word, but Taylor said it embodied the company’s artistic vision where disabled artists are recognised for the excellence of their work and celebrated for the stories they bring to the stage.

As BOP enters its 30th year, the company is pushing into new territories of practice and presentation in order to have a wider impact on the cultural landscape.

“Orbits has been a challenging, delightful and immense project for the company to engage in,” said Taylor.

“From working remotely through the pandemic to co-ordinating a way to safely come together, Orbits was an epic experience. We are hugely thankful to the whole team and the dedication they have shown the project – this shows through the beauty of the final work.

“We are incredibly excited that we can bring the work of the company to new audiences through expanding forms and venues such as Fruitmarket, Edinburgh.”