“I’m DJ-Beat-es… and I do drugs.”
Paul is a Type 1 Diabetic, and has been for 28 years.
Paul is also a DJ, and has been for about 5 months.
Both are challenging skills, a sequence of spinning multiple disks at any one time. Paul is not perfect at either. With Dia-Beat-es he hopes to cross-fade between the two in this mega-mix of sweet sweet music dedicated to the carb counting druggies* like him. Join Paul as he drops beats on the past 27 years of his drug-filled life, mixing in the highs and lows of living as a full time diabetic… and part time DJ.
Theatre Maker and Performer: Paul O’Donnell
DJ mentor: James Hunter
Designer: Abby Clarke
Lighting designer: Rhys Parker
Sound editor: Gerry Smith
Directorial support: Jen Davis
Production manager: Tracy Croft
Technical stage manager: Elliot Mitchell
Access producer: Jessie Anand
Audience development: Louisa Sanfey
Film maker: Rachel Bunce
Co-producers: Paul O’Donnell and SJ Watkinson
Audio contributionsfrom Chris O’Donnell, Bernie O’Donnell, Laura Dobb and Jennifer Upton
The show brings together a unique blend of diabetic anthems such as Lighthouse Family’s High, Shanks and Bigfoot’s Sweet Like Chocolate and The Eurythmics’ Sweet Dreams alongside Paul’s personal account of living with this incurable condition. Through this light hearted and joyous remix, Paul wants to open up a conversation about how 400,000 Type 1 diabetics in the UK keep their discs spinning, without the possibility of ever pressing pause.
UK tour 2023
1st February South Street Arts Centre, Reading
3rd February Arena Theatre, Wolverhampton
7th & 8th February Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry
16th February Aberystwyth Arts Centre
25th February Lighthouse, Poole
3rd March Attenborough Arts Centre, Leicester
14th March The Arts Centre, Edge Hill University, Ormskirk
15th March Harrogate Theatre
29th March – 1st April Camden Peoples’ Theatre, London
ABOUT PAUL O’DONNELL
Paul is an Associate Artist at Birmingham REP and Theatre Absolute who aims to expose the ‘ordinary’ in a ‘spectacular’ fashion. He is playing a crucial role in Coventry’s year as City of Culture, both as an artist, with his most ambitious performance to date set to take place in Coventry Cathedral in February 2022, and as a producer, creating opportunities for up and coming artists in the city through his role at Shoot Festival.
His widely acclaimed touring show We’ve Got Each Other, the almost entirely imagined Bon Jovi musical, is coming up to 100 performances following a hit run at Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2018. It has toured across the UK, Spain, America and made it to Canada in March 2020, just before lockdown. In 2018, the show won BE Festival’s Audience Prize as well as Audience Prize and Best Performer Prize at FITT Festival Tarragona, Spain.
“A show that bridges comedy and a master class in theatre” – The List (on We’ve Got Each Other)
“O’Donnell is an enormously likeable deadpan presence” – Lyn Gardner, Stagedoor App (on We’ve Got Each Other)
“Pure theatrical genius” – North West End (on We’ve Got Each Other)
Following the show’s current dates, Dia-Beat-Es will be available to tour to theatre venues, unconventional spaces and informal NHS spaces with a scalable and adaptable set. Ideally, the audience will be standing so that they can dance along to the sick, sick beats, but there is flexibility.